Ah, north London, home to some of the capital’s best grassy hangouts with great views – like Hampstead Heath and Primrose Hill in Regent’s Park. Buried among these green paradises are a surplus of cracking antiques shops and markets, all waiting for you to find second-hand treasures. We’ve chosen some of our favourites to get you started.
Every Wednesday and Saturday traders set up three adjoining markets in Camden Passage – Charlton Place Market, Pierrepoint Market and Camden Passage Market – selling second-hand goods, 20th-century furniture, porcelain and silverware. The three markets each have their distinctive qualities, so browse them all. Camden Passage is also packed with permanent antiques shops. Waxantiques offers a range of silverware, including contemporary styles like Art Deco, as well as items from the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras. Argosy Antiques boasts hanging wall mirrors, lighting and decanters, while Christina’s Boxes (only open Wednesday and Saturday) specialises in antique writing and jewellery boxes. Head to the tiny Number One, where expert Caroline Carrier sells French and English porcelain from the 1900s onwards. For 19th and 20th-century jewellery, try Tadema Gallery or Esme, and go to Annie’s for vintage clothing.
Hampstead Antique & Craft Emporium
This enormous building crammed with antiques has been running since 1967 and houses more than 25 independent shops selling furniture, crockery, art, textiles and clothing. Check out Capricorn in unit 9 for porcelain and Art Deco mirrors, as well as Juxtapose London in unit 33 for mid-century furniture. If you need a break from rummaging through the second-hand gems, get a coffee and a waffle at Tania’s. The ’emporium’ also sells modern items – have a look at University of Arts London graduate Ivanka Kutner’s art in units 25 and 26.
Antique Textiles Company
Antique Textiles Company, which sits in the courtyard outside the Hampstead Antique & Craft Emporium, offers more than 700 handmade and patchwork quilts dating from the 1780s to the 1950s (according to the shop, it sells the largest selection in the UK). Most of the quilts are from the UK, including a collection from Durham, but there are also some from North America and continental Europe. Materials include linen and cashmere. Vintage furniture is on sale, too.
Alfies Antiques Market
Billed as London’s ‘largest indoor market for antiques’, this building – complete with Egyptian-style Art Deco façade – has more than 75 dealers selling vintage clothing, 20th-century furniture and collectables across four floors. Currently on sale are 1920s Art Deco cufflinks (yes, really), a 1950s American telephone converted for use in the UK, and a vintage Ruinart Champagne display bottle. Make sure you check out the rooftop café, which has great views across London.
Marylebone’s Church Street is filled with antiques shops, many of which started life as stalls in nearby Alfies, which is also in Church Street. Have a look inside 25-years-old Les Couilles du Chien – renowned for stocking unusual antiques such as a taxidermy moose and Murano chandeliers – and family-run James Worrall for 19th to 20th-century furniture and ornaments. Other antiques shops to look at in this street include Rare Rugs, Patricia Harvey Antiques and Matt Mitchell.
Camden’s historic Stables Market, which used to be a horse stables and hospital, has a few good antiques shops – one of the best is Fleming Antiques. This trusted store is run by antiques expert Mark Fleming, selling a wide range of furniture – including a variety of different styles and periods – porcelain and even taxidermy. Fleming is Camden Market’s trusted buyer and seller of antiques. The stock changes regularly, so keep visiting to see what’s available.
Alexandra Palace Antiques & Collectors Fair
Okay, this isn’t really a shop – but this fair in the historic Grade II-listed Ally Pally, which brings together more than 300 antiques dealers, is a great place to find reclaimed treasures in north London. It costs to enter – £12 before 9:30am and £6 afterwards – but there are great deals, with vintage clothing, ceramics and jewellery sold at competitive prices. As Pirates of the Carribean’s Captain Barbossa would say, the prices are ‘more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules’, so get haggling.
The next fair will be on 18 February. For more dates visit here.