Finds of the Fair 11th March 2012

Get Dressed: A Useful Guide to London’s Boutiques edited by Millicent Bultitude with foreword by Mary Quant, 1966.  £15 from Dabberdecades.

This booklet jumped out at me because of the model’s wacky posture on the front cover.  On inspection it turned out to be a comprehensive catalogue of all the fashion boutiques in London in 1966 - an absolute must for any fashion historian!  Beautifully illustrated too, so plenty of inspiration for recreating a classic 60s look.

Mama J's
1940s fitted blouse by Alco Junior, £45 from Mama J’s Vintage Goods.

A rare find here – namely a fitted 40s blouse in near perfect condition.  The fabric is corded with a midnight blue collar, cuffs and polka dots.  The tucks and darts and gathered elbows ensure that this would be a most flattering shape to wear.  I had severe yearnings to try this blouse on but feared that I might not be able to remove it from my person again and, sadly, I was on a budget this Sunday . . . sigh . . .

1920s leather topped collar stud box, £14 by Populuxe.

This would make a great gift for any vintage-loving chap.  Not only would it look great on your bedside table but is also completely full of studs – result!  I think we would all agree that ‘A stud in the box is worth two under the bed’, especially if you’re in a rush to get ready and have a flapping collar, all for the loss of that last stud that you needed to fasten it down with.

Oooh Betty!
Music box upcycled by Oooh Betty! for £6.

Oooh Betty! took this music box with its damaged case and gave it a new lease of life with a lick of paint and cute cat decal.  We must have looked quite eccentric holding it up to our ears, winding the handle and singing along to it in unison until we had established that the tune it plays is Teddy Bears Picnic.  You see – it’s always the simple pleasures that mean the most...

Time for Tea and Cake
Les Sylphides biscuit tin, £5 from Time for Tea and Cake.

Dance has been a passion of mine for years so this tin with its images of the ballet Les Sylphides immediately caught my eye.  I find tins so eminently collectible and useful.  I really like this one especially as there are also photos of the corps de ballet arranged around the sides.  On consultation with some of my dance history books when I returned home, I was able to pinpoint the dancers as Beryl Grey and Norman Thompson of Sadler’s Wells Ballet circa 1946.

Lace and Liquor Vintage
1950s lilac lace dress, £80 by Lace and Liquor Vintage.

I think all vintage fashionistas aspire to have a dress like this hanging in their wardrobe, don’t they?  It is the one of the holy grails of vintage shopping – finding that elusive vintage party dress in the right style, size and colour for you.  This is a lovely handmade example with full skirt, fitted bodice, ribbon bow detail and net underskirts, just waiting for the perfect person.  Could it be you?

Lorraine's Collectables
1940s swallow brooch, £5 from Lorraine’s Collectibles.

I’ve got a thing about swallow brooches at the moment.  I love everything they represent – swallows always return to the same nesting place and are symbols of faithfulness and constancy.  Sailors had them tattooed as talismen for a safe journey home.  Soldiers gave swallow jewellery to their sweethearts as a sign they would return from war.  Lorraine was able to give me some family history on this brooch as she recalls seeing it worn by one of her aunts in a family wedding picture dating from the 40s.  It is of a hammered metal which gives the illusion of containing precious stones.  This sweet bird flew home with me.

Our Spring Fair Finder is a very well-informed and super stylish vintage aficionado, as anyone who has encountered her at our events will testify!

Please welcome Jayne of Strumpets Bazaar, and be prepared to be awestruck by the incredible selection of treasures she has personally chosen as her Finds of the Fair.  Over to you Jayne!:

I originally trained as a dancer at the Laban Centre, London and have spent most of my career working in theatre admin where my jobs have included Archivist for Glyndebourne Festival Opera and PA to the Artistic Directors at the Royal Exchange Theatre.  I have a penchant for all things historical and theatrical!

I am also a qualified massage therapist and ran my own therapy business for a couple of years.  I now work part time in an office which gives me lots of time to develop my online vintage shop, Strumpets Bazaar. I also occasionally bring my stall to vintage markets, The Vintage Village being a firm favourite.

You can find me . . .

at my website
tending my Etsy store
on Facebook
and on Twitter

Paul Starr
1930s-40s bakelite desk tidy by Linsden Ware, £20 from Mr Starr.

I loved this 1930s Bakelite desk tidy on sight.  It fulfils that famous William Morris maxim to only have things that are either beautiful or useful in your home because this is both.  The box is semi-circular but push one side of the flat edge and this compartmentalised section swings out.  A very useful object to keep on your writing desk!

Parrot in the Pantry
Travelling vanity set with jars, brush, comb and manicure set, £10 from Parrot in the Pantry.

This beats going on holiday with a washbag full of plastic containers doesn’t it?  Glass bottles with chrome screw tops and blue-handled brush, comb and manicure set all presented in a leather zip case means that you can take your dressing table with you while on the move and make your hotel room as glamorous as your boudoir.

Round Robin Retro
1950s Snakeskin peeptoe stilettos by Gina. £25 from Round Robin Retro.

SHOES!!!!! Do I really need to say more . . ?  But seriously – have you tried wearing vintage shoes?  Even though they may be a fashion shoe, they were still beautifully designed and made, and unfeasibly comfortable to wear.  This is the norm with vintage shoes of the 40s, 50s and 60s and you really should own some.  These are pale tan snakeskin uppers with leather sole and lining.  I tried these on.  They were a perfect fit.  Hang on . . . why did they not come home with me??  Bangs head on desk...

Hotch Potch Vintage
Rayon dressing gown, £15 from Hotch Potch Vintage.

I like to see a sartorially dressed gentleman around the house even if he is just in his loungewear.  This rayon paisley design dressing gown by Tootal is perfect for preserving one’s modesty until lights out.

1950s cat eye spectacles, £8 from Retrodec.

One day I will own my very own pair of cat eye spectacles... *dreams*.  These are a classic example of 50s or 60s spectacle styling for the ladies.  They are in excellent condition and complete with their original leather case.  Prime for re-glazing to your own prescription and ONLY £8.  What a ‘spec’tacular bargain!

Beau Boutique
1940s leather clutch bag, £20 from Beau Boutique Vintage.

I don’t like modern designer handbags at all for some reason but I adore vintage bags so much that it hurts.  This one is a beauty – brown leather with suede lining and compartments, tango strap and simple deco style slip fastening.  It contains a leather stamp holder with Kirbigrip packaging inside (I always love the whispers that the original owner has left behind).  It is also an extremely useful and useable size for modern ladies and their accoutrements (mobile phone etc).  I am happy to report that I bagged this baby for myself!

Village Vintage Clothing
1930s Lloyd Loom bedside cabinet, £22 from Village Vintage Clothing (at Room at the Top Vintage Goods).

This is a completely personal memory-trip selection!  My parents had these glass-topped bedside cabinets in their bedroom when I was a child growing up in the 70s and this one is in my favourite Lloyd Loom colour combination of green edged with gold.  It was lovely to spy this in Room at the Top Vintage Goods and be transported back in time. But isn’t that one of the joys of vintage?