Friday, 23 May 2014

Farnham Maltings 20th Century Design Fair

In a bold first for us, D and I have booked a stall at the Twentieth Century Design and Decorative Arts Fair at Farnham Maltings this coming Sunday (25 May).
It's quite a long way to go, but we've decided to sell some of our Art Deco stuff which has sadly been packed away ever since we moved down South. When we finally got it down recently (after over twelve years' banishment), it was like looking into the past, a very different time.
This is some of the stuff we're getting together to take
Our passions for Shorterware and for green and leafy china date back to the time before we had our children, when we were living in Manchester. Fancy free and enjoying exploring a new place, we'd drive to fairs and antique centres almost every weekend -- Tatton Park, Macclesfield, Nantwich, Glossop. Manchester itself had some great places to hunt. We got the real collectors' zeal where new finds were an end in themselves, almost regardless of what they were. But when we unpacked the boxes, we found we no longer felt quite the same about it all. We still like it but we decided we could part with it.
   When we started planning what our stall would look like, I suddenly remembered a very old brocade tablecloth that I bought in an auction up Swaledale when I was a teenager in Richmond. I was in the very earliest phase of collecting and being able to bid in auctions was heady stuff. I started to buy a few things just to get the kick of bidding. This strange piece of fabric was one such thing.

 It's immensely thick and heavy, quite worn and obviously old. How old? It could be Twenties or Thirties, I think, or possibly even late Victorian. I'm not sure.

 I've just finished reading Fiona McCarthy's biography of William Morris (which is absolutely brilliant, by the way -- I cried when she related his death) and it would be lovely to think this might have come from Morris & Co but I don't suppose it does. It's going to be the tablecloth for our stall but I might even sell it too if I had any idea at all what price to put on it. Any ideas?
     The Fair is not a pure Art Deco affair and we could easily have decided to add in some of our other stuff from our 'to sell' shelves: tin toys, seaside souvenirs, Festival of Britain stuff... But D feels strongly that we should present a coherent stall and I've said that he can take the lead on this one, so it'll be mainly pottery. If we do another fair, I'll be in charge and things will be a lot more eclectic. I don't feel strongly enough about it to argue. I think it'll be fun. Why don't you come along if you're in the area? Happily for us, one of my oldest, dearest friends lives in Farnham so we'll be seeing her as well. I will report back on how it goes.

[PS Want to see a truly amazing antique market? While browsing just now, I found this post about Shanghai Pudong antique market -- incredible]


Gina said...

This would have been such fun to visit but we have been in London all day. Maybe another time.

LAC EMP 2020 said...

Not only did I miss this post, I seem to have missed the fair also as I see it has now come and gone. Hope the sales went well and it didn't break your heart selling your collection. I know the thrill of collecting something and it's a wrench to let it go even if you don't ever display it anymore - have I told you about my 500 Ladybird books..... Do tell what everyone else was selling! Farnham is another one of those places on my wish list to go to. Maybe one day!