Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Ardingly Antiques Fair part 1

The vintage fashion fair on Sunday was a great success, I sold quite a lot, nearly all the vintage handbags & lingerie, but strangely enough, very few of the clothes, so plenty left for the next fair!
Today was a different antiques fair, an enormous, sprawling outdoor event at the South of England showground at Ardingly, and I was to be buying not selling. I travelled to Haywards Heath by train early in the morning, the countryside was in parts lacy with thick frost, in others, wreathed in freezing fog, stunningly beautiful, and very cold. By the time my sister Zoe collected me from the station and we had driven to the showground, the power of the sun had transformed the wintry landscape to Spring. It was lovely to be out in the warm, bright sunshine, a real tonic after all the recent rain & grey.

Here are some photos of some of my favourite textile stalls, special thanks to Ida, & Liz. I managed to find all sorts of wonderful textiles; quite a bit of late 17th & 18th century lace, some beautiful Russian printed cotton (my interest has been grabbed recently by these beautiful textiles that Ida has begun to source, please click on her link to see more of her gorgeous finds), a small scrap of toile de Jouy in the design Don Quixote, some gorgeous French cottons, and lots more. However, my favourite item by far discovered today was an enormous 19thc English quilt made up of over 1,600, yes 1,600 tiny diamonds of gorgeous, tiny printed fabrics with a central chinoiserie panel. I shall take some photos in a day or two and share some of their beauty here!


  1. The quilt looks a little reminiscent of the wild goose chase pattern with all those tiny triangles. I love it! I am trying to be disciplined in my purchases, but how could one resist such an enticing show. I also loved your description of the winter landscape turning into spring as you traveled.

  2. Hi Phyllis, I loved the quilt in the pic, but manged to resist it's charms, and photographed it instead. I hope you don't mind but I have just emailed you a couple of photos of part of the one I bought, as I really value your knowledgable opinion - I have very little knowledge about quilts - in the UK, we seem to have less knowledge in this area than you do in America, where quilting is rightly celebrated as such an inportant part of your early culture.

  3. I do love that quilt...and the colors and shape of the matching vases in the third and fourth photos. How did you transport all of your finds via the train? It looks like a great market...and so nice it was sunny!
    Stella xx

  4. I am lucky enough to hve a great arrangement with my sister, we get to spend the day together rummaging through heaps of textile treasure - she quilts & knits so she is always on the lookout for scraps of fabric & wool for her projects - then she drives me home with all the booty! Haywards Heath is only about 20 miles away from where I live, just the other side of the South Downs. x