Rude cufflinks anyone?

Christmas present ideas from the Chiswick Antiques & Vintage Christmas Market this Sunday

The Chiswick Antiques & Vintage Market comes into its own this Sunday (10 December). Three weeks before Christmas is absolutely the time to buy stuff you don’t actually need but just want, or you think someone else might, just because it’s pretty, or perhaps it has a history.

“There’s nothing at that market that anybody necessarily needs, it’s all about what we love and what we want,” says Catty Patel, who has been a trader at the Chiswick Antiques & Vintage Market since it opened here three years ago.

“Whether that’s as a stallholder or someone who’s buying stuff,” she told The Chiswick Calendar, “it is just pure pleasure.”

The market, run by Jennifer Titmus, takes place on the second Sunday of the month in Old Market Place, aka the car park outside George IV pub. Unlike the other Sunday markets it continues eastwards along the south side of the High Rd almost as far as Metrobank and it is, says Jennifer:

“the perfect place for people to come and do their Christmas shopping.”

Images above: Catty Patel’s stall at the Chiswick Antiques and Vintage Market; photographs Catty Patel and Jennifer Titmus

Meet the traders

Catty Patel

Traders with a keen eye for spotting treasure amongst junk sell everything from clothes to kitchenware.

Catty, whose stall is outside the Old Fire Station, sells an eclectic mix of items including vintage paintings and 1960’s and 70’s ceramics. She has had a passion for antiques since she was a child, inspired by her parents.

She says the real winners at her stall this Christmas won’t necessarily be gifts, but pretty decorations or Christmas china to wow visiting relatives, such as “a nice sauceboat that they can use for gravy or bread sauces.”

If you do see Mrs Patel this Sunday, she encourages potential buyers to have a playful haggle (so long as the price is not insulting) but, she says, don’t buy items for the sake of it.

“People should only buy if they know in their souls that they would love to look at this thing every single day, or if it brings back a lot of happy memories”.

Images above: Malcolm Myers’ stall; Malcolm Myers; photographs Malcolm Myers

Malcolm Myers

Now 75 years old, Malcolm Myers has been interested in antiques his whole life. When her retired from his job as a senior manager at Heathrow airport, he decided it was time to follow his passion and start trading.

He has had a place at the Chiswick Antiques and Vintage Market for just over two years, selling mainly Georgian and Victorian items, mainly 18th and 19th century furniture and paintings.

“Recycling at its best,” he quips.

Over the years he has noticed that at the Christmas markets it is smaller items that usually sell best as presents.

“Candlesticks are extremely popular at this time of year … also small furniture pieces,” he says, but he also buys in pretty little stocking fillers:

“beautiful handmade scrunchies and lavender bags exquisitely made using vintage silk and cotton liberty fabrics.”

Much like Catty, Mr Myres encourages potential buyers to trust their own instincts.

“Buy what you like, do not be put off by fashion trends. If you like it, so will someone else,” he tells me.

His stall sits on the corner of Devonshire Road and features a 6ft tall ‘Antiques’ sign.

Images above: Wanda Tumilowicz’s stall; Wanda top right; display of cufflinks below; photographs Wanda Tumilowicz

Wanda Tumilowicz

Wanda Tumilowicz trades in jewellery. She has her Sunday market stall and she also works at Marmalade Fine Jewellery on Turnham Green Terrace. She fell into trading in jewellery by accident:

“I was selling junk from home, and that’s when I got the bug.”

Friends and family started to use Wanda to flog their wares, before she eventually looked to other businesses to increase her stock. She’s had a stall at the market since the first day, gaining some notable fans along the way. Visitors to her stall include television presenter Stephen Mulhern and Strictly Come Dancing’s Johannes Radebe.

“[Johannes] just leaps out of bed when he knows it’s the ‘Vintage’,” Mrs Tumilowicz says. She has seen him at the market regularly: “We’ve just become friends and he’s so nice.”

For those looking to buy Christmas presents this Sunday, she suggests vintage cufflinks.

“The cufflinks are a perfect present for everyone. Because they’re themed, there’s one for every age and every gender,” she says.

“The themes are [anything from] the rude ones to the more sort of gentlemanly ones.”

Mrs Tumilowicz’s stall is opposite Planet Organic, near the pitch where local musicians play. If you can’t find her stall, just “follow the music” she says.