The weather was nice today and we walked the couple blocks over to Grays. It was open at 9:30 but the majority of the 200 booths were still locked up. Most were jewelry vendors and Oriental art. We walked quickly through the upstairs and I didn't see anything I wanted to look at further. So we went downstairs to more shops. Again, the majority were closed with roll down grates so you could see the items enticing you but couldn't touch or buy. I found one dealer who was open with lots of antique pocket watches and asked if he had any Victorian ladies ones. He had some very dainty ones with tiny seed pearls around them, or miniature paintings but most were around L300. I finally said do you have any that don't work? At this point if I found one that could just be for show I'd be happy. But he didn't have any of those either. I got a nice show of all the pretty ones he had but had to walk around with just a visual memory of them.
We went out the back door and went into another door that took us to yet another building. These were mostly closed too but I found one booth that had some mourning brooches in it so I went upstairs to find the receptionist who said she could come down and unlock it. She brought out a couple items I was looking at but since I already had two brooches I'd bought recently, I decided these weren't really a great price that would make me buy them. The receptionist talked to me more about the jewelry and said you really know your stuff. Could you tell me what something else was because they didn't know some of the dates of things. So I pointed to a couple things I recongized, and she thanked me. She said Grays Antiques had a blog with lots of mourning jewelry on some posts and she went upstairs to her computer to find it and actually printed out the articles for me. I thought that was very nice of her. Another vendor who was interested in Victorian dresses joined us and she introduced me to her. I handed them both my card with my blog address on it, and she gave me one with their blog address. http://graysantiques.blogspot.co.uk/ Many of the items they post about are actually in the store for sale. So you locals there might take a look.
Our next trip to Camden Town needed a ride on the Tube and then walking for a couple blocks. When we came out what we first saw were blocks of narrow streets with shops filled with ecletic art, hippie and Goth clothing. I was told most of that had taken over the area but to keep going to get to the horse stables of the flea market. After a couple blocks I started walking into shops and asked for further directions. Each one just gave a vague description but to keep going. So we kept going.
Finally! There is was!