One thing from Crystal Palace Antiques & Modern

I’m buying one thing from every shop on the Crystal Palace Triangle. This is the eighth thing.

I’d re-furnish half the house with stuff from here if I had my way. None of it would suit, everything would clash in a Channel 4 hoarders-style maximalist mess. Precisely why I must be stopped!

Hello, this is shop eight in my mission to buy one thing from every shop on the Crystal Palace Triangle and blog about them as I go along. You can see all such posts here

The shop

Crystal Palace Antiques and Modern.

I always feel like there’s a noun missing from the end of this place’s name.

Modern what? Modern implied things.

For consistency perhaps it should be Crystal Palace Antique and Modern. Or Crystal Palace Antiques and Moderns

Either way, this is the largest purveyor of antiques and moderns in London and it’s amazing – with twenty dealers operating over four floors of a former Victorian textile warehouse on Jasper Road, just off Westow Hill. Here:

Red graphic hand pointing at the location of Crystal Palace Antiques, on a black and white streetmap

The many things

This is such a fun place to explore, with rooms off of rooms, surprises around every corner and new stuff to see each time you come.

Rooms like this one:

Leading to rooms like this one:

Dozens of rooms full of hundreds of interesting things.

In ten years of visits, I’ve tended to be mostly mesmerised by the medical glass-and-iron display cabinets. Routinely rapt by the magazine racks. Constantly captivated by the coat stands. Dazzled by drawer units. Anaesthetised by anglepoise. (Hold on, two more). Hypnotised by haberdashery cabinets. Bewitched by butcher’s blocks.

On this visit, the things that enthralled me the most were…

Everything you need (apart from qualifications) to set up a psychiatry practice

Tell me about your mother.

Things they used to make, like which they don’t make anymore 

It’s been such a short hop from these tech marvels to smartphones. Hard not to feel sad for the beautiful things we’ve lost. Best keep scrolling…

These questionable figures

On the other hand, some old things should come with trigger warnings.

Bums, boobs and a nice pear

I feel all fizzy in my downstairs and I don’t know why. 

A cup of tea and RT

Just the thing to calm down after the excitement of those last five images. 

This stunning school cabinet

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A wide set of school drawers with stripped paintwork. It's really attractive.

These satisfyingly sandwichy 1950s tesselating tables

They go together (♫ like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong ♪).

2 triangular laquered wooden side tables that go together to form a square.

This oasis of calm in the basement

When you browse from the top rooms and end up here, it always feels like you’ve graduated to minimalist modernist heaven. Like the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey, only shorter. 

The one thing

Given a lack of openings for new (antique or modern) furniture in our house – and let’s be honest my healthy fear of my wife – I was on the hunt for something cheap, small and useful. 

It was hard to choose. I longlisted these. 

The milk jug because nostalgia: my folks had one a lot like this during my childhood on our farm in Devon. The mag racks and hat stands cos something in my wiring makes me always want to buy these despite their the near total absence of mags and hats in my life. The metal drawers because stationery + storage = 🤩.

What came home with me in the end was this safe bet. 

It’s not especially old, which must make it a modern. Its label says “treen dish, £25”. OK, Google…

“The term treen is derived from the old English word trēowen, meaning “of the tree” or to put it in more simple terms, wooden. In the antiques trade it is the collective name used to describe handmade functional items which are made predominantly from wood.” (nobody is badadan them at knowing antiques lingo) 

The thing in its new home

Its true purpose is yet to reveal itself. But for now, it’s accidentally assumed the function of holding various charging cables on my office windowsill. They nestle into its treen curves quite nicely. 

Thanks for stopping by. I will be back with another thing from another SE19 shop soon. Where will I go next? Nobody knows or cares! Exciting isn’t it?

Crystal Palace Antiques & Modern is open 7 days a week and bank holidays, at Imperial House, Jasper Road (just off Westow Hill), Crystal Palace SE19 1SG. Follow them on Instagram here for much nicer photos than mine!

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One Comment

Ben Welby March 14, 2024 Reply

The Anglican in me can’t help but suspect a riff on Hymns Ancient and Modern. Which Wikipedia tells me was first published in 1861 and last updated in 2013.

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