Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Boot sale bargains

On Sunday I took myself on a special excursion to the huge Battersea Park car boot sale, which runs every week, starting at a leisurely 12pm. I paid £3 to enter before 1.30pm (when the entrance fee reduces to 50p), eager to find some early bird bargains. I've been once before and not found anything I wanted to buy.

I quickly lost enthusiasm; this car boot sale is full of dealers with stalls (so not rock bottom prices), people selling knock-off cosmetics, and the occasional twenty-something trying to sell their old clothes and shoes. I was looking for middle-aged couples, with houses full of antiques and wanting to downsize - but I couldn't see any.

After almost an hour I was bored, empty-handed and ready to leave, even though some stalls had not even set up yet. I decided to do one final circuit of the dealers' stalls, and oops - within about 5 minutes I had bought a massive stash of second-hand goods.


My haul included:

Two tiny teacups, dated 1794, from Czechoslovakia. I didn't think they looked that old, to be fair, but my friend's husband Colin helpfully (or not) pointed out to me later that Czechoslovakia didn't exist in 1794 (only from 1918 to 1992, in case you're interested). Still, I wasn't buying them as an investment. I think that in my imagination I have an alternate career as a prop stylist, with the need for tiny and impractical tea cups...

And another three teacups - without saucers. I deliberated for quite a while about my official stance on cups without a saucer - even writing them off and going to a different stall - but then I decided I couldn't go too wrong with 3 cups for £1.






I only wanted one plate, but somehow I ended up with four plates and one matching saucer...


The below plates aren't all from this trip (the milk glass plate was from eBay and the bird plate was a gift) but I am beginning to have the vision realised for my kitchen wall. My favourite plate is the bird plate, which was a perfect gift from my friend Jenny.



As it turns out, at least the dealers understand the car boot sale clientele - and their prices were really reasonable. I just looked blankly at one newbie stallholder who tried to sell me two pretty tins for 5 times the price of the two older tins I had bought from a regular dealer.

Will I be back next week? Perhaps once a month. I'm trying to buy some stock for my tiny Etsy shop - but I end up wanting to keep everything for myself.

27 comments:

erin said...

oh! these are such great finds! wish i could been there to browse too!

Bonnie Bonsai said...

They are all beautiful and the designs apart from colourful, you'll never know where they will end up to in the future. I've been watching BBC's Antique Roadshow here, so watch out for any possible antiquity especially the designer's signature. Take good care of them and be careful with your cleaning or you might scratch a surface that is sensitive to the cleaning agent you might use. You'll never know. Amazing stuff!

Jackie said...

I didn't know you had an etsy shop-that is so great! I just love seeing what vintage goodies people can find!

Flora said...

oo I adore a boot sale. Can't wait till 'the season' starts! Have been meaning to investigate the battersea one,sounds mixed but you certainly picked up some treasures. Love the birdy plate and tins.
Good luck with your shop too

sarahunnewell said...

This is pretty exciting. I would love to find mismatched plates and impractical tiny tea cups for my tea to take up residence in. I wish we had the same kind of place to shop around in... (the only one I've found yet comes only once a year here in Atlanta.) but I'll continue to keep my eyes peeled. Congratulations on the finds.

Amber said...

Don't you just LOVE beautiful bargins_!!! I documented all mine in my blog this week too. I think we have similar tastes!

please sir said...

Very lovely - your finds are great!

Rebecca said...

I love vintage plates...I was given my grandmothers collection. Instead of hiding them away, I use them often. Her tea cups and saucers are my favorites to use.

Rachel said...

JEALOUS! Why do we call them flea markets and you call them boot sales? I think boot sale sounds much better.
Cups without saucers should be purchased because they are lonely and need company.

Lynne said...

Well, car boot makes sense to me because it literally is people selling goods from their car boot!

Anna Ander said...

Great finds! Tomorrow I'm going to treat you to a special Lynne post, and show you some tiny tea cups that I think you might like. All this because the chandelier with birds is impossible to shoot now, due to moving-house-chaos.(Never moved to a house before, it's madness. Or we're clueless, your pick.)

katy elliott said...

I love these finds!

margarita said...

I haven't been at that car boot sales for a long time, but after seeing your finds i am on my way there next week...you have got a good eye for it!!!

alohaabby said...

Etsy is great! Search "skank tea cup" at etsy there are adorable vintage "redone" tea cups with funny names on them. All quite crude..but amusing none the less. :)

Brittany Noel said...

Someday, I hope to have all mismatched serving- and silverware. I envision my guests picking their favorite to eat off of when they come over and myself choosing my plate based on mood. My silverware drawer will be a place of mystery and surprise!

Off to check out your Etsy shop!

Jan said...

See this is what happens Lynne when you are a 'Blog Of Note' - people find you :)
Been reading for ages, now I'm off to get a cuppa tea!

Madeline said...

what great finds! I have the teacups that are in your header picture. they are just perfect!

laissezfaire said...

Congrats on being Blogs of note too girl! Love these finds! x

pixelhazard said...

Stumbled across your blog and as i was about to leave, i noticed your request to comment. I love all things to do with tea, noone takes time with it anymore, so i am completely jealous of your finds! I haven't moved out of home yet and i already have lovely tea sets mum has kindly stored for me under the stairs. How do you manage to find a place for it all?
cheers
pixelhazard
Feel free to visit me

Cathy said...

I loved your finds. My favorite thing to do is shop flea markets. Most of my house is decorated with the items I have found.

May you find many treasures on next months visit!

marigirl said...

ooo, delightful. we have 'shrine sales' in Japan, like boot sales or flea markets, and I have the same problem trying to buy stuff for the shop and keeping it myself!! Love the tiny teacups. Tea cups here are all tiny and impractical, but frequent refills does keep it hot longer, I suppose. Love your blog!!

Sophie Appleby said...

What a fabulous trip you had! Amazing finds! I wish I could have come with you. I especially love love tins, just gorgeous.
Sophie x

that's all said...

I want this one with roses!

Rose said...

I've always fancied going to this one... good haul!

Edna said...

Wow, really great stuff, I love those beautiful designs, I wish I could be there... a bit too far for me...

Edna

The Shape said...

One of those tea sets reminded me of a set we have at home - it's been handed down for about 5 generations now and hasnt been used in about 50 years. I think everybody is afraid to go near it at this stage.

Very nice blog - a good find.

http://itsallrandommostly.blogspot.com/

Patchwork Harmony said...

ooh! I never new about this boot sale! I am hopefully moving down that side of London soon, so will definitely be checking it out! looks like you were in vintage china heaven! ;)
x