Treasure-Hunting at Ardingly Antiques Fair and some of the wonderful things you can do with the treasure you find there!
One bright day two weeks ago, we piled into the car and headed for some Treasure-Hunting at Ardingly, which periodically hosts one of Europe’s largest vintage & antiques fairs. It’s an annual pilgrimage for me; a hunting ground for treasures and improbable, beautiful finds. We have clearly defined roles; I spot something I adore and then shriek, loudly, before bouncing around distractingly in the background whilst my husband attempts to negotiate the price, and to create an impression of casual interest. Often, I am dispatched for coffee as a way of removing me from sight entirely.
Prices anyway are low; this is predominantly a dealers’ event, and bargains are many. Whether you are looking for a set of tiny vintage patisserie tins, a 20ft high reclaimed, columned stone porch for your country manor or a turn-of-the-century copper bathtub, you will undoubtedly find it here.
Sellers come from all over Europe and it’s as much a reunion as a business event; currencies, embraces and gossip are all freely exchanged and there’s a festive air.
I gave myself a strict budget of £100 and went rummaging. Here’s what I bought; firstly, an armful of vintage French linens; monogrammed tea-towls and a long, hand-woven length of heavy linen which will work beautifully as a rustic table runner. They’re perched on a £5 old milking stool, which will make a lovely bedside book table once I check that the woodworm, too, is definitely vintage…
My unexpected find was a collection of huge 19th Century tin stencils of deer and stags – including the ‘inner’ cut-outs, which I love; I’m thinking the inner pieces will look beautiful resting on shelves and mantels at Christmastime, whereas I might actually put the stencils themselves to use to decorate tablecloths and fabric placemats (watch this space…).
Make sure to purchase tickets for our upcoming Ardingly Antiques Fair today! You can find all ticket links on our Ardingly page.