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photo of paul and karen

rennies seaside modern

specialists in british art & design of the 20C

we are paul & karen rennie

British goods poster by Mountmount and evans studio 1967

We have moved from London
after 10 years of fun and work...

our address is:
47 The Old High Street
CT20 1RN

generally open Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday

otherwise we could be HERE or HERE or LOOKING ROUND THE TRIENNIAL ....

or even at a RENAULT 4 RALLY.

please check we are open before travelling long distance!

captain webb print

We do try to update our website regularly.

Items for sale are added all the time.


Paul and Karen Rennie met at Sothebys back in 1980 where they worked

for 6 years before becoming country auctioneers. They left their jobs to

open their shop in London, first at Butlers Wharf and then 10 years in

Bloomsbury at French's Dairy.  In 2006 they moved to Folkestone to open

their ship's cabin of a shop.  Paul received his doctorate and is now teaching

at Central Saint Martins London.  He can of course be found in the shop

at weekends too,  and is a very handy delivery boy for items taken to London!

If you want to see some press coverage about us... please click HERE!

If you want to see one of Karen's previous Triennial contributions... please click HERE orHERE or HERE or HEREor HERE


I suppose it is inevitable that we both have shopkeeper blood.

Paul's French family, Courvoisier, were Parisian furriers.

Karen's paternal grandfather, Alex Fishman, came to England at the turn of the century

and established himself as a flatcap maker in Brick Lane London. He and his family ran the postoffice there,

which remained in the Fishman family until the 1980s.

K's maternal grandfather, Julius Slonims was an importer of Bohemian crystal and had a photographic studio off Rosebery Avenue London,

also in the East End of London. (Julius was also rather an accomplished painter, copying the old masters!)

see here...

And here we are, two generations later.

paul2009  karen2009

2009 at the De La Warr Bexhill

photo at home © edmund clark

photo in shop © matt rowe

Paul and Karen in Calais 2014
and some of our favourite meals here 2017

Paul proudly holding Martin Parr photo

Paul proudly holding Martin Parr photo of him in shop
and wonderful photo by Paul's student Claire Køster taken with Hasselblad!


outing to see Great Globe Swanage 2016
outing to Compton Verney 2016
outing to Bredgar & Wormshill Steam Railway 2016
Kand P in Calais 2017
Gormless Folkestone 2017 Triennial
K keeping warm in many layers (inadvertently chanelling Zika Ascher on the ski slopes?)2019
P&K on Wissant Beach 2018- K's first film with her Rolleiflex (of course Paul took the one on right)

nice photo of Paul by Poppy Hollis for Harpers Bazaar May 2019 wearing his most expensive beret,
bought in Brussels.
(the only one in the hat shop - they were delighted to see it go!)

Just before lockdown no.1 2020, we visited Pallant House, Chichester for the wonderful Barnett Freedman show.
This is us in front of our posters!

nice portrait ©Matt Rowe

P is delighted that his long awaited book on Tom Eckersley has just arrived from Batsford and it looks great. (2021)

photo in shop ©Richard James Taylor (for National Geographic Traveller online summer 2022)

Normandy 2022
it was windy!
Here's hoping the old vehicles will take us over to France in 2024 too. We made it to Baie de Somme in 2023, after a few dramas.


Neither Karen nor myself are old enough to have visited the Festival of Britain (1951),
nor experienced the material difficulties of the post-war period in Britain.
Indeed, our first recollections are of the consumer boom of the 1960s.
We both knew something exciting was happening, even if we didn’t understand exactly what it was.
Perhaps because of this, both of us have always loved shops and shopping.
Indeed, we first used to go out together on shopping trips (Glamour City, Battersea, and the King’s Road, c1980s). 

We’ve run our vintage and antique shop for thirty years now.
Thanks in part to Mr Bib the Michelin Man and Terence Conran,
we embarked on the road to retail.
We delivered a vintage Michelin poster to Sir Terence back in the 1990's on a windy, tumbleweed day in Shad Thames;
he offered us an empty shell space to try out our fledgling business for two years.

People don’t usually associate the antiques business with the thrifty virtues of economy and sustainability…
but there’s a powerful appeal to buying quality that lasts.
In fact, we’ve applied the same logic to our car, our allotment,
and to our taste in clothes, (happily mixing vintage with new underwear and shoes!);
quality preferred.

Some of our things, the car for example, were not old to begin with.
We’ve had huge pleasure in looking after the car and keeping it going.
Along the way, we’ve made friends with the people who’ve helped us repair things and keep the show on the road.

One of the things we’ve discovered over the years is that, by being ruthlessly selective and keeping going,
you do end up wth lots of lovely things…
and you can live in an environment of abundant economy, and have a great adventure at the same time.

2019 - Paul enthuses about posters for film 'Outbreak of Talent' by Thomas Volker

and also in 2019 - Bev Speight asked Paul to contribute to Middlesex University's Saturday Art Club
which he absolutely loved and so it seems did the students! Read review of the day here
and all being well with the world, this will happen again soon....

It did happen on Saturday 30 April 2022.
in June there is a show of the National Saturday Club at Somerset House.

Paul can be found too at his 'real' job teaching at Central St Martins BAGD and at the Margate School - what a busy fella ; )

The shop:

The shop shows a selection of vintage graphics, furniture,

ceramics and textiles by British artists of the 20C. We cover

the period between WW1 and the Festival of Britain in 1951.

a recent visitor (2018) described it 'as rather like looking inside your brain',
which apparently was a compliment!

Our studio room above the shop has shelves like this...

In 2013 we were nominated for best vintage shop in Britain,

and were awarded 'Bronze'

Here is our homemade medal as Homes & Antiques only gave us

a paper certificate - we were very proud nevertheless.

Thankyou to everybody who voted for us.

We're interested in all the things artists have made that aren't painting,

drawing and sculpture. The willingness of artists to create new kinds of

work has its origins in the avant-gardist desire to escape the bourgeois

values of salon painting and to engage with audiences beyond the gallery.

Coincidentally the 1920s and 30s was a period during which different

forms of modernism emerged in consequence to the political and social

upheavals of WW1. The character of English modernism depends as much

on the landscapes of garden and seaside as on the vistas of the metropolis.

It's distinguished by a modest, low-key scale that finds expression in the

home-made, beach hut, garden shed and artist's studio. It's a comfy modernity.

Anyway, it's lovely stuff for home and not too expensive

Some of these items have been sold - we're sorry for any disappointment

but hope you'll be inspired by the possibilities.

We have many other exciting things for sale too.

au revoir au revoir....

to read about the history of the shop please click HERE

to read some press stuff please click HERE

For all the newcomers to Folkestone and visitors too, we wanted to share some

*****'memories of the early days' of the Creative Quarter too - please click HERE..****



rennies seaside modern
47 the old high street
ct20 1rn

e -

t - (0)7986 834084 anytime