Seek and you will find: An A to Z of antiques in Suffolk

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!

AldeburghThis splendid centre at the heart of Suffolk’s Heritage Coast is a firm favourite. Its name means ‘Old Fort’ and its place in history was confirmed when Sir Francis Drake’s 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 361A 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. Auction housesManders/Clare auctions, ClareIf you want to experience an auction for the first time and get what so many don’t give anymore...good honest friendly advice about all sorts – this is the place.

Antiques shopsGo to Long Melford and look out for Alexander Lyall & Noel Mercer – there’s 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 UK’s, if not the world’s, leading specialist in oak furniture.

 B is for Bury St Edmunds, Bindings and Books 

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Bury St EdmundsA 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 BooksAntiquarian books can be found in a number of Suffolk outlets. Each has their own speciality. It’s 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 720110Bardsley’s Books in Bungay has expert knowledge and information on arts, architecture, fine printing and the Folio Society.Bardsley’s Books, 22 Upper Olland Street, Bungay NR35 1BHTel: 01986 892077V 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 723046Beckham books (www.beckhambooks.com)Chilton Mount, Newton Road, Sudbury, SuffolkYes it’s on line but it’s 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

 

ClocksDave 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 Britain’s 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 company’s own workshop. Little St Mary’s, Long Melford, CO10 9LQ Tel: 01787 375896

Clare Antiques and InteriorsAt 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. It’s all there along with expert advice. Make sure you have a few hours and a full wallet when you visit.Maltings Lane, ClareTel: 01787 278449

D is for Diss

Diss Antiques, Interiors and JewelleryThis 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 4JTTel: 01379 642213info@dissantiques.co.uk

E is for East Bergholt and Brantham

Golden Oldie Antiques – art and antique expertsBrantham Mill, Bergholt Road, Brantham CO11 1QTTel: 01206 392257

F is for Felixstowe

So many places to visit in this traditional English seaside town, it’s difficult to know which to choose. Tea and Antiques featured in BBC’s 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 Aladdin’s 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, GlemsfordTel: 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 7BNTel: 07710 282329www.bumpsteadantiques.co.uk

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:D�j� vu, 105A Cliff Lane. Tel: 01473 233 622A Abbott Antiques Ltd, Suffolk, IP4 4NE Tel: 01473 728 900Lion House Antiques, Fenn Farm, Hadleigh Rd, Burstall, Ipswich Tel: 01473 652 084www.bigautographs.com

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 610info@jandjbaker.co.uk

M is for old Masters and Maud’s 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 379287Now for an exceptional shop. Named after the owner’s dear grandmother, Maud’s Attic is always a pleasure to visit. It reminds me of a genuine fortune teller’s 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 Peter’s St, Ipswich IP1 1XFTel: 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 Restoration5 Wellington St, Newmarket CB8 OHTTel: 01638 668388Treasures, 22 Rous Road, Newmarket CB8 8DLTel: 01638 669960Newmarket 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 301490Castle Antiques, Market Hill, Orford, Woodbridge Suffolk IP12 2LH Tel: 01394 450100The Old Brewery Antiques, The Old Brewery, Melton Rd, Woodbridge, IP12 1PDTel: 01394 548101.

P is for Price 

Do discuss price. Although all the businesses included here provide value for money, any collector’s 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 OLWTel: 01284 828081sales@abbotsbridge.co.uk

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 1SRTel: 01728 688 303info@snapemaltings.co.uk

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 4NWTel: 01782 454639tb@thorpenessemporium.co.uk

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 you’ve had in the family for years. A definite must in this list.Autumn Lodge, Loudham Lane, Ufford, Woodbridge, IP13 6EATel: 01394 460878furniturerevival@aol.com

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, WoodbridgeTel:  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 3JWTel: 01728 66 88 44

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