After more than 40 years in the gas industry, my dad has decided to try his hand at antiques dealing. As you do. But hey, the recession is tough, business is slow and so he and his mate have set up a sideline in antiques and bric-a-brac.
However, they’ve only made one sale so far and so last Sunday he invited me up to see the stall at the Kingston Antiques Centre and cast my artistic eye over the display:
Hmm. Not bad. A decent arrangement but it’s all looking a bit fusty and not very fabulous at the moment. Unfortunately my eye is immediately drawn to that hideous faux-vintage union jack stool. It also needs a bit of colour, a bit of softness… a few fabrics maybe. It’s all dark wood against that sickly yellow wall behind it. But there are a few treasures in here.
I love this 1960s picnic box and the 1950s vanity set. I tried to convince dad to let me have the old telephone but apparently I have to pay – the cheek!
Anyway, while dad was busy labelling new stock (and accidentally breaking Royal Doulton figurines – oops) I decided to have a look around. And there was plenty to distract me. Rob and I are thinking about having the ceiling lights in our flat rewired so I am currently obsessed with lighting. Love these three pendants (bottom right) and there’s always room* in my home for another vintage trunk or suitcase…
[* there really isn’t]
The 1960s kitchen cabinet is pretty awesome too. When my dad first moved into his two-bedroom flat in Surrey, the entire place was kitted out in this style. At the time he couldn’t wait to rip it out and start again and a lot of really cool retro pieces got sent to the tip. Kicking himself now, of course.
I also spotted a G-Plan Librenza, perhaps a distant cousin of the one I’ve got at home. And when I saw the £350 price tag I was feeling pretty smug… until dad told me they cost about £50 at auction. Curses! Well, I know where I’m going to be shopping from now on.
Snap happy: I love these bevelled mirrors. I also love the fact that you can in no way tell how hungover I am in this picture. It was the wedding of one of my best friends from school the day before but as it turns out, a quiet meander around some antiques stalls is a really nice way to ease a sore head. The fry up I had at the Polish Cafe upstairs probably helped though.
No doubt I’ll be back here soon. I need to have a think about how best I can help my dad turn his modest stall into a veritable Aladdin’s cave of vintage goods in a venture I am calling Pimp My Antiques Stall. Any suggestions, send them my way.
Here’s the man himself (my dad, not Aladdin) practicing his ‘friendly antiques dealer’ face. To be honest, it’s pretty similar to his ‘friendly gas man’ face. I guess there are some transferable skills after all.