Friday, 3 February 2012

The Stately Homes of England (cue music...)


These pictures are of what may possibly be the last tin of 'ANTIQUAX' (gedditt?) to be sold in the West of England. It's certainly the last one to be sold in the Larkhall ironmongers, as they have now gone out of business (the wax-producers, not Langridges), and will not be making any more. I apologise for the smear of glue which my glamorous assistant has left on the lid - he refuses to use all the nice bits of cardboard I leave out especially for the purpose of mixing glue on (grrr...).

It is actually no great loss to the world of marble restoration and conservation, because wax is wax, and there are plenty of substitutes with exactly the same ingredients - i.e. wax.

Given the tin's claim that this product is widely used by the nobility of England, I am amazed that they should go out of production after all these years. After all, white marble needs a good waxing every now and then (don't we all?), no matter how old it is. There is something missing from this tin's advertising which would probably have assured it a solid position in the market for many years to come, though. Can you guess what it is?

Yes that's right - a Royal Appointment seal of approval. A crown or the three feathers, discreetly placed in a prominent position on the lid may have increased the shelf-life for as long as Olde England exists in it's present monarchic form, but noblesse oblige does not seem to extend as far as the Antiquax factory.

Having said that, I have a sculptor friend who received all the trappings of a Royal Appointment after he made a sculpture for Princess Diana when she was still with her last husband, and he is now out of work I believe (the sculptor, not Charles). Mind you, look what happened to Diana - maybe it was a curse?

The thing I will most miss about this packaging when the tin finally runs out, is the little portrait of Lance Hattatt above the motto.


14 comments:

  1. All references to Quentin Crisp gratefully received.

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  2. When you press 'HERE' does it really open?

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    1. I've never tried - I only noticed it after the photo was uploaded. I just wrench the lid off in time-honoured tradition - as the tin recommends as well.

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  3. Didn't realise that you had to wax stone and marble. It's a bit of a shame the firm's gone out of business, like a lot of others. Perhaps the tin will become a 'collectable.'

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    1. Stone and marble are like bikini lines and legs, Moll - you don't have to wax them, but it helps if you are going to show them off near water.

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  4. Is it any good at polishing knobs. Mine needs a damn good polishing!

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    1. P.S. - My knob is so shiny, you can see your face in it.

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    2. ... or is it the other way round?

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  5. Just had to say how much I laughed at your reply to Molly !! I can always rely on a laugh when I visit your blog.
    I don't think that, in my LONG life of doing up our old houses, that I've ever come across Antiquax, but then, not having anything made of marble in our home, I guess I wouldn't have. I should have shares in Briwax though....we've used a hell of a lot of that.
    Many thanks for your kind birthday wishes....it was lovely of you.

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  6. 'Sincerely' sorry for its demise! (Yes, that old chestnut again).

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    1. This whole post was designed to get you to tell us the story of the word 'sincere' - come on Uncle Cro! Please tell us!

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  7. I think that Denis Pratt would never have worried about such things as waxing marble.

    "There is no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn't get any worse."

    Quentin Crisp

    Kat :)

    P.S. I looked for the royal seal of approval thingie and then read your comment about it not being on the can. I would have bought some if it had had it! ;-)

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  8. Thanks for that Quentin Crisp reference, Kat. I was expecting the one where he described himself as a 'stately homo'.

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