Know-How: Old Bookshops

Marilyn wrote on 4th August 2004:

Some members have asked about various Old Bookshops appearing on eBay recently, including Clay who sent the three photos below:

“At first I thought the white Old Bookshop was an earlier variation of the Gift Shop, right (and brick Old Bookshop) but the bottom area is different. What building is the white Old Bookshop on?”

The Old Bookshop The Old Bookshop - close The Gift Shop

Both are versions of what was once Heffers Childrens’ Bookshop in Cambridge with gothic windows and a central double-door on the ground floor plus an equal number of upper windows. All window boxes have the same zig-zag pattern. I refer to them as Cambridge Bookshop 1 & 2.

Cambridge Bookshop 1 is the original wide model, with a side as well as central doorwaymodel. It was only painted from 1991-2 when Hazle was still signing the fronts Hazle Boyles. Several hundred were made, mostly as The Old Bookshop. I asked Hazle why she had discontinued this model and she couldn’t remember! But wider things tend to get more firing cracks, usually on the second firing after all the painting is done.

Cambridge Bookshop 2 was brought out in mid 1993 as a slimmed down model without the side door. As Hazle changed her signature on 1 January 1993 it is only ever front-signed Hazle. Standard paintings were The Old Bookshop - with or without post box - shown left below and The Gift Shop above right. (The Gift Box, not shown, was only painted for Christmas 1993 and 1994).

The Old Bookshop The Old Bookshop (Small Shop)

The Old Bookshop above right, extracted from eBay by Clay, is painted on the London Small Shop model, with its own article in Ceramic Focus. In the beginning this was used for many themes, before they had a building dedicated to them.

The eBay lisiting said there was no painter’s mark. In an early piece this generally indicates it was painted by an apprentice - or by Hazle - which doesn't seem to be the case here. Having been outbid, does that make Yorkshire Karen feel any better?!

Hazle's Bookshop Bookshop Secondhand Books

Of course Old Bookshops are one of Hazle’s pet subjects. She belongs to her local Book Club and collects first editions.

Above left: Hazle's Bookshop LP50 is so-called as they were all painted by her. Above centre: The current Bookshop is from Hay-on-Wye, the mecca of old bookshops! Hazle and Stephen go to its annual Literary Festival where well-known authors speak. Above right: Secondhand Books LP20 from Roding Arts 2004.

I have also seen an Old Bookshop on the Bath Chemist and there are likely to be other low run or one-off bookshops around on other models.

Karen D replied:

Thanks for your information about the various bookshops. No, I don’t feel any better for knowing Hazle didn’t paint the one I wanted! But I am saving your e-mail so I can look at the picture now and again. Isn’t it funny how human nature makes you want something even more when you can’t have it?!

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