Finds of the Fair 11th August 2019

Hi I'm Anne Louise Kershaw, Community & Outreach Programme producer at HOME in Manchester and currently working on a commission for Manchester Histories Festival, creating artwork utilising sound from Oldham Archives.  A time-served Chazzer Hound, I have been buying second hand long before it was ‘vintage’ and the environmentally right thing to do (Which it sure is, why buy new when there’s a whole history’s worth of style, ideas and creativity to select from?) 

I love the options second hand offers.  I like to express myself through style and to create an interesting, inspiring home to live in.  I like that the things I have inspire the imagination.  Our home is full of all sorts of odd and unusual finds from this fair and from Stockport’s amazing little indy shops. 

The Vintage Village always has a range of traders that really do have an eye for the different and interesting.  I can tell they trade because of a passion for objects, aesthetics and heritage rather than just because vintage is fashionable.  The Vintage Village always has a lovely atmosphere and makes me chuffed to live in Stockport.

1970s gold tone and green enamel necklace, £5.00 from Moor Vintage:

This caught my eye straight away.  I’ve recently finished watching all of Twin Peaks and this reminds me of the green ring in that series.  It’s got a slightly sci-fi, secret code kind of vibe, like maybe I should hide it when wearing it, or I may pass someone in the street wearing the same and we will both know we are from the same order of….what?  People who buy cheap vintage goodies as it goes, though I like to think more of some specialist most essential social order.  In fact I’m reading Walk to the End of the World by Suzy McKee Charnas at the moment, it’s a venture into feminist sci-fi and I’m liking it so far.  Maybe this necklace belongs in there somewhere.

1960s Portmeirion Totem green coffee set, £15.00 from Brown Paper Time Hop:

Three cups, a sugar bowl and milk (alternative) jug.  These are a lovely blend of mystic and ‘60s Nordic, surprisingly made in Portmeirion, and to me seem to be covered in Icelandic runes!  I love this tone of green, and the patterns are lovely and sharp.  I feel that, instead of serving coffee, they should serve a druidic brew intended to boost the wellbeing of the drinkers who would all sit around in a ramshackle cabin by a rough and northern sea, euphoric and glad to be alive.

Blue limited edition etching print, £15.00 from Richard Carter:

I reckon the biggest stash I’ve ever bought from a single trader at VV is for sure from Richard Carter.  We have SO much artwork up on our walls from him.  However he goes about collecting the art he sells he has an eye and within it there is always something of the odd and weird in his collection that we absolutely go for.  Unheard of artists and printers, unusual creative methods and subject matter, each piece usually has some tale of its own making for a nice alternative provenance.  I wish I could work out who the artist is.  This piece ‘The Continuing Fall’ is unsettling and beautiful.  It’s oceanic and other-worldly, everyone seems ripped apart and grasping, it’s dark and comforting.

Malachite trinket box, £15.00 from Anna’s Attic:

This hexagonal Wizard of Oz green box sounds beautiful when you open and close the lid.  It has a beautiful stony echo, a sharp, crisp and warm sonic that makes it very pleasing to use.  It’s obviously meant to contain all sorts of magical things; a thimble that can break glass, a ribbon strong enough to climb up and a needle that can go through metal!  It would look beautiful on the altar of a long and ancient pure white hall, surrounded by mirrors and clean cut glass, each time you open it would cause chimes to echo round which would call travelling wanderers to return to their matriarchal home.  Or nice also on a dressing table, which more of us probs have in our house.

2004 Estée Lauder Erté Scorpio compact, £33.00 from Ingrid’s Stall:

This has a lovely Art-Deco/Egyptian Manga/Filmic vibe… that classic vintage aesthetic ☺  It’s in lovely condition and when I saw it was Scorpio (my star sign) I was hooked.  It’s what I would carry as the scarlet protagonist of a Mancunian Film Noir.  A pile of secret agent Tory government officials would lie dead in the ladies facilities I had just visited as I sat powdering my nose at the bar, I didn’t even break a sweat, I sip my old fashioned and wink at the band who know now to play my favourite old-time jazz tune.

Glass dome with marbles sculpture, £10.00 from Keith Simcock and Jimmy Wilson:

This is undoubtedly the most unusual and original thing I’ve ever found at Vintage Village.  It’s absolutely brilliant.  This stall is always great for random odds and sods (we have bought a stash of brass plumbing mechanisms here before) but this is beautiful and weird and I love it.  Keith made it from a concrete Victorian drain plug, a cover from a street lamp and a load of marbles!  And I love that he did.  It’s visually enticing, there’s something about it that makes me want to keep looking at it and I love that it’s been created just because….. It fits right in to our house.  Possibly my favourite ever find!

1960s kidney shaped tropical fish table, £5.00 from Martin’s Restoration:

We came today wanting a small side table to put a plant on and we saw this!  The glass is missing off the top - the seller accidentally broke it hence the super cheap price - but we have now varnished it and it looks mint!  I love the randomness of this as a table.  It’s that classic shape but instead of looking slick and suave and like something from the offices in Mad Men, it is covered in fish and looks like it belongs in a ‘60s tiki bar that Don would have had extra-curriculas in!  Sexy, naff and ace!

1970s ceramic cufflinks with sgraffito decoration, £6.00 from Allsortz:

These have a natural and runic aesthetic.  They looks like lofty, giant straw men stomping over a muddy field.  They drop off pouches containing spells to the base of people’s beds whilst they sleep, potions to solve the ills that have been perturbing their sleep through the night.  Whoever wears these cufflinks is endowed with an empathetic pragmatism to make them uncannily good at providing whatever it is a person needs there and then.  Here’s a bowl of sugar, your car keys, that golden ticket!  Who knew!

Ceramic female mask, £25.00 from ???

There was a right good mix of stuff at this stall, the guy running it does storage clearances and his partner has started selling the interesting stuff he finds and was super enthusiastic about all his goodies which made me like them even more.  This has a total Metropolis vibe to it.  It’s elegant and demonic.  You could write a whole Doctor Who episode based on it, and whoever it is a representation of obviously has an entire fantastical history.  She is the resplendent queen of a triumphant race of female warriors who, using their intellect and prowess, have won back control of the planet from the vicious hands of the cruel and bitter all-seeing overlord (Boris Trump).  Maybe this is the queen who would turn the tables in a make-believe victory in the Handmaids Tale.  I like to think so.

Victorian gold anchor necklace, £185.00 from Gems Jewels and Much More:

Now it actually pains me to write about this necklace.  It cannot be overstated just how ridiculously, desperately, miserably I WANT THIS AMAZING PIECE OF OLD GOLD!!!!  The trader is fab and obvs has an eye for cool jewels, and I have drooled over this the last two VV fairs.  It’s got a classic old-time gold vibe, it’s maritime and bold, big and is going to get you noticed.  And I want to be noticed for these things!!!  It’s stylish as hell if this is your style, which is it!  It’s my style.  Why don’t I own it why……..?????

Thank you, Anne Louise - that was quite a journey!  I want to live in your head, where all kinds of inanimate objects are bursting with magical potential and exciting adventures.  It must be such fun!

You can keep up with Anne Louise online at Facebook and Instagram.

And if you would like to try your hand at being our Finder of the Fair, please do get in touch!