Oxford, Vintage, Vintage Clothing

Mallams of Oxford Vintage auction: A Century of Style

When I tweeted about the crazy but wonderful Unicorn vintage shop in Oxford, Mallams auctioneers replied agreeing that you need about five hours in there just to make a dent in the rails.

I had a quick look at what they do, and to my surprise, in little Ol’ Oxford this Saturday the auction house was holding a sale entitiled: A Century of Style: An Auction of Vintage & Designer Clothing, Accessories, Costume & Designer Jewellery, Fabrics & Theatre Costumes. Well, I don’t think I’ve been more excited since I was the first person in my primary school class to get a furby!

The auction takes place on February 1st  from 10am at their site at 24a St. Michael’s Street in Oxford, with viewings available this Friday from 9am-7pm.

With 197 lots up for grabs, I’ve fully enjoyed browsing their catalogue and reading all the product descriptions. There is a mixture of wearable vintage, such as this Emma Domb pale pink lace and silk evening dress.

emma dress
Photo from Mallams’ website

To pieces of history, such as this pale green ballet tutu designed by Maria Bjornson for the character of Nymph in the 1994 Royal Ballet production of Sleeping Beauty, performed at the Royal Opera House. (p.s its 20 years old, so we’ll let it be called vintage!)

tutu 85
Photo from Mallams’ website

I decided to have a look and see what items similar to the lots I might have in my wardrobe. They are by no means exact matches but here are some of the pieces:

Lot 15 vs my vintage jacket

chanel collage
Chanel suit photo from Mallams’ website

I love this 1980s green wool Chanel two piece from the auction. The lot description says it has a Chanel Rue Cambongold coloured button fastening to front, button detailing to cuffs and silk CC embossed lining with the Chanel Boutique label inside. I thought this looked similar to a jacket I own, which I bought from Resurrection in Liverpool. Not a Chanel find unfortunately but the wool and style are quite similar. The estimate for the Chanel suit is £150 – 250.

Lot 151 vs my vintage brooch

Dior brooch photo from Mallams’ website

Lot 151 (top left) is a 1970 Christian Dior gilt metal brooch. Its unusual shape reminded me of a gift my friend Cheryl gave me. It’s a YSL brooch in an unusual barrel shape. I was so excited to receive it, it always feels more special when a gift is in a box! The estimate for the Dior piece is £10-20 #bargain

Lot 39 vs my Mum’s sheer jacket

oriental collage
Chinese gown photo from Mallams’ website

Lot 39 is made up of two items a green silk Chinese coat, with toggle fastenings and and an orange Japanese kimono decorated with a  floral pattern. My jacket (although not an overall Chinese style) had similar fastenings to the green silk coat. Before I moved to Oxford I made sure some select items from my Mum’s wardrobe *just happened* to slip in my suitcase. I haven’t worn this jacket too much as its sheer and not warm but I did wear it to Vintage Festival at Wilderness in 2012. Here I am…


Lot 35 vs my vintage evening gown

dress collage
Black flapper dress photo from Mallams’ website

Lot 35 is a 1920s style beaded and sequined flapper dress in a floral design. Although my dress is a different colour and style, as I was browsing my rails I thought the beading work on both made them a good match. They are both long and sheer at the bottom and would suit any ballroom dancer to a T! I’ll admit that I’ve never actually worn this dress and had it for  nearly eight years, I’ve just never had an occasion to wear it. Alas, one day…..

I hope you’ve enjoyed the pieces I’ve picked out and hopefully I’m going to try head down to the viewing and/or auction. Well it is pay-day on Friday…

Here are some other pieces from the auction, and you can check all the lots out on Mallams’ website. Although the clothes are the stand out pieces there are also lots of accessories to have a browse through. I think it’s a fantastic collection and any pieces bought will be worthwhile investments. I want the green dress below!!!

collage 2
Photos from Mallams’ website
collage 1
Photos from Mallams’ website
92 collage
Photo from Mallams’ website
lot 94 collage
Photo from Mallams’ website

*The photos from the auction are all from Mallams’ website and the others taken by me.


  1. This looks fantastic!

    1. Hi Ebonie, Oh it was soooo much fun going to view it all as well.

      1. I didn’t get to make it in the end, my bribery of home made cakes couldn’t tempt my friends to drive me there and it was just to much by train. I’ll have to keep an eye on your blog for anything that is coming up 🙂

  2. […] 24 February 2016 and will feature a range of jewellery, accessories and fashion. I attended the preview evening of the exhibition in 2014 just when I first started this blog :). I’ll be keeping my eye on this one and with two […]

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