Central UK – September 2017


Stafford Antiques Fair is held at the Staffordshire County Showground. There is a small entrance fee for the event. I felt for the sellers, as buyers were scarce at the event we attended. Here we found an amazing stall, if vintage sewing paraphernalia and textiles are your bag (they are ours!). I found some teashop headbands from the 1920s and a lovely pink silk piano shawl.

Piano shawls are silk embroidered and fringed shawls from the Victorian and Edwardian periods. They were used to drape over the grand piano. Their value is determined by the condition and the extent and quality of the embroidery. They are wonderful for wearing at a wedding or special evening.

Never leave your stall in the charge of a friend or neighbour especially if you don’t price your stock. We were amazed to be offered a Chinese silk damask shawl for £10. When we went back a little later to negotiate on a Victorian fishing net we found the stall holder unmoveable and his neighbour hanging her head. Needless to say, we didn’t buy the fishing net!

We found a pub called The Okeover Arms near Ashborne, where you are allowed you to park your campervan overnight in exchange for buying a meal. It unsurprisingly near to a car boot held on the playing field at Alstonefield on the last Sunday morning of each month from May to September.

The Okeover Arms, Mappleton

When looking for antiques at car boot sales, often you start disappointed with everyone selling children’s toys or second-hand clothes. Then lo and behold that stallholder appears who has antiques on offer. We negotiated successfully on a Chinese tea caddy and a couple of old brooches. The stall holder then asked if I was interested in brooches for repair. I always love to see what is not on show. His offering was Victorian amber brooches. Keep an eye out for these in our shop in the near future.

Check out our current amber listings and brooches for sale in our eBay store.