Steampunk at the Piccadilly Market
I admit, I was expecting something quite different when I walked through the ornate iron gates to St James Square. The Piccadilly Market is a more or less permanent, open-air marketplace that operates 6 days a week. There are merry striped tents and merchants selling their wares as one would expect, but I thought it was going to be bigger, especially because of the long list of traders on the market’s website. I was especially excited because there is a section of that website devoted to the Steampunk offerings there.
Different days have different themes, so I picked the day listed as the best for antiques. I don’t know if this means there are no antiques other days, but I was surprised to see that there really wasn’t much there in the way of vintage stuff. But, what was there was pretty awesome.
Annette Jones is a vintage trader and jewelry designer who is only at the market on Tuesdays. Usually she doesn’t allow photography, but she gave me permission to snap a couple shots of her lovely pieces on display. The average bauble was out of my price range (this pounds to dollar conversion is killing me!) but if you are looking for just the right cameo or vintage ring this is a great place to check out. I especially loved the addition of the lovely antique mirrors patrons could use when trying on the pretties
. You can check out her website for more information, http://www.annettejones.co.uk.
The best booth for Steampunk stuff was definitely one by Ahura Collectibles, which was more or less across the aisle from Annette Jones. The only sign on the booth is for kaleidoscopes, but the other half of the display featured gorgeous refurbished early telephones, leather-bound and wood-sheathed spyglasses and a wide array of vintage compasses. I picked up one of the beautiful compasses with a foldable sundial complete with wooden box for safe-keeping for 18 pounds. I had to think long and hard about which one I wanted because they are all unique, but I was especially drawn to this one because it had the word “London” on it so I thought it would make an especially good souvenir. I would have loved a spyglass as well to add to my Steampunk explorer ensemble I have started to compile, but I limited myself to a nautical keychain made of brass.
This booth is at the Piccadilly market Tuesday through Saturday, and at Covent Garden Sundays and Mondays. Find out more at the website, ahuracollectibles.co.uk
I thought I was going to be able to do a large photo spread about this trip to the marketplace, but because it was so small I didn’t really get as much as I’d hoped.
Can anyone tell me any other places like flea markets or vintage shops in London to visit in the next two weeks?