Virum Extuli Mari – A Pair Of Mystery Cufflinks

If I don’t find anything I want when I’m browsing antiques shops and fairs, I’m fond of hunting through glass cabinets for cufflinks. Whether or not I take any home depends on how much they cost. Last time I did this, I found this intriguing pair of brass cufflinks, that looked like they had been […]

Doing It Properly: Resizing An Antique Bowler Hat

As some of you will know, I’m very fond of wearing a bowler hat. I’ve had many over the years, which isn’t really the point. The first was an antique one from the early 20th century that, completely by chance, fitted me perfectly. When I left it in the dark boot of a hire car […]

Vetting – Behind The Scenes, Today & Tomorrow

This has nothing to do with animals, obviously. Vetting is the process that occurs the day before certain, usually higher end, art and antiques fairs open. Teams of independent experts grouped by discipline (silver, glass, jewellery etc) move around the fair looking at every object in the fair in their category, closely examining any they […]

Fat Lava As Art? A Series Of Prints

West German pottery of the 1960s & 70s, better known as Fat Lava, is a bit like Marmite. You either love it or hate it – there’s no middle ground. Although I’ve seen huge installations in art galleries and stylish illustrations produced for magazines or calendars, I haven’t seen much other ‘art’ produced with it […]

A Minton Tile and The Great Exhibition

A few years ago, I bought a Minton majolica tile (above and below) at auction that, according to the handwritten labels on the back (see below), had a rather interesting provenance to the Great Exhibition of 1851. I wrote a blog post about it appealing for more information, which you can read by clicking here. […]

I Love Ephemera!
A Rare Ticket

I love ephemera! By that term, I mean things that were produced for a single use, or for short term enjoyment, before being discarded or thrown away. They are literally ‘ephemeral’, which is where the term is obviously derived from. Good examples are tickets, flyers and similar promotional material, or even things like ‘sample cups’ […]

Book Review – House & Garden’s ‘Fifties House’

“Mid-century modern. Give me a break. It’s soooo last year” A largely incorrect phrase I hear disturbingly often. So you wouldn’t think yet another book should be published on the subject. Well, think again. Mid-century modern maven Catriona Gray has teamed up with Octopus Books to produce a unique compilation of original period photographs plundered […]

Hornsea Pottery Collectors’ Weekend Event

Having missed the opportunity last year, I was delighted to be able to attend the annual Hornsea Pottery collectors’ event last week, held as part of the Hornsea Freeport‘s ‘Nostalgia’ weekend. Organised by the Hornsea Pottery Collectors & Research Society, the busy event sees exchange of information and new learnings, as well as allowing members […]

Time For A Holiday – The Mystery Spot

Who could resist? You’d just have to stop the car and go through the entrance to see what the Mystery Spot is all about. Well, I would anyway! A ‘Mystery Spot’ is the name given to a number of areas of ground in the US which claim to have amazing gravity-defying or ‘mystical’ properties. The […]

Charity Shop Bargains – A Peggy Angus Print

Although they’re far from being the sources of great, inexpensive pieces that they used to be (I blame eBay and people who write books…), I still can’t resist popping into any charity shop I walk by. A quick browse at the ceramics and glass shelves comes first, followed by a scan of the jewellery counter, […]

A Rare Communist & Soviet Terracotta Plaque

One of the aspects I love about my job the most is finding objects I love but don’t know anything about. It’s almost like a challenge – the piece taunts and teases me. Who am I? Where was I made? Who designed and produced me? When? What do I mean? Often looking at them periodically […]

Antiques Young Gun of The Year Awards 2014

On Friday 4 July 2014, the hottest night of the year, an excited crowd gathered at The Rooftop Restaurant at Alfies Antiques Market for the celebratory party and awards ceremony to announce the winners of the ‘Antiques Young Gun of the Year’ award for 2014. The winner was the very popular choice of James Gooch […]