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Horncastle's Great Expectations - Antiques Collectibles Contemporary

Updated on September 19, 2014

Great Expectations Antiques

Have you ever been to Horncastle? Do you enjoy collecting antiques? Or do you like browsing through collectibles for a bargain? Do you have a favorite antiques emporium near you? Great Expectations is an antiques emporium set on the Spilsby Road in picturesque Horncastle. Horncastle, an ancient market town in the Lincolnshire Wolds, has a quirky shabby genteel feel that makes it an adorable destination to visit. Its narrow streets and many secondhand book stores and antique shops are a treasure trove for collector and browser alike.

Collectibles jostle with valuable antiques in a particularly friendly fashion! Horncastle even lays claim to a genuine death mask "Tiger Tim" or Timothy Brammer - hanged in about 1827. It is covered with generations of paint and adorns a door on South Street.

This is about our visit to Great Expectations and the antique collectibles we saw that day. Just click on the 1920s music and join me for a happy wander round the emporium....

Intro image photo from my own personal collection, please do not copy.

Vintage Music from Art Deco Days - Flappers, Floozies, Floy Joys and Happy Feet to Tap!

I had fun listening to some of these old favourites and hope you will too!

Vintage Sheet Music on eBay - Gilbert and Sullivan and other gems...

One of my vices is to collect sheet music. Everyone knows this, sometimes I buy it and sometimes I just get given it! I am downsizing at home and from time to time I have to slim down my collection.... Please note, these items were listed as "used" and they ARE old, they are not "like new" this is an obvious bug, so please go by the image and description! Thank you

Great Expectations Antiques
Great Expectations Antiques

Persian Cats, Antique Furniture and Dreams....

Our visit to Great Expectations Antique Emporium

With a house full of Persian cats who basically own everything, my passion for Georgian wooden furniture and art deco chairs lies unfulfilled but old furniture in general is more durable and just nicer. We needed a small cupboard to mount a railway writing desk on, so we headed Great Expectations Antique Collectibles shop. Great Expectations is an antiques emporium, a shop and house converted into a whole browsers paradise. For an antiques collector it is a dream come true.

There are collectible antiques in every corner piled high. I loved looking at the antique writing desks, but as I have expensive taste and precious indoor cats with sharp feet, that would not be wise. We headed to the back where they have antique furniture for sale. It is not a showroom. Everything is piled higgledy piggledy, tables and chairs on pianos - only the really good stuff automatically makes the showroom but this is a place where bargains can be found. Fine antiques and collectible antiques nestle unnoticed among the house clearance rejects. We settled for a sturdy stripped pine cabinet circa 1940 - utilitarian and not too precious to become a scratching post!

Exploring the Emporium

A Treasure Trove of Antique Collectibles

It was then time to explore the emporium for smaller treasures. It is at this point you realise how easily you could become an antique collector yourself! Were it not for downsizing we would have a field day among the antique collectibles here. I am a sucker for Art Deco antiques - I just love the style. China is a delight to see and to eat from, but untidy piles of Royal Albert and Royal Worcester hold little interest. Today I am hunting for objects of virtue, coloured glass and crystal ornaments and the inevitable glass and china cats!

I wish they had this Lalique crystal Tiger - Hunting for the Hunter - Lalique crystal tigers....


LALIQUE Crystal Sitting Tiger

What is the value of Lalique crystal? Its monetary value is obvious, I would search the mall for hours looking for Lalique cats or other glass and crystal cats for my collection. To find something like this Lalique tiger is a little fantasy of mine.... Well, if it is a nice day tomorrow, perhaps?

Lalique crystal tiger ashtray - Buy Lalique tigers, but why use them for cigarettes?

Brass, silver and china collectibles
Brass, silver and china collectibles

Antique Silver and Collectible Brass

Forgotten Craftsmanship and Modern Trends

At Great Expectations, there is a section for the family silver. I love silver, but sadly it rarely reaches a fair price on programmes like Flog It. You get the nasty feeling that beautiful and ornate objects are being sold at meltdown prices for precisely that - scrap value - which is so very sad. Antique dealers and collectors alike are ruled by trend and silver is presently out! Brass collectibles and candlesticks dominate another section too. Brass tends to fare better than silver.

To own such a beautiful object and grind cigarette butts in it is beyond my ability to understand. It is akin to people lighting cigarettes with 20 notes - just cheap and ostentatious - something this Lalique tiger could never be. For me, should I find such a wonderful beast on a mall hunt, I shall certainly rescue him from predatory smokers!


Art Nouveau enamel, antique silver & crystal butterfly brooch

Gorgeous Art Nouveau butterfly brooch - a delightful and collectible gift!

Contemporary silver, enamel and marcasite butterfly brooch

White China Persian Cat
White China Persian Cat

Sewing Machines, Contemporary Cats and Mdina Chess Sets

A successful hunt at Great Expectations Antiques and Collectibles Emporium

Although many of them are simply exported to sweatshops in the textile industry, antiques sewing machines are always very popular searches. These machines are beautiful as well as functional but there are so many of them that they have little resale value. Antique games and doll antiques are an interesting find, but the doll I need to find was not there. Instead I was drawn to a 2002 large white china cat that bore resemblance to Woolly Bear - hardly an antique, but impossible to leave behind.

I also found a delightful Mdina green chess knight paperweight which will make a perfect gift.

We came, we found what we were searching for plus an objet de virtue and another cat. A successful morning for one and all and we are sure to return to Great Expectations antiques and collectibles emporium time after time!

Antiques need not be expensive

Shabby chic is in!

Visiting car boot sales, antiques malls and auctions of antique collectibles can be very rewarding. For the many who choose to invest and sell on hoping to make a profit it has become almost an industry. For others it is a way of recycling constructively, of buying old objects that are better constructed than their modern reproduction counterparts. It is a way of developing a Bohemian feel and a unique style in your home!

Art Deco Reproductions - Bring the Bohemian into your home....

Let me know here if you like what you see. Thank you for visiting!

Buying Antiques in Horncastle

The latest additions to my collection... Over the Whitsun break we visited Great Expectations again and the search was on for a new crystal cat. In fact, we found two - neither of them antique, but both pretty in their way. One is an Alum Bay glass cat with swirly colours - it is really quite pretty. The other is a small Chinese made paperweight with colours at the bottom - cheap and cheerful, but it is a cat. Who knows, one day I might track down another Lenox cat - or perhaps even a Lalique....


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