Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Weird & Wonderful at Olympia

I went to the Olympia International Fine Art & Antiques Fair last Friday which was so inspiring. I saw some incredible sights and discovered some lovely quirky bits and pieces I wanted to share with you. I wrote a guest post for Heart Home magazine which you can read here where I covered things like a pirate recording of the abdication speech of Edward VIII - strange but true. Here are a few of the other things I came across.

These historic Liverpool Docks instruction wooden boards are dated 1894 and 1895. Considering their age they are in the most incredible condition. When the docks closed down, the owner of a Liverpool nightclub bought them and left them in the club where they were untouched for about 40 years. The nightclub then closed down and they were sold on. Harbour boards such as these are rarely seen and it's very unusual to find a pair in such amazing condition.

This wine cistern on display at the I Franks stand (B53) is the largest piece of hallmarked silver this century. It weighs 1200 troy ounces and is valued at $125,000. Phew.

On a slightly more accessible note I absolutely fell in love with specialist dealers in kitchen and dairy antiques, Smithson Antiques. They don't have a website but I think they do a few London shows a year - let me know if you would like their contact details.

My absolute favourite piece they had for sale was an antique tea bin - I love the colour and the original Chinese label is just wonderful. Although I like a cup of tea as much as the next person, I think given its size, the tea bin would make a great laundry basket in a bathroom? What would you use it for?

The fair still on at Olympia until Sunday so if you get a chance do go along, they also have a great selection of talks on - check the website for more details.


  1. Hi Louisa, I love the tea bin too and think your idea using it for a laundry basket is very nice. I would probably use it as a kind of nesting table in my living or even in the bedroom.
    In any case, I great find. Where you lucky enough to take it with you??
    All the best from BYW. Gudy

  2. Hi Gudy,

    A nesting table is a great idea, it was so lovely my photograph does not do it justice at all! Sadly I wan't able to purchase it as it had a pretty hefty price tag, a great inspiration piece - I will certainly keep my eyes peeled for something similar!

  3. Polly Anderson15 June 2012 at 21:54

    I went to this fair and thought it was excellent. I didn't however, see this stand. As a big fan of antique kitchenware I am now slightly disappointed to have missed it but thank you for sharing your photographs. I like the tea bin too.