Features

Dating with care

When I buy vintage clothing I want to know that it is vintage. If I see a super 1940s knit and it turns out to be 1980s, that’s fine, as long as I’d known that when I’d bought it and it was priced as 1980s – I don’t want the…

Stamp of approval

Dating vintage with care labels (see our feature on that here) only helps with garments that are 1960s onwards, but there’s a number of other labels you may come across that will help you to date older vintage pieces. Most of these are US labels, with the exception of CC41,…

Dating St Michael

For those of us in the UK, vintage Marks and Spencer clothing, under the name St Michael, is available in abundance. St Michael was used as a brand name from 1928 to 2000. Their labels have undergone a number of changes over the years and when checked, along with the…

Flea-bitten

I was already many years an adult when I first visited Portobello Road. Bedknobs and Broomsticks had given me false expectations, it should have been obvious really that I wasn’t going to stumble into a dingy wartime alleyway with an air of Victorian underworld about it. To be fair, it…

Mythology and mystique

Just as the magic carpet in the Persian tale The Three Princes and the Princess Nouronnihar (from One Thousand and One Nights) could transport its owner across distant lands, the real-world Persian carpet holds the power to do the same through its design and motifs.

A bit about the boteh

More widely known in the UK as ‘paisley’ the boteh motif dates back thousands of years to the ancient Persian Empire. It adorns the columns of the 9th century Noh Gonbad Mosque and is present on the crowns and clothing of Persian kings in numerous portraits.

Not for reading

Fake books and their hidden contents. I think the idea of fake books is right up there with priest holes in Tudor buildings. Chopping out the middle of an old book to hide some trinket inside is something many of us probably tried as children, before realising it was quite…