Defining The British Character

After a somewhat eye-opening (and eye-watering) shopping trip to seek out a sofa bed yesterday, I needed a ‘quick fix’ of antiques. The horror of the cost (and often poor quality) of modern furniture against the antique, vintage or retro furniture I nearly always buy was just too much. Mercifully, Clapham Junction in South London is home to the Northcote Road Antiques Market, and I found myself mere moments away. I hadn’t been for ages, and felt some slight trepidation as I wandered over. It’s always upsetting and annoying when you return to what was a jolly good antiques centre, and find it full of reproductions, shabby chic that’s really just shabby cheap, or painted ‘French country’ furniture that makes me more distressed than it is. Thankfully, that is most certainly not the case with Northcote Road – it’s still as marvellous as ever. There’s plenty to see from a colourful retro and vintage stand upstairs, to 19thC decanters, other glass, Clarice Cliff, other ceramics, and much, much more. It can’t be easy running these businesses, but they …

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Vintage Festival in London

After returning from a great three days in York culminating in a fab retro and vintage find, it was straight into another retro event – the three-day extravaganza of Vintage London. Organised by design and fashion guru, and all-round cool guy, Wayne Hemingway, it aimed to celebrate ‘five decades of British cool’. And, boy, did it succeed! The main event comprised a number of major performances of music from the 1940s-70s but, with only Saturday afternoon free, it was the ‘vintage high street’ next door to the Royal Festival Hall concert area that I was interested in. As I browsed through the many stands neatly arranged in marquees, it was great to bump into friends who were selling there such as Lesley of London’s Retropolitan, and Oliver of Brighton’s In My Room. I also popped over to see my good friends from BBC Homes & Antiques magazine, who had filled a colourful beach hut-style stand with all manner of funky retro  treasures to accompany their marvellous magazines and super subscriptions. And, there, …

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Antiques Roadshow in York

Last week was a busy one again – just how I like it. Wednesday saw me travel up to York to attend the Antiques Roadshow in the city’s ‘Museum & Gardens’ the next day. As ever, we were packed out, it was great fun, and some super treasures were found and filmed. The picture above shows me, and my colleague Andrew Davis, valuing, identifying and chatting on the ‘Collectables’ table under the bright, hot sun that we were blessed with throughout the day. I managed to find some time the day after to try and find my own treasures in the four antiques and collectables shops dotted across the town. First stop was the highly reputed and reputable Red House Antiques, near the stunning Minster. Housed in a beautiful building, you’ll find room after room of great quality antiques, including silver, glass and ceramics crossing over 300 years of decorative arts. And a very friendly and warm welcome too! It turned out that I wasn’t the first of the Roadshow team in that day, as I was told …

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