Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Spitalfields Antique Market - The Horn of Plenty

Normally, the phrase 'antique market' strikes fear into the very heart of me. Visions of overpriced Limoges figurines dance in my head, and I resign myself to searching through hundreds of pieces of clumsy Victorian mahogany in the faint hope of finding something worth looking at.

But I can't say enough good things about Spitalfields Antique Market, which takes place every Thursday in London.

That's probably because it's not really an 'antiques' market. It's a great combination of stylish bric-a-brac, eccentric curiosities, and inspiring junk. It also boasts the best dealers for vintage menswear that I've ever seen in London.

On a good day, you could find 
a ridiculously large number of children's tamborines waiting to be displayed.


Or an amazing Victorian scrapbook, full of surreal juxtapositions that would put Terry Gilliam to shame.


But by far my favorite find of recent weeks is this incredible 1930's colouring set from Czechoslovakia. The graphics are fantastic and it's in immaculate condition - barely used.

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even the detailing on the pencils is worth looking at closely.


The set was made by L&C Hardtmuth, a pencil company founded in 1790 and the creators of the worlds first modern pencil lead. More information about Hardtmuth can be found at Bob Truby's Brand Name Pencils - a very beautifully designed site devoted to ones man's extraordinary pencil collection.

Hmm...Maybe I should start collecting pencils....

Many thanks to Jennifer at Spitalfields for allowing me to shoot the colouring set in such detail...

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