Thursday, 21 July 2016

Summer Catering: Antique Partyware from Alfies

Summer has finally arrived! Temperatures have been soaring this week and with that has come the clinking of Pimms glasses and the smell of the barbecue. If you're planning a picnic, barbecue or summer party this weekend - or want to be prepared for the next mini-heatwave (after all, it's impossible to predict) - then Alfies is a great place to stock up on vintage and antique drinkware and picnicware. A vintage dinner set or water set adds interest and a touch of class to a garden table, so get rid of that plastic atrocity you've had in the cupboard for years, and take a look at what Alfies has on offer.

We have found a great selection of glasses, pitchers and more from some of our dealers here at Alfies, here are our favourites:

1920s/30s American Art Deco Chrome plated cocktail shaker with engraved recipes. From Andy Powell.

As above.

1920s 1930s Art Deco Whitefriars sapphire blue glass jug and glass set with silver plate drink stirrers. From Robinson Antiques.

1920s/30s English Art Deco green alabaster glass water set. From Robinson Antiques.

1930s silverplate and Bakelite cherry pot with cherry cocktail sticks. From Beth.

1940s red and cream Bakelite ice bucket. From Beth.

1950s Whitefriars ruby glass mixer jug. From Robinson Antiques.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Emmeline Pankhurst

Emmeline Pankhurst was born on this day, July 14, 1858. In 1903, she founded the Women's Social and Political Union, which used militant tactics to agitate for women's suffrage.

As the leader of the British Suffragette movement, Emmeline Pankhurst was highly controversial both in the establishment and the movement itself. Pankhurst was imprisoned many times, but supported the war effort after World War I broke out.

Green, white and violet became the rec­og­nised colours of the Women's Social and Political Union. Since the suff­ragette movement slogan was "Give Women the Vote," Emmeline adopted the three colours: Green = Give, White = Women and Violet = Vote. The WSPU ex­orted women to "wear the colours" and show support for the mo­vement.

Suffragette jewellery flourished until 1918, the year in which British women first obtained the right to vote. Pankhurst died in 1928, sadly shortly before women were given full voting rights.

In celebration of Emmeline Pankhurst, we take a look at the Suffragette jewellery and items in Suffragette colours available at Alfies.

Silver and paste necklace, 1900s, offered by Zeeba Jewels

9ct gold, peridot, amethyst and split pearls, offered by Zeeba Jewels

Suffragette style vintage ring, offered by Gareth Brooks
Deco green frost glass 1930s bowl. Two part piece, from Renato

Set of 3 White Glass Celing Lights with Brass details, Danish 1950s, from Thirteen Interiors

Curved sofa, Italy 1950s, from Matt Mitchell London

Thursday, 7 July 2016

The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Flower shows are the ultimate quintessential British Summer events and - as the largest flower show in the World - The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is the show to visit. There are a number of events taking place throughout the six days, including a variety of show gardens, demonstrations and talks.

Founded by The Royal Horticultural Society, along with The Chelsea Flower Show, in 1990, this is one of the society's most popular events. However, whilst having all the hallmarks of a traditional flower show, this is one with a slight twist. The Hampton Court edition puts more of a focus on environmental issues, sustainability and food growing.

Taking place until Sunday 10th July, this is definitely an event that will appeal to all of Alfies' friends with 'Green Fingers' - as will all of these floral inspired designs we have found in store.
A floral Chanel necklace. Offered by April Antiques

A floral Chanel necklace. Offered by April Antiques
A selection of brooches. Offered by April Antiques
A pottery leaf  dish. Offered by Renato

A floral painted urn. Offered by W & L Antiques

A selection of botanical illustrations. Offered by Moe Heidarieh

Friday, 1 July 2016

The Second Floor Gallery: Matt Mitchell London

A view of Matt Mitchell's stand

Venture up to the second floor and you will discover a design lover's haven. Ever since Matt Mitchell London moved in four years ago, their eye for modernism and unusual decorative pieces has transformed the Second Floor Gallery into a breathtaking 20th century design destination. They have recently expanded, adorning the extra light-filled space with their extensive collection of well designed objects evoking timeless beauty.

We asked Matt Mitchell a few questions...

How did Matt Mitchell London begin?
It all began with a Bertoia chair in the travel agent next door to Vivienne Westwood’s shop, Seditionaries, on the King’s Road back in the '70s.  I was about 15. I asked the manager if I could buy it - he said no at first but eventually said yes, and that was the beginning.

How would your describe your stock?
It’s a very personal mix of individual pieces.  At the heart of the collection is the simple aesthetic of European modernism, with a touch of glamour.   

Do you have any personal favourites in your collection?
I particularly like a rare brass vanity mirror from Sweden for the fabulous patina – and coming soon we have a terrific set of Italian teak dining chairs with very unusual architectural lines - but overall I think my current favourite is a fantastic minimal steel ceiling light with extra long brass stems and brass details.  It’s a 1950s piece from the Netherlands, and that’s all we know, but it has a strong presence, and would be a great piece to go over a dining table.

Personal favourite: Rare 1960s brass vanity mirror, available at Matt Mitchell London

Personal favourite: 1950s minimal steel ceiling light with brass details, available at Matt Mitchell London

What is the most highly sought after item you have in at the moment?
We have a beautiful Boomerang chair by the Danish designer, Peter Hvidt, with new linen upholstery and seductive feather cushions.  I bought this piece for myself about 30 years ago, and as they’re very much harder to find these days I think I might keep it!

Boomerang chair by Danish designer, Peter Hvidt, available at Matt Mitchell London 

Which designer do you admire the most and why?
I like Friso Kramer and Wim Rietveld because they made everything from chairs to lampposts and even trams.

Pyramid Chair by Wim Rietveld, available at Matt Mitchell London

Friso Kramer "Reply" Drafting Table, available at Matt Mitchell London

What piece would you love to find?
At the moment I’d love to find a Maico Mobil scooter, and I’d love to be able to afford it if I did!

Your favourite film set design and why?
This is a great question! There are some beautiful scenes in Mon Oncle by Jacques Tati. I like the counterpoint between the Uncle’s apartment and the modern house. It was one of the early influences on my interest in design. 

A scene from Mon Oncle, 1958

If you could own any piece of art from history what would it be?
I recently visited the Cosmonauts exhibition at the Science Museum, so I’m currently thinking about Soviet bronzes or any other Soviet Constructivist works.

What do you think is the next big interior trend?
I’ve never been a big believer in trends, I prefer to follow my own instinct. I like pieces with character and history, that look like they belong and might always have been around, rather than pieces we’ve added to follow rules. I think a lot of people who shop with us approach their choices that way. It’s not a question of getting a look, more of something indefinable and individual.

A view of Matt Mitchell's stand

A view of Matt Mitchell's stand

French Modernist Dining Sets, 1960s, available at Matt Mitchell London

Brass & Silk Fringe Chandelier, Sweden 1960s, available at Matt Mitchell London

Matt Mitchell London will be holding a Midsummer Sale in Rooms S011 and S013 with special prices on selected pieces across their other Second Floor Gallery showrooms. For more info please contact Matt or Jayne, details below.

Matt Mitchell London
Second Floor Gallery | Stands S001-S013
Tel: 07776 196 550 | Email:


Just around the corner at stand S052, is Laurance at Creative Jewellery Company whose main area of speciality is in hand made unique jewellery, custom made for each individual to their own personal requirements. Laurance is also an expert in jewellery repair and restoration.

Laurance of Creative Jewellery Company at work
Face of Fortune chandelier earrings, inspired by the Mouth of Truth in the Church of Santa Maria, Rome. By Creative Jewellery Company

Read our blog post about Creative Jewellery company here.

Creative Jewellery Company 
Second Floor Gallery | Stand S052 | Tel: 07754 059 856

Friday, 24 June 2016

Cricket at Lord's

The cricket season is well and truly underway at Lord's Cricket Ground in St John's Wood. For those of you who are cricket widows or widowers, Alfies is just up the road from Lord's (take the 139 or 189 bus from Hall Road Abbey Road and get off at Church Street Lisson Grove) and is the perfect place to while away an afternoon shopping for antiques, collectables, 20th century design and much more.

Today, Thursday 23 June
Middlesex v Sussex
More information here

At Alfies we have a wonderful selection of Cricket related items, here's a small pick of what our dealers have on offer...

Signed 1950s cricket bat, from Eclectic Antiques & Contemporary

Cricket card print, framed, from Diplomat Treasures International at stands F042-45, F046-49 & F057/58

1950s Cricket bat tie bar, offered by Connie Speight

1950s silk scarf by Jacqmar designed by their in house designer Arnold Lever, highlighting
the rules and etiquette of cricket, offered by Tin Tin Collectables

Upcoming England internationals at Lord's in 2016:
Thursday 14 - Monday 18 July - First Investec Test match v Pakistan
Saturday 27 August - 2nd Royal London ODI v Pakistan

Visit Alfies Tuesday - Saturday, 10am-6pm.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

New Dealer: Henrietta Harper Antiques & Vintage

We are pleased to announce we have another new dealer who has recently joined Alfies: Henrietta Harper.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your company?
I have always been fascinated and surrounded by beautiful objects. I had also recently been spending a lot of time in auctions and simply couldn't help myself but buy everything and anything that caught my eye, and I quite quickly got to the point where I had more than enough objects to easily fill a little shop. I spent a lot of time researching it all and I knew everything there was to know about the items that I was clogging up my apartment with, and so I decided to move out of working in art galleries and focus all my time and energy on buying and selling the objects that I was truly passionate about, and here I am. 

How did your interest in antiques develop?
I think it's in the blood! My Father has been an antique dealer all my life and my childhood was spent crammed into the back of estate cars with all his antiques, paintings, and anything he could physically fit in the car. As I got older I actually started to appreciate the things he filled the house with and gradually spent more and more time learning about his pieces with him. When I eventually left school, I went straight into the business instead of University and just never left. 

Contemporary jug vase, offered by Henrietta Harper Antiques & Vintage

Contemporary ribbed vase, offered by Henrietta Harper Antiques & Vintage

What is the most interesting part of your job? 
Buying! Auctions are just so exciting to me and I get to play with my competitive nature a little. I also get to learn about a fresh, new object every time I buy something, which is what this business is really all about.   

Do you have any personal favourites in your collection?
I think my favourite item I have at the moment is quite a rare 1920s Art Nouveau pewter and green glass vase by Liberty & Co. It was an item that I hadn't spotted on first look at an auction catalogue and it caught my eye at the last minute whilst I was bidding on other things and it turned out to be pretty extraordinary 

1920s Art Nouveau vase by Liberty & Co, available at Henrietta Harper Antiques & Vintage

If you could own any piece of art from history what would it be?
I would absolutely love to own Joan Miros 'Femme devant la lune' from 1944. It used to hang in the last gallery I worked for and I just became obsessed with it. It is actually my phone screensaver and I just think it's a magical piece of art. 

Joan Miro 'Femme devant la lune'

Do you have a favourite gallery to visit in London?
I really enjoy the quiet little galleries in strange locations where you can spend hours without anyone bothering you. I went to Maureen Paleys peaceful gallery in Bethnal Green recently which is one of my favourite spaces that I've been to but I still think the Royal Academy still has to take the title, especially with its wonderful history and the current summer exhibition.

What antiques, besides those you already deal in, would you be interested in collecting?
I really love Oriental pieces. Although I have bought and sold a few, I would really like to bring some more into my stock. They have amazing histories, the culture is fascinating and you can mix them beautifully with all sorts of other pieces, of any age.

Henrietta Harper Antiques & Vintage
Stand G100
Tel: 07593178005

Friday, 10 June 2016

New Dealer: Creative Jewellery Company

This week we put the spotlight on jewellery designer Laurance Mendoza at Creative Jewellery Company, who has recently joined Alfies.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your company?

I come from a family of talented creative people, Grandmother who was wardrobe mistress and dressmaker at the Old Vic Theatre, Father and Grandfather bespoke tailors to the entertainment and sporting industry.

I started off training at the Central St Martins school in Aldgate, (formally Sir John Cass School of Art), gained further knowledge at a jewellery company in Greater London, after two years was asked to join an upmarket fine jewellery company, in London's fashionable Marylebone High Street whose clients included celebrities and dignitaries, I setup a workshop there where I developed my abilities of designing and making fine jewellery to understanding and interpreting customers'  needs and requirements in the field of jewellery making, repairing and restoring.

Being passionate about jewellery making, (in my opinion), is something that comes from the heart.

My work varies from a funky silver range of jewellery with a very unusual range of "ripple effect" items, where no two pieces are the same, to alterations and restorations, (example, a ring that was driven over and was completely flat, was restored to its former glory rather than being scrapped), to creating unique bespoke creations from paper sketch to works of art.

Do you have a personal favourite in your collection? 

The diamond heart and tsavorite hinged bracelt, the Mimi Cross, the diamond flower & petal ring which is made of 29 seperate components of platinum, the Gold Flying V guitar pendant and the silver "Elements of inner earth" pendant, that took many attempts to create the design I was looking for.

"Elements of inner earth" pendant

Gold flying V guitar pendant

Mimi Cross

What is your favourite metal to work with ?

I prefer 18 carat gold and platinum, but love silver as well.

You also do jewellery repair are there any differences in doing repairs to new, vintage and antique jewellery?

Yes, there are many differences, most important for me is checking for any previous repairs before starting work on the item.

Crushed Ring
Crushed ring being repaired
Crushed ring restored to its former glory

What would you recommend for maintenance and care of jewellery, gold and silver?

TLC, treat jewellery with care, clean and gently polish the metal with soft silver or jewellery cleaning cloths, never use oil based solutions for cleaning any stones... Always get advice from a reputable jeweller for liquid cleaning any jewellery with stones in.

What is your favourite part of the job in your work as a jewellery designer and repair expert?

That's easy, the look of joy and excitement on clients faces when they finally see the finished article, the hugs are bonus too.

It's a great feeling as a craftsman to be able to put a smile on so many people's face and to create objects of art that hopefully will last a lifetime.

Creative Jewellery Company
Laurance Mendoza
Stand S052
Tel: 07754 059 856

Friday, 3 June 2016

New stand: Horner Antiques

Michael Horner of Horner Antiques has recently moved into a larger unit (G012-13) with a window display, which has been fantastically dressed in Chinese and Japanese blue and white. It is the first time these chargers have been seen in the UK.

We had a fascinating glimpse in Michael's stunning new stand...

Horner Antiques Chinese and Japanese blue and white window display

Horner Antiques specialises in Oriental wares and have an extensive range of items

Snuff bottles

Snuff bottles
Horner Antiques have a great selection of Chinese snuff bottles in various materials such as bone, porcelain, stone, jasper and china. They date from 1850 onwards. Up until cocaine was banned they were used for cocaine as well as snuff. They were not made for any particular market. Examples have been collected for centuries and can be found in all manner of colour and decoration from incredibly plain to very fancy, including erotic.

A selection of Imari

An extensive range of Imari, mostly dating to the Meiji period (1863-1912) are on display. Imari is a port in Japan, the wares are actually made in Arita and shipped through the port of Imari. They were shipped in packing cases that were stencilled Imari, hence when they came to the West they were thought of as Imari wares rather than Arita.


Horner Antiques Kutani collection. Ku means nine, Tani means Valley – 9 valleys - the name of the place the items come from in Japan. The traditional colour pigments used in Kutani ware are found in the area.

Horner Antiques
Stand G012-13
Tel: 07748 653 580

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