Finds of the Fair 13th May 2012

We were incredibly excited when this month's Finder suggested that she was up for the challenge.  We'll let her introduce herself below, suffice it say that we are very, very lucky indeed to have secured the services of such an eminent, cultured and ethical/right-on person!

Please meet Suzy Prince:

I’m Suzy, and ever since May the 1st this year I’ve been on safari.  Let me explain: Secondhand Safari is a social experiment where for one year everything (bar perishables such as food and drink, and health and hygiene products) that me or Mr Secondhand Safari buy MUST be secondhand.

So, why are we doing this?  Well head to our site for a full explanation – it’s a very different life to our former occupation as editors of arts and culture magazine Nude but we’re bored to tears with the high street and in need of some retail adventures, and we also wanted to add our voice to the growing clatter that recommends that we all make do and mend a little more and use things until they reach the end of their life, rather than chucking into landfill when we grow bored of them.

‘Vintage’ is of course also another, albeit posher, word for secondhand goods.  I was delighted to get the chance to act as the Finder for The Vintage Village.  I’m relatively new to the North West (two years and counting) and this monthly market has been one of the most exciting finds for me.

Visit the Secondhand Safari website, and you can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Mama J's Vintage Goods
1950s outfit: dress £43, jacket £35, from Mama J’s Vintage Goods:

I’d be amazed if this outfit hadn’t sold by the end of the day.  Practically everyone who walked past it was swooning over it, including me.  Sadly I would have to reduce to about half the size that I am to stand a fighting chance of squeezing into it so I had to pass, but this is a stunner.
[Editor's note: somebody did buy it!]

All Mod Cons
Modernist lamp, £39, from All Mod Cons:

A quick look through previous Finders’ finds shows me that mid-century traders All Mod Cons make an appearance almost every month.  With amazing key pieces like this for sale I’m not surprised.  It was only the warning from Vintage Village HQ to only feature one find per trader that stopped me from photographing everything on their stall.  But I’ll certainly be heading back their way very soon.

Rita Black
Cups and saucer plates, £10 each, from Rita Black:

So, a seasoned secondhand and vintage shopper such as myself knows that when you find something quite as wonderful as these fifties cup with oversized saucers to house cakes and the like then you snap them up instantly, right?  Anyone who’s been doing this for as long as me would never make the mistake of leaving the stall for a few minutes to think it over surely?  You know what’s coming don’t you?  Two minutes later I went back to buy them to see them being wrapped up and taken away by somebody else. I think the word is ‘aaarggh’.

All Our Yesterdays
Wooden head, £5, from All Our Yesterdays:

There’s no particular financial value to this head – £5 seems like a reasonable amount to pay – but for some unfathomable reason it made me stop and smile.  I like the way his hair sticks up over the top of his ears.  And that his eyebrows are blue.  Plus the jaunty angle of his hat.

It's a Wind Up!  Vintage 78 DJs
1960s Clark’s Shoes, £18, we think the stall might be Odds and Sods:

If these had fit me then they’d be on my feet right now and every day throughout the summer.  They are officially the nicest Clark’s shoes ever made, bar zero.  Leading me to ruminate about why Clark’s shoes these days are all so dull and frumpy.  Why don’t they make shoes like this any more?  Did some evil elves break into the factory and steal all of the colour and fun from more recent footwear?  Anyway, whatever it was these particular shoes are still in great condition and somebody’s going to look seriously fabulous stepping out in them.

It's a Wind Up!  Vintage 78 DJs
1954 Decca 10 gramophone, £140, from It’s a Wind Up!  Vintage 78 DJs:

My first find was an immediate one; I walked through the market hall door to some pleasing vintage tunes, which were being spun on a vintage gramophone from ‘It’s a Wind Up.’  The trader himself [editor's note: Mr Matt Nickson] was suitably attired – always important in my opinion to help create the right atmosphere – in a ‘suave man at leisure in a snappy but comfortable suit’ and this particular gramophone was the best of the bunch.

Heirloom Rose
1950s sunglasses, £20 from Heirloom Rose:

Lest we forget, we are in the middle of a drought right now, just in case the continual torrential rain was confusing you about that in any way.  So at some point you will need some sunglasses. These sunglasses in fact . . .

Sally's Vintage Bazaar
Handmade bunting, £12 large, £6 small for 10 flags, from Sally’s Vintage Bazaar:

There were several stalls at the Vintage Village this month concentrating on the inevitable forthcoming jubilee mania.  As somebody who sides firmly with the anti-royalists I wandered past most of the commemorative tins, biscuit barrels and so on without a second glance.  But I did like this handmade bunting: both the union jacks and the triangles made from vintage fabric.  There is literally no occasion that can’t be enhanced by the addition of some bunting, and even though it’s definitely all the rage at the moment this is one craze that won’t die out again, in my humble opinion.

Wax Delerium
Stylophone, £15, from Wax Delirium:

Anyone as old as me will remember just how much fun it was to have access to a Stylophone (I never had one of my own, but used to copy Rolf Harris’ musical TV turns when I went to a friend’s house).  I was delighted to come across one of these, then I walked round the fair and found two more for sale!  I was very tempted to snap them all up and form an avant garde band.

Marie Brown
Fez, £10, from Marie Brown:

Life is not complete without ownership of a proper vintage Fez, and this one fits the bill perfectly.

Beau Boutique Vintage
Sixties blouse by Franpear, £10, from Beau Boutique Vintage:

Generally I’m drawn to the sartorial styles of the fifties, but this sixties blouse caught my eye with its super spots and nifty neck tie.  I can imagine this being worn back in the day with contrasting Capri pants by somebody holidaying on the French Riviera.  Tres belle!