|Picture by Martin Hayhurst © Pictures of England.com|
It was nice to be back amongst some really rather nice vintage bits and bobs, items like classic rotary-dial telephones in varying age and condition, silverware (snuffboxes, cigarette/card cases, lighters etc.) 1930s cigarette cards, but mainly jewellery and china. The event proved popular with a full car park and a large crowd attending; I spotted one or two vintage guys and gals amongst the throng.
What took me aback, though, and highlighted just how out of touch I have become with antiques fairs were the prices. The last fair I went was before vintage and retro became fashionable again so prices were on the low side but on Sunday, with a few exceptions, most items started at double figures! Granted there were quite a few examples of really sought-after names, like Clarice Cliff and Lalique - in fact there was a fair share of high-end stuff on display - but bargains were practically non-existent. I was not altogether surprised, however, as my natural interest in vintage (and programmes like Antiques Road Trip or Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is) has meant that I've been aware of the rising price of antiques but to actually see it in the raw was still a bit of a shock. I've been to a few antiques shops and arcades more recently where the prices have been less eye-popping, so perhaps there's a chance this was an aberration.
As a result I very nearly came away with nothing (which wouldn't have been the end of the world, I only went there for a look 'round and the off-chance of picking something up). We'd wandered about, myself and my parents with whom I'd met up for the day and who pained me by commenting on practically every other item "we/ your grandparents used to have that, but gave it to the charity shop when we moved" and were getting ready to leave when I had one final rummage through a box of old pennies by the door. Most were in such bad state that they were little more than scrap but I managed to find two rather unusual ones in good condition.
Dated 1935 and 1936 they consist of a Republic of Ireland 1d. coin and an old penny from the then Union of South Africa, which was still a British dominion at the time. I've not got many pre-decimal coins from outside the British Isles, so they will be a welcome addition to my collection and for a paltry 20p I couldn't say no. (Brief investigations on eBay show similar examples starting around the £1 mark, so not bad). Around 5½ million 1935 Irish pennies were minted so they're by no means ultra-rare; the South African penny I'm less sure about.
|Essex Vintage Fair|
So that's literally my two penn'orth from my latest antiques fair experience(!). There's another due to be held on the 1st April which I shall probably head along to as well. It looks from the flyer as though it may be even bigger and better than Sunday's one; I shall look forward to finding out.