Thursday, 24 April 2014

Shopping: raiding the antique shops of Lewes

I had a lovely time recently visiting dear friends who have recently moved to Lewes, not far from Brighton.

It was brilliant to hang out and catch up (and eat fantastic fish and chips – well, just chips and a pickled egg for me – from their excellent local chippy). But what was almost as great? THE SHOPPING.

First off, I should highlight the one purchase of the trip (unusually restrained for me, and I didn't even buy it). It is this very beautiful and unusual etching of a duck in flight, which my boyfriend bought me for my birthday from one of Lewes's many antiques shops. I have put it up in the growing bird corner (see more on Pinterest), right by my side of the bed, so I can look at it while I'm lying there.

It appears to be in its original frame, as the artist details are on the back – it is by someone called Stuart N Pike, about whom I could find no information online, and it says it is etched onto calfskin. The mount is newer, made from some kind of thin wood. It's kind of odd, and I like it.

I also liked a lot of other things I saw. We spent ages at Lewes Flea Market, below.



It was packed with treasures.

I am still kicking myself about failing to buy this spectacular horse's head for £22. The rest of the stuff on this stall was a little dubious, I think it disrupted my usual shopping radar.

I can't resist things with compartments (anyone else?) and toyed with the idea of using these, above, to store shoes in by the front door. Not very practical since it would rule out all boots, hi-tops and heels. Couldn't think what else to use them for, so sadly they stayed put.


I have an inherited biscuit jar in the Hornsea Pottery range – like the coffee pot on the left of that glass shelf, above. I keep meaning to buy more Hornsey stuff when I see it cheap, like this (it was £6), but I am hoping I'll find a whole bundle of it together in a charity shop. We went to a beautiful cafe in a local park over the Easter weekend and all their crockery, on tables and displaying cakes and stuff on the counter was this gloriously homely brown, 70s Hornsea stuff. I was inspired, it looked fantastic.

This was another antiques emporium on the high street, it was over several floors and is the place the bird etching came from. A little less random than the flea market, it had carefully curated shelves of Fat Lava pots (below)...

... and collectible (and always pricey) Clarice Cliff china, below.

Next we went to Wickle, Lewes's smallest department store (possibly anywhere's smallest department store, in fact).

What a beautifully designed interior it had. Love the colours of the battered wood panels above, and the elephant's head.

It's got its own little cafe at the back of the shop.

And another at the front, just serving take-aways. What fantastic signage!

Spotted this clever idea for a children's light, too.

And ogled these colourful blankets. 

This is the exterior, modelled by Anthony, baby Rudy and Reggie the dog, looking a little disconcerted – Anthony is the other half of my creative friend Holly who has featured here before.

And aside from all that shopping, Lewes is just ridiculously pretty. Can't wait to go back.

Post by Kate

3 comments:

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  2. Lewes looks AMAZING. I could do some damage in the flea market, wow!

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