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The Antiques section of Portobello road market begins from Chepstow villas to Elgin. This section must also pass as perhaps the biggest collection of bric-à-brac I have seen. From decorated tea cups, figurines, photographs and the ubiquitous British flag themed miniature mini coopers and London buses, there is a weird and wonderful collection in this section to feast my eyes on.
I stood at the entry point as I observed the countless punters. Most struck me as well heeled folks genuinely interested in what was on offer. Others were merely intrigued. Now and again, I’d catch a conversation or two which suggested that at least a fair number of these visitors had come not to gawp but to buy.
A collection of gas masks and vintage military fatigues snapped me out of a momentary transference to to the mid century. The collection of bones shook me further and brought my own mortality into sharp focus. Even that did not get me scurrying off. Such was the potent attraction to this apparently the biggest antique market in the world.
My favourite market stall had to be the vintage briefcase stall. It was only a few months ago that I commandeered my father’s own couple of decades old Harrods Gladstone (now vintage) Doctor’s briefcase much to his bemusement. There is some perhaps inexplicable reason that drives people into seeking to own antiques. Is it a desire to roll back the decades to a by gone era for sentimental reasons? Or is it just a basic human desire to own a piece of history that could never again be replicated authentically? That overwhelming feeling of pride that could only come from exclusivity perhaps? Whatever it is, the antique section of portobello road market is what makes this market what it is today. A must see for anyone who happens to be in Notting Hill, West London.