Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Tour of Pilgrims Antiques, West Street, Dorking.

Today I give you a tour round Pilgrim Antiques.
An antiques centre is ever evolving, people have to move on and others fill their places. But most of us at Pilgrims feel secure and happy to make it our antiques home on  a long term basis.
As far as I can tell our shop is regarded as a friendly shop and a good place to buy interesting, decorative and useful things from times gone by.
So, come inside.

Next Friday Sue will deal with a Christmas window. Dorking looks good before Christmas with many of the individual shops creating interesting Christmas themed window displays.

The shop is divided into four rooms.
The first room has many items in cabinets and our sales desk is there too.

On the left is Nigels's  cabinet - his passion is wine and the cabinet has many interesting wine related items.
It always looks fascinating..
On the right is Hilary's cabinet with lovely old jewellery. Her passion is 1920s and 30s early plastic and celluloid jewellery. Ask her about it......much of it is saved for specialist fairs.

This is a shelf in one of Clive's cabinets.
He has an abundance of cabinets with many different styles of decorative items.
This photograph shows how we try to ensure that items in cabinets are clearly marked with details and prices.
We appreciate that it can be daunting to ask about items in cabinets, with a customer maybe fearing the embarrassment of something costing more than they feel they can afford.

Jill's passion is glass - old glass, stylish glass. She is very knowledgeable.

This is Bill's corner.
Sadly, Bill will not be selling in the shop for much longer.
Ill health has prompted his retirement.
Until Christmas everything in his section is half the marked ticket price.

So, now we climb three steps to the second room, where Jonathan, Sue and Brian, Gill and also Clive sell.

This is part of Jonathan's section. He sells mostly china - for the table, ornaments etc - always decorative and mostly with some age. His passion is perhaps Victorian china.

Some of Jonathan's Crown Derby - very popular.
Crown Derby have been manufacturing china with these colours for decades and still make it. Connoisseurs know which pattern belongs to which era.

We have two glass specialists and both named Gill,
Gill who sells from this section is spelled with a G not a J.
Her passion is Stuart Crystal.
But she also finds other interesting items.
I know that this week I sold an Isle of Wight glass egg for her.

Clive has a cabinet in the second room. He sells watches (for men and women), cigarette lighters. silver and all sorts.

Sue's section splits into 2 sub sections. On the left hand side are all manner of interesting things, both decorative and useful.
She, and her husband, Brian, have a lot of metal ware.
On the right hand side are cabinets of jewellery; not antique jewellery but good value pieces, often in silver - probably an Indian silver. If you feel the need to treat yourself on a whim then these cabinets are the place to look.

Here is some of Sue's copper and brass - always beautifully presented.

Now we climb 3 more steps into the third room.

Steve is particularly interested in things mechanical - phones, gramophones, telescopes etc.
All his phones are adapted for use on the current networks.
He is often called upon to mend phones that are brought into him.

Mick has items of china and pottery from the well known and popular 20th century studios.
The pictures shows Poole Pottery; he also has Moorcroft, Clarice Cliff etc.

Steve and Mick also sell furniture and both are skilled at restoring.
Come on boys.......where is the shabby chic?
No - this trend has not yet been adopted by anybody in Pilgrims.
Who knows? - fashions change.
But much as we all want to move with the times, we all buy the things that we love and would want to see in the shops that we visit.
So - no shabby chic!

Jo has her section in the the third room.
She has the feminine touch. Much of her stock is connected with the home, the kitchen, the nursery and the wardrobe.
But she caters, also for the man about town. Many a young man has accompanied his good lady to Ascot wearing a top hat bought from Jo.

Jo has lots of lovely china.
Pretty tea sets are even coming back into fashion along with tiered cake plates.
She also has well prepared table cloths, pillow cases and other linens and lace.

Now up 3 more steps to the fourth room. I guess we are now getting as far as it is possible to get away from true antiques in this room.
But post war (WW2 that is) styles are very much in vogue.
The 1950s and 60s are fashionable again.

This is Paula's section. I am Paula.. I think I found a passion for this era because way back then I was both naive and poor and missed out on the trends of that time when I lived through it. It is true nostalgia.
These pictures have appeared on my facebook page today and already I have received a comment "My Dad used to have one of those"
I would be a rich dealer if I had a pound for every time I heard such a remark somewhere in the shop.
My section is subdivided into kitchen, feminine type bits and pieces, toys, then my favourite bright and gaudy 1950s/50s style pottery and glass, a sort of boy's toys section and as many books as I have room for.
I stick mainly to local history books, transport and cookery.

In the other half of the 4th room Terry and her daughter, Emma display their wares.
Like my section, theirs is a miscellany of 20th century items.

Now we are right at the back of the shop looking between my section and Terry's section down through the rooms towards the shop door.

Pilgrim's Antiques is a special sort of shop.
You will find different people caring for it each day of the week.
And we do care for it!
We each have a reasonable amount of expertise in those aspects of the trade that are our passions.
It must be a passion.......we do it because we love it and couldn't imagine not doing it.
It is the hunting out of things that we love to share with others that keeps us all going.
I doubt that many of us make very much money when all is said and done. The good months keep us feeling ever optimistic!

Pop in some time.....and say you have seen the shop on the internet.
At one time I did a shop blog every couple of weeks with topical themes.
Maybe after Christmas I might have the time to do that again.