Antiques Column with Michael Dowse
I have always found recalling happy events a much easier process than recalling sad ones and I am sure I’m not alone in that.
For instance I can vividly remember receiving a Dinky AA van on my sister’s birthday to keep me quiet.
I can remember purchasing my very first motor car, a grey Mini van.
As my wife has a habit of occasionally glancing at my ramblings, l can say that I remember with joy every detail of my wedding day.
These days are often referred to as Halcyon days. Why? Well it’s all to do with a bird and Greek mythology.
The story says that Aeolus, the ruler of the winds, had a daughter called Alcyone and she was married to Ceyx, the king of Thessaly.
Ceyx was drowned at sea and overcome with grief Alcyone threw herself into the waves.
But, she did not drown, instead she was transformed into a bird and carried to her husband by the wind.
As space and time are limited, that bird is the Halcyon bird who calms the waves and the wind giving peaceful days.
Peaceful days are joyful days and joyful days are Halcyon days.
Founded in 1950 by Susan Benjamin, Halcyon Days was a small antiques shop in London specialising in enamel boxes.
In 1970 Susan collaborated with Bilston and Battersea Enamels and in 1978 Halcyon Days was granted the Royal Warrant of Queen Elizabeth ll.
In 1987 the Warrants of the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales followed.
The company has gone from strength to strength since those exciting early days, but it still produces the lovely enamel boxes favoured by the Royals.
They are a subject all of there own and a joy to collect.
We have a lovely little collection of Halcyon Days boxes in our next Collectors Auction.