Thursday, 14 June 2018

Father's Day Gift Ideas at Alfies

In tribute of Father's Day on the 17th of June, we have put together some inspirational gifts for dad. We think the following ideas are a surefire hit... or, you could buy him his 27th pair of novelty socks. We know what he'd prefer!

Bowie by Dan Reaney. Limited edition acetate/chrome and glitter painting with signed certificate,
available from Planet Bazaar

Silver and onyx cufflinks, 1970s, available from Gloria Sinclair

Vintage bankers lamp by NIAM of France, c1920s, available from Travers Antiques
Leather and silver hipflask, available from Goldsmith & Perris

Cartier 18ct and sapphire tie clip, available from Kieron Rielly

Edwardian collapsible opera top hat, available from Linda Bee

Men's costume jewellery, c1970s ring with ornate shank, diamond cut surface with a matt gold tone,
available from Arabella Bianco

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Flower Power

It's officially flower show season! Last month saw the iconic Chelsea Flower Show hosted by the Royal Horticultural Society with many more taking place through the Summer months right up until September. The RHS was founded in London in 1804 and has since become the UK's leading gardening charity. The society aims to promote horticulture making the UK a greener place through their inspirational flower shows, promotion and education.

Here are some of our favourite plant based pieces from around Alfies:

A Monet print, 1970s. Available from Moe Heidarieh

A Chinese prunus vase, 1916. Available from Horner Antiques

A Jean Allen dress, 1960s. Available from June Victor

Flowers in vase painting, signed, 1940s. Available from i Fine & Contemporary Art

An enamel flower scent bottle, 1970s. Available from Gloria Sinclair

A watercolor floral painting by Lucy Kemp Welsh, 1930s. Available from Robert McKoy Fine Arts

A floral button down dress, 1950s. Available from June Victor

A floral painting, oil on board, 1950s. Available from i Fine & Contemporary Art

Thursday, 17 May 2018


Among some of the most vibrant pieces on show at Alfies right now is lots of coloured glass. Always popular and striking, glass also has huge scope, coming in many forms. Technically known as glass art, Murano is considered to be the birthplace of the modern styles and is still one of the most popular styles of glass available. 

As a decorative medium, glass was developed in early Egypt and Assyria and was desired by the Romans. The earliest evidence of glass blowing was found in Chogha Zanbil during excavations where many glass bottles were found and were dated to the 2nd millennium BC.

In the context of being used as an art form, glass reached the height of popularity during the Middle Ages, when the builders of the cathedrals of Europe began creating stained glass windows as a major decorative element in their architecture.

The 19th century saw factory glass blowers replaced by mechanical bottle blowing and birthed some of the great modern designers such as Lalique, Tiffany and Whitefriars which are still hugely popular in the world of antiques today.

Here are some of the most eye-catching pieces we have seen around Alfies...

Yellow and orange glass serving dishes, c1970s. Available from W & L Antiques

A cranberry crackle glass, c1890s. Available from W & L Antiques

Midnight blue and turquoise glass perfume bottle, c1980s. Available from Hayman & Hayman

An orange glass splash vase, c1950s. Available from Beth

A Davidson Pearline yellow glass sweet dish, 1915. Available from Beth

A French peach splash glass bowl, c1950s. Available from Horner Antiques

A Czech aquamarine glass vase, c1960s. Available from Robinson Antiques

An amber glass perfume bottle, c1940s. Available from Hayman & Hayman

A Whitefriars ruby glass vase, c1965. Available from Robinson Antiques

A Val St. Lambert lime green glass vase, c1950s. Available from Louise Verber Antiques 

A Murano crackle glass cased vase, c1960s. Available from Robinson Antiques

Friday, 11 May 2018

New Dealer: Planet Bazaar

A view of the Planet Bazaar stand

We welcome new dealer, Maureen of Planet Bazaar to Alfies. Maureen has provided a sourcing service for unique 20th Century pieces for the home for the past 20 years.

A view of the Planet Bazaar stand

We asked Maureen a few questions to find out more...

How did Planet Bazaar begin?
From my desire for collecting vintage pieces.

How would you describe your stock?
Passionate, colourful and eclectic.

A view of the Planet Bazaar stand

What is the most highly sought after item you have in at the moment?
The eyeball floor lamp.

The eyeball lamp

Which designer do you admire, and why?
Ettore Sottsass - because his work speaks to me.

Ettore Sottsass

What piece would you love to find?
I know it when I see it. I don't set out to find a piece. It's what gazes back at me from an object or work of art - the like of collecting.

If you could own any piece of art from history what would it be?
One of Francis Bacon's Screaming Popes.

 Screaming Pope by Francis Bacon

Visit the Planet Bazaar stand located on the first floor at Alfies, F057/58.

Friday, 4 May 2018

May's Birthstone: Emerald

May is the heart of Spring, making the Emerald a very fitting birthstone for the month with its colour matching the lush growth and landscapes of the season. Just as Spring is associated with renewal, in the eyes of the ancient Greeks and Romans, the emerald is a symbol of rebirth.

The Egyptians also valued emeralds, considering them to have protective powers, which led to them using the gem in jewellery and burial ceremonies. Cleopatra is possibly the most famous character in history with a fondness for the emerald, using them heavily in her personal adornment and even taking ownership of all the emerald mines in Egypt during her reign.

Some of the oldest emeralds are estimated to be 2.97 billion years old and are still among the most valuable gemstones to own today.

In honour of the dazzling jewel, here is a selection of our favourites from Alfies:

Emerald and diamond baguette ring, 1980s. Available from Kieron Reilly

French Art Deco emerald and diamond filigree earrings, 1920s. Available from Pari's Jewellery

French Art Deco diamond and emerald platinum ring, 1920s. Available from Kieron Reilly

A diamond and emerald bow brooch, 1940s. Available from Zeeba Jewels

A Columbian emerald and diamond gold ring, custom made, 1970s. Available from Pari's Jewellery

Diamond and emerald drop earrings, 1970s. Available from Kieron Reilly

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Last chance: ABBA | Super Troupers

ABBA: Super Troupers at Southbank Centre (until 29 April), charts the rise and legacy of the iconic Swedish pop group, whose upbeat music offered much needed escape and optimism during the strikes and financial turmoil of 1970s Britain.

The exhibition, narrated by Jarvis Cocker, takes a close look at some of ABBA’s original costumes, personal photographs and sketches, handwritten notes, album artworks and musical instruments.

ABBA were well known for their garish stage outfits, however they were not just influenced by the sequined needs of being a dancing queen; it recently came to light that the design of their clothes was also a form of tax evasion.

According to a new book by Björn Ulvaeus, "the band's style was influenced in part by laws that allowed the cost of outfits to be deducted against tax - so long as the costumes were so outrageous they could not possibly be worn on the street."

ABBA: Bright colours, prints and metallics

ABBA: Sequins

ABBA: Black glam

At Alfies we discovered lots of eye-catching pieces that would not look out of place on Agnetha & Anni-Frid at an ABBA concert...

Metallic silver platforms, available from Tin Tin Collectables
Silver crochest dress, available from Tin Tin Collectables

Celia Birtwell for Ossie Clark blouse, available from Tin Tin Collectables

Star and Moon vintage clip-on earrings, available from Gloria Sinclair

Jean Muir metallic gold jacket, paired with a gold crochet camisole, available from June Victor

1970s designer red dress, available from June Victor

Sequin Moschino blazer, available from June Victor

Embellished corset, available from June Victor
Abba: Super Troupers at the Southbank Centre, London SE1, will until 29 April 2018.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

The Queen's Birthday

Happy birthday to Queen Elizabeth II who will turn 92 on April 21st! Whilst this is her date of birth, the Queen's official birthday takes place in June. All British sovereign are given the option of choosing an 'official' birthday to celebrate. This tradition dates back to 1748 when King George II decided to celebrate his birthday twice - once on his date of birth in November and again in the Summer, having decided that Autumn wouldn't be an ideal time for public celebration because of the weather.

On her birthday in April, the Queen will celebrate privately but the occasion will be marked by gun salutes in London at midday - a 41 gun salute in Hyde Park, a 21 gun salute in Windsor Great Park and a 62 gun salute at the Tower of London. For her official birthday in June, a parade will take place in central London.

Here are a few fun facts about a hugely interesting figure in British history, Queen Elizabeth II -
  • She is the only person in the UK who is allowed to drive without a licence
  • She is the longest reigning monarch ever in Britain, beating Queen Victoria
  • The Queen first sent an email in 1976
  • She has seen 12 Prime Ministers come to power
  • Her favourite dog breed is the Corgi
  • She is a trained mechanic after having joined the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II
  • She has sent around 50,000 Christmas cards to date, and counting..

In celebration of Her Royal Majesty, we took a look around Alfies for a few objects dedicated to her:

A Royal Worcester 'Queen's 8th Birthday' figurine. Available from W & L Antiques

A selection of memorabilia mugs, c1950s. Available from W & L Antiques

A Silver Jubilee swim costume by Speedo, 1977. Available from Tin Tin Collectables

A selection of memorabilia mugs, c1950s. Available from W & L Antiques

A set of tea forks with the royal insignia, 1937. Available from Goldsmith & Perris

A Silver Jubilee stationary set, 1977. Available from W & L Antiques

A Silver Jubilee scrapbook, 1977. Available from W & L Antiques

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