Are you poised to pounce on these one-off antique beauties as they are posted online?

We vividly remember being dragged around antique shops as a child. First there was the unmistakably musty smells of well-worn goods. Then there was the sheer boredom of it all, waiting impatiently while our parents browsed from shop to never-ending shop.

Fast forward thirty odd years, and we now get it. Which is not to say that antiques shopping and children are any more compatible; they are, we can confirm, still very much like oil and water. A recent trip to beautiful Petworth established this when our children stroked a giant antique taxidermy lion to the absolute horror of the shop owner. We whisked them away in a panic before they made any attempt to mount said king of beasts.

Yet thanks to Instagram, we have been made aware of so many wonderful antique/vintage businesses that we feel it incumbent upon us to round up a selection of our favourites. Ideally for you to browse in peace: from the comfort of your sofa. Maybe even with a cup of tea and a hobnob – and not a child in sight.

Scene By Chloe

Set up by an ex-fashion buyer, this fantastic site is jam-packed with vintage beauties, such as this hand-blown glass vase. Chloe has a brilliant eye and sources objects from fabulous Murano art glass to kitsch cruet sets; vintage Ikea cloud lamps to Staffordshire figures.

Mabel, Stella And Sybil

We are huge fans of this Instagram-based business. Natalia has an incredible eye and if you want to snap up gems such as a beautiful, antique Durham quilt, or a pair of vintage scalloped brass sconces, set your notifications now and be prepared to be quick off the mark!

Lucy Harwood Interiors

Lucy Harwood runs an interior consultancy as well as a sourcing and styling business. She was inspired by her time working at the Guggenheim in Venice, the Royal Academy of Arts and the V&A and it very much shows. We particularly love her selection of vintage glass.

The Italian Collector

Founded in Italy by Bec Astley Clarke, we adore this site alone for its stunning imagery of Murano glass adorning the page. This beautiful hand-blown dark green and gold leaf Murano Vase is firmly on our wish list.

Tat London

With a passion for all things interiors (as well as being the Decoration Stylist at House & Garden Magazine), Charlie Porter set up this marvellous shop. We browse weekly to see what pieces she has added to the site. Think vintage crystal cut glasses in rainbow colours, chunky German ceramic jugs and beautiful antique oil paintings, all under one virtual roof.

Teen Tiny Emporium

Ex-fashion editors Bryony and Jane frequently trawl the roads of Great Britain sourcing vintage and antique gems that get snapped in an instant. We adore their hand-painted, scalloped edged, barley twist bedside tables, as well as any of their crystal candlesticks.

The Tolstoy Edit

We are huge fans of Alexandra’s style and could spend an unhealthy amount of time in the antiques section of her lovely site, fawning over folk-painted armoires and beautifully hand-painted bed heads from Transylvania.

39 Decorative

This incredible site offers decorative antiques and objets d’art from across Europe and the UK. This mid-century, palm flowers tole table lamp and the Huge 'Moll' Stationery Advertising Pencils & Ruler may very well wing their way onto our Christmas wishlist.

By Alice Home

We love Alice’s edit of treasures she finds in fairs and antique shops all over the world, sometimes giving them a new lease of life with a lick of lacquer paint in a bright colour. Alice also offers a sourcing service and is available for commissions.

Woodnutt Antiques

We so enjoy a stroll down Lillie Road in Fulham for its antique shops, of which our favourites is Woodnutt Antiques. We never knew we had a need to collect antique match strikers – until we stumbled across these beauties, that is.

By Lucy Abletshauser
December 2020

Lucy Abletshauser

Shopping Editor

Lucy is the GWG's go-to expert on the best online buys, from fashion to interiors. An aesthete to her core, she does the trawling so you don't have to.