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antiques FAIR focus

f o th ir on a F m e h t

Antiques in the flora Shop for Welsh pottery and textiles among the vegetation of the National Botanic Garden of Wales FEATURE Rosanna Morris PHOTOGRAPHS Jason Ingram


hat a treat on a cold, wet day in January, to step inside the giant greenhouse of the National Botanic Garden of Wales and into a tropical microclimate. Birds tweet and butterflies flit and, through the overhanging foliage, you spy several oil paintings, a cow creamer or two and a bentwood rocker. It’s like hunting for antiques in a jungle. ‘Antiques and gardens go hand in hand,’ says organiser Brita Rogers of Derwen Antiques, who was invited by the garden to put on a fair here two years ago. The mix of glasshouses and gardens in the Welsh countryside near Carmarthen is the result of the vision of local artist William Wilkins who, in the 1980s, suggested creating a garden for the public on the site of the surviving ruins of Middleton Hall, a grand Regency mansion owned by William Paxton. Stands can be found in four locations across the site but the most impressive assortment has to be beneath the spectacular dome, which is the largest single span glasshouse in the world. Here we found a Carlton Ware mushroom cruet set, old irons hidden in the convolvulus scoparius and a woman looking through a stereoscope at pictures of London’s Tower Bridge. Over in the Principality House, the former servant’s quarters and the only part of the mansion still standing, you could admire a fine selection of Welsh pottery, including Nantgarw (as featured in our November issue) as well as Ewenny, Swansea and Llanelli. But the most fitting purchase of the day had to be an original 1950s Portmeirion ‘Botanic Garden’ dish – a snip at £10. 110 H&A JANUARY 2014

clockwise from this image The spectacular dome rising out of the Welsh countryside was designed by Foster + Partners; this dealer has used every last inch of space on his table; old irons in the Convolvulus scoparius; Joan Thomas and Beth Jenkins’ beautifully styled stand; polishing glassware

In brief The next antiques fair at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire, takes place on 11th-12th January, 10am-4.30pm, £2.50. 01267 220260; JANUARY 2014 H&A 111

antiques FAIR focus

£10 STALL stories

Joan Thomas and Beth Jenkins

Buyer’s tip

£5 Elin Davies picked up a doll’s chair for her daughter Eva’s bedroom for a mere £5

Anne Jenkins thought this Ewenny jug would look lovely in her kitchen. ‘I knocked the dealer down to £70. It has Welsh for ‘morning milk’ written on it’

If you find yourself overloaded with buys, take a ride on the botanic garden land train that transports visitors back to the car park

Oriental porcelain collectors Mark and Jan Brown paid a tenner for a small Imari plate

Mid-century lover Meri Huws was chuffed with her 1960s Roberts Radio, £50. ‘I like to wander around antiques fairs just for the love of it’


Lurking in the canopy of a Leucadendron (a South African flowering plant also known as Safari Sunset) were friends Joan Thomas (right) and Beth Jenkins and Beth’s eight-year-old son Tom. While selling for them is a recent hobby, you’d be forgiven for thinking they were seasoned pros thanks to their eye for beautiful, stylish items that were expertly arranged in the undergrowth. Most of their stock is either from their homes or car boot sales. ‘We thought we’d sell a few pieces that we’ve collected over the years,’ says Joan. ‘Some are family heirlooms, like this sign from my aunt and uncle’s charging depot at Pontardawe in the 1930s. Everything we sell has a story.’ ‘I’ll buy things for the house, keep them a while, enjoy them and then move them out so I can collect more,’ adds Beth. ‘There’s only so much you can keep but sometimes it’s hard to part with them.’ Their offerings on our visit included a Boy’s Own annual, Welsh blankets, vintage Beatrix Potter books, baskets, gorgeous spongeware pieces, oil paintings, antlers, a 77-piece Copeland Spode dinner service and a chair upholstered by Beth in Melin Tregwynt fabric. Much of their stock had, unsurprisingly, been snapped up by the end of the day.

£ 50

Pooch of the day

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Only guide dogs are allowed to visit the botanic garden but you could return home with a pooch in your handbag, as there were canine antiques available in varying forms, including this rather stroppy pug, on sale for £18.

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antiques FAIR dates We caught up with Cathy Dorran (left) and Susan Martin heading home with their spoils, which included a beautiful 1890 quilt (£140), a child’s rocking chair (£20) and a set of 1950s scales (£10)

Bryony Ball and her daughter Carys loved their find: a framed ‘Praise the Lord’ tapestry stitch work (£8) from a chapel in Port Talbot. ‘I think it dates back to 1840 when the chapel was built,’ says Bryony

at the fairs We’ll be at the National Botanic Garden’s fair in January. Come and say hello and pick up great deals on magazines and subscriptions. Use our handy key to find out where else we are in January Find us and read our fair reports at at the

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£10 £20

January fair dates Our guide to some of the best fairs around the country this month, with special ticket offers and details of where you can pick up great H&A deals, including magazines, subscriptions and more…

Key 2-for-1 on tickets to this event (please show this page on entry)

2-for-Free on tickets to this event (please show this page on entry)

Come and see the Homes & Antiques team at this fair for fantastic offers

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10th-12th Galloway Antiques & Fine Art Fair, The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire. £5. 01423 522122; 12th Vintage Village, Stockport Market Hall, Market Place, Stockport. Free. 25th Saltaire Vintage Home & Fashion Fair, Victoria Hall, Victoria Road, Saltaire, West Yorkshire. £2. 07985 181120; 31st-2nd February Stafford Bingley Hall Antiques Fair, County Showground, Stafford. £5. 01274 588505;


18th Mainwaring’s Seaside Brocante, St Mary’s Hall, Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent. £1. 01227 773037


5th Liberty Green Antiques & Collectables Fair, Beaufort Park Hotel, Mold, Flintshire. £1. 07572 109520; 5th & 26th Bath Vintage & Antiques Market, Green Park Station, Green Park Road, Bath. Free. 07723 611249; 11th-12th The National Botanic Garden of Wales Antiques Fair, Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire.

£2. 01267 220260; 11th-12th Margam Park Antiques, Art & Design Fair, The Orangery, Margam Park, Port Talbot. £4. 01327 264624; 17th-19th Shepton Mallet Antiques & Collectors Fair, Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset. £10 (Friday), £5 (Saturday and Sunday). 01636 702326; 25th-26th Highcliffe Castle Antiques & Collectors Fair, Highcliffe Castle, Rothesay Drive, Highcliffe, Dorset. £2. 01590 677687;

26th Shepton Giant Flea and Collectors Market, Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset. £2.50. 01278 784912;


3rd-5th The Cotswolds Decorative Antiques & Fine Art Fair, Westonbirt School, Tetbury, Gloucestershire. £5. 01278 784912; 5th Malvern Flea & Collectors Fair, Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcestershire. £4. 01636 676531; 11th Northampton Vintage Jumble, St Matthew’s Parish Centre, 27a The Drive, Northampton. £1. 07827 228747; northamptonvintagefair. 12th Antiques Fair, Wicksteed Park, Barton Road, Kettering,

Northamptonshire. £2.50. 01636 700497; 17th-19th The Tatton Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair, Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire. £5. 01278 784912; 26th Malvern Antiques & Collectors Fair, The Severn Hall, Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcestershire. £3. 01636 676531; 27th Donington Antiques Market, Donington Park, Castle Donington, Derby. £4 (7.30am-9am), £2 (9am-1pm). 01298 27493;


7th-8th Ardingly International Antiques & Collectors Fair, South of England Showground, Ardingly, nr Haywards Heath, West Sussex. £20 (Tuesday), £5 (Wednesday). 01636 702326;

9th-12th The Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art Fair, The London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square, Duke Street, London. £10. 01797 252030; 11th The London Ceramic Fair, Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, Kensington, London. £2.50. 07940 282324; 11th-12th Detling Antiques & Collectors Fair, The Kent County Showground, Detling, nr Maidstone, Kent. £5 (Sat), £4 (Sun). 01636 676531; b2bevents. info 2-FOR-1 entry after 10am 12th The London Vintage Fashion, Textiles & Accessories Fair, Hammersmith Town Hall, King Street, London. £10 (8am10am), £5 (10am-5pm). 020 8543 5075; 12th Adams Antiques Fair, The Royal Horticultural Hall, Lindley Hall, Victoria, London. £4. 020 7254 4054;

14th & 28th Sunbury Antiques Market, Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex. Free. 01932 230946; 18th Vintage & Very Nice Wedding Bazaar, The Assembly Rooms, North Street, Chichester. Free. 01243 531074; 19th Handmade & Vintage Bazaar, Petersfield RFC, Penns Place, Petersfield, Hampshire. Free. handmadevintagebazaar 21st Sandown Park Antique & Vintage Fair, Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher, Surrey. £5 (11am-12pm), £3 (12pm-4pm). 020 7249 4050; 31st-2nd Petersfield Antique Fair, The Festival Hall, Heath Rd, Petersfield, Hampshire. £3. 01825 744074; Please check before travelling, as fairs can be cancelled or postponed after we go to press JANUARY 2014 H&A 115

Homes & Antiques  

Fair focus January 2014

Homes & Antiques  

Fair focus January 2014