The best of Surrey’s antique scene this September

Royal commemorative collectables

Royal commemorative collectables - Credit: Archant

Every issue, antiques expert Ali Heath brings us all the latest from the local scene – from the best fairs and auctions to where to bag a bargain. With the birth of Prince George, this time she looks at Royal collectables

Focus on…

Royal commemorative collectables

With Royal baby fever having gripped the nation over recent weeks, it’s a good time to purchase and keep a few treasures that will be available to buy. In years to come, as the baby grows and becomes a future king, so too will the value of these items rise.

For the time being, it is likely that we will see a revival of patriotic nostalgia, as enjoyed with the Royal Wedding, Golden Jubilee and, more recently, the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. All these events have triggered an ongoing increase in popularity of the Royal family and demand for quality royal memorabilia has continued to grow. Enjoy collecting and do save a few special pieces marking the baby’s arrival – these may make you very happy in years to come!

If, in the meantime, you have a collection of not so perfect porcelain treasures that have become stained over the years and need restoring, then I hope the tips below will help.

5 top tips…

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For restoring porcelain

• Porcelain restoration can be achieved by using many different techniques and materials. Ultimately, it is a practical process involving examination, dismantling, cleaning, joining, filling and painting/glazing.

• One of the most common restoration needs is stain removal. Stains can occur along the cracks in a given object. These stains can either be organic, resulting from daily wear and tear, or inorganic, caused by metal supports and dowels that have been used on either the outside or inside of the porcelain.

• Organic staining can often be removed by repeatedly soaking your piece in water with a mix of Ariel biological detergent. Ariel is the most effective detergent for porcelain (care should be taken, however, as Ariel can also dull the look of over-glaze enamels).

• Copper stains are usually dark green in colour and normally arise from dowels or from gilt/bronze decoration. Wearing protective gloves and goggles, try soaking a cotton wool pad in a strong solution of ammonia. Press the pad over the stained area, wrap it in tinfoil and leave overnight. Then wash the porcelain using a mix of Ariel and water.

• As with all methods of cleaning, it is important to let the porcelain dry completely before moving onto the next stage of restoration. Place on white tissue paper and leave to dry. Do not use coloured paper or newspaper as the print will transfer itself to the edges of the crack or individual fragment.


Ali Heath is the owner of Plum (see / To contact Ali about styling and writing commissions, e-mail


This month’s must-visit event

With autumn nearly upon us, we are all making the most of the last few summer days, and there can be few better places to do just that than Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking. Located to the north-east of Dorking overlooking the slopes of Box Hill, the estate will be hosting a Vintage and Collectables Fair on Sunday September 29. Featuring items from the 1920’s through to the 1980’s, they will have approximately 30 dealers in a beautiful setting. Well worth a visit, relax over a spot of lunch in one of their two restaurants; enjoy some additional retail therapy in the vineyard’s own gift shop; and take the opportunity to enjoy a tour of the wine estate and winery whilst you are there (advance booking recommended). Plus, entrance to the fair and car parking are free.

Vintage & Collectables Fair,

Denbies Wine Estate, London Road, Dorking RH5 6AA. Tel: 01306 876616 /