Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Collecting Vintage China: Durham Antiques and Collectors Fair

Something a little different now – a post that is not based on clothes!

I recently visited my home town of Durham for a job interview (more on that later) and utilised the trip as an excuse to spend a little time with my family.

So being at home talk inevitably turned to weddings and the collectables my mother and I have been acquiring for my wedding reception. Between us we now have many sets of china tea sets, cake stands, dishes and more! It has become a terrible addiction for the two of us so much so we made another trip to the local antiques fair to collect more items…

The fair is held once a month in New College Durham and has hundreds of stalls with all kinds of collectable pottery, glassware, jewellery and more - even better it only costs £1.20 for entry.

We arrived early for opening but it wasn’t so busy, I think the rain was keeping everyone away.

Prices varied enormously! There were stalls with high quality pieces for the collector but also ex-house clearance stock tables with everything for as little as £2.

There were lots of tea sets to be had. An item that appeared a lot was the Royal Albert Country Roses tea set which is a set that I love but my grandmother has a lot of so I always look at it longingly but know I cannot buy it. I did manage to get hold of a gorgeous hand painted green floral tea set with hand painted gold edging. The set was listed as £28 but lucky me manages to haggle so that I could get it for £20! I think this set is gorgeous, I’m not sure I want to use it for the wedding – maybe I’ll just keep it.

An even greater steal was a cute English tea set with a printed floral pattern in sort of blues and greens. This set was 6 pieces but with no jug of sugar bowl I was able to take it away for only £5! What a bargain!

I really liked all the glass dishes and jugs, in various colours and ranging in price from around £2 to over £30! I came across a large batch of milk jugs in glass and china for only £2 each, great for any mismatched tea set, and I large blue 20s look fruit salad bowl with individual dishes and a few green glass dishes for as little as £2 each.

Although I didn’t buy any jewellery there was plenty on offer from cheap faux pearl bracelets, vintage rings and antique watches.

Something I feel compelled to mention is the Sunderland Lustreware pottery that was on offer. I was born in the, then town, of Sunderland so I can’t help but feel some allegance with these items. They typically feature a religious phrase or passage and perhaps an image, the colour is typically a very distinctive pink. I am personally not a fan of the style, but I am proud of something that I has become so collectable from my home town.

My favourite stall by far was that of Busy Bee Studio! Busy Bee is also a lovely little website that sells vintage trinkets, hand made, painted shabby chic items and lots of rustic goodies. Their ethos was very well represented in their stall with all kinds of gorgeous things that helped me forget about the rain!

After browsing the website I discovered that they run crafting workshops, hold house parties and even have a gorgeous blog with loads of rustic vintage ideas.

I love them! Go have a look :D

I’m really glad to see this lovely example of the vintage scene in Durham and its good to know I will be returning to wonderful things when I move back to the North.

P.S. Here are some cool milk bottles my parents had delivered, with retro style adverts printed on them! Our milkman is cool. Oh and a picture of my cat...


  1. Haha, I'm glad I'm not the only one who buys something 'for an event' and thinks 'nah I'll just keep it'!

  2. Oh that looks fab. I didn't know this was held at New College. I'm going to drag my husband along to the next one!

  3. This looks like fun. Thank you for the follow. Your blog is great and I love that you write for Den of Geek, what a great site. Lucy xx


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