Running from November 11-13, the IACF event hosted hundreds of dealers featuring antiques, vintage items and collectable items.
Among the attendees was a young family who came from London after the event was recommended by another visitor who went the day before. They were quickly attracted to a small wagon for their baby to push as she starts walking and snapped it up for £10, sharing that they’d “rather buy a vintage one like this than a modern one” as a more recent design might not be as stable long-term.
Another child was bought a blue vintage toy dog for the nursery by an antique-savvy parent who attends every year from Bristol.
One young man was “dragged” to the fair by his grandparents – but ended up picking up a £20 vintage Dom Perignon box for knick-knacks and left very glad that he had come.
Elsewhere, some buyers came specifically seeking items for their homes. Purchases included old beer bottles in a wine crate (price £30) which went to decorate a new kitchen, to a £4 role of fabric to line curtains.
After searching antique stores for months to no avail, one visitor found the looked-for low-back Windsor chair with a crinoline stretcher for £300.
Other buyers came without a particular item in mind and dealers in furniture and large items noted lively interest.
One sold a £20 blanket box; another a slim lamp and chair for £80 to a buyer decorating their new Georgian house. A happy shopper, who had been visiting antique shops and fairs for 20 years looking for a sewing table, found one and acquired it for £359. She was thrilled with its ornate design.
‘Man-cave’ Mad Hatter
There was a market for weird and wacky items too. One young couple was spotted leaving with a Mad Hatter sculpture they had scooped up for £140. They said it would make the perfect unique decorative addition to the ‘man-cave’ in their house.
And let’s not forget the smalls: another lady was very pleased with the copper teapot that she had spotted that would fit perfectly with her conservatory aesthetic which was a very reasonable £7.
IACF is known for its large showground fairs with good variety and great atmosphere.
Its next Shepton Mallet fair is on March 17-19, 2023.