Friday, 7 December 2012

My top finds ever!

I love all my finds although having said that, I would say that I'm actually quite fickle when it comes to my finds (luckily for Mark I'm not fickle in my relationships).  I will really, really, really love something and it will be my best find ever and nothing could ever replace it until............the next thing that I really, really, really love comes along.  There are some things however that I will love forever and will never part with.  I love them so much that I thought I would share with you my delights and the things that make me so happy.

First up is a very rare 1930s, mirrored french radio

1930s mirrored radio

This was hard to photograph (thank you Eve Bellamy for the photos!) but I hope you can see some of the detail.  I found this at Ardingly Antiques market and as soon as I saw it across the field, I was there swooping down and sweeping it up in my arms.  I love original 1930s french mirrored pieces and this was my find of the year as they are getting so hard to find.  I asked how much and was stunned when the seller said that it was only £10 as he had dropped it that morning and 2 pieces of glass had come off.  He still had one bit that was easy to glue on and the other bit that had broken didn't detract so for £10 it would have been rude not to.

1930s mirrored radio

That isn't the end of the story though, Mark in his wisdom decided that the radio wasn't quite damaged enough so when he glued the broken glass back on, he decided to do some 'restoration' work.  When I say he felt it wasn't damaged enough, I mean that this must have been what was going through his mind when he decided to take a scouring pad, scouring side up, to the glass panel at the front and proceeded to scour all the radio stations off.  I KNOW, I COULD HARDLY BELIEVE IT MYSELF!!!  I came in at that moment and asked in a calm, high pitched strangulated voice what he was doing to which he replied that he was 'cleaning it up for me'  He had already decided to take off the slightly grubby covering of the speaker and was now proceeding to scour away any value what so ever.  I can't quite remember how this ended but no doubt there was plenty of deep breathing on my part and a mantra going round in my head, 'he was only trying to help',  'he was only trying to help.'
Needless to say Mark is not allowed to 'restore' anything of mine ever again!

1930s french peach mirrored chest of drawers

Staying on the mirrored theme, my 4th most favourite find is my 1930s french mirrored chest of drawers.  Now these really are like hen's teeth and I have never seen one like this here in the UK so I know how lucky I was to find it.  Mark and I had been away just after Christmas and were driving home on New Years day when I asked him if we could drive past my favourite shop Three Angels.  I used to just drive past when it was closed so I could get my fill of french loveliness without being tempted to buy anything.  This strategy DOES NOT work!  I have bought so many pieces when its been closed because I see them in the window and go straight down there the next day to buy them.

The chest I actually saw before we had even parked the car.  I literally saw it as we were driving to the shop from about 100 yards away.  I am very eagle eyed when I want to be. As the shop was shut, I went in the next day, slapped down my deposit and fell in love.  The colour is perfect, I love the etched flowers, its so pretty and glamorous, the list could go on and on.

Gorgeous green cabinet

My third favourite find is this green cabinet that I found in Brighton.  I saw it in the shop window and fell in love, the green is exactly my colour and I wanted it.  Then I saw the price tag.........I wasn't going to be having it (I think my eyes actually started watering!)  A few weeks went by and it was still on my mind so next time I went into town I thought I'd take a detour to the shop just to see if it was still there.  It was and not only that but it had also been heavily discounted and I knew then that it was mine.

It has the original leaded glass and is perfect for holding all my most precious objects.  It is absolutely solid and the shelves are solid wood, it can hold a lot of weight.  I think it is late 1800s, early 1900s although I'm not sure.  It came out of an old farmhouse and the thing I love most about it is..........

........these scratch marks where the naughty farm cat decided to use it as a scratching post!  They are exactly the same on both sides so he obviously scratched on whichever side took his fancy!
This piece is very precious to me and one that I look at daily especially as it has my favourite photos of my mum and dad in pride of place.

My second favourite pieces aren't vintage finds but they are handmade and I think you'll agree, are very special indeed.

Wally and Sasha

My mum and I had 5 cats, Sasha, Fleur, Katie, Chloe and Wally.  They were our family and I used to get a birthday and Christmas card every year from them (obviously my mum wrote them as cats can't write, right?).  When I was at University and used to ring home, my mum would even get me to say hello to Sasha who used to respond with a miaow!  I loved these cats so much but unfortunately when my mum got very ill and could no longer stay at home I had to find new homes for all the cats.  We couldn't have them as Mark is very allergic and suffers from asthma and it wouldn't have been fair on them to be in such a small environment.  Sasha was the oldest and was 22/23.  I managed to find him an old cats home where I hope he enjoyed his last days, I often think about him as he was my favourite and we'd had him since I was a little girl.  Wally was the baby and was so funny.  He was actually named Orlando, shortened to Olly and then renamed Wally because he was! 
Anyway just before Mark and I got married, I discovered James Cochrane and his papier mache pets.  It was a no brainer, I had to get him to make me a model of my beautiful cats and so Wally was the first to be created and I received him as a wedding present from my lovely husband.

Wally is on the left, a funny fluffy thing!
Then when I turned 30, Mark commissioned James to make Sasha, the best birthday present I could have had.
Sasha, a big old tabby with huge paws
Mum and sasha
Baby Sasha and my mum
These would definitely be what I saved in a fire and I love them with all my heart.  I think James did an amazing job and really captured Sasha and Wally.

So what's my favourite find of all time?  Well its got to be these

An old bakerlite radio and a vintage set of eyelashes.  Whats so special about these I hear you ask, well shortly after my mum moved into a nursing home, Mark and I were at a collectibles fair at Hove town hall.  I bought a few bits and pieces when I stumbled upon these eyelashes.  My name is Fiona so obviously I had to buy them.  They even have the original glue and attacher thing.  I have never seen any before or since and actually think its a bit random to call them Fiona!  So we carried on going round the fair when I found this
I really liked it and thought it was unusual but it wasn't until I turned it round that I realised why I had been so drawn to it

The sticker on the back said that it played the song Goodnight Irene and my mum's name is Irene.  It was absolutely fate that I would find both these items at the same fair especially during such an emotional time.  My mum and I together for always in whatever capacity.
I have never seen either of these items since and I have looked for them.  I was definitely meant to find them, they were destined to be mine and I will never ever let them go.

So there you have it, my top finds.  None of them have any particular monetary value but that it isn't the point.  These are the items that give me so much pleasure and that I have a real emotional attachment too especially my cats, radio and eyelashes, I wouldn't be without them!


  1. What fab finds...and lovely stories too x

    1. Thanks Clare! Just read your feature in Pretty Nostalgic, great article and your hats look stunning.xx

  2. Loved seeing your favourite finds & reading the stories behind them. My favourite find has to be the locked old tin trunk found in an outside store room which when forced open contained a little girl's doll & toy collection from the 1920's (they were rapped in newspapers dated 1927).

    1. Glad you liked them Jayne. I would have loved to have been there when you opened the trunk, how amazing and imagine the little girl who they belonged too. i love stories like that.x

  3. PS...I can spell 'wrapped' 'w' key is dodgy & doesn't always work unless I bash it!

  4. Mmmmmm yes I have fallen foul of some heavy handed restoration before... my own, isn't it the most annoying thing?

    Jean x

    1. I could have strangled him Jean but it was my fault as I shouldn't have trusted him after he re-painted my room in rented accommodation with GLOSS paint! It was so heavy that the wallpaper started coming off the walls. I should have known then that Mark wasn't the 'restoration' type! x