I have banged on about this before, but I love discovering places in Singapore that make you feel like you’re stepping back in time.
This strange but completely wonderful row of dilapidated, dusty old stables lie just beyond the Blue House school in Turf City and are chock full of antique finds. Some that you definitely wouldn’t want (a no longer working TV set from the 60s) and some that you would (beautiful antique bird cages, elm dressers and kopitiam-style tables with their white, grey-veined marble inlay).
‘Antique row’ is actually made up of two shops. The first one is less exciting and also much smaller. Things here are generally in quite good condition though and when we popped in there were lovely lamps (pictured below), record players and other things that I am sure I could have accommodated if only I had a bigger house (not an argument I can see myself winning with H: ‘I’d like a big house please so I can fill it with old things no one else wants’).
The second, much larger shop a bit further along, ‘Junkies Corner’, is the best place to start. It’s a barn of a place and the entrance is marked by two huge stone dogs of foe (or it was when I went there last week but he may have sold them by now).
A veritable, real-life Aladdin’s cave there are some things here that look as though they’ve been ripped straight out of the black and whites from colonial days.
Although he’ll sell to anyone, his customers are usually dealers based in and around Malaysia. He cites space as a real issue for people here in Singapore – which gives them less scope to buy from him – whereas in Malaysia there’s not quite the same problem.
(I do so love the browsing cockerel who we met on our first trip here, see above.)
The perfect place to visit in the hope of picking up something really quite special before embarking on a Taylor B trawl, it’s a great starting point if you’re looking for something specific.
But…be warned…due to its new location (he used to be out in the East) he is used to seeing one of two angmoh and there is, I’m afraid to say, angmoh pricing.
This is actually a fairly easy problem to get around. You just need the ability to bargain firmly yet politely, to really want what you are buying and to bring a Singaporean friend along with you to lend some credibility to your cause.
Both antique shops are at 2 Turf City Road and are open from around 10am. Don’t call (they begged me not to put their numbers on this post as they hate people ringing them up to ask whether they have a particular item in stock)…just go!
I was introduced to this find by my Italian/Brit friend who has grown up in Singapore and is a goldmine of random and unlikely finds. Thank you MC.