Thursday, 21 September 2017

The London Design Festival

Set up in 2003, The London Design Festival has become an annual event that aims to promote London as a the design capital of the world. Drawing in designers, makers, thinkers and retailers, it's a creative hub that showcases the best the UK has to offer. Taking place from 16 -24 September, it's a busy week of events mainly consisting of exhibitions, trade shows, installations and workshops. There is really something for everyone here and you are guaranteed to leave feeling inspired.

Unique and interesting design can also be found all over Alfies, everything from Italian and Scandinavian through to South American, all ranging a number of periods and artistic styles.

Read on for just a few interesting pieces of design along with some of our stands at Alfies.

A view of the Cupio Gallery stand located on the First Floor Mezzanine

An English copper table lamp, offered by Christine Murray

A view of the Thirteen Interiors stand located at G001-04 & G049-51

A Japanese silver vase with enamel overlay, c1950. Offered by Kieron Reilly

A view of Steven Lazarus' stand located at F017

A 'Space Age' lamp by Carlo Nason for Mazzega c1969, offered by Cupio Gallery

A view of Christine Murray's stand located on the First Floor Mezzanine

Dutch Groeneveldt vases, c1960s. Offered by The Moderns

Coinciding with the last day of The London Design Festival, Church Street will be hosting an art, antiques and design flea market on Sunday 24th September. Antiques Anonymous is a collaboration between 80 art and antique dealers based in Church Street, Marylebone, including those within Alfies Antique Market. Along with 50+ independent traders from across London and further afield, plus live entertainment and street food, the event aims to highlight Church Street as a last outpost for high-quality decorative objects, both old and new.

Monday, 18 September 2017

New Dealer: Pax Romana Ltd

Pax Romana Ltd, one of the leading suppliers and collectors of ancient art & numismatics in the world, have recently joined Alfies.

In their gallery on the second floor, you will find a large selection of ancient and medieval art and coins. In addition to this, they offer highly specialised professional services in the fields of appraisal, authentication and conservation of antiquities from neolithic to post medieval periods.

Below is just a small selection of the treasures they have on offer....

Viking horned open-work pendant

Roman silvered plate brooch with cruciform motif

Hoi An Shipwreck Hoard - Decorated jar with lid

Viking gold earrings

Early medieval Viking neck-torc with Lunar, sun, spoon pendants

Roman Empire --Phillip I Arab (244_249) AR antoninianus

Indus valley painted terracotta jar with animal motif

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Matisse in the Studio

Matisse in the Studio is currently taking place at the Royal Academy of Arts, offering you the chance to step into the artists studio. The exhibition promises to be more engaging than the usual with the aim to give a real insight into the mind of one of modern arts icons. The space has been filled, just like his original studio, with the treasured objects collected by the artist on his travels around the world, which proved to be a profound source of inspiration. This event offers the viewer a rare opportunity to see original Matisse works intermingling with his collection to provide a rich portrait of the artists private world.

Matisse went through a number of phases and styles during his career, producing a very diverse body of work, some of which can be seen below:

Paysage à Collioure

Madonna and Child

Moroccan Cafe

Brook with Aloes

Drawing from the exhibition ourselves, we took a look around Alfies at just a few of the many Matisse inspired works...

A garden scene signed by D Bereny, 1950s. Offered by John Cserny Fine Arts

Portrait of a lady by Peter Collins, 1950s. Offered by Robert McKoy Fine Arts

A lake scene, oil on board, 1930s. Offered by i Fine & Contemporary Art

'Metal Under Stress' by Joan Hewitt, 20th Century. Offered by Thomas Fine Art

Norh African street scene, oil on canvas, 1950s. Offered by Robert McKoy Fine Arts

Matisse in the Studio is exhibiting until 12th November 2017. Tickets can be purchased here.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Festival Fashion

The festival season is still upon us, and if you're attending one  this summer we think it's a good excuse to dress up - it's all about escapism from the rat race and your usual attire. Festival fashion in the 1960s-70s was the most creative, especially with the come-as-you-are ethos of the era. 

Woodstock set the trend for festival fashion. On 15 August, 1969, Woodstock began in a field near Yasgur's Farm at Bethel, New York. The three-day concert featured 24 rock bands and drew a crowd of more than 300,000 young people. The event came to symbolise the counter-culture movement of the 1960s.

The fashion of those times continues to influence modern culture and the Woodstock style beat goes on!

A Woodstock reveller

The fashionable crowd at Woodstock

Alfies is the ideal place to buy your statement outfit, here's just a small selection of vintage fashion reminiscent of Woodstock...

1960s Bohemian shirt, handmade in Lebanon, from June Victor at Alfies

Gordon Clarke Simpson dress, from June Victor at Alfies

Radley of London dress, from June Victor at Alfies

1970s dress, from June Victor at Alfies

Seventies linen dress with beaded belt, from June Victor at Alfies 
1960s gold statement earrings from Dream Retro

Thursday, 3 August 2017

A Few Of My Favourite Things: Horner Antiques

This week we spoke with Michael Horner of Horner Antiques to gain an insight into some of his most valued items of stock. Michael chose five pieces from his collection within Alfies that either have a story behind them, or are of particular historical interest. Horner Antiques can be found at stand G012-13, on the ground floor beside reception.

From left to right: Japanese Imari plate (one of a pair), Japanese Heisen bowl, Ku-Tani vase (one of a pair), Chinese brush pot, Ku-Tani vase (one of a pair), Chinese teapot, Japanese Imari plate (one of a pair)

A pair of Imari plates – Imari is actually made in the Japanese town of Arita but is named as such because traditionally when wares were being exported to Europe, the crates in which items were stored were stenciled with 'Imari' relating to the port it was departing from. During this time, in Japan only nobles and certain ranks of soldier were permitted to ride horses and so the items would have been transported to the port of Imari by bullock drawn cart. Richly decorated with trees in blossom and butterflies, these plates would have been made around 1880/1890 and made purely for export to the West. Due to a lack of knife marks, it is also believed that these items have never actually been eaten from and are purely decorative.

A Haisen bowl - This piece would have been made in Arita around 1860-1880. Traditionally used by a Geisha for rinsing sake or tea bowls and decorated in traditional blue and white with stylised dragons and a Greek key pattern which was popular in the ancient world and travelled through the old trade routes.

A pair of Ku-Tani vases -  Ku – tani was an area in Japan, similar to that of England pottery areas which were originally known as the five towns and now Stoke-On-Trent. Ku-tani is a mix of two worlds which translate as 'nine valleys' and is where the white clays, feldspar and pigments were found to create the colour that is now known as Ku-Tani. These vases are from around 1890 in the Meiji period and decorated with classical figures in n a country scene.

A Chinese brush pot – Bearing a mark of the emperor Kangqhi, this piece was actually made during the late Victorian period under the emperor Juangxhu. As with a lot of Chinese pieces, the mark and period don’t always match. A traditional custom in China was to put an older mark on a piece as a sign of respect to one's ancestors. The decoration to the pot is Confucian, and in reference to the teachings of Confucius is depicting a fish holding up the world. The Chinese believed that there was heaven and middle earth (China) and then everything else. The potter responsible for making this piece gave the brush pot one final go on the pottery wheel and has lightly raked with a comb to create slight ridging, making it easier to lift. Fish at this time were used as entertainment in the form of ponds and fish bowls and people would have bred and sold their own fish.

A Chinese teapot - This piece was made around 1770 during reign of emperor Qianglong, who reigned from 1735 to 1796. The teapot would have been made for export to European trade and would have gone to a very wealthy family. At some point during the reign of Queen Victoria the porcelain handle was damaged and restored with a replacement handle. This was a rare occurrence at this time because people took care of their possessions - items were expensive and difficult to replace. Hand painted with figures fishing and the knop is in the shape of a peach, which in eastern folklore is a sign of longevity.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

July's Birthstone: Ruby

Rubies, the birthstone of July, are often used to represent love, health and wisdom and are widely considered to be the king of gems. To this day it is still the most valuable gemstone with the value increasing based on colour and quality. 

Traditionally, it was believed that wearing a ruby would bestow good fortune upon its owner, making all those born in July a very lucky bunch indeed.

Alfies isn't short of these lucky charms, read on to see just a small selection of our favourites.

A pair of 1980s natural ruby and diamond earrings set in 18ct gold. Offered by Kieron Reilly
A Victorian cranberry glass vase. Offered by Sheila Cameron

A 1950s paste brooch. Offered by April Antiques
A Whitefriars ruby glass molar vase with controlled bubble details. Offered by Robinson Antiques
1940s natural ruby and diamond brooches. Offered by Zeeba Jewels
A 1950s Japanese lacquerware sherry glass and tray set. Offered by Horner Antiques

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