Monthly Archives: May 2009

Item Of The Month In Depth, May – Chelsea Barrack’s Chandelier


This month I would like to highlight this unusual chandelier. It was rescued from the neo- Byzantine Victorian chapel in what was the Chelsea barracks here in London. The chapel is the only surviving original part of the old Barracks, along with some railings. The remaining 60’s barracks were recently demolished as part of the controversial Candy & Candy development of the site. There is a huge question mark over whether the chapel will survive, as it does not have listed status, which makes this chandelier quite special.

This chandelier is unusual in that firstly it was for oil and gas and now has been converted to electricity and more so in that it is of North American manufacture. How it ended up in the back of the Chelsea barracks chapel is uncertain, but it was probably the gift of an American family.

It dates to the mid 19th Century and takes its influence from the Regency colza chandeliers in England during the late 18th and early 19th Centuries.

It depicts on all three sides a mask of a native American face, which stylistically mimics the classical faces often found on European Colza lights.

The chandelier is made of gilt brass, is triform in shape, and has been newly electrified with hand blown frosted shades. It measures 67cm high x 63cm wide and dates to around c.1850


Friend Of The Month, May – Cosmo China



This month I would like to introduce Cosmo China. Cosmo is the name given to the studio and two shops selling hand painted china and porcelain owned and run by the Firmin family. Charlotte, Josie & Katy are three sisters and part of the distinguished Firmin family. Their Father, Peter Firmin is the famous animator and artist who with Oliver Postgate created such cult children’s programmes as ‘Bagpuss’ and ‘Ivor The Engine’, amongst many others.

They have two shops, one in Bloomsbury, London and one in Palace Street, Canterbury, which is where I discovered them back in 1993 when I was penniless and working over the road in Canterbury Cathedral, often buying something every month (which I am still using 16 years later and putting in the dishwasher every day!).

They have an extensive range of china, which is all hand painted and unique, in a range of themes, often using animals and nature depicted in bright vibrant colours. They also do a lot of commissioned work for special occasions or can paint china, dinner or tea services to your own specification.

For more information on Cosmo and their contact details, you can visit their website:

Please mention how you discovered them when you get in contact. I cannot reccomend their work more highly. I am cheered up every morning as I use tea mugs, which are covered in brightly painted smiling cats, 16 years on!