Crystal Palace itself has become a bit of a hot bed for vintage and retro shops in recent times, but my favourite is still the original Crystal Palace Antiques. Housed in a four storey warehouse on Jasper Hill (Just off the main one way system) it is a treasure trove of all things vintage, retro and even antique.
The warehouse house lots of different dealers under one roof, so just like a market there is something for everyone and the array of objects and styles is continually changing. The front section on the ground floor houses antique furniture and huge mahogany armoires, carved oak chests and ornate chandeliers can usually be found here.
However as you get further in the styles begin to change – the area at the back of the ground floor currently has a slight industrial / 60’s vibe going on with lots of polished metal furniture, articulated machinist’s lamps and psychedelic artwork.
A trip to the basement where the dealer Designs of Modernity is housed is a reason in itself to visit. The space is curated almost like an exhibition and showcases mid century design furniture, lighting and artwork from the likes of Hans Wegner, Peter Hvidt, Niels Moller, Carl Hansen and Charles Eames (all from the 1950’s and 1960’s rather than modern Vitra editions). Prices here reflect the pedigree of the items and are very high, but don’t let them put you off as most of the other dealers are much more purse friendly.
Moving upstairs to the first and second floor the vintage vibe continues with lots of much more affordable mid century items, vintage prints, church chairs, antlers, artwork and a plethora of interesting items – last time we visited there seemed to be a lot of rotary style phones!
Whilst some of the stands, like the one above are neatly arranged and curated to show of all the items to their best, other areas are slightly more random, with chairs hanging from the ceiling and items stacked back to back. However everything can be seen, so you won’t need to do routing around to find the best bits.
Price wise, it really depends on the item, some of the articulated machinists lamps are well over £300, but the chairs and furniture is much more reasonable, and I have often seen chests of drawers for around £120 and sets of chairs for around £140. Last time we visited I spotted some great 80’s chairs and although they aren’t my usual style, I developed a real soft spot for them – try to imagine them with some bright new upholstery, around a waxed oak table and a sheepskin draped over one or two of them… Not so bad now! We really don’t need any more chairs and don’t have a waxed oak table, so I din’t pay too much attention to the price but I think they were around £200 for six.
I was also tempted by shelves in the picture below which were £85, however they were quite deep for wall shelves and we really don’t have the space or need them – to be honest I probably also would have taken the two stools and the huge wicker basket if we had space!
Hopefully this has given you a little taste of one of my favourite haunts. If you do pop along and fancy making a day of your trip, a walk in Crystal Palace park is a lovely way to spend the afternoon and there are more vintage furniture shops just around the corner on Church Street, which are worth checking out, as it Four Hundred Rabbits on Westow Street for it’s tasty sourdough pizza and craft beer. Enjoy!