I could have happily taken home all of these

It is in no way an exaggeration to say my heart beat faster and the hair on the back of my neck stood up as we entered the gates to the  Ardingly Antiques & Collectors Fair last summer in England. For a Canadian, antique collecting in a country where “stuff” is so much older than can be found at home,  just doesn’t get any better. In a spirit of show, don’t tell, here are some of the treasures encountered in its upwards of 1,700 stalls.

No, none of this collectable animal taxidermy came home with me although the little boar was tempting and cute (but sold). The dog in the case was pretty weird. It’s a rare breed but…

The birdcage in the reflection was really beautiful too

I wish had brought both of these mirrors home. One of my biggest left-behind regrets. I didn’t even ask their price.

IMG_4703Located in Southern England, 90-minutes away from Dover ferries, the annual fair attracts many exhibitors from Europe and the variety was pretty astounding. The prices were reasonable too.

IMG_4717It’s hard to get a sense of how big this chandelier was. You would need a big, fancy room to house it.

I like his hat.

IMG_4724This is right up my alley as I collect kitchenalia.

So many treasures. Such a small suitcase.

IMG_4744These came home with me: skates (who needs those in England anyway), trug, garden signs and my prized possession…the straw boater that came in its original Harrods’ box to add to my hat collection. I think I paid about 20 pounds for it. I love it that the owner’s name is on the inside hat brim…”B.W.G. Massey”. I hope he isn’t still looking for it.

IMG_4713This? did not come home with me.

I dream of returning and filling a shipping container. Big Blue Bobby McGee would look pretty darn awesome in my garden or maybe as a greeter in the tree fort. Maybe the English Channel swim is just a ruse to get back to Ardingly?

Our lovely English relatives organized the outing which included a stop at a pub, of course.