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A delightfully funky jumble of classic signs and vintage gems

This trove of urban signage is set to become a destination e-shop

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A delightfully funky jumble of classic signs and vintage gems

April 07 2011
Charlotte Abrahams

These days no vintage chic home worthy of its slightly distressed walls is complete without a bit of framed “street furniture”, so if you are working this look and still have to track down a sign, I urge you to log on to Colporter asap.

Founded by Catherine Williams as an outlet for her passion for all things old and interesting, Colporter has three departments devoted entirely to urban signage. “Bus Blinds” specialises in the iconic London Routemaster bus destination blind (from £125), “Subway Signs” in – you guessed it – New York subway signs (Crescent Street sign, £400) and “Transport Signs” in curiosities such as “Way Out” notices (£70) from the London Underground.

And that’s not all. Williams has also scoured the flea markets and antiques fairs to bring online shoppers such vintage gems as a 1950s Ford advert (£40), a copy of Louisa M Alcott’s children’s classic Little Men (£10), some shabby chic Gustavian-style wooden benches (small bench, £200) and a selection of those glass display domes under which artistic folk arrange found objects into interesting tableaux (small, £65; medium, £70).

It all sounds a bit of a jumble, but the stock is grouped into logical departments (“Furniture”, “Vintage”, “French Finds”) and is clearly and attractively photographed. However, being an online brocante, there’s no guarantee that everything you see will be available (the day I visited, for example, that “Way Out” sign was already sold), but Williams will source to order and, with her connections, you shouldn’t have to wait too long.