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Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The Dolphins - Farewell To An Era

The Dolphins has been the holiday home and later the permanent residence of members of the White family for over 80 years.
Brigadier White lived in India and in Lewes, Sussex.  The family built The Dolphins in the 1930s on one of the island's eastern hilltops and it was initially used as a holiday home whilst he continued his medical career in England.  After the war, the family moved to the island.
Mrs Anne White (nee Mackay) recently died at the grand old age of 95. 
The home has remained largely untouched since it was built and furnished in the 30s so the surviving family members felt that the house should be opened to the public before it and its contents are auctioned.  It was an opportunity I could not pass on.  And I am watching the bidding of the contents on line as I type this post.  Isn't that amazing?!
The auction is largely over.  It was the usual type of auction, some items running away, many going to around their estimated price and a few not selling.  I found the experience fascinating.  Indian paintings and ephemera flew with lots of online battles.  One Indian watercolour was estimated at £60-80, yet went for £1450 - what had the auctioneer missed, I wonder?
A continental wooden doll valued at £60-80 started with an online bid at £320, quickly became an online battle and ended in auction floor carnage, selling at £6500.
Yes, an experience but I won't do that again, it becomes addictive.
So, back to the plot.  I visited the house yesterday.  I am hoping this post will appeal to lovers of all things vintage.  Needless to say, many pics were taken and these are just a few!  As usual with this type of post, I will let the pics mostly do the talking.

I tested the upholstery, which is still surprisingly plump ... or maybe that was my upholstery?!
(This armchair didn't sell.  It needs re-upholstering; maybe there is a post-auction bid to be made ...)
The architect had maximised on the sea and neighbouring island views, with large 30s metal-framed windows abounding.

 Family crockery, I loved this majolica, mementoes, toys, clothes and ephemera were displayed for all to view.

I thought of Terri from meadowtreestyle when I spied this stash of glam dressmaking patterns.  Terri loves sewing and retro patterns.  She would have made a serious bid for these, I'm sure. (Terri, the patterns went for £75). There were handbags and hats, fabric and jewellery that I know would have tempted her too.

Beaded handbags; what must be a lifetime's collection of buttons (sold for £45).

These wooden horses sold for £240.

This must have been a childrens' room, it was filled with toys.  I'm thinking Sis might be interested in the Paddington Bears ...  She had one but can a PB fan really have too many?
Well, the dalmatian doggie and brush set went for £120 and the Paddington Bears, £100 (sorry Sis, I didn't get them for you :-()

Handbags in snakeskin.  A set of scales that looks like it may scarily display weight honestly!

Beautifully made ballgowns and pics of their wearers.

The dear lady of the house on the right, in her younger days as Miss Anne Mackay.  So pretty.

The Pout's photographic assistant displaying 1930s coats and jackets.  The range of clothes went right up to the 70s.  Vintage dressers must have had a field day. 
I'm sticking to the vintage I have in my wardrobe!

The Brigadier's chests; Bakelite picnic sets.

Can you imagine having tea on the terrace, dressed in your 30s/40s tea dresses?

We bumped into a friend who used to visit here as a child.  She doesn't remember ever appreciating the fine views, she just remembers the adventures in the garden and the house.


Sark can be seen in the far distance.

So sad that this lovely house with all its history will no doubt be re-built, Sandbanks-style, the same way as so many older houses have gone of late.

Then again, its neighbour, this burnt-down hotel, has remained untouched for about 14 years.  But I think that's another story.

So, farewell to a delightful 1930s time capsule.

A la perchoine