Finds of the Fair 11th November 2018

Well this is a touch embarrassing!  I'm meant to find a Finder for each fair, but I failed this month so you'll have to put up with me. 

I'm Sarah and I maintain this website, and the Vintage Village's social media. The other 'hat' I wear is TinTrunk, which involves trying to sell 20th century luggage and costume jewellery to nice people. 

So this was a mad dash round the splendid Vintage Village Mad Hatters fair early doors, before I had to return to my post at 20th Century Stores which is always open on the same day as the fair.  There's so many more brilliant traders I wish I could have featured, but at least this shows how much you can find in the space of half an hour!

On your marks, get set, GO!

1950s Frost Brothers of San Antonio (Texas) sinamay cocktail hat with brass and diamanté numbers, £90.00 from Mary Jones Vintage & Glamour:

If you're going to blow the budget on a show-stopping hat, then you need to visit Julia at Mary Jones Vintage & Glamour.  Julia has the highest standards, everything is super top quality, in immaculate condition and ready to wear.  This delightful and petite little number is composed of complex, sinuous folds but the sparkling numbers lift it to another level.  We speculated about what the numbers might mean.  My prosaic suggestion was that it related to the days of the week, but Julia, and Gail of Essentially Eagle Vintage, argued persuasively that it might be about the lucky number seven.  Wear it to your next casino date or trip to the corner shop to buy a lottery ticket - you could strike lucky!

Handmade Mid Century Ranch style house Christmas decorations, £5 - £7.00 depending on size from Balmer and Stanley:

I tend to be a bit hardline about crafts at a vintage fair - I think it muddies the water a bit, so to speak, and it can be a bit samey.  But Balmer and Stanley have made me eat my words with these imaginative and original Christmas decorations.  Alistair Balmer is a man of many talents - he astounded us all last month with his turn as Baby Jane/Bette Davis, AND won this month's hat competition! - and it is he who designed and created these marvellous festive adornments.  Each one is different, and they come in a variety of colour finishes.  There will be more available at the VV Christmas fair in December, so if you missed out this time, don't miss next month!

1950s French "Le Cochon Qui Rit" pig, £3.00 each from All Our Yesterdays:

My schoolgirl French translates this as "The Laughing Pig".  It's a version of the beetle game you might have played in your younger days if you're as old as me, but in a charmingly French, 3-D plastic piggy version.  As the set was missing a piece or two, Wayne of All Our Yesterdays decided to sell three of the four pigs individually.  These pigs are treacherously fragile - each component is not secure and they can drop out - but they make a marvellous display piece.  Just keep the kids off it!

1970s electric wall clock, £8.00 from Memories Are Made Of These:

Dean of Memories is such a charming, smiley chap, and he always has interesting items on his stall on his all-too-rare appearances at VV.  Such as this stylish clock with Deco-esque numerals in a smart navy and orange livery.  On the clock face it specified that the case was West German and the movement was from France - a proper Euro clock!  Dean assured me that it was in full working order but he brought the wrong battery for it.  I can forgive this kind of absent-mindedness since I forgot my notepad and had use a receipt book for my Finder notes.

Vintage miniature silver tinsel Christmas trees, £10-£12.00 from RetroFunky:

My fatal weakness is miniature Christmas trees.  I adore them, and my ambition is to have a festive forest in the house, on every available surface, for the duration of the holidays.  Chris of RetroFunky is a connoisseur, she has been collecting Christmas decorations for years and she knows her stuff.  Her stall was dazzling, outshining Santa's grotto!  The good news is that she will be back next month for the VV Christmas fair.  Get there early, it's worth it!

1960s Russian doll style stuffed toy, £4.00 from The Grande Collector:

This little sweetie reminded me a bit of the Belinda Lyons make-it-yourself cloth toys she designed for Oxfam in the 1970s.  The hand crocheted flower is a nice touch.  Marc smiled approvingly as I handed over my £4.00, insisting that it would be a Christmas gift.  I think he knows better...

Well that's about as far as I got.  I make no apologies for the Christmas overload, I LOVE Christmas.

If you're inclined to seek me out online, I'm most active on Instagram, slightly less active on Twitter and not very active at all on Facebook.

And if you fancy having a go at being Finder of the Fair, please please PLEASE get in touch!

1960s Panaura Christmas decorations, £5.00 each from Anna's Attic:

These distinctive mid-century starburst decorations can fetch silly money on eBay.  The problem is that they are so brittle, it's almost inevitable that the odd bobble will be snapped off, so they need treating with extreme care.  The blue/silver combination really spoke to me, an irresistibly generous offer was made for the lot, how could I resist?

1930s French advertising blotter, one of a vast selection at £1.00 each from We Used To Have One Of Those:

Dave of WUTHOOT introduced me to a whole field of collecting I had never heard of before.  The French were mad for 'buvards', sheets of blotting paper printed with promotional images.  This requires further explanation for the young folks: in the olden days people used fountain pens for writing, and the ink didn't dry very quickly so absorbent paper was used to blot the ink and prevent smudges.  In France, businesses produced these promotional blotting papers in such attractive designs that they became collectables, much as beer mats did over here (this says so much about our respective cultures!)  Dave had a whole album full of these buvards, many of them eminently framable works of graphic art.  At only one English pound each!

1950s textured velvet evening dress, £55.00 from Garbo Antiques:

Everyone knows that Maggie always brings the goods, and lots of them!  This slinky teal number was made of an intriguing rayon velvet that I've never come across before - it was over-printed with a dense pattern of cascading leaf shapes which gave it a slightly rough texture.  With it's flattering draped collar, fitted bodice and full, swirly skirt, this dress demands that you take it out dancing.

Christmas cards adorned with genuine vintage brooches, £3.99 each from Aspidistra Vintage:

This is such a genius idea!  Alex of Aspidistra Vintage printed up cards featuring her favourite Scandinavian cardigan and pinned on a selection of her huge stock of gorgeous vintage brooches.  There's even a cloth embroidered tag on the back of each card.  Now the cards alone could retail at £4.00, but to have a genuine vintage brooch on each one as well?!  It's a card AND it's a unique gift, at a bargain price.  This could solve many of your Christmas gift headaches!

1972 Munich Olympics poster by Alan Davie, £75.00 from Modernist Mid Century:

Do you want something exuberantly colourful and more than a bit eccentric for your wall?  Got a big space to fill?  This huge 104 x 64cm poster by the renowned Scottish pop artist Alan Davie might fit the bill.  It's an original 1972 poster for the Munich Olympics, and it ticks all those boxes.  He was a poet, jewellery maker, jazz musician and then a painter.  You can feel the energy in this poster!

1930s stereoscope with Shell Oil advertising photo, "good offers over £30.00" from Jim and Keith:

You know those old 50s-60s films that had a scene in a dusty old junk shop, full of things you just don't see these days?  Well Jim and Keith's stall is like that, resolutely old school with an emphasis on mantiques.  Stereoscopes were initially fashionable in Victorian times, usually made of wood and rather luxurious, but this humble black tin version may have been a promotional giveaway.  My crummy photo doesn't show the bottom of the photos where it says "Austin officially recommend TRIPLE SHELL Lubricating Oil."  I dare you to haggle with them for this desirable piece of automobilia!  If it's still there next month they might be a bit more amenable.

Malteser Tiffin Christmas Tree, £6.00 from Stuart Thornley Cake Design:

It's an edible Christmas tree, it's by Stuart Thornley Cake Design, and it has Maltesers in it.  Regular visitors to VV will not need convincing, but if you're not familiar with the majestic Stuart Thornley, let me assure you that you are in for a treat.  Or your friends/family are if you chose to give them as gifts.  Damn, these are good!