Dear Reader, welcome to Gloriously Vintage, if you are visiting for the first time do say hello!
I am excited to share with you the wonderful day at Antiques for Everyone at the National Exhibition Centre (N.E.C), near Birmingham in the UK.
We have been going regularly to this Antiques Fair now for a number of years and look forward to meeting Exhibitors that we know and also finding out about new things. I love to meet new people and of course for me, it is the treasure hunting that I adore so much!
That frisson of excitement is a wonderful feeling and definitely helps to impart a healthy “glow” to the complexion!
The last post was about the outfit I wore. It was comfortable and the colours made me feel happy and uplifted.
One of my favourite scarves tied in the “Elizabeth Drape” was the starting point for the styling.
Since starting this venture with Gloriously Vintage, the 60th year of my life has just got better and better with every passing month! Experiences are somehow sharper as I am thinking more about what I am doing, how I feel and appreciating more joy. It has given me a “brightness” that I experienced in flashes before. I would actually say this new decade has brought a sense of a greater engagement with each experience. Life is good!
I decided to ask some Exhibitors if I could photograph some items on my “Wish List”. Treasures I would buy if money were no object. This was fun and something I will do next time we go.
The hare was the first thing I spotted when we came in on the stand for Callaghan, Fine paintings and Contemporary Bronze. He was cast in bronze and cost over £17,000! I would have loved to take him home and put him on display in a large conservatory surrounded by leafy plants.
My other wish list item was this amazing gold bracelet, from Markov.
In gold and rose gold and set with 52 diamonds I was immediately drawn to it because of the unusual shape and design. It was so different from others displayed with it in a beautiful case. The value was over £2,000. It felt comfortable to wear – I so enjoyed trying it on.
There was also a pen and writing instruments exhibition. This was very interesting because I enjoy writing with a fountain pen. My journey to characterful handwriting has been hard work. I am left handed and was not taught sympathetically at school when very young. I taught myself cursive italic for calligraphy in 1989 and then developed the handwriting style I have now. That experience started my love affair with fountain pens and ink.
I do not know about you, dear Reader, but for me writing with a fountain pen is a sensual experience. The smoothness of the nib contributes to this of course and the colour of the ink makes a difference too. My usual choice is black ink as it photocopies easily and is a strong statement and the second choice is dark blue. Your handwriting says so much about your personality and character. I am sad that modern life puts so much emphasis on the printed word.
It is another of my life goals to own a Parker Duofold Fountain pen one day. The Duofold was first designed in 1921 and is iconic! I sat and tried out some pens by Lamy and enjoyed them. I actually own a Lamy Safari Pen in black and I have since got it out and started using it more! A post on Gloriously Vintage will follow in the future about writing with vintage fountain pens. I have a number of pens but only one is really vintage. It is a darling Summit Ladies pen in a pink and black marbled effect that Glenn bought for me 2 years ago at Antiques for Everyone. I use it to write my Christmas cards.
In this jolly photograph I am with Diane Ashman and her friend Liz who was helping her on the day we went.
I met Liz at the last Fair and it was great to meet up again. You can see from the background that Diane always has a wonderful stand. Every Fair I look forward to seeing Diane because there is so much to explore! Talking with her is fascinating as she has so much experience of period and vintage clothes. She has clothes on a rail and cases full of the most marvellous items. It is possible to come into her stand and have a really good look around. I have bough many of the most precious pieces in my vintage handbag and jewellery collections from her. Her stand is a treasure trove! Drinking in all the items in the glass cases, rummaging through her vintage buttons – sheer delight!
I settled on a Jane Shilton handbag with an optional chain handle.
As you know dear Reader, I do love clutch bags and this one is a good size and has gold coloured fittings, which is my preference. Here is it paired with black suedette “Emie” Shoes from Dorothy Perkins. It will look good with plain black leather courts too.
Now we are into August I am starting to prepare for A/W2 2016 – certainly thinking about it as the trends are now out in Vogue!
It is all about the matching and pairing what new items I see, with what I know I have in my wardrobe and collections, that I find so stimulating and satisfying.
I found this dear necklace with pink and pearl stones and this sweet pink toned pearl bracelet, and a brooch that caught my eye. You know I always try to make “sets” when picking out jewellery and here, dear reader is a pink one! The stone in the centre of the brooch is very unusual. The pearls in the brooch will match other pearl pieces I have.
I have these amazing pink gloves that I bought from Chronically Vintage Etsy Shop, and I am keen to style a summer outfit with them. So the jewellery will go well with that outfit. I am trying to make the most of the summertime that we have left!
These pink “tweed” shoes will certainly feature!
Of course, there is a scarf involved. Watch out for the outfit coming soon!
Diane had an exquisite Este Lauder Art Deco style compact that was unused in its original box. It was over my budget, so she will keep it for me for the next Fair in the Autumn.
I visited Kitty Verity, who is London based. She was wearing the most wonderful skirt.
It was made for the Portuguese Ballet. She wore it with an Edwardian top. It was so original and looked amazing on her. Kitty’s stand is full of the most wonderful costume jewellery and special items.
Look at my happiness looking through a large box of earings!
I espied these darling earings looking down in to one of her display cases.
They are hand painted and are from the 1940’s.
I fell in love with them because when I tried them on…
They went so well with my Anniversary scarf! I have a brooch that I know will go with them, so want to hurry up and wear them soon before the summer ends!
I also saw this marvellous 1930’s clutch bag.
It is in dark brown, buttery soft leather.
Kitty explained that the bag had been thought to be 1940’s , but the lining silk and small purse on a chain was definitely from the 1930’s and I agreed with her . I have some bags that are that old and there are similarities in the linings.
Kitty also had a most interesting observation about this handle on the back. I thought it was another way to hold the bag. She thought it was to put your gloves through when you took them off as they would d not fit easily into the bag. Gloves would always be part of the ensemble in the 1930’s and it is a good idea to use this space for gloves. I am going to try it this A/W! Leather gloves are much heavier than the cotton gloves o the S/S! This is a bag I will treasure, use carefully and greatly enjoy.
So I bought the two items at a good price. It was wonderful to share with Kitty how much I loved the Schreiner demi parure and the bracelet I bought from her previously. I had the Shreiner for my Birthday this year and the bracelet wore on Boxing day last Christmas! Wonderful jewellery is wonderful to wear and for me enhances my life greatly.
I visited Steven Bristow and found this Trifari bracelet and earings. The earings are un marked but go well with the texture on the bracelet. Trifari jewellery has a particular style that I like. I am able to recognise it more as I am gaining experience as a collector.
We also invested in a 3 arm chandelier 1900 brass light fitting with three glass shades to put in our lounge. It is on ongoing project to have Antique/Vintage lighting in our home and it is coming to an end as we now have three light fittings to use in the lounge!
Last but by no means least, we went to see Gemma Redmond Vintage.
Gemma has a wonderful website which I regularly visit. Her stand is so elegantly set out that visiting it is an experience. Feasting my eyes on cases filled with beautiful named costume jewellery that shines and twinkles back at you is a little piece of heaven for me! If money were no object I would buy many, many pieces from her. Gemma selects pieces in pristine condition for the serious collector and lover of named costume jewellery.
One piece in a case caught my eye and really set my heart aflutter. It was in the case behind me in this photograph.
You can see how beautiful everything is! It was a very special brooch, for me , set with turquoise and diamante. It was the original design in “a jewellery mystery” that I took to expert Lisa Lloyd at the Antiques Roadshow at Baddesley Clinton.
Here is my brooch by Sphinx. I love this brooch and bought it about three years ago from Diane Ashman. My brooch has pink, blue and diamante stones and I wear it in the A/W usually on a dark jacket. It always makes the outfit look wonderful and works it’s magic as only lovely jewellery can.
Looking on the internet as I do, researching my jewellery pieces I came across my exotic bird brooch by Marcel Boucher! Mine is marked Sphinx. Knowing the design was a Boucher changed everything!
Here is a quotation from the post
“My brooch is marked Sphinx but I have found on the internet the same bird brooch by Marcel Boucher with different stones marked Boucher. Lisa confirmed that Sphinx did not make for Boucher but it is a copy of the bird design, maybe made from the same mould. She also told me my brooch was almost too good to be by Sphinx as it is a higher quality than a lot of their pieces.”
Gemma explained that she had bought the brooch in France. She joked with me that it was meant for me, that day. I think it was.
When I saw it in the case, I knew immediately what it was. I asked to see it and put it back and walked away, but I knew in my heart it was one of those special moments when there is a choice. Leave it, walk away, probably never see one again and always regret leaving it or go back and buy it. So I did. A real treasure, to treasure, always.
Look how beautifully my purchase was presented to me. All this attention to detail made this treasure hunting so special and a great pleasure.
I cannot show you this – yet. My mother is going to give me some money for Christmas and yes, you guessed correctly, I am giving it to myself, with her for Christmas! So it has been put away, until it will appear under the Christmas Tree!
I am taking time to savour these new treasures and to work them into my collections. It is always fun to plan outfits and to create opportunities to wear the treasures too. Thank you for joining me on this post. Do chat in the comments, I would love to hear of your special finds.
The photographs in this post were all taken by Glenn, thank you.