Welcome to another instalment of your favourite weekly read.
This week I ventured out again in search of treasures and decided to test the water in the scenic seaside town of Scarborough in North Yorkshire. I'd been to Scarborough a few times before, but never to look for antiques and I wasn't sure what, if anything, I'd find. This week's post is dedicated to my trip to Scarbados (as known by the locals).
So, as always, get that kettle, get those beach towels out and join me as I experience the good, the very good and the ugly side of the antiques trade in Scarborough...
As always in the UK, my trip began in typical fashion, there was an issue with the train. Not one that was on my list of previous train experiences, I must admit. I was sat in the rear set of carriages and as the train went to depart York station, I was left behind. The front two carriages went on their merry way while the rear two carriages remained at York station. Thankfully, this was noted by rail staff and attempts were made to reconnect the train. Forty minutes later, after several failed attempts, I was told to exit the rear carriage and hop aboard the front carriage. I was finally on my way to Scarbados!
Image: The Vintage Window
Upon arrival in Scarborough I began my search for the local antique shops. It seems that Tuesdays are not the best days to venture out to Scarborough antiquing as the majority of the shops seemed to be closed. However, there were a couple open and the first I discovered was 'The Vintage Window' on South Street.
Image: The Vintage Window
A smart looking shop in a lovely part of town. As the name suggests, they specialise in predominantly vintage and retro items, particularly mid-century glass and ceramics, as well as vinyl records, toys and other collectibles. If I was buying for my home I'd have filled a trolly as I do love the mid-century style and I happen to be a collector of records. However, on this occasion, it was purely business, so I didn't buy anything. Albeit, I was very tempted by a WW1 York and Lancaster Regiment embroidered panel (pictured below), but alas, I was on the train and didn't fancy carting it around in the gale force winds! If it's still there next time I visit, I might just have it.
Overall, my impression of 'The Vintage Window' was very good. A nice shop, full of lots of interesting and attractive vintage pieces, and the lady working there that day seemed very friendly and helpful too. So, I'll definitely be visiting again to buy for myself and I recommend you do too!
The Vintage Window
Address: 32 St Nicholas Cliff, Scarborough, YO11 2ES
Tel: 07967 759377
Image: Scarborough Antique & Collectors Centre
The next shop I found, which just so happened to be a couple of doors down, was 'Scarborough Antique & Collectors Centre', and what a little find it turned out to be! Again, a very small shop but as they say, "good things come in small packages". They seem to specialise in coins, stamps and medals, however, when you focus your eyes it's also packed with some absolute treasures! Fine antique jewellery, silver pieces and some marvellous novelty antique pieces. I came away very happy with the purchases I made and the staff were also very nice and extremely helpful. And, as I was getting a few pieces, they were happy to give me some discount too.
The first piece I purchased from them was this rare Victorian novelty ebony and silver combined propelling pencil and toothpick, all in the form of a sword stick.
The pencil had a twist mechanism to extend and the toothpick was attached to the removable handle at the top of the ebony barrel with attached suspension loop. Once the propelling head was out, you could twist the end to increase or decrease the length of the lead.
Unmarked but very likely by Sampson Mordan, & Co, c1880.
Needless to say, this piece didn't hang around long after I listed it!
My next purchase was this very sweet miniature antique silver, carnelian and bloodstone novelty fob in the form of a drum. A nice little find!
And, my final purchase here was this rather unusual but incredibly beautiful miniature sterling silver jug/boat/pourer of some kind, fully hallmarked Sheffield 1912 by Henry Atkin.
I've not seen another like it, certainly not with the covered nozzle. It's beautifully formed with striking details at every angle you look at it from. I'm not 100% sure that I want to part with this piece just yet. Maybe I'll enjoy it for a little while.
Overall, I highly recommend 'Scarborough Antique & Collectors Centre'. A small shop, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in the quality of treasures it holds. Definitely one for my list of antiques shops to visit regularly and I'm already counting down the days until my next visit.
Scarborough Antique & Collectors Centre
Address: 35 St Nicholas Cliff, Scarborough, YO11 2ES
Tel: 01723 365221
Image: Bond Jewellers
My final stop on my antiques trip was to 'Bond Jewellers' on Huntriss Row, and this, unfortunately, was where my trip took a turn for the worse...
I was looking to buy a few things here but the owner appeared unwilling to sell to me. Each piece I asked to look at was met with an abrupt "it's not marked up yet, so not for sale", which begs the question, why have your cabinets filled with stock if it's not for sale...? In fact, my visit got even worse when this chap told me "I only sell to proper dealers" and began directing me to a different shop altogether.
It was such a shame as I had cash to part with and there were pieces I wanted to buy. Furthermore, the lady who was working there that day was actually lovely and was, herself, a little taken aback by the attitude of her colleague. I felt as though he'd prejudged me as I entered the shop. I guess you could say my whole 'Bond Jewellers' experience has left me "shaken, not stirred" and I most certainly won't be returning there... Well...not until I'm a "proper" dealer anyway...
So, it's with regret that 'Bond Jewellers' gets the "gold finger" from me...
Well, that's it for this week folks. I hope you've enjoyed this little insight into the Scarborough antiques scene. As always, let me know what you think in the comments section below.
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So, until next week, stay safe, keep buying those antiques and keep spreading that Source Vintage love!
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