Today we’re visiting with another one of our truly inspiring Stars Antiques customers, Cheryl Frampton, about her personal collections. Cheryl originally hails from England, but now lives here in Portland. We love the story about her family’s shop across from Windsor Castle and her genuine love of old things.
“It is good to go with a budget and stick to it. Keep an open mind as to what you might find as sometimes an object is meant for you and will catch your eye. If it’s something you really have a good feeling for, then buy it. You will regret it otherwise. Above all, just enjoy the fun!”
–shopping tips from Cheryl Frampton, Stars Antiques customer
How did you get into vintage?
My grandparents, aunt and uncle all owned stores opposite Windsor Castle in England from when I was a young girl. One of my aunts owned a lovely antique store down a very small cobbled street in Windsor. The store was named “Nell Gwyn’s”. Nell Gwyn was the mistress of Henry the VIII and there was a tunnel that ran from Windsor Castle to the store where Nell Gwen once lived. Obviously, that had all been bricked up, but I remember being taken down there and seeing where that connection once was. I guess my fascination with antiques and things of the past developed from there.
Even my engagement ring had to come from an antique store. I just have this ability to pick things up and feel an energy with that object. I wonder where it came from? Who owned it? How did they get it? What sort of home did it live in? To me, a vintage or antique piece is never just another collectors item or something to collect for money alone. I look at old photographs and wonder about those people and their connections and I’m just fascinated by it all.
History was the only subject I actually loved and excelled in. My grandparents also lived in India prior to opening their stores during the second World War, they had amazing collection of antiques from India, so once again this fascinated me, more than any modern day collections.
A few things you particularly love to collect?
It is not so much a favorite era as such, as I am not keen on Victorian decor or anything too pompous, grand or over the top. I much prefer the Shaker style—simple and distressed look. However, I have just started to collect old kitchen tins from around the 1930s and do love the 1930s and 40s for that, so I guess that would be one of my favorite eras.
It also depends on what I am collecting at the time. I love to collect old vintage cards, photographs and use them for collages or gifts to others. Right now in my own home I have displays with some of the old pics attached to vases, jugs, mugs—any display I feel will benefit from that look. I love old children shoes, and intend to buy them and white wash them myself and add some old family pics or cards. Right now I am seeing a lot of vintage bingo cards being used for display purposes, like in old picture frames.
What is your dream vintage score?
I would love to find a collection of 1930s perfume bottles in the blue cut class that my auntie once owned. I am not sure where they originated from and I have kept an eye open, but have yet to find them anywhere. I guess it would help if I knew the designer, but I only know it was around the 1930s and they were a limited edition.
Is there a vintage score that got away?
Just the other day I was snooping around a new antiques store in Oregon City. Not all the dealers were set up and there was an amazing wrought Iron Clothes Rack, in cream—almost a shabby chic look. It has a rack for shoes and had small birds attached to the rack, in perfect form. It would have worked perfectly in our new home! Our new house did not have a coats cupboard so this would not only have looked good and gone with my style of design, but done a jolly good job. I hesitated because I had recently spent so much. The house we have moved into is double the size of the small cottage in Lake Oswego we were in.
I had only driven a few blocks and decided to go back and guess what? It has just been sold. I could have kicked myself, having not seen anything like that before. Here I was—always being the one to advise others that if you see something you like and can afford it, BUY IT!—and there was me not following my own advice.
Are there other collectors in your household?
I would like to say yes, but my husband is a hoarder given the chance more than a collector. He cannot throw anything away without thinking there might be a use for it one day. Luckily I am not like that so faded shirts, socks with holes, old magazines, etc all get recycled in a manner of fashion. Having said that he, does like his English music magazine, Mojo, and has been collecting them for many years. Before we moved to the USA, I took a few dozen down to the local shop, thinking nothing of it, but it turns out there were a few collectors magazine amongst them. Now, that is the one thing I don’t throw out so easily.
Any vintage shopping tips?
1. It is good to go with a budget and stick to it. 2. Keep an open mind as to what you might find as sometimes an object is meant for you and will catch your eye. 3. If it’s something you really have a good feeling for, then buy it. You will regret it otherwise. 4. Above all, just enjoy the fun.
What are some of your favorites place to eat, visit or shop in Portland?
Oh, I would have to say Sellwood and Milwaukie for sure. When we first move to Portland, and knew no one, we lived in John’s Landing and would walk to both places. I came across Stars Antique Mall and that was it—IN LOVE hook line and sinker. Most of my favorite shops are in this area and there are wonderful quirky places to eat and quaint pubs. Parts of this area remind of the village I lived in back in the UK, so I guess that helps with my attraction to the place.
What is your perfect summer day?
Now you are going to find this strange, but I do not like summer. If it’s around 70 degrees—that’s fine, but over that, no thank you. A hot summer day would find me in air-conditioned places and praying for the fall to arrive. Don’t all shout at me at once, but seriously, my perfect day would be walking in the fresh air amongst the falling leaves. Junk shop and antique hunting, break for coffee, then finding a small pub with a roaring fire. I have loved those days as long as I can remember and can always get warm. Nothing beats going home to a warm place, fire and glass of wine or two and looking at your treasures. The only thing about summer that I do like is the beautiful gardens and feeling that I have more time in the evenings to get things organized.
READ MORE: STARS CUSTOMER COLLECTIONS