Although people often think of Gypsies as travelling in bright and ornately decorated Waggons in the olden days, it was only from about 1840/50 that the more well off Romanies started using vardos or waggons. Before that date they mainly travelled on foot and horse with a hand cart or trolley and their bender tents on their back or horse or donkey.Today of course on our busy roads it would be impossible for a large group, or even several waggons to travel in safety but its nice to look back at the beautifully decorated Vardos .
Folk like John Pockett here in the UK who is one of the country's leading craftsman in waggon restoring painting and scroll work with over 45 years experience help to keep the memories of that age alive.
And in the USA Wally and Victoria Roth featured on this page.
Great site and fantastic craftmanship take a look!!
"We became captivated with English Gypsy Caravans after seeing a picture of a Reading Van. We have spent 4 years researching caravan construction, materials, layout, decoration, furnishings and finishing's down to the smallest detail. We have researched the type of china gypsy woman collected, we have located a supplier who will be providing carefully chosen pieces to grace the china hutch within each van. The red glass used in the stained glass windows, is obtained from the same factory that created it for the original vans 100 years ago. We have made several trips to England measuring original caravans, spending time with England's finest restorers and builders. We have accumulated many out of print books on caravan construction and restoration. During our travels we have visited every Museum in England that currently have Caravans on display. In our collection, we have over 600 photographs of Caravans, carvings, construction, paint schemes and finish details. Our goal is to create Gypsy Caravans that replicate the details of the original Caravans as closely as possible.
Wally's abilities include carousel horse carving, cabinet making, boat building and extensive woodworking. His history includes education in marine architecture, boat building and later developing a successful yacht restoration business where Victoria assisted with the canvas work and custom yacht upholstery. Victoria's talents include various forms of decorative painting, creating works of art with stained glass as well as developing beautiful decor using silks, satin, velvet and lace such al graced the interiors of the Gypsy Caravans. With our combined skills and talents, we do all of the construction, carving, painting, guilding and interior design of the Caravans.Wally and Victoria Roth" .
Pictured Below Wally and Victoria at the Gordon Boswell Romany Museum in Spaulding, England and pictures of Wagon's
in various stages of building.
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