So says Keeley Harris of Discover Vintage, who runs her vintage home shows in Coventry (60 exhibitors), Manchester (55) and Leeds (45). Here is a short profile on dealers who stand at these eight annual events.
Gill Ford from Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire finds that buyers at the shows have a wide range of tastes so she tries to offer a broad selection of stock at prices from £7.50 for a cup and saucer up to around the £150 mark for a quality piece of Scandinavian pottery.
She says: “The 1950s-’60s pieces by Glyn Colledge for Langley and Denby are always popular. I also do well selling a range of Scandinavian ceramics including Arabia Finland, Figgjo Flint and Rorstrand.
“I am fortunate to have some really good second-hand markets where I live, which have thrown up some surprising finds over the last few years.
“We also go to Europe once a year where the fleamarkets yield good results.”
Ford has a soft spot for ceramic birds, adding: “I have an Italian yellow and grey Bitossi dove, an amazing blue and white Danish bird by Gerd Hiort Petersen for Soholm Pottery, and a Wuzu bird plate designed by Tibor Reich for Denby in the mid-50s.”
Small furniture is the biggest seller at these fairs for Lynn and Brendan Hawthorne from Wednesbury in the West Midlands who will be standing at the Leeds Vintage Home Show at Pudsey Civic Hall on Sunday, March 24.
Lynn said: “Customers like items that are useful as well as attractive and they’ve also got a good eye for style, so strong statements are popular. We try to have a range of goods on offer from small items at just under £10 to special pieces at £300-500, with lots in between. Our average price is £40- 80 at these fairs.”
Many fair exhibitors get the bug by selling off their collections at fairs and the Hawthornes did just that.
“That’s how we started in this game, with collections spilling over and higher quality pieces replacing early buys,” adds Lynn.
“If it’s Scandinavian or Italian, it immediately attracts our attention, not because it’s in vogue but because we like it.
“We have glass and ceramic collections and every wall in our house has become an art gallery.”