A constantly changing range of antique and decorative items for the home and garden, including unusual one-offs and items made exclusively for The Cat’s Whiskers by local craftsmen.
The following review is taken from the November 2008 edition of "Antiques Diary"
"If you have never visited the charming market town of Marlborough in Wiltshire, here is a good reason to do so."If you have never visited the charming market town of Marlborough in Wiltshire, here is a good reason to do so. At the end of the High Street, face the Town Hall and take a left-hand fork. On the corner you will find the delightfully eclectic shop "The Cat's Whiskers", easily identifiable by the selection of small furniture and garden items hanging up outside.
Spread over two floors, with a pretty little courtyard crammed with gardenalia at the rear, this shop offers a wide range of antique and new items for the house and garden, as well as a fascinating mix of unusual gifts from only £1.
Proprietor Sue Rumbold started her career as a student and later became well-known throughout the antiques trade as "Blue-Sue", specialising in Victorian and Edwardian blue and white china. However, on opening "The Cat's Whiskers" about seven years ago, she took the opportunity to diversify into other areas, including vintage textiles, gerdenalia, painted furniture and jewellery.
"Sue's best selling range of ceramic coasters, especially popular as Christmas presents."As the business expanded, Sue found it necessary to move to larger premises, and is now in her third shop, both floors of which are stuffed with imaginatively sourced vintage and contemporary pieces. Her unique version of "Shabby Chic" suits both period and contemporary design styles, mixing gentle paint finishes with antique china and glass. and handwoven kelims (imported by Sue) with vintage quilts and eiderdowns, at surprisingly low prices. Antique pine and painted dressers and tables are complemented by vintage kitchenalia, mixed with a range of new chalkboards, and Sue's best selling range of ceramic coasters, especially popular as Christmas presents.
Indeed, "The Cat's Whiskers" is ideal for unusual and affordable gifts, including silver jewellery for under £10, cufflinks, gardenalia and silk scarves. Sue likes to support local artisans, commissioning one-off pieces for the shop, such as the exquisite range of recycled copper hearts and pendants exclusive to her, and a range of attractive trugs made from recycled 1940's crates - perfect for pot plants, bottles of wine, jars of jam, or garden tools. Antique wine bottle carriers are complemented by Indian wirework containers of tea-glasses - ideal for drinks or tea-lights - and antique galvanised washtubs and baths to use as wine-coolers. When you're not partying, they make ideal planters paddling pools or dog-baths.
An inveterate recycler, Sue is ingenious in finding new uses for items which others would dismiss as obsolete. Her selection of hand woven antique linen includes Hungarian corn sacks to use as bench covers or bath mats. Pretty cushions and lavender bags are fashioned from vintage fabrics, while locally made hand felted bags and cushions add a pretty touch to any room. Antique washing dollies are ideal toilet / kitchen roll holders and hand made grain scoops contain kitchen clutter, magazines, and a host of other items. Vintage plum drying racks, sieves and ladders are suspended from walls and ceilings to hold utensils, plants and bird feeders.
Sue's range of silk lined velvet coats and jackets, exclusive to her and with her own label are popular sellers all year round. Starting at an amazing 48 pounds, and available in an array of jewel like colours, they are ideal for the evening or dressed down during the day with linen trousers or jeans. They make a welcome change from the mass produced garments found in most high streets, and are flattering to all ages, shapes and sizes.
Always popular are towel rails, pretty painted chairs, shelves and chests of drawers. Bedside tables start at only £32 and there is usually a good selection of mirrors available. Antique and new garden furniture is availble all year round, and often sells well at Christmas, providing additional indoor seating for guests, then folding away until it is needed in the garden next spring. Some of the best sellers for gifts are antique watering cans - ideal gifts for keen gardeners!
This shop is a must for anyone wishing to furnish their home stylishly on a budget, to give an individual touch to a garden, or to find an unusual gift. From hooks to handbags, coats to cushions, earrings to eiderdowns, and furniture to fun gifts, "The Cat's Whiskers" is an indispensable source for the discerning shopper!