So today we visited the Arthur Swallows Decorative Home & Salvage Show at Tatton Park and it was great! I was searching for fab finds for our refurbishment of Moregeous Mansions this summer, with a totally open mind and no particular item on my radar. I was expecting a good rummage but it was actually quite civilised, with everything laid out on beautifully staged stands, friendly & helpful traders and a great vibe. No rummaging required. I was only sorry that we’d filled our boots at Levenshulme Market as the wood fired oven pizzas and cake in the prettily decorated food marquee looked so good. Pimms too, can’t go wrong.
There were lots of crates, brass & copper and coat hooks, tonnes of interesting bits of old timber, taps and garden bits & pieces. We got there around 1pm and were totally submerged in salvage / vintage for three hours! So much to see and deliberate over and really hard to make final decisions. I wasn’t focused on French style vintage but if that’s your thing, get down there tomorrow as there was lots on offer. Mr M couldn’t believe the prices for old fire brigade equipment and rues the days he didn’t bring parts of his fire station home 😉
I wanted to buy SO much but had to reign myself in, as it was we had to nip into Knutsford for more dosh #verynaughty
I bought a beautiful brass bowl which we’re going to use as a wash basin after some minor adjustments – ie a plug hole – added, two amazing white marble garden tables with ornate cast iron bases and also the big chunks of cast iron below. These, believe it or not, were once owned by Gloria Estefan who owned a huge country pile in Oxfordshire with it’s own orangerie. She sold up to a developer, who sold up to a dodgy Russian oligarch who proceeded against all the planning rules to totally demolish the beautiful listed orangery, getting himself a £30,000 fine in the process. The man on the stall’s father was one of the sub-contractors laying the York stone which then paved over the whole lot, tragic and utterly misplaced in Oxfordshire. And that’s how he came about the grates, they originally ran around the perimeter of the orangery, over the top of the channels carrying the water away. And now I have them, Moregeous Mansions is three steps from Gloria and she’s free to visit whenever she pleases.
Tips for Salvage Buying
- Take plenty of cash, much easier to barter with readies
- Go in hard, offer 1/3 of the asking price and work your way up if you really want the item
- Prepare to walk away, you can always come back 😉
- Take measurements if you’re looking for a particular item to make sure it fits, there’s rarely a return policy
- Be honest with yourself, do you *really* love it, or are you getting carried away?
- Go for classic items with longstanding value rather than fads
- Check it’s actually vintage, there are a lot of fakes around, especially crates and aged wooden furniture. Most stall holders will tell you if you ask.
- It’s not John Lewis, it might not be there tomorrow. If you really want it and the stallholder won’t haggle, just buy it and love it forever.
In my opinion this fair is well worth a visit at £5 per person and is on tomorrow, 15th June too. Under 16’s free, plus a parking charge of £5 per car.
Excellent afternoon’s pottering and spending, top marks, a very happy Sian.