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Spitalfields Antiques Market 2

April 1, 2010
by the gentle author

Continuing this occasional series, I am delighted to introduce four more traders from the antiques market held each Thursday in Spitalfields. With all kinds of drapes and flags hung up, antique carpets spread out, rails filled with old clothes and lines of stalls piled with antiques, bric-a-brac and curios spreading onto the floor, it is a breathtaking spectacle. And, since most of the traders are also collectors and are naturally curious to see what everyone else has for sale, they all go prowling around and the whole event spontaneously ignites into a great big party.

This debonair gentlemen with the intrinsically cool attitude goes by the name of Tem. As a photographer and theatre designer, he comes upon all kinds of interesting props that he uses in his work and sells them afterwards on his stall. Specialising in nineteen thirties and forties items, Tem cherishes a vintage pair of sunglasses with mirror-reflective lenses and gold-plated frames in mint condition with their original case, a movie star accessory that can be yours for the right price.

This friendly bearded fellow in the Guernsey is Steve Sorrell who has been buying and selling furniture from his home in West Sussex for thirty years, originally dealing in Art Deco, now he sells anything quirky. Steve became passionate when I asked him about the market, clearly relishing the social event as the highlight of his week, he broke into a big smile, waving his arms and declared with magnanimous enthusiasm “It’s the best antique market in London, without a doubt. There’s a great buzz here and it just keeps getting better and better!”

This flirty lady modelling her pink silk bag is Annie Curtis Jones who has enjoyed a distinguished career as a costume designer for films for over thirty years. A popular and highly respected figure among the traders, Annie confided, “I love the market, I like to bring different stuff every week. I come here when I’m not working on a project and you meet all sorts of remarkable people.” Recently Annie has been making cushions and bags using her vast collection of antique silk scarves. Every one is unique and they are exclusive to Paul Smith and Liberty but you can buy them direct from Annie at her stall.

This guy showing off his spiffy jacket is Jeremy Freedman, photographer, market trader and all round charismatic entrepreneur. Jeremy trawled the charity shops of the Lake District while he was there on assignment last month to top up his stock of  “tut and tat, schmutter and antiques.” I was more interested in an early edition of Babar than the vintage soda syphon, complete with a stack of refill canisters that Jeremy wanted to sell me, but when he described it as “a Summer of soda” it suddenly became an enticing proposition.

All photographs copyright © Jeremy Freedman

One Response leave one →
  1. Lucy permalink
    April 1, 2010

    Like the new header!

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