The So Last Century focus on Mid-century items creates a draw for dealers and shoppers alike.
Held at St Dunstan’s College, Catford, on October 15-16, the south London fair boasted 50 dealers and around 800 visitors a day.
Dellalicious Designs told ATG: “It’s framed differently instead of just a generalist fair.”
According to fellow exhibitor John Hayes, this leads to “visitors that are looking specifically for retro vintage items and not just outright antique, which is a large market at the moment”.
Among the buyers were Trevor and Dene, Mid-century ceramic collectors, leaving the fair with a 1950s fat-lava style lamp that they had found for £70. Having gone to the fair to peruse new ceramics, they said they couldn’t wait to get it back home and give it pride-of-place in their personal collection: “We just wanted something a bit different from another time.”
Fair organiser Alan Old has been holding Mid-century fairs since 2015 across south-east London and this venue has been in use since 2017 for a biannual event.
The venue’s Assembly Hall is the focal point, with the dark wood floors and walls, and the 18th century stained-glass window serves as a beautiful backdrop for all the exhibitors.
Claire, from antique map and print dealership Molly & Harlequin, said that Old’s venue choices are part of the appeal of the fair and adds that his organisational skill is one of the strengths.
Haydn and Wendy from Reynolds Interiors, who stalled out just outside the hall in the foyer, agreed that this is a great environment and the location interior encourages them to bring their more high-end items.
Range of price points
Offerings at a range of price points are certainly available.
One happy couple who had visited ‘just to have a browse’ were pleased to leave with a large Mid-century chair for £225 that was not only very comfortable but also fits well into their home aesthetic. Another couple came with a more focused goal in mind, searching for something to fill a specific space beneath their newly mounted TV. They snapped up a cabinet at £130, which suited the exact measurements.
Elsewhere, a buyer had walked past a painting at the Reynolds Interiors stand multiple times and eventually picked it up for £325.
Some more eclectic, smaller purchases were evident during the day as well. One woman found a pineapple ice bucket that had sentimental value as her parents had owned one while she was growing up; she’d been searching for one the entire summer and had finally found it at the fair for £30.
Second-time fair visitor and vintage clothing enthusiast Kat could not resist a red feline-themed jumper, also at £30.
Finally, a visitor who had seen a sewing kit used on social media to organise seed packets looked forward to repurposing one they found at the fair for £24 in the same way.