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Article: Where I buy vintage items for my collections: Robert’s Rummage, Hastings

antique shopping

Where I buy vintage items for my collections: Robert’s Rummage, Hastings

In this series, I’m opening my little black book and sharing my favourite places to buy antique and vintage goods around the UK. First up, I shine the spotlight on the Aladdin’s cave that is Robert’s Rummage in the heart of one of my special places – Hastings Old Town.

Robert’s Rummage has been run for the last 40 years by Robert Mucci who is such an interesting person to talk to and quite a character. Having lived and worked in Africa, Robert is an avid collector of African art and is listed in The British Museum’s directory as a dealer. He has also given many talks on the subject: one, that was given at Hastings Contemporary with artist Paul Hope, can be listened to here. I’ve had the privilege of being allowed to view his abundant collection which fills the entire upstairs flat and is incredibly impressive. If you are interested in African art and artefacts, don’t miss Robert’s Curios further up the High Street at number 42.

Robert’s Rummage is a tiny shop and it’s very easy to feel completely overwhelmed by the sheer volume of ‘stuff’ in there – I still feel like this even after visiting this space for a couple of years! To say it is floor-to-ceiling is no exaggeration, there are even items hanging from the ceiling. It’s also a rabbit warren of a place so be prepared to get a little squashed if it’s busy.

But despite this, everything is vaguely sorted into zones. There is a huge section for tools and random electrical wires and sockets, followed by textiles and ephemera. There are drawers and drawers all beautifully labelled – spoons, handles, door knobs, hooks. Then you move around to books and china, followed by toys, games and sewing. In front of the counter you will find costume jewellery and more expensive items and to the left in the window, boxes and boxes of knick-knacks – this is where you will find me poking about most of the time.

Recently Robert has amassed a huge collection of old cameras, so if there is something you are particularly looking for, do enquire. I once asked him if he had any more chess and domino sets and he went off upstairs only to return with many more than I needed!

You will never come out of Robert’s empty-handed as there are always new things to see and is always the first place I go when my stock of ‘smalls’ is running low.


Robert’s Rummage
68 High Street, Hastings, TN34 3EW
Opening times are not listed, but in my experience, the shop is open 7 days a week.

PLEASE NOTE: Robert doesn’t like people taking photographs in the shop. I have always asked permission to take pictures and film at Robert’s Rummage.


Robert’s Rummage was also featured in this video (created by the wonderful Teo Tomasso) showcasing my creative process and inspirations:

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