Whether it’s stamps, coins, theatre tickets, records or baseball cards, collecting is actually good for us. Simply being absorbed in a task which is not required of us by work or personal relationships is an excellent way to put the cares of the world to one side and psychologists agree that this is a very real benefit of any collecting hobby.
As we age, it becomes ever more important to keep the grey matter active. Regularly immersing ourselves in the history, provenance and characteristics of a collection is a great way to exercise our powers of observation, memory and judgement.
As a collector, you are part of a distinct social sub-group with a shared interest. Immediately, there is a rapport with any fellow collector and the social benefits of a mutual hobby often lead to lifelong friendships.
Finally, as the world continues to turn at an ever dizzying pace, there’s the nostalgia for a particular period in history. The past isn’t going anywhere soon. It can be a comforting anchor in the eye of the storm that is 24 hour news cycles. Whether it’s the football programmes you started collecting in childhood or finding an unusual coin in your change, collecting often has very mundane, but very enduring, roots. And while the average age of collectors in traditional fields like coins and stamps continues to rise, it has become an even broader church. The bug of collecting is every bit as strong in today’s children and while Happy Meal plastic toys and Pokemon cards might not be everyone’s cup of tea, they just might prove to be a gateway drug.
Yes. Once again the Shangri-La of the collectors’ world will be open to the public tomorrow – not quite as usual because of course we’ll be taking all the usual precautions to keep everyone safe. But the main thing is that London’s second most famous trading floor will once again bring together philatelists, numismatists, deltiologists, militaria buffs and collectophiles of all kinds. Some dealers are packed up by 2pm and early birds will always get the first chance to see what our traders have on offer so make sure you don’t miss the boat. We’re dying to see you – just don’t forget your mask!
We’re delighted to announce that, subject to the precautions set out in a previous blog post, the market will reopen next Saturday 5th December. With London being placed in a Tier 2 category, we can meet all the criteria for safe operation which is really great news coming as it does just before Christmas. We have been inundated with enquiries since the announcement so we know lots of you are keen to catch up and bolster your collections. Quite honestly, we can’t wait to see you all again and next Saturday can’t come soon enough!
In today’s blog post we’d just like to reassure visitors on two points: yes, we’re still open and, yes, we’re taking every precaution to ensure the safety of both the general public and our dealers. Central to these precautions is the requirement to wear a mask. Don’t worry if you forget yours as they are available for £1 on the door (with complementary disposable gloves).
A one way system is in place meaning that visitors must enter by the Villiers Street entrance (by Costa Coffee) and exit by the stairs leading up to The Playhouse Theatre. We carry out a temperature test on all dealers and visitors with a non-contact infra-red sensor. Anyone failing this test is asked to return home and self-isolate. A one metre social distancing protocol applies in all areas of the market.
Although these measures are inconvenient, they are a prerequisite for the safe operation of the market which will always be our number one priority. We look forward to seeing you this Saturday.
The UK’s only weekly stamp, coin, postcard, militaria and ephemera collectors’ market continues. Where else could you buy genuine military formation patches, rare stamps from all corners of the globe, a silver coin from the reign of Charles I, historic postcards, ancient African artifacts and any number of other unusual and exotic items all under one roof? In fact, we doubt whether a more eclectic collectors market exists anywhere else in the world… It’s not for nothing that Charing Cross is traditionally regarded as the very centre of London from which all mileposts took their distances. So come along this Saturday from 7am to 2pm, browse to your heart’s content and see what our traders have for you this week!
On display at Charing Cross Collectors Market last Saturday was this headturning display of antique helmets. The two buffed ones on the left are French fireman’s helmets – the furthest left dates from 1880 / 1900 while the one below it on the table is from 1900 / 1920. Cutting a dash in the middle with its distinctive Pickelhelm spike is a German lobstertail cavalry helmet from WWI while on the right is its gloriously plumed French counterpart from the second empire period (1852-70). Come along this Saturday and see our latest range of wonderful antique collectables. 8am – 2pm.
Long regarded as the very centre of London, Charing Cross also enjoys a distinguished position as the only weekly Collectors Market in the UK. Stamps, coins, militaria, postcards, ephemera and antiques of all kinds can be found here every Saturday from 7am till 3pm. Experienced collectors, dedicated amateurs and curious first time visitors all rub shoulders in the exciting hunt for their next big find. Come along this weekend and discover your passion!
Visiting the market from Torquay with his Dad last Saturday, 11 year old Zach is normally looking to add more decimal currency to his collection. On this occasion though, it was a Freemason’s Chronicle on one of the ephemera stalls which caught his eye. Some might wonder what appeal such an esoteric old volume might have for a young lad just starting secondary school but Zach’s answer spoke volumes about his maturity. “It’s not the actual monetary value. I just love the history of the item” – clearly a young man of taste and discernment! We look forward to seeing him again.
Whether it’s a (defused!) WWII grenade, a set of Italian stamps commemorating the international gymastics competition of 1951, a silver tetradrachm from the third century BC or an Eagle comic from 1983 featuring Dan Dare taking on the evil might of the Mekon….chances are we’ve got it.
This is just a sample of some of the treasures on offer every Saturday at Charing Cross Collectors’ Market. Add to your collection (or start one!) this Saturday in the heart of Central London.
Smaller than a penny but minutely engraved with the profiles and (names!) of 21 European royals, this medallion is a touching tribute from one old man to his colleagues at a Birmingham die sinking factory. Approaching the end of his working life and with his sight failing, the man (whose name we don’t even know) spent every spare moment working to create something for his workmates to remember him by. The intricate work took seven years’ and hastened his blindness. He used the die to cast just five examples and then broke it up, retired and died within a few months completely blind.
Although Queen Victoria is the central portrait on one side and the (then?) Prince and Princess of Wales on the other, this is very hard to date. Various other nobles, the Duchess of Connaught and Princess Louise among them, can be seen round the outside. The only source we have is the Daily Mail article seen here but if anyone knows any more please get in touch.