Thursday, 14 May 2009

What a lovely day 1

Part of my favourite stall. We used to have a meat safe like the one on the left. It lived in the larder.

I have so much I want to write about I hardly know where to start, so I shall go back to where I lost broadband connection and carry on from there. In early May my husband and I gave ourselves a well-earned day out together and drove up to the International Antiques and Collectors' Fair at Builth Wells, and spent a lovely day (smashing sunshine too!) wandering round, with a break for the usual crusty bread, cheese and fruit "car picnic."

There were so many stalls it was hard to know where to start, so we did the outside ones first - an eclectic mix as the photos show - before going into the back sheds (think mostly house clearance brown furniture and very little of interest). As you came forward through the sheds, the stalls became more organized with proper displays, until you came to the glass/china/jewellery which although interesting, were somewhat samey and I am trying to cut down on my china collection. We like furniture/prints and paintings/rural collectibles and of course, books. We were very abstemious as we had set ourselves a goal of only buying something we really needed which is why a set of large wooden curtain rings and a log splitter came home with us . . . And no, the curtain rings weren't for curtains but for my husband-with-the-woodskills to quarter and split in halves to use when restoring furniture with missing sections of moulding where they need to be curved to go in corners.

Then we came to the stands with some very nice antique furniture and fell in love with a Victorian elm blanket box, the sort with a little candle compartment inside. It was very reasonably priced (and my husband haggled), so we left a deposit and as they were not too far from us, arranged to collect on the Monday (so another day out!) The beautiful wild grain of Elm - usually seen in the seats of Windsor chairs, which we have a regular collection of now (mostly restored by my other half) - shows up even better on larger objects like this chest. An indulgence perhaps, but another piece of furniture will go to make way for it, in the name of "trading up". We need to get rid of several big lumps of furniture before we downsize and this is a fraction of the size of some of the pieces to go.

Then a last stroll around the outside stalls, amongst people carrying all sorts of strange and desirable (or not!) objects back to their cars. There were even sold stickers on some extremely rusty old bits of farm bric-a-brac - feeding troughs etc - and I thought the chap had wasted his petrol taking them there! Just goes to show there's no accounting for taste . . .

A hunting home had obviously had a clear-out - stuffed foxes and all! Amazing what turns up at auction . . .

I love stuff like this - could have brought that big stripey jug home with me! Further view below.

This (and above) was one of my favourite stalls as it had lots of little interesting rural pieces (and one or two nice interesting BIG pieces too.

With so much outside, it was just as well the weather held.

We spent some time talking to the lady with the wonderful Raj four poster beds - last used when Britain was a true Empire. We've always wanted a four poster . . . but not a lot of use if we move to a little cottage when we downsize though!

The house clearance side of things - some of it better than others. By this stage I was kicking myself for not having taken a stall myself - I had thought it was all "up market" but I was mistaken . . .

I fell in love with this beautiful little fine lawn cotton child's dress. Every stitch was hand-sewn, and though you probably can't see it, there was embroidery across the yoke, and very fine drawn threadwork above the little pin-tucks. It was £28 and I just wished I'd been the one to find it at auction (at considerably less!)

Zebra skin anyone? I wonder what my cats would make of this?!

I was very tempted by this little washing board for lace, as I come from generations of Northamptonshire lace makers on my mum's side, but I didn't "need" it.


Rowan said...

Looks like a great day out, I love those stalls with old country and kitchen pieces. Bet Les would have come home with those cricket stumps:)

nancy said...

It looks wonderful, Jennie! I'd have been beside myself!

Kim said...

What a super day, I'd have been in heaven :) I certainly would have grabbed that wash board too :)

Kim x

Arlene Grimm said...

LOved the post Jennie. I would love to have a sideboard like the one in your favorite stall...maybe a smaller version. I could use it in my new kitchen to display some of my favorite kitchen ware.

granny said...

I loved this post,I enlarged every photo and was green with envy !! How did you resist such wonderful wares?? I was an Antique Dealer 10 years ago and the bug never leaves you :0)Oh I would love to have been there!!Australia is so young compared to your part of the world and our antiques arnt as antique-ie as yours, lol.What a wonderful day.Granny heaven :0)