vintage resource: barnebys

Over the weekend, I accidentally ended up going to a local vintage sale (we literally just drove past a sign for it) hosted by super charity Save the Children. I walked around for ages with an armful of stuff, then changed my mind and put it all back apart from a woven purse thingy and a floral shirt (more on those another day), which I thought was incredibly restrained. (I really am trying not to shop, honest.) I do love rummaging through charity shops and finding a good bit of vintage, but where I live it’s actually mostly last years Primark or Marks and Spencers from the nineties. (I just cannot class the nineties as vintage – I was a teenager!) eBay is much the same – although it’s an incredible, wonderful site, and I use it regularly, there are a lot of items listed as vintage, which turn out to be ‘vintage style’ – this is irritating enough when just clicking through to read the full listing, but if they don’t disclose it and you actually buy it, it’s enough to give you the right hump.

So when I was contacted by the lovely people at Barnebys, I had a look at their website and decided that it really did deserve sharing.

If you’re a fan of real, honest-to-goodness, true vintage, you need Barnebys on your favourites list. This ingenious website brings together both online auctions, and those happening in salesrooms everywhere in the world, from right here in the UK to as far afield as Australia. The categories are stuffed full of everything from vintage fashion and homewares, to furniture, jewellery and artwork – I had a quick look and immediately found these lovelies:

Featuring lots from auction houses such as Christies and Sothebys, some of the prices are not for the faint hearted, and run into several thousands – but these are items such as diamond set jewellery and a Louis XV chest of drawers. There are bargains to be had, though, and after a bit of searching I stumbled across 1920s purses for £40, a 1960s handbag for £40 and a couple of nice day dresses. When you consider that you could easily pay those prices on eBay, without really knowing what you’re getting, suddenly buying from a legitimate auction house seems like a very good idea indeed. At least you know you wouldn’t get your new bits and pieces home only to find a Primark label inside….

Personally, I’m a big fan of Barnebys – I certainly wouldn’t class myself as a serious vintage or antique collector, but there’s always a chance I might like to add to my (already heaving) dress collection some time in the future, and it’s good to know that there’s a website out there that basically does all of the hard work for me.

This post was written in collaboration with Barnebys.

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