Seek and you will find: An A to Z of antiques in Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 12:49 19 April 2011 | UPDATED: 21:33 20 February 2013
There are treasures aplenty in our county.... Anne-Louise Hall guides us around the main antique centres of Suffolk
There are treasures aplenty in our county.... Anne-Louise Hall guides us around the main antique centres of Suffolk
Suffolk is rich in history. Stately homes and estates, traditional craftsmen and artisans are to be found everywhere; clockmakers, jewellers (think of the amber, sourced locally on the Heritage Coast), steeple makers (consider Bury St Edmunds millennium tower) and church restorers.
Our buildings are unique. An original Suffolk Barn is still an attraction for anyone scanning the windows of estate agents and in almost every Suffolk village thatched houses, whose roofs have been recently restored, are wonderfully common sights. They play their own small part in attracting visitors to our county, still recognised as being unique and beautiful.
There are airfields, steam engine restorers, upholsterers by the dozen and more. Is it any wonder then, that we also have more antique outlets per head of the population than most parts of the United Kingdom? We love our history. In this concise A-Z, I hope to point collectors and enthusiasts of all types to take a fresh look at our enduring legacy.
A is for Aldeburgh, Auction Houses and Antiques!
This splendid centre at the heart of Suffolks Heritage Coast is a firm favourite. Its name means Old Fort and its place in history was confirmed when Sir Francis Drakes ships Greyhound, and Pelican were built there. Later, it became the home of Benjamin Britten. The Moot Hall is a fabulous timber framed building still used by the council for meetings, as it has been for 400 years and the Martello Tower remains an austere but memorable landmark. The town has lots of quaint shops, some of which are very upmarket:
Mole Hall, 102-104 High Street, Aldeburgh. Tel: 01782 452 361
A gorgeous maroon and gold frontage entices you in and warm welcome awaits. With the scent of rich polish and a broad range of fascinating artefacts, this a great place to start.
Manders/Clare auctions, Clare
If you want to experience an auction for the first time and get what so many dont give anymore...good honest friendly advice about all sorts this is the place.
Go to Long Melford and look out for Alexander Lyall & Noel Mercer theres nothing like walking into an antiques shop. Go on, be brave. Two brilliant shops that will help you build up a valuable collection of fine antiques that will become a great investment. Noel is one of the UKs, if not the worlds, leading specialist in oak furniture.
B is for Bury St Edmunds, Bindings and Books
Bury St Edmunds
A richly historic town, below, that boasts a wonderfully restored Regency theatre and stunning cathedral. A walk round town will lead you to many antique and collectors shops but for something a little different check out;
Philip Vale Design which has over 30 years experience. Tudor doors, mouldings, oak beams etc.
The Old Forge, Sicklesmere, Bury St Edmunds IP30 OBU
Tel: 01284 388 948
Bindings and Books
Antiquarian books can be found in a number of Suffolk outlets. Each has their own speciality. Its well worth checking the websites for details. Roy Arnold specialises in early trades, tools, mills and applied arts.
Roy Arnold, 77 High Street, Needham Market. Tel 01449 720110
Bardsleys Books in Bungay has expert knowledge and information on arts, architecture, fine printing and the Folio Society.
Bardsleys Books, 22 Upper Olland Street, Bungay NR35 1BH
Tel: 01986 892077
V S Bell in Framlingham is the place for detective novels and crime writing.
V S Bell, 19 Market Hill, Framlingham Woodbridge, IP13 9BB.
Tel: 01728 723046
Beckham books (www.beckhambooks.com)
Chilton Mount, Newton Road, Sudbury, Suffolk
Yes its on line but its local for us in Suffolk and is just the kind of place to contact with questions if you are buying and selling.
C is for Clocks, a Compass and Clare
Dave West Clocks in Troston near Bury St Edmunds is just what you want a clock expert to be . . . he buys, sells and repairs and has a no nonsense website (www.davewestclocks.co.uk)
Like many in the art and antiques trade, he is truly passionate about his field of expertise.
Village Clocks is one of Britains leading clock and timepiece specialists. There is a huge selection of long case, bracket, carriage and wall clocks for sale in delightfully atmospheric showrooms based in Long Melford. There are also examples of interesting 20th century collectors clocks and a few stunning grandmother clocks made in rich mahogany or oak pagoda styles. Most work is done on the premises in the companys own workshop.
Little St Marys, Long Melford, CO10 9LQ Tel: 01787 375896
Clare Antiques and Interiors
At Clare Antiques and Interiors, pictued top, you will find the biggest collection of rooms in Suffolk. In a converted mill, next to the park, there are four floors, packed with everything you can imagine; toys, books, lace, jewellery, furniture. Its all there along with expert advice. Make sure you have a few hours and a full wallet when you visit.
Maltings Lane, Clare
Tel: 01787 278449
D is for Diss
Diss Antiques, Interiors and Jewellery
This family business has been trading from the same premises for more than 35 years. Originally specialists in barometers and clocks, they now stock an extensive range of all things collectable. Members of LAPADA and the Guild of Master Craftsmen, their reputation speaks for itself.
2-3 Market Place, Diss, IP22 4JT
Tel: 01379 642213
E is for East Bergholt and Brantham
Golden Oldie Antiques art and antique experts
Brantham Mill, Bergholt Road, Brantham CO11 1QT
Tel: 01206 392257
F is for Felixstowe
So many places to visit in this traditional English seaside town, its difficult to know which to choose. Tea and Antiques featured in BBCs Antique Road Show, so must have a curiosity all of its own.
Tea and Antiques, 109 High Rd E, Felixstowe,
Tel: 01394 277 789
G is for Glemsford
And now for something completely different:
Asia Trading Ltd is a true Aladdins cave. Look no further for eastern antique gifts and reclaimed items. The traders source items themselves bypassing the expensive middlemen, so you get the best deal possible.
4 Lower Rd, Glemsford
Tel: 01787 282109
H is for Haverhill
For something a little bit special, try Bumpstead Antiques and Interiors. They have a fine selection of quality antique furniture and accessories including pottery and pewter, ceramics and glass. Everything is positioned with thought, designed to inspire and seduce you. It works. Even the website is to be recommended. Not antique!
Unit H2, Blois Meadow Business Centre, Blois Rd, Steeple Bumpstead, Nr Haverhill, CB9 7BN
Tel: 07710 282329
I is for Ipswich
This capital of Suffolk is packed with restorers, antique dealers, reclaim and salvage specialists. Ipswich is antique heaven! You just need to check the yellow pages. Here are a few suggestions:
Dj vu, 105A Cliff Lane. Tel: 01473 233 622
A Abbott Antiques Ltd, Suffolk, IP4 4NE Tel: 01473 728 900
Lion House Antiques, Fenn Farm, Hadleigh Rd, Burstall, Ipswich
Tel: 01473 652 084
J and K are for Jane Khurana
Specialist in 17th to 19th century paintings, miniatures and a wide range of fine arts and early furniture, this exclusive business is available by appointment only. It is, however, situated in that most famous of antiques villages, the stunning Long Melford. You will be there hours as the choice offered by this and many other outlets is phenomenal.
Thorpe House, Hall Street, Long Melford Tel: 01787 377759
L is for Lavenham
Just as delectable, the charms of medieval Lavenham are addictive. You will return again and again.
J and J Baker specialise in 18th and 19th century artefacts. They stock furniture, paintings, engravings, antique boxes, metal ware, antique gifts and much much more.
12/14 Water Street, Lavenham CO10 9RW Tel: 01787 247 610
M is for old Masters and Mauds Attic
To get your hands on an old master such as Dughet or Poussin, Suthburgh Antiques are your experts.
Stand 10, Long Melford Antiques Centre, Chapel Maltings, Sudbury CO10 9HX Tel: 01787 379287
Now for an exceptional shop.
Named after the owners dear grandmother, Mauds Attic is always a pleasure to visit. It reminds me of a genuine fortune tellers caravan or the place Mr Benn used to visit in my childhood. It is certainly magical. Each item has a story behind it and is a prized possession of the owner, herself a charm and a character.
25 St Peters St, Ipswich IP1 1XF
Tel: 01473 221057
N is for Newmarket
Newmarket, below, can be an exciting place. Thoroughbred horses tearing over gallops contrast comfortably with the quiet of old stables, reclamation yards and quaint tea shops. Traditional meets modern here in an altogether wholesome manner. Grandly designed homes interspersed with tiny cottages, cobbled residential streets weave their way in between tree lined groves. On a clear day, when the sky is a liquid turquoise, you could be forgiven for pulling out your wallet and buying an equine antique masterpiece.
Antique Furniture Restoration
5 Wellington St, Newmarket CB8 OHT
Tel: 01638 668388
Treasures, 22 Rous Road, Newmarket CB8 8DL
Tel: 01638 669960
Newmarket Antiques Road Show May 22, August 21and October 23, all at Rowley Mile Racecourse, Newmarket
O is for Orford
Try E W Cousins and Sons for 18th to 20th century wares, clocks and barometers at 27 High Street, Ixworth, Bury St Edmunds IP31 2HJ
Tel: 01359 301490
Castle Antiques, Market Hill, Orford, Woodbridge Suffolk IP12 2LH
Tel: 01394 450100
The Old Brewery Antiques,
The Old Brewery, Melton Rd, Woodbridge, IP12 1PD
Tel: 01394 548101.
P is for Price
Do discuss price. Although all the businesses included here provide value for money, any collectors piece is only valuable as long as somebody wants to collect it. This is dependent on fashion, economic climate, name of manufacturer and personal taste. The market fluctuates all the time. Whether you want an investment piece or have fallen in love with an item, it is always worth a haggle.
Q is for Questions and Queries
Ask questions. Do your research. There is so much to see and do; so much to invest in here in Suffolk, but it is by familiarising yourself with the experts in their fields that you will continue to derive more and more pleasure from your collections as the years pass. Use the internet, books and the staff in the shops. They are historians. They live to share their knowledge.
R is for Reclamation
Abbots Bridge is the premier architectural salvage and reclamation centre in East Anglia. It sits on a one acre site just a few miles from Bury St Edmunds. Its two storey 9000sq ft warehouse offers affordable architectural salvage, reclaimed building materials and salvaged period features perfect for your home renovation.
The Barn, Block Farm, Bradfield Combust, Bury St Edmunds IP30 OLW
Tel: 01284 828081
S is for Snape Maltings
Vintage silverware, glassware, china, clothing and art are just some of the treats in store at Snape, whose beautiful setting by the river is tempting enough. The experience dazzles. It is a sensory feast; light, bright, edgy.
Snape Maltings, near Aldeburgh, Suffolk, IP17 1SR
Tel: 01728 688 303
T is for Thorpeness
Thorpeness Emporium overlooks the beautiful Meare, famous for its wild birds and stunning views. The emporium has over 24 displays and cabinets showing off to best effect the array of bygones and collectables, antiques, ceramics, vintage clothes, old tools, antique jewellery, sports memorabilia and much, much more! This market is linked to The Beach House with its delicious selection of cakes, snacks, wines and beers. Yards from the beach and sea, where better could there be to spend an inquisitive afternoon?
Thorpeness Emporium, Aldeburgh Rd, Thorpeness, Suffolk, IP16 4NW
Tel: 01782 454639
U is for Ufford
A French polishing sensation, Antiques United are specialists in the art of keeping your treasures looking like treasures, and not something youve had in the family for years. A definite must in this list.
Autumn Lodge, Loudham Lane, Ufford, Woodbridge, IP13 6EA
Tel: 01394 460878
V is for Victory, Vases, Vans and all things Vintage
It is possible to buy vases, ornamental vans and all things vintage from just about all the places mentioned in this feature, but Bentwaters Cold War Museum at Rendlesham offers a day out with a difference. Opened in 2007 by the High Sherriff of Suffolk, Air Marshall Sir Richard John Kemball, KCB, CBE and by Major General Dale C Tabor, USAF (retired), you will see here the main operations room and battle cabin operated by the US air force during the cold war. Fascinating and chilling, it is the only museum of its kind open to the public. There are no highly polished tables or Queen Anne sofas, but you may be able to take photographs of fundamental strategic artefacts that played their part in making Britain the country it is today.
BCWM, Building 134, Bentwaters Parks, Rendlesham, Suffolk, IP12 2TW
W is for Wickham Market
Vintage Forty-Six Antiques,
46 High Street, Wickham Market, Woodbridge
Tel: 017828 746642
X, Y and Z are for X-cellent Yoxford antiques Zone
At Yoxford Antiques Centre you will find nearly 40 dealers under one roof along with a variety of great facilities and attractions including children's colouring and changing facilities; complimentary coffee, beautiful gardens to walk in and friendly alpacas to visit.
Yoxford Antique Centre
Askers Hill, Yoxford
Suffolk IP17 3JW
Tel: 01728 66 88 44