While we all eagerly await the end of lockdown restrictions, there are still plenty of brilliant places to buy antiques and vintage online! Here are some of our favourite places to buy covetable antiques, enviable vintage and beautiful handmade home accessories from the comfort of your own living room...
Where to buy affordable antiques and art
Charlie Porter started Tat four years ago as a side project to her job as an interiors stylist. She loves junk shops and car booting so, to indulge her passion, she decided to open an online shop selling what she describes as ‘low brow’ pieces. ‘I never think I specialise in anything, I buy what I like,’ she says. ‘But it would seem I like a lot of 20th-century European art and any sort of sconce – it can range from 17th-century to the 1990s. As long as you can put a candle in it, I will buy it.’
Scroll through the squares of Instagram seller Elizabeth Kemp’s account and you’ll find all manner of antique and vintage decorative items, from fabrics to pictures and china. Pretty vintage tins feature heavily and so too do charming antique prints. After working for several years in the art world in London, Elizabeth moved to a cottage near Frome in Somerset with her husband and decided to set up a business from home. Her grandmother is an antiques dealer and her mother (Ros Byam Shaw) writes about interiors so antiques and decorating run deep. ‘I am selling things found by my mother and my grandmother as well as by me. The only criteria are that they are things I love and would want in my own home,’ she says.
Mood and Hue is an Etsy shop based in the Cotswolds and run from a converted stables which serves as Fay Frampton’s stockroom, photo studio and packing room. She has a focus on vintage artwork, pottery and home accessories chosen for their decorative appeal. Find Art Deco jugs, Victorian opaline vases, French confit pots and European pottery. Follow her Instagram account for updates about new stock.
Shop for still life paintings, chairs and other interesting bits and bobs via Tanya Zendra’s well-balanced grid on her Instagram account. She left her role at a communications agency in Shoreditch this year so she could seek out and sell old pieces after running out of space in her own home. ‘It’s amazing what lockdown has done for people. It allowed me to focus on two life-long passions: making things pretty and treasure hunting,’ she says. Expect many different styles, genres and combinations of furniture and decorative items on her feed – interspersed with inspiring images
of beautiful interiors.
Mollie Riach has been dealing antiques for almost 10 years. This year, she switched from a physical shop to an online store called Hutt, offering original art, 20th-century furniture, decorative antiques, refurbished lights and rugs. She sources stock across Europe and will also feature emerging artists.
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Where to buy handmade and contemporary craft
This carefully curated site run from Devon by Katie Honnor features a community of 130 selected makers from around the UK to celebrate and sell their work online. You’ll find the kind of pieces you would encounter at a contemporary craft fair, all of which can be yours at the click of a button.
Artist Debbie Scott runs this fabulous independent gallery in Saffron Walden and brings together the work of British printmakers and affordable paintings. Her online shop has lithographs by Mark Hearld, Pru Green pottery, Sally Pudney paintings and Angela Harding cards.
Contemporary Applied Arts, which has championed and promoted British craft for 70 years, has a brilliant website where not only can you find out about events and exhibitions at its London gallery but also discover dozens of makers and buy their work. All sales support CAA’s maker members and the charitable objectives of the organisation. The wide range of works on offer (including ceramics, furniture, glass and jewellery) include work by ceramicist Nick Membery and jeweller Tania Clarke Hall.
This well-known contemporary art gallery in Ludlow showcases British art and craft both in its physical space and online. There are regular exhibitions throughout the year with an excellent selection of work by some of the very best British artists and makers. Currently on show is a new body of work by landscape artist Gerald Dewsbury. There’s also work by Angie Lewin, Angela Harding, Cornelia O’Donovan and Paul Young.
Founded in 2006 by mother and daughter Denise and Samantha Allan, The Shop Floor Project brings together the work of brilliant makers and artists. The duo expertly curate a website full of objects worthy of keeping and passing down through generations. We’re in love with Francesca Kaye’s Delft Woman plates and Raphael Balme’s The House & Garden Party collection of oil paintings, not to mention the superb Christmas decorations.
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Where to buy antique fashion and textiles
We have always loved Kath Griffiths’ well-chosen selection of beautiful folk textiles from Central and Eastern Europe. You may have stumbled upon her exquisite stands at antique textile fairs. She doesn’t have a shop but she does sell through her website. Click from piece to piece of vintage dyed indigo linen through to hemp grain sacks, then cushion covers made using Hungarian and Transylvanian embroidery – and much more.
Cary Whitley has recently changed roles from a vintage fair organiser to an Instagram dealer. A collector for over 20 years of all things vintage with a particular interest in textiles, buttons and trimmings, she now runs her own business buying, selling and sourcing vintage and antiques. Her online shop sells everything from haberdashery, fashion accessories and jewellery to handbags, ephemera and pictures.
Jennifer Bristow-Smith sells directly through timed Instagram sales from her base in Kirkcudbright. See page 128 for our guide to buying via Instagram, as this is where Jennifer sells her haul of antique French textiles and haberdashery. Incredible pelmets from French chateaux, antique chintz, lace, Ottoman textiles, block-printed panels, vintage silk thread, ribbons, trims and so much more. It’s the sort of account where you’ll really lose yourself down the Insta rabbit hole. Hurry – be the first to comment ‘sold’ to buy. Shipping is worldwide.
If you love the vintage chintz look, you’ll adore these handmade pieces by Liz Phillips. After a career in the heritage industry working in and around Britain’s finest houses, Liz now creates collections of furnishings and furniture from her home in Cheshire using rare vintage fabrics. As well
as her uber-popular Morris & Co Christmas stockings, she sells gorgeous cushions and lampshades made from Sanderson florals.
As well as standing at popular fairs such as Frock Me! and having a bricks and mortar shop hidden away in Brighton’s South Lanes, Louise Hill has an online store for her vintage fashion business Hope & Harlequin. ‘I love hearing about a dress bought from me years ago and worn to a wonderful event or how it’s become one of my clients’ favourite items,’ she says. ‘Occasionally I see the pieces again and it’s like seeing old friends.’ Louise sources her stunning collection of dresses, tops, coats and more dating from the 1920s to 1980s in the UK and around the world.
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Where to buy antique jewellery and silver
Well-known antique silver dealer Linda Jackson has been in the trade for 30 years and has had a shop in the London Silver Vaults for the past 12 years. She sells a cornucopia of decorative silver, including every spoon you can imagine plus tea strainers, brooches and animal figures. She regularly attends The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair and other fairs but you can also buy through her website and keep an eye on her latest stock on her Instagram account.
Scrolling through Emma Caderni’s stunning pieces for sale is a joy. You’ll find jewellery, clothes, shoes, handbags and more, beautifully photographed and either for sale during one of the virtual fairs she participates in or you can buy via a direct message. When fairs are running, she’s a regular exhibitor at Hammersmith Vintage Fashion Fair and the Frock Me! Jewellery Fair.
Shop here for Liz Wilson’s expertly curated collection of vintage costume jewellery, which includes designer pieces by the likes of Trifari, Joan Rivers, Weiss, Monet and Attwood & Sawyer, among others. You’ll also find a good selection of cufflinks. Liz has such a good eye for these pieces that she supplies exceptional examples to John Lewis & Partners, so do have a browse on that website as well.
This Etsy shop run by Alison Cosier is brimming with fabulous antique and vintage jewellery. There’s a French Art Deco diamond, pearl and platinum brooch for £395, a c1907 rose gold wedding band for £195 and a gold Edwardian heart locket for £88. What will you choose?
Audra Daws-Knowles has always collected, worn and loved brooches, so it was only natural that she started selling them. Her curated collection of affordable antique, vintage and retro jewellery, with a focus on brooches dating from the 1880s to the 1980s, can be viewed on her Instagram account and website, arranged on the latter into periods and styles. Her buying trips have taken her to auctions, fairs and sales across the UK as well as France, Belgium, Germany and North America.
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Where to buy vintage furniture and brocante finds
Michelle Mason, who runs real-life vintage store Mason & Painter on Columbia Road in east London, home to the famous Sunday flower market, was quick to act when she saw the spring lockdown looming and launched her online atelier two days before businesses had to temporarily shut up shop. She now ships worldwide. Michelle’s carefully chosen selection of stock mixes French vintage cafe furniture, homewares, mirrors, paintings and prints with industrial salvage, ceramics and a large display of plants. Her Instagram account is a good substitute for visiting the real shop as it features dreamy photos of styled spaces in the store.
Those who know about Bristol-based Cart-House, run by Ben and Cathryn Bailey, keep an eye on their Instagram account for updates on new pieces added to the site. The couple sell
a range of 19th to 20th-century furniture from all over Europe, specialising in cabinets, French armchairs, rugs and paintings that get snapped up quickly.
When fairs and markets came to a halt due to Covid restrictions, Keeley Rosendale, who runs Vintage Home Show events, decided to help fellow dealers who did not have online selling platforms by setting up the Discover Vintage Marketplace. The site brings together fashion as well as pieces for the home, including mid-century dining chairs, G Plan and Ercol furniture, bamboo accessories, sunburst clocks and much more.
A good stop on your virtual antiquing jaunt is the Vintage Boathouse, which has some strong pieces of well-priced furniture, namely mirrors, farmhouse tables, and chests of drawers sold from a barn in Petersfield, Hampshire.
Once you’ve lost yourself for a while poring over Emily Sizer’s beautiful Instagram account, you can click through to her shop to browse vintage jars, pots, buckets, bowls and more. Emily was born and brought up in Bakewell and spent many happy days scouring brocantes in France with
her parents. She chose not to go to university and now runs her business from the area, mainly selling French brocante finds, ranging from confit pots and vintage French china to wire baskets and galvanised tubs. ‘I love the sustainability of reusing and finding new purposes for time-worn pieces that have age and history to them,’ she says. ‘I’m greatly inspired by the countryside around me and can always be found foraging or at my allotment where I grow flowers, which I use in my photographs and on my stalls.’
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Words: Rosanna Morris