Wish you were there?

The Edwardian splendour of classic rail travel is recalled in this rare mint condition promotional postcard for the Great Central Railway (1897-1922). The company would later form part of the much larger London and North Eastern Railway. Today it survives as the UK’s only main line heritage railway (http://www.gcrailway.co.uk/)

Postcards, coins, stamps, militaria and ephemera of all sorts attract interested amateurs and discerning collectors alike every Saturday at Charing Cross Market. See you there.

Buttoned up generation who wouldn’t back down

Hand-made silk buttons are ten a penny if you know where to look – even ones that are over a hundred years old like this one.  But few are a subtle reminder of a movement which galvanised women across Britain in a bid to win the right to vote.  A Venus symbol picked out in the suffragette colours of purple, white and green, this was one Edwardian woman’s show of support for Emmeline Pankhurst’s Women’s Social and Political Union.  The more moderate suffragists fought under a different organisation and a different flag so this suggests real conviction on the part of whoever wore it.

‘Deeds not words’ was the suffragettes’ motto – chaining themselves to railings, disrupting meetings, breaking windows and, of course, most famously, Emily Davison throwing herself under the king’s horse at the Derby in 1913.  A measure of their success is that when we think of the women’s movement of the time it is images of their direct action which come to mind first rather than letters to the Times, petitions or public meetings. But all gestures play their part, even this small button – a discreet memento of a fascinating battle in the struggle for gender equality, not to mention a perfect complement to International Women’s Day 2019!

A survivor of the Great War

Somehow surviving some of the fiercest fighting on the Western Front without taking a bullet for its owner is this German cigarette case. The inscription reads “Weihnachten 1917 i/felde II/ J R 16” (Christmas in the field, 1917, 2nd company infantry regiment 16). The 16th Bavarian regiment numbered among its soldiers none other than Corporal Adolf Hitler. While serving with the regiment he won the Iron Cross first class. Although there is no name on the case, Hitler was a committed smoker during these years….

It’s incredible what our stallholders find. See what’s new this Saturday and every Saturday, 7am – 3pm.

A Victorian Valentine’s Gift

Not your typical ValentinesDay gift but all the more memorable for it…. Queen Victoria herself paid for tins of chocolate like this to be sent to the men serving in South Africa during the Boer War (1899-1902). Many soldiers kept the tins. Few managed to resist the temptation of eating the chocolate so this is an exceptional find. A much less well preserved one turned up only last year -https://www.thevintagenews.com/2018/07/10/queen-victoria-chocolates/
Just another great example of the sort of collectibles turning up at Charing Cross Market every Saturday, 7am – 3pm.


Bird? No.

Plane? No.

Original franked letter strapped to a gunpowder rocket and fired over a mountain range in the Eastern Himalayas in 1935? Oh yes.

This remarkable relic of postage history was the brainchild of one Stephen Hector Taylor-Smith, an Indian aerospace engineer who was officially authorised by the king of Sikkim to pioneer mail delivery by rocket. Although the experiment worked, this was a short-lived method (as a few of the rockets exploded, incinerating the ‘rocketgrams’) so examples like this are much sought after. The only ordinary thing about this is where you might find it…. Charing Cross Market – the usual place for discerning collectors. Every Saturday 7am – 3pm.

Battle of Britain Combat Report

“As I made my way back I noted a Hurricane going down on fire…”

Read the words of one of 601 Squadron’s front line pilots as he describes his latest sortie over Central London on 26 July 1940. This is one of a pair of actual written reports on enagagements with the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain. It’s not every day that you get to see items of such genuine rarity and historical significance. It’s just Saturdays. Between 7am and 3pm. At Charing Cross Market.

Naval Ratings Insignia

Yes, in the navy you can sail the seven seas but did you know that you are also issued with a ratings badge to show your specialism? On the left we have one for a special coder in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in the Korean War while the other two are for a diver 2nd class and photographer 2nd class. These are emminently collectable. Why not kick off your collection at Charing Cross Collectors Market this Saturday….

Operation Cornflakes

One of our stallholders has a terrific bit of philatelic history for sale. Everyone’s familiar with the Hitlerian profile stamps of the Third Reich but few have seen the British secret service’s attempt to undermine German morale with the forgeries on the right. Operation Cornflakes saw these death’s head “FUTSCHES REICH” (Destroyed Empire) stamps used on fake mail created in its thousands and dropped on bombed mail trains. The plan was for this to be confused as the real thing and later delivered to addresses around the empire, thereby lowering morale. Although largely ineffective, it’s another stamp with a story to tell. You’ll find many more this Saturday at Charing Cross Collectors Market. See you there.

Several Hundred Careful Owners

This silver tetradrachm coin of the Seleucid Kingdom minted during the reign of Seleukos I, Nikator, (312 – 280 BC) is guaranteed used. Based on the classic design adopted by Alexander the Great, who knows how many ancient hands have exchanged this particularly fine coin? It is just one of thousands of coins available every Saturday at Charing Cross Market. Begin your collection or enhance an existing one. 
Every Saturday 7am to 3pm.