A rainy day

found in: Grays Antiques Centre London


I remember one memorable rainy day when a woman came into our shop. On entering she asked my Father the cost of the diamond set swallow brooch on display in the window. She carefully inspected it while glancing repeatedly at the door. We came to the conclusion that her actions were not of a thief who was about to turn tail and run but that she had probably come in the shop to shelter from the rain and was just checking whether it had stopped before continuing her journey.

Of course if you have a third swallow I would buy all three!

She held the brooch against her coat, examined it in the mirror and asked the price. Her response was an interesting one, she asked “if you have another swallow brooch to make a pair, I will definitely buy them. My Father replied “just a minute madam” opened the safe and produced a second identical one. The customer couldn’t believe it. ”How come you have two” she asked?

Before Father had a chance to answer, the woman glanced again towards the door again and asked “of course if you have a third swallow I would buy all three!” With that, my Father opened the safe and produced a third identical brooch. The woman blushed realising her ploy to get out of the rain had backfired. Proceeding quickly towards the door she tried to open it. She looked back at my Father but before pressing the button to release the lock on the door, he smiled at her and said “we bought a bar brooch with three identical swallow birds attached but as we didn’t think anyone would want all three together, we split them up and created three separate brooches. But you madam have proved us wrong!”

The moral of the story is always carry an umbrella (to save any embarrassment!) Needless to say, we never saw the woman again.