Monday, 18 February 2013

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside............

..............and that's exactly where I was this weekend!  The sun came out on Saturday and not wanting to miss this rare occurrence and inspired by the photos of my Roldan dolls in the snow, Mark and I decided to head to the beach to take some more more photos of some more dolls!  I have had these dolls for a long time but didn't know what they were or who they were made by.  They look like Roldan dolls but aren't so that was where the trail ended, I put them away and kind of forgot about them.  Then one day I came across a doll that had very similar characteristics as mine and found out that they were made by a company called Larrea in the 1960s.  They are France's answer to the Spanish Roldan or Klumpe doll.  They aren't quite as detailed as the Roldan's but they are noted for their distinctive features such as their tear drop eyes and lips.  I only have a few and as they have often lost their tags and not as well known as the Roldan dolls, they are hard to find.

I thought that they deserved a photoshoot too and they fitted perfectly with the Brighton beach vibe.  So off we went and spent a lovely day in the sunshine taking photos of these funny dolls!  Hope you like the outcome.

These ballet dancers were taken on the bandstand.  I had wanted to contact the Theatre Royal and see if they would let us take photos on the stage but I was told by Mark that not only was it highly unlikely that they'd let us but how unimpressed would they be when we turn up for our 'photoshoot' with a pair of dolls and an iphone!  I got his point and actually prefer the bandstand as a backdrop (well I didn't have much choice did I?!)

Next is one of my favourites and she's a bit saucy.  Her top is normally half open but in the interests of decency I covered her up.  Only the French would come up with a half naked doll!

These photos were taken further along the promenade near the smoke house and fishing museum which I had never been in until Saturday.

We then went down to Hove to the beach huts to take photos of this little cutie

She looks so at home in front of the beach huts and suits her surroundings brilliantly.  The colours really pop and I am so pleased at how these photos turned out.  I had a vision and I think it worked!

Next saw us at my favourite shop Three Angels to take photos of my final Larrea dolls  I had always felt they had a Parisian air about them even before I knew the were made in France so I thought the French style surroundings of the Three Angels cafe would suit them perfectly.

 I love their outfits and the fact that they have cigarettes, so French and so of the time.

 As well as my Larrea dolls, I took some other curiosities along to photograph as well.  I have never seen anything like them.

They look very similar to the Larrea dolls but look closely and you can see that they don't have legs and there is a silver button type thing.  That's because underneath the cloth is a plastic bottle that you would fill with perfume.  They are perfume atomisers!  Again I think they must be French.

For our final photos of the day we thought we'd try and include the iconic West Pier and my next dolls fitted in perfectly with their surroundings.  They are cloth dolls made into the characters from the artist Brownie Downing illustrations.

Her most successful subject was Aboriginal Australia and she delighted both children and adults with her ability to capture the simple, naive beauty and innocence of children and wildlife.  Her illustrations and watercolours are beautiful and you can find prints quite easily.  She also illustrated children's books and porcelain items.  A search on eBay will probably come up with a few but these dolls are very rare.  I found the lighter haired doll at the same time as my perfume atomisers at Detling antiques fair and luckily the dealer was able to tell me who she thought it was based on.  I then did a bit of research and came across the other 2 on eBay.  I think they are wonderful and so full of character.  I love the boomerang and kangeroo especially.

So there you have it, more dolls!  I think they are great display pieces and whilst they aren't everyone's cup of tea, you can't deny how full of character they are and what great photographic models they make!

Friday, 1 February 2013

List of Vintage, Antique and Collectable fairs for February & March 2013

As always its hard to keep up with the amount of Fairs that are going on so I've tried to create a varied list here and have included some of the big monthly antique fairs.  I hope it helps!

First up is the Brighton Vintage Fair held at the Corn Exchange, Brighton Sunday February 10th.  Doors open 12-5pm.  There will be 60 stalls of some of the best vintage dealers selling vintage clothing, vintage accessories and vintage homeware plus there will be a vintage tea party and vintage beauty parlour.  To book your appointment at the parlour email:
There is also a chance to win £50 to spend at The Brighton Vintage Fair plus free entry for two, hair and make up styling and tea and cakes for two just by signing up to their Brighton mailing list by clicking the link: Brighton Vintage Fair Newsletter

Very small selection of stallholders at Kempton

Next is a twice monthly Antiques Market that opens VERY early but is FREE entry!  Sunbury Antiques Market is held at Kempton Racecourse and the next market is Tuesday February 12th.  Gates open at 6.30am and it is advised to get there early as stallholders can start to pack up between 1pm-2pm.
It has well over 700 stallholders with 350 stalls throughout the indoor halls and over 350 stalls (all on hard standings) in the outside drive in area. There is always a vast range of antique goods on offer including furniture, gold and silverware, jewellery, ceramics, kitchenallia, vintage and vintage fashion, garden ephemera, clocks, paintings, cameras books and much, much more.  Lots of antiques dealers buy from Kempton but it is also perfect for general collectors, interior designer and prop buyers.  Be warned, take lots of money as there is ALWAYS so much to buy!  Plus you may see a famous face or two.  I saw Richard E. Grant (yummy) and Nick Frost (funny) last time scouring the stalls for bargains.  You can also find Sunbury Antiques Market on Facebook. (photo courtesy of Sunbury Antiques)

On Saturday 16th February, Vintage and Very Nice open their doors again at 10am at the Assembly Rooms, Chichester.  They pride themselves on always being FREE ENTRY and they have a selection of traders, artists and craft people to bring vintage to you and your home.  Plus as always there is the tea room, essential to regenerise after all that shopping (that's my excuse anyway!)

The Sandown Park Vintage and Antique Fair
is another great fair for dealers and the public alike.   It is run by Wonder Whistle Ltd and they have fairs on Sundays and Tuesdays throughout the year.  The next fair will be Sunday February 17th.  Doors open at 10pm.  There are 300 stallholders on a Tues and 200 on a Sunday who sell everything from antiques, vintage, textiles, furniture, jewellery, glass, silver, crockery, collectables, treen and much more Very nice fair with sociable opening times too!

A fair which I have been going to for years is The iacf Antiques and Collectors Fair.  It is a 2 day event held at Ardingly, South of England showground and is the largest Antiques and Collectors Market in the South East with over 1700 stallholders, antique and vintage heaven!  Be aware though that if you go on Tuesday then the entrance fee is £20 (gives entry to Wed too) whereas Wednesday is only £5 and you can sometimes get 2 for 1 offers.  The fair attracts a range of local, national and international dealers and you can find anything here, my home proves it!  The next fair date is Tuesday19th February.  Gates open at 9am (I think)

Detling International Antique & Collectors Fair

On Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th February is the Detling International Antiques and Collectors Fair held at the Kent County Showground.  Gates open at 8.30am (trade) and 10am (public) on Saturday and 10am Sunday.  I haven't been here for a while and rediscovered it whilst I was researching the fairs.  I have bought a few nice collectable items from here and find it very good for smalls.  A nice selection of dealers too.

I was lucky enough to have a stall at the Vintage and Handmade Christmas Fair in December and now they're back with the Original Vintage and Handmade Textile and Fashion Fair.  
The fair is on Saturday 23rd February and doors open at 10am.  
This fair is a must visit for anyone interested in vintage fashion & home textiles, sewing or creating and there will be dozens of stalls selling vintage fabric, vintage fashion and accessories, textile artists and haberdashery dealers.  A great day out for all!

I'm very pleased to say that the Sussex Country Brocante will be back on Thursday 28th February.  Doors open 11am.  If you love country antique furniture, vintage home ware, vintage clothes, antique textiles and so much more then this is the fair for you PLUS I'm having a stall too!  Held in the delightful village of Wisborough Green, its a lovely day out.

The one I've been looking forward to since last year, The Vintage Bazaar!  On Saturday March 2nd, The Vintage Bazaar will be at the Corn Exchange in the lovely Wiltshire town of Devizes.  Doors open at 9.30am.  This is a new location for the Bazaar and they will be welcoming a huge array of sellers including your truly!  Others include The Washerwoman, Blue Zinnia, Betty and Violet, Hesta Nesta, All things Vintage and Beautiful, Rosiebud Decorative Vintage and many more.  
There are plenty of vintage, antique and interior shops in the town so check out Devizes Divas which gives information on shopping in Devizes and make a whole day of it.  You can NEVER have enough vintage!

A new fair that I literally found out about last night is The Cuckfield Vintage Emporium, run by Darcy who also co organises Village-Vintage.  I've already booked my place as I so enjoyed her last fair in Ditchling.  The Emporium will be held on Friday 8th March at the Queen's Hall, High Street, Cuckfield.  Doors open at 11am.  There will be an assortment of stall holders selling vintage home and garden wares, collectables and clothing plus there will a cafe serving homemade cakes, teas and coffees.  Cuckfield also has some nice shops so a nice way to end the day, more shopping!

Saturday March 9th sees the return of K & A Pop Up Vintage.  Doors open at 10.30am and there will be over 50 stallholders offering all sorts of vintage loveliness including, you've guessed it, me!  I am going to be one seriously tired vintage bunny by the end of the week.  As always the fair will be held at Adastra Hall, Keymer and there will be a pop up tearoom, local florist, Linen, fabric, vintage painted furniture, kitchenalia, you name it and it will be there!

Other fairs include:

I hope this helps you plan your diaries for the next couple of months.  Please make sure you check all the websites for opening and closing times and for entry fees.

Happy Hunting Everyone, see you at a fair soon (and if you happen to see Richard E. Grant on your travels please tell him there is a Faded Rose that thinks he's rather nice!)
Richard E. Grant Courtesy of