A Visit to Hemswell Antique Centre

As you may have gathered, I like finding new places to visit in my search for vintage. So I was happy to follow a tip from a work colleague about an antique centre north of Lincoln.

Hemswell Antique Centre is housed on one of the many redundant air force bases left in Lincolnshire after the war. The military buildings have been repurposed into a series of antiques showrooms with a variety of sellers.

Astra Antiques

Astra Antiques

The stock varies from pure antique to vintage, with a side-order of more modern collectables. I spent most of my first visit in Astra Antiques, which took up most of the day.

Biscuit Tin

Biscuit Tin

There was plenty of kitchenalia to keep me happy. This biscuit tin was a bit too battered for me however.

Basketware Pram

Basketware Pram

A toy pram made from woven material, a bit like a Lloyd Loom chair, but I couldn’t find any label to confirm my suspicion that they made it.

Basket Pile

Basket Pile

There was a huge pile of baskets at the bottom of the stairs,

Pile of Baskets

Pile of Baskets

How would you choose which one to take home?

Sewing Baskets

Sewing Baskets

Lovely vintage sewing baskets.

Cake Plates

Cake Plates

A lovely collection of glass cake stands.

Astra8

,I’m used to seeing one or two items of Hornsea pottery but this is one of the biggest groups I’ve seen for a long time.

Vintage Packing Boxes

Vintage Packing Boxes

You might need a box to take your finds home with you – how about one of these?

Scales

Scales

Classic kitchen scales (although they do look as if they need recalibrating!)

Ice cream Box

Ice cream Box

I’ve not seen an ice cream box before.

Lights

Lights

I really liked the display of lights over the stairwell. I have one like the one in the centre at home, and I love it!

Enamelware

Enamelware

These enamel containers, for coffee, milk and lunch look to have come from France.

Kitchenware

Kitchenware

And finally, a full matching set of kitchen containers.

This was only one building, and I was shopped out by the time I left. I’ll be back to explore the other buildings in the near future. In the meantime, I’d recommend having a look round yourself.

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Fortnightly Photo

 

This Edwardian photo shows the beach at Penzance in Cornwall.

 

Penzance Beach

 

I found it in a box of photos from a Cornish auction. I must admit that I wasn’t too impressed when I first scanned it because no one was looking at camera. But then I looked a little closer at what I thought was a pile of tarpaulins or fishing equipment.

 

August Edited2 watermark

 

These dark shapes are a pair of elephants!! Not what you’d expect to see on a beach in one of the outlying edges of Britain.

A bit more research told me that the circus used to visit Penzance every summer, and a popular daily activity was to parade the elephants through the streets to bathe in the sea.

It seems that the circus only visited twice, so this really does show a rare snapshot in time.

You can see more at: http://www.westbriton.co.uk/went-circus/story-11518611-detail/story.html

Back to Newark

A little late in the posting, but I thought I’d share my trip to the August Antique Fair at Newark. As with my last trip to the fair, I was really lucky with the weather. It rained heavily on the previous day and I really felt for the outdoor stall holders who definitely suffered. But on the Friday I went, the sun came out again and it was a really pleasant day.

There were a lot of European stalls this time:

Threshing Sledge

This threshing sledge would have been pulled over the dried corn or wheat. The base is studded with stones to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Dutch Trucks

Dutch Trucks

This Dutch company had brought several truck loads of goods.

Rolling pins

Rolling pins

There were random mixtures of items all over the place.

Wicker Pram

Wicker Pram

I loved this wicker pram, I’m guessing that it dates from the 50s.

Bottles

Bottles

The wicker braiding on these bottles was beautiful.

Fairground Bikes

Fairground Bikes

These bikes were probably from a fairground ride.

There was quite a lot of industrial vintage on offer as well:

Lampshades

Lampshades

More lampshades

More lampshades

Piles and cages of metal industrial lampshades

Life Buoys

Life Buoys

Nautical items:

Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, as we are still living in a small rented flat, I only bought a few small items:

American Pie Plate

American Pie Plate

These plates would have been sold with the pie, and carried a deposit to ensure that they were returned to the manufacturers.

Paper Bag Cook Book

Paper Bag Cook Book

I was intrigued by this cook book dating from 1911, particularly as I’ve just discovered how simple it is to cook vegetables in a roasting bag. I thought that I might be able to use the same bags to try out the recipes in this book.

Recipes

Recipes

Written by a former Chef at the Reform Club, it has 132 pages of recipes from meat to sweets, so it will keep me out of mischief for a while.

Buckles

Buckles

And finally, I snapped up this lovely selection of vintage buckles. I’m not sure what I’ll use them for yet, but I’ll definitely do something.

Stylish and Warm – Vintage Knits from Wolsey

I am not a fan of moving house. I don’t like the disruption of packing, or the sense of dislocation that comes from not knowing where you have put that vital something that you absolutely have to have this instant. As well as the normal chaos of a new place, I had to leave things in storage until I found a more permanent place, so not only can I not find things in my new home, I’m not even sure if they’re here, or still in a container in Cornwall!

Fortunately, it looks as if phase 2 of the move will be happening shortly and I can look forward to another spell of unpacking.

Of course, one of the nicer things about unpacking is that you never quite know what forgotten things you are going to come across.

I recently found this pretty little advertising booklet in the bottom of a box I’ve had packed for ages.

Wolsey Brochure Cover

Wolsey Brochure Cover

I’m a keen knitter and I’m currently working on a vintage jumper, made with vintage wool to a vintage pattern. More of this in a later post, but until I have something in 3D to show you, have a look at what you could have bought to keep you both fashionable and warm back in the day:

Eden Roc Twopiece

Eden Roc Twopiece

A lovely outfit if you’re tall and slim. I would love to know what the ‘hopsack tricot’ used to make the skirt is – I feel the need for more research.

Paris Plage

Paris Plage

 

Completely impractical for today’s golf course, I am assuming from the title of this outfit that this is a dress for crazy golf and not the full 18 holes!

 

Rubberneck

Rubberneck

A rather unfortunate name for this outfit, but a great hat, and I love the names of the colours for this model. So evocative.

St Tropez

St Tropez

You could quite easily wear this jumper today, it’s refreshingly spring like and would look just as good with jeans as it does with this pencil skirt.

Newmarket

Newmarket

I’m intrigued by this description – how would you use quilting on a knitted suit?

California

California

I love this outfit, and I’d be quite happy to wear it to the office!

Cote d'Or

Cote d’Or

‘Lacy sweaters and cardigans, in down soft wool and angora’ doesn’t it make you want to snuggle up?

Sunningdale

Sunningdale

I love the idea of unshrinkable wool – I certainly haven’t got the knack of that yet.

Longchamps

Longchamps

With today’s fashion for blocks of colour, this outfit would fit right in on the catwalk, particularly with the Chanel-look jacket.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newark Antique Fair

It has been an interesting few months in our household. As part of a job change, I’ve moved to Nottinghamshire and the ensuing upheaval has meant that my vintage exploits have been put on hold for a while.
But one of the joys of moving to a new area has meant a whole new set of vintage opportunities to explore and I look forward to sharing them with you.
This weekend was one of the best known and biggest fairs in Britain, the Newark International Antiques Fair.

This enormous fair takes place over two days at Newark County Showground. The first day is supposed to be the best, with an 8 o’clock start for the dealers and the really keen. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it until Friday which was the second day.
This was the warmest and sunniest day of the year so far, so I slathered on the Factor 50, slapped on a hat and made an early start.

The view of the fair from above (from the Fair's website)

The view of the fair from above (from the Fair’s website)

I quickly realised that there was no way I was going to be able to see everything. As well as stands in the showrings, there were smaller and pricier stalls in the indoor areas, rows of tents each with their own stand, and stalls set out in the livestock sheds.

Arcade of tented stands

Arcade of tented stands

But, as I like a challenge, I set off to cover as much ground as possible.There really did seem to be something for everyone, from interior design pieces and Art Deco, to vintage garden tools and European antiques. Here are a few things that caught my eye:

Unusual jointed male mannequin

Unusual jointed male mannequin

I’ve seen shop mannequins before, but never a male one that’s jointed, or quite so anatomically correct.

German Opera Hat Box

German Opera Hat Box

There were a lot of antiques from Europe, including this German opera hat box which was about an inch thick.

Hungarian enamel and zincware

Hungarian enamel and zincware

There were vans from eastern Europe, including an articulated lorry from Hungary that had brought over this load of bottles, enamelware and galvanised items.

Large Coloured Glass Jars

Large Coloured Glass Jars

Also from Eastern Europe, I loved these coloured glass jars. And only £25 each!

Vintage cart

Vintage cart

I’m not sure if this came from Eastern Europe, but it certainly looks as if it could have.

Vintage Dining Set

Vintage Dining Set

Imagine this in a retro kitchen!

Kitchen Cabinet

Kitchen Cabinet

Or if you prefer something a bit more vintage, this painted cabinet.

Candles in the Heat

Candles in the Heat

Did I say it was hot?! Look at what it did to these candles!

Enamel Ice Cream Sign

Enamel Ice Cream Sign

Such a shame there wasn’t an ice cream stand to go with this sign!

Enamel Advertising Signs

Enamel Advertising Signs

Plenty more enamel advertising signs.

I had expected to be able to wander round until the end of the fair, but many stallholders started packing up after lunch and the grounds rapidly emptied. That said, it was a great time to get bargains and I even saw stock left on the field after stallholders had left.

This is definately going to be a regular event on my calendar, but next time I’ll know that it is definately worth paying the extra to go on the first day of the fair.

Always Look in the Bottom of the Box!

I was at a nondescript auction house in Cornwall a little while ago. It’s not exactly a high-end place, in fact it sells such low-end stuff I only popped in because it was on my way to lunch. But I poked around in the boxes as any good auction hound should, and under some rather tasteless ‘Cornish treasure maps’ in a very damp box I found some rolls of old looking paper. I carefully unrolled a corner and I could see what looked like some hand printed designs.

I left a low bid, which was successful and carefully took them home where I had to give them time to air – the smell of damp paper was not nice.

Once they’d stopped smelling, and having thrown away the treasure maps, I unrolled the real treasure….

Block Printed Picture

Block Printed Landscape

The bottom of the box was full of block printed paper.

Border Print

Border Print

These prints were made by dipping a series of carved wooden blocks into paint/ink and then applying them on top of each other. This would have taken a lot of skill and a very steady hand, and was the way the first printed wall papers were made.

Floral Prints

Floral Prints

Some of them had an impressed stamp saying ‘Stampi Remondiniani PESP’, and one had an inked stamp saying ‘Importe d’ Italie’, so I worked out that I wasn’t dealing with British papers:

Italian Export Stamp

Italian Export Stamp

I was fascinated, so I contacted the Wallpaper Historical Society who passed my query on to the marvellously helpful Robert Weston of Hamilton Weston Wallpapers.

Floral Border

Floral Borders

He told me that these were not, in fact, wallpaper samples as I had thought. They are decorative papers that were used to line boxes, or for borders.

Panel Design

Panel Design

The impressed stamp is the mark of Remondini, who were a family printing firm, from 1730 to 1860 based in Bassano del Grappa, N. of Venice.
They exported world wide, which could explain how the papers made it to the UK. The Remondini company was  bought out byanother company called Rizzi who continued using the blocks into 1930s. So my little bits of paper could date from anywhere between 1730 and 1930!

Border Print

Border Print

Unfortunately, some of the papers had been damaged/used:

Part Used Paper

Part Used Paper

I am now trying to find out more before deciding what to do with this collection. But what a fascinating journey they’ve been on, from Italy to one of the poorest areas of Cornwall. And truly a lesson to always look in the bottom of the box……you never know what might be hidden there!

Floral Pattern

Floral Pattern

Exploring Matlock

As those based in the UK will know, it’s a long way to get from my base in Cornwall to anywhere else in England. As a result, I am more likely to travel around the South West than further afield. However, I’m quite prepared to go further for a good reason and this year I ventured North for a family Christmas. On the way, I took the opportunity to stop at Matlock in Derbyshire, which is a lovely little town that I have often passed through but never fully explored.

Running parallel to the river, I found Dale Road, which is well worth a visit for visiting vintage fans.

View up Dale Road, Matlock

View up Dale Road, Matlock

These elegant shop facades date from Matlock’s days as an important Edwardian  Spa town.

The Old Picture Palace on this street is  home to Bamford’s Auctioneers http://www.bamfords-auctions.co.uk and may be familiar to viewers of Flog It! and Bargain Hunt which both film there on a regular basis.

Next up the street, I found ‘The Vintage Rooms’ , a mix of French and British vintage mixed in with modern, vintage sympathetic items.

Peering in through the windows it looked like a real treasure trove:

The Vintage Rooms, window display

The Vintage Rooms, window display

My apologies for the reflections, my camera couldn’t cope with the dusky light.

A Second Window

A Second Window

You can get a feeling for the glorious mix of items in the shop.

I picked out a few things that I quite fancied:

A French Wine Bottle Drier

A French Wine Bottle Drier

This rather gruesome bit of equipment was used for drying wine bottles. I liked the idea of using it to display Christmas decorations.

One of the back rooms had been set up as a vintage kitchen and I was agog at all the kitchenalia:

Cream Enamel Vintage Stove

Cream Enamel Vintage Stove

The floor tiles look like the original terracotta, and I remember my Grandma having an ironing board like the one next to the stove.

French Storage Jars

French Storage Jars

There were lots of vintage containers begging to go home with me:

Glass Storage Jar

Glass Storage Jar

Take your pick of rolling pins

A Bowlful of Rolling Pins

A Bowlful of Rolling Pins

Vintage kitchen cupboards. I love the cream and green combination, it reminds me of my Grandmother’s kitchen when I was a child.

Kitchen Cupboards

Kitchen Cupboards

Check out the blocks of ‘Fairy’ soap, and the old packet of Persil!

Also on a kitchen theme, this kitchen airer was used to display more vintage finds.

Kitchen Airer Display

Kitchen Airer Display

Next door, I found , but sadly wasn’t able to get in to investigate this intreaguing little shop.

ReWorks Windows

ReWorks Windows

Finally, I found my way to the Matlock Antiques and Collectables Centre.

Beautifully Decorated Christmas Window

Beautifully Decorated Christmas Window

I loved the display in this window, Christmassy, classy and using all the height of the magnificent curved Edwardian window.

This charming centre is home to over 50 stands from different sellers, so there really is something for everyone. I found vintage clothes, railwayania, furniture, jewellery and children’s toys. Here are a few things that caught my eye:

Child's Tambourine

Child’s Tambourine

I think this charming tambourine dates from the fifties.

And on a Christmas note, how about this to cook your Christmas pudding?

Pudding Steamer

Pudding Steamer

Still on a Christmas note, this unusual cover conceals a record telling the story of Christmas, with an accompanying book.

I thought the artwork was fantastic.

Christmas Record

Christmas Record

On the way out, my eye was caught by the display in a side window:

Kitchen Table WIndow Display

Kitchen Table Window Display

Check out the dough scrapers at bottom left, and the choppers halfway up the front of the table. You’d need serious smuscle to work in this kitchen!

Sadly, time and lack of daylight caught up with me at this point, so I had to call it a day and carry on with my journey. But I will definately be back for a repeat visit. There’s a cafe overlooking the river at the back of the Antiques Centre to check out, and I still haven’t made it into the town centre!

Another Wool Stash Surprise!

I blogged a while ago about buying a vintage wool stash at auction. Given that there was so much it filled the back of a Mini, it has taken some time to work through the boxes to find out what I had actually got.

I’ve already been surprised by an unworn mink and velvet hat tucked into the wool, this week it was the turn of a grubby little bag to yield a surprise:

A Strange Little Bag

A Strange Little Bag

Inside were two pairs of stockings, beautifully knitted in complex patterns and very fine wool:

Two Pairs of Knitted Stockings

Two Pairs of Knitted Stockings

They have been very well worn, darned and then worn through to holes in places, so there’s no monetary value to them, just their significance as part of domestic/fashion history.

The brown stockings have a leaf like pattern

The Top of the Brown Stockings

The Top of the Brown Stockings

The (much darned) foot of the stocking

The (much darned) foot of the stocking

The grey stockings have a more geometric pattern

The Top of the Grey Stockings

The Top of the Grey Stockings

I think that they date from the forties, when nylons were in short supply, silk stockings would have been the norm for ‘smart’ wear, and ladies would have knitted their own stockings to keep their legs warm, tights not being part of the regular wardrobe at that time:

I can only imagine how much time it would have taken to knit a pair of this complexity, the patterns I have been able to find certainly look time consuming, which may explain why darning rather than replacement was so important.

Lace Stocking Pattern

Lace Stocking Pattern

If you’re interested in trying, you can find knitting patterns at: http://www.vintagepurls.co.nz/womenspatterns.html and http://knitting.craftgossip.com/free-pattern-vintage-hand-knitted-stockings/2010/11/12/

You can imagine how they would have looked with a smart forties suit like this one, modelled on the Mariposa Chronicles:

Lovely Vintage Forties Suit

Lovely Vintage Forties Suit

The back of the suit

The back of the suit

This suit is currently for sale on etsy, but I couldn’t find any stockings to go with it – you will have to knit your own!

As for my stockings, I’m not sure what to do with them. I feel that they should be preserved as a part of fashion history but have no idea where they would be appreciated. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Vintage in Redruth

Redruth is not the first place you think of visiting if you visit Cornwall. It was once a hub of the Cornish mining industry, and is full of faded grand Victorian buildings, but since the decline of the mines a hundred years ago, it has suffered from a loss of direction and a lack of investment. But in the five years I have been visiting, it has been re-inventing itself and the low rents mean that among the high street regulars you can find a number of vintage and other individual shops.

I went to visit Daisy Rain, a family run vintage business based in Redruth’s Old Steam Bakery, tucked between a florist and the Post Office on the main street:

Who would guess this is the entrance to a vintage emporium?

Who would guess this is the entrance to a vintage emporium?

Down the alleyway, is a complex of buildings that used to form the bakery, and now make up the shop, stores and workshop.

The family found the Old Steam Bakery over 20 years ago, and have kept the character of the building while building a thriving vintage business.

As you go in, you’re greeted by a treasure trove of vintage clothes, furniture and ornaments:

A rack of vintage hats:

A rack of hats, ready for next summer

A rack of hats, ready for next summer

This is the main room of the shop – chock full of goodies!

Everywhere you look, there's something of interest in this room!

Everywhere you look, there’s something of interest in this room!

I loved the way they’ve used parasols to cover the ceiling.

The old steam ovens can still be seen in the main part of the shop. These were heated by steam filled pipes – these and the fire places to stoke them are still in place (although you can’t see them):

One of the two steam ovens visible in the shop.

One of the two steam ovens visible in the shop.

These original (rickety) stairs lead to a second room, stuffed with vintage furniture and other goodies

Stairs to the First Floor

Stairs to the First Floor

Again, this is full of treasures

Upstairs at Daisy Rayne

Upstairs at Daisy Rain

I liked this unusual compote dish, I’ve seen plenty of cabbage leaf plates, but never one with grapes and vine leaves.

Grape Compote Dish

Grape Compote Dish

Downstairs they were preparing for Christmas, with vintage party clothes and heavy winter coats;

Racks and racks of vintage clothes, including Christmas party clothes

Racks and racks of vintage clothes, including Christmas party clothes

Lots of vintage christmas baubles:

A cabinet of Christmas decorations

A cabinet of Christmas decorations

More Christmas baubles

Even more Christmas Baubles

Even more Christmas Baubles

I love the baubles and had great fun spotting the ones we had on the family Christmas tree when I was growing up!

I left with two coats and the intention to return soon, and I’d recommend it as a place to visit if you’re in the area.

Box of Delights

I was a little sceptical when my beloved came back from the auctions with this box:

He told me that it was extra to the auction catalogue and he’d been the only bidder. “Well”, I thought, “There’s probably a reason for that”, there’s a good market in jewellry down in Cornwall, whether costume, quality or vintage, and although he has a great taste in jewellery when it comes to buying for me (although I have been known to plant the odd seed of an idea of what might be appreciated) I wasn’t sure his ‘bargain’ would yield anything saleable.

A first look under the lid was promising! Certainly the volume was there, maybe there would be some value.

And then I spotted these:

And these:

Two of this unusual brooch (in black and brown) which I think is made of bakelite

These fun floral earrings

A paste ‘diamond’ bracelet

This lovely sparkling ‘jewelled’ brroch

And more costume jewellery that I haven’t cleaned up yet.

So, I think I owe him a huge apology! His bargain is a real treasure trove, and the bits I can’t sell I’ll be happy to wear, so a win win situation all round.