MIDCENTURY SHOW EAST - REVIEW, PICS AND TOP 5 PIECES
On Sunday, I took my brother Will along to the Midcentury East show, based at Haggerston school. Designed by Erno Goldfinger, the school itself is a great piece of midcentury architecture. Sunday it was filled with the very best of the UK's top Midcentury modern furniture dealers, and I went along to take snaps, pick my favourite pieces and meet some dealers.
We arrived after an easy drive from Croydon. I don't think I've ever flown through London so quickly, green lights everywhere! On the door I met Lucy Ryder Richardson, founder of the show in the flesh, after interviewing her recently over email. The entrance hallways was filled with industrial midcentury goodies and further down we could see some artwork stands. But before getting carried away we went into the first room, the school's main hall and one of the biggest rooms of the day.
It's in this room that I met Charlie, one of the co-founders of MAR-DEN, who have only been running since Dec 2012 and already firmly established themselves in the midcentury scene. Charlie previously worked as an agent for stand up comedians and then decided to jump ship and join the wonderful world of antiques and vintage dealing. He was the owner of the exquisite Art Deco armchairs with chrome arms, which are still for sale here. I asked him if he could tell me a bit about them...
'They're British, classic 1930s chrome, we liked them because they're quite like the designer called cox. We don't know their exact provenance but we expect them to be something like that. We had them reupholstered as they originally turned up one in red and one in blue lining, with the springs tied together with string! We had them reupholstered in Nina Campbell herringbone fabric which cost a fair bit but it was worth it.'
Whilst moving around and gawking at the beautiful furniture I made sure to grab some snaps of the architecture and finishes, all still so true to their original day.
Out in the hallways, we were greeted by a plethora of stands selling everything from vintage artwork to vases and keepsakes. We met an older dealer who told us he didn't have a business card as he did this 'as a hobby' and when I used the word vintage he quickly added:
'I hate the use of the word vintage. It's thrown about so easily. Just because your granny owned it and threw it out, doesn't make it good.'
Ha ha! What a great character. He had this beautiful icicle sculpture that I fell in love with, but at the £175 price tag I knew I wouldn't be able to get that one past hubby without some strange looks. So I walked away, staring longingly... I will dream of you icicle!
My brother and I both adored this Burmese girl dancer piece, which is still available from Saunders Fine Art for £280. Might have to save for that one and make a purchase!
We headed into a second area and took in some more fabulous pieces. Seeing the quality and perfection of each item made me realise that you really do get what you pay for, and some people may think that these items are a little pricey, but;
a) when you've been to the Decorative fair a week before and everything is on average a few grand, £500 doesn't seem that much
b) every piece here is in perfect condition, with a totally unique look. No junk sales scrambles here, this is QUALITY.
The dealers of the area with the large light my brother is standing next to are GP Lights and More, the perfect sideboard is from DaSilva Interiors, and the music station is from Retro Bazaar, who have some really great and affordable decorative items.
Just as we thought we were reaching the end we walked through a small hallway and into... another HUUUUUGE room full of goodies!
The sofa area really beats DFS huh?!
The wire chairs are by Warren Platner and sold by Flure Grossart and were even featured in James Bond's 'The Quantum of Solace'!
This fair gets bigger and better every time I come along. I was truly overwhelmed by all the fabulosity (as my girl Kimora Lee Simmons would say, what's up Kimora). Just as I thought we had taken in as much as would could, this beautiful, crazy, cool piece caught my eye.
You all know I love a palm tree. This awesome lamp is in the style of Maison Jansen and is Italian 1950's. Just as I was checking out the tags I heard 'Are you Sarah?'
I turned round and was met with a cool, flame haired girl. 'I'm Alys, from Nanadobbie!' she said.
Ahhh! I knew this name!
Alys is one of the Antiques Young Guns, a group of young dealers under 40 who are creating ripples throughout the antiques industry by bringing the old to the world of the new. I'm a big supporter and have even been along to a dinner where I met most of the young guns themselves. I was hoping I'd one day meet Alys, as she's one of the few AYGs who deal in mostly 20th century antiques. Alys was super easy to chat to and had some pretty special stock. I'm absolutely smitten with that floor lamp!
After a quick chat and a vow to meet again, Will and I headed outside to grab a bite to eat after I made my one purchase of the day, a brilliant abstract print from Design: Post War & Before (I can't find a link to their site anywhere - annoying)! I won't share it now as will save for when it's hung.
My top picks
I tried to cut it down to three but I just couldn't.
In fifth place It's the funky palm tree lamp from nanadobbie!
Fourth up is the Burmese dancing girl from Saunders Fine Art.
Third is that brilliant, light catching icicle ornament from the man without a business card who hates the word vintage.
Is the William Plunkett geometric chrome armed, leather upholstered and Rosewood shelled armchair from 20th Century Marks. Seriously dying and going to heaven here (you hear me say that a lot right? I like armchairs).
First up are the beautiful Art Deco chairs from MAR-DEN. I loved them so much I even went back for a second angle. Yum.
Phew! I'm worn out just thinking about all of this stuff that I don't own. It's hard work isn't it?! Soon though, soon :)
So that's my Midcentury Modern show done, until next time!
To find out when the next Midcentury Modern show is on and where, check out their site. If you have any questions about who was selling any pieces in the pics above, just ask. I have all of the card and can probably remember who was selling what.
Have you ever been to the Midcentury Modern shows? Would you go along next time? Leave your comments below in Disqus!