Here at Retrovert we are looking forward to a weekend filled with vintage loveliness. On Saturday we'll be at the Made It Market in the Guildhall and on Sunday at a wonderful new event in Cambridge - The Retro Ride, organised by the Cambridge Raincoat Company
and hosted by Plurabelle Books
on Purbeck Road, as part of Love Cambridge's Fashion and Beauty Weekend.
The event starts with an eco-friendly fashion show at 2pm, followed by The Retro Ride, a leisurely social bike ride inspired by cycle chic, and afternoon tea at 4.30pm. And if that wasn't enough it's all free! So if you love bikes, books and cake or, like us, all three
alongside a good helping of vintage, this is the event for you!
Throughout the day there will also be a vibrant Arts, Crafts and Vintage Fair , where we'll have our stall. Here's a few of the things we'll be bringing with us. Can you gues
s the theme?!
Yes, you got it! We're going all out patriotic and having a Red, Blue and White theme. Come along to Plurabelle Books on Sunday to check it out...
The lure of acquiring more vintage and retro china beckoned this weekend. Here are my highlights:
I found two charming sets of china decorated with roses. The first is aptly called 'Charm' and the second is a Royal Wessex design by Swinnertons. They would be great for adding a touch of vintage romance to a wedding breakfast.
With the buds on our apple and pear trees starting to appear, I'm starting to look forward to the promise of abundant fruits and I couldn't resist this bone china tea set.
This 24 piece Biltons Handpainted set was also too good to miss. The sunflower pattern shouts 'summer' and would be perfect for a picnic.
I am increasingly drawn to decorative backstamps on vintage plates. This Royal Cauldon 'Paradise' plate is made even more lovely by the floral pattern on the underside.
I was given this 'Pinkie' Crinoline Lady cup for free, as it was saucer-less. It just turns out I have a matching saucer. I knew my hoarding of lonely vintage china would pay off eventually!
With the Queen's Diamond Jubilee coming up, I couldn't resist these bits of commemorative ware. I particularly like the mug's romantic feel, with the presence of Prince Philip and the floral emblems of Britain's four nations.
I also added to our collection of blue & white and red & white for making patriotic cake stands. These Royal Doulton, British Anchor and Royal Tudor Ware plates are decorated with wistful countryside landscapes and nostalgic village scenes.
And finally, I was very excited to find this Johnson Brothers Indian Tree teapot. We sold two teasets in the same pattern recently and I really hope one of our customers will come back so they can complete their set with the matching teapot!
These newest finds will be on our Cambridge Market stall over the coming weeks.
If you are on the look out for something particular, do drop us a line and Jane and I will do our best to hunt it down for you!
This week saw Retrovert's first ever auction visit. We played it cool (though our hearts were racing!), carefully examining the lots and sticking to our maximum bids. Only once did we succumb to temptation and buy a lot unseen. Our best buy of the day was a mixed box of vintage china. It was an eclectic lot to say the least!
Bridgwood plates and Swinnertons bowls that evoke spring with their floral motifs and bright grass greens.
A lovely set of Grindley soup bowls c.1936-54
A delicate Hanley Porcelain Co cup from the turn of the century and a pair of generously sized Tuscan Bone China teacups and saucers.
A very heavy marble rolling pin for perfect pastry.
Items decorated with butterfly wings were fashionable between the 20s and 50s. Ethically I'm not sure how I feel about selling this tray - perhaps we could donate the money to Butterfly Conservation?
I have a feeling this Royal Winton vessel is for something else entirely, but I think it works well as a quirky vase.
And The Ugly:
Although some of these have a quaint charm, they are not really our style and will probably be soon coming to a charity shop near you. If you know anyone called Rosalind and Harry, we'd be quite happy to donate the dish to them free of charge! I am secretly scared that Jane is going to want to adopt the dog for her animal collection and knowing her love of kitsch she might take a fancy to some of the other quirky objets too.
Have you ever been to an auction? We'd love to know your best and strangest vintage or retro purchases!
Calling all local vintage lovers: We’re offering a voucher in the Cambridge Edition for 20% off our vintage homewares.
And we're even throwing in a free taster session in a traditional textile craft – spinning, dolly bobbin knitting or fingerloop braiding.
Head over to the Cambridge Edition's Vouchers Page
to download yours.
Bring the voucher along to our Cambridge Market stall on Monday 26th March and you'll get an even better bargain and the chance to try out a new skill.
We're getting in the mood for spring with vintage linens and china which celebrate an abundance of blooms, blossom and birdsong.
Spring blooms on a trio of Clarice Cliff Olde Bristol Porcelain plates.
We'll have lots of these springtime delights and more at Cambridge Market on Monday - perfect for vintage style afternoon teas, al fresco lunches and picnics in the park!
Today's finds are eclectic and revel in the joy of mixing and matching vintage.
A Hornsea 'Bronte' biscuit barrel.
A medley of blue and white - 'Blue Nordic', 'Olde Alton Ware', 'Indies' and 'Tower of London' patterns.
An almost turquoise hued Willow Pattern saucer by Samuel Radford.
A jug and plate in floral Johnson Bros patterns.
A collection of white and gold plates to upcycle into a cake stand.
Another plate featuring Crinoline Lady by Washington Pottery.
Royal mugs commemorating the Queen's coronation and Silver Jubilee.
A miscellany of china adorned with red and yellow roses.
As you can see it was a lovely, sunny day here in Cambridge. Hope it's just as good tomorrow when we are on our market stall!
It certainly did not feel as though spring was in the bracing air of chilly Cambridge as we braved gale force winds on our market stall yesterday.
Winds up to 45 miles battered us; a level defined by the Beaufort scale as enough to 'generally impede progress'! It certainly did impede us setting up our stall, and we spent the day chasing after labels and packaging gone astray. My heart leapt every time a particularly strong gust came and conjured up visions of broken crockery.
Several times we thought about packing up our retro wares and going home, but we stuck with it. Jane even had her picture taken for the Cambridge News, looking very much the part of a cold and windswept market trader.
Despite the wind's great effort, we managed to stay cheerful and luckily survived with no breakages. Several items did take off though - we managed to catch this Tams teaset and Mintons plate and save them from destruction.
Let's hope the weather takes it easier on us next week.
Our 14 mile bike ride to Oakington and back was proved worthwhile by all the lovely vintage finds we brought home with us.
It was the first time Jane and I had actually been shopping for the stall together. The items we each looked at highlighted the similarities and differences in our tastes for vintage and retro. I think this is why we have such a great mix of eclectic items to suit everyone.
Jane went home laden with lots of quirky china animals, a mysterious dish with holes in, and some great vintage dressing table items - a blue vanity set, a Wedgwood powder pot and a bedroom glass and decanter set.
Here is what ended up coming home with me:
A pair of Biltons coffee cups and saucers in their blue and grey handcoloured design.
An assortment of forget-me-not china.
A trio of 'Olde Bristol Porcelain' plates.
They are a Clarice Cliff reproduction of a design by decorator Fidelle Duvivier from the 1770s.
We are going to upcycle them into a three tier cake stand - perfect for romantic afternoon teas.
A tiny red rose Phoenix Opalware bowl, for sweets or summer fruits, perhaps.
'Pinkie' - another Crinoline Lady for our collection.
Some red and white china - 'Old Windor Locks' by Palissy and 'Homeland' by Alfred Meakin.
I'm thinking of combining them with blue and white countryside scenes to make some patriotic cake stands.
And finishing on the British theme, a Queen mug. I've never seen a pale blue Coronation one like this before.
I wonder what we'll find next week.
I got this lovely big storage jar at Trumpington car boot last week. The man I bought it from regaled me with a tale about how his father would put by all his small change in a big jar like this. I think it would take a very long time to fill this one up with pennies.
I bought it for the stall, but when I got back and showed off my purchases my Dad took an instant liking to it. He drills all the plates for our upcycled cake stands so of course we had to give it to him.
It does look beautiful in our kitchen. I even found some matching Tea and Coffee canisters in Hornsea's Fleur pattern yesterday, so I imagine these will be going the same way...