Returning from Berlin with a suitcase bursting with fabulous junk, I decided to visit two of my favourite London junk shops to see what new delights might have turned up. Although I often come home with a couple of purchases I mainly go with the view of meandering through these chasmic troves for inspiration and amusement.
Butler’s Furniture, 157 Martha Street, E1 2PG
Brian’s railway arch features a lot more that just furniture, most notably a collection of hand painted signs and mis-matched effigies, which presumably he made himself. The centrepiece is a butler-bull which if I had the space would certainly become a permanent fixture of my entrance hall. Be sure to mantain a keen eye as things often get tucked around corners or behind one of the many signs which range from abstract comedy to darker political commentaries.
Des & Lorraine’s, Bacon Street, E2 6DY
First things first you need to ask Des to show you his mummified mermaid. Then you can get to your browsing, and browsing it may be because amusingly lots of the stock isn’t for sale. I like to think of him as a professional hoarder, keeping a shop to justify his collections. The unspoken rule is anything you can reach you can buy, anything that is suspended or on a high shelf is off limits to customers. Multi-plugs, crockery, cameras, tins, tools, toys and furniture can be found among the innumerable oddities that grace this kingdom of junk.