How old is old? How old is antique? What about vintage? Today, I went to Battlesbridge Antiques Centre in the heart of the Essex countryside. After becoming obsessed with Kirstie’s Homemade Home I thought it would be interesting to go to an antique centre and have a browse about. The main centre is set in a lovely old granary building with other buildings around it also housing lots of antiques. I say antiques but it was a mixture of trash, reproduced furniture, old furniture given a paint job and the old stuff. It was hard to know if anything was at a reasonable price and to be fair I didn’t really see anything that made me go “wow, I’ve got to have that”. It felt like it was a bit of a tourist trap with over-priced second-hand stuff being disguised as antiques.
I’m just so confused over what is antique, vintage and just second-hand. There are a few vintage clothes shops near where I work and after having a browse in them I decided that they are called vintage because the shops don’t smell like charity shops. The prices of these ‘retro’ clothes was just unbelievably expensive. I suppose they can charge these prices because people are just lazy to go searching through the rails in a charity shop. When I was in my late teens I would buy second-hand Levis from a shop in Covent Garden and in those days the shops were called second-hand. Being a student then they couldn’t have been that expensive either. I suppose programmes like Kirstie’s Homemade Home don’t help matter because more people are looking for these items which ups the price and demand. At least with charity shops the money is going to do good. The only good thing about today was one of the dealers at the antique centre called Amy’s Attic which was lots of good prices of old furniture that I had been given a new lease of life with new upholstery and paint. Very expensive but it gave me some great ideas. I’m still amazed when shops like these don’t have a website or if they do I can’t find it.