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

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Sculpture at Alfies

Frieze Sculpture is currently underway at Regent's Park, which will run until 8 October this year. The green landscape has been transformed into a unique and exceptional spectacle, which encompasses art, culture, learning and fresh air! The exhibition brings together 24 new and significant works by 20th-century masters and leading contemporary artists from around the world.

Alfies is just a short walk away from Regent's Park, so why not extend your cultural tour and pay us a visit? You'll discover a treasure trove of art and sculpture as well as sculptural lighting and decorative objects. Below is just a small example of what we have on offer at the moment... 

1970s Abstract Brass Sculpture by Alan Chervet | Available from The Moderns 

Tommaso Barbi ‘Rhubard’ Floor Lamp | Available from Cupio Gallery

Woman, 20th century, pottery based | Available from Robert McKoy Fine Art

Neolithic Disc | Available from Duncan Clarke

1930s bronze and marble sculpture | Available from Diplomat Treasures International 

Below is a little taster of what to expect at Frieze Sculpture 2017...

Miquel Barcel√≥ | Gran Elefant Dret | Bronze

Urs Fischer | Invisible Mother 2015 | Cast brass and enamel 

KAWS | Final Days 2013 | Afromosia wood 

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Pride in London

The Pride Festival has been taking place in London since Saturday 14 June, with this coming weekend marking the main events and culminating in the big finale that is the Pride Parade Saturday 8 July. Starting at 1pm on Regent Street and taking a 1.4 mile route through the capital, this year is set to be the biggest yet with over 300 groups marching and more floats included than ever before. The aim of Pride In London is to spread the message of equality and challenge prejudice whilst providing a celebration of LGBT+ life.

In recent years the rainbow design which is now associated with the LGBT+ community has become one that is instantly recognisable, and fairly clear in terms of it's message of diversity and inclusivity. Taking inspiration from this design we took a look around Alfies to find some colourful items that would fit within the rainbow spectrum!

From left to right: A wedgwood shell plate, c1900s. Offered by W & L Antiques; A Doric and Pansy design in aquamarine tea trio (part of a set), c1938. Offered by Robinson Antiques; A jadeite sugar bowl in a shell design, c1960s. Offered by Robinson Antiques; An Italian bottle vase, c1965. Offered by Robinson Antiques

From left to right: An English Bristol Blue glass vase, c1950s/60s. Offered by Renato; A Victorian piano leg stand in blue glass. Offered by Renato; A Murano glass cube table lighter, c1960s. Offered by Dream Retro; A candle holder, c1930s. Offered by W & L Antiques

From left to right: A cranberry glass oil and vinegar bottle, c1930s. Offered by W & L Antiques; A Whitefrairs ruby textured glass belly vase, c1965. Offered by Robinson Antiques; A Scandinavia cased vase, c1965. Offered by Robinson Antiques; A cranberry glass bottle, c1940s. Offered by W & L Antiques; A cranberry glass miniature jug. Offered by W & L Antiques

From left to right: A Whitefriars tangerine bark vase (middle size), c1970s. Offered by Robinson Antiques; A set of four Jersey Pottery table coasters, c1970s. Offered by Robinson Antiques; A painted glass vase, c1950s. Offered by W & L Antiques; A Murano tangerine glass dish, c1970s. Offered by Robinson Antiques

From left to right: A Whitefriars style miniature glass jug, c1960s. Offered by Dream Retro; A bakelite catalin buddha, c1920s. Offered by Diplomat Treasures International; A Chinese glass snuff bottle, 19th/20th century. Offered by Diplomat Treasures International; A European glass vase, c1960s. Offered by Dream Retro

Thursday, 29 June 2017

New Dealer: Dream Retro

Retro enthusiast, Jeniffer Jackson, turned her passion for the 1950s into a full-time business. Her love for vintage isn't limited to the 1950s, her stock also includes standout pieces from the 1930s to mid 1960s. Visit Dream Retro on the second floor at Alfies for all things kitsch and slightly quirky.

We spoke with Jeniffer to find out more... 

Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you specialise in?
I specialise in vintage handbags and compacts, plus barware. I enjoy the glamour and the lifestyle of the Mid-Century.

A view of the Dream Retro stand

A view of the Dream Retro stand

How did you become a dealer?
A long time fan of the 1950s and a love of early Hollywood films, turned into a passion for buying/collecting and eventually selling in Portobello market, Camden and Walthamstow. Plus collecting handbags and clothing to wear to the '40s and '50s clubs began to takeover my home! I needed to start trading in order to buy more items and escape the 9-5 rat race.

Your shop is called Dream Retro, 'retro' is a word  that seems to be underused these days, what does it mean to you and why did you choose 'retro' over 'vintage' for your business name?
Retro for me is a way of living, whereas vintage seems overused - some items referred to as vintage are not that old.

Why are you fond of retro fashion?
Because I find it striking, artistic and so much better than what we have today. The quality of the items, the style and design is unforgettable.

How would you describe your stock?
I would describe my stock as colourful, kitsch and eclectic, even slightly quirky.

Do you have any personal favourites in you collection?
The Andrew Seller handbag, the black glass atomiser and the circular skirt pattern are all favourites of mine.

Personal favourite: Vintage Andrew Seller Bag

Personal favourite: Black glass atomiser

Personal favourite: Circular skirt pattern

What piece would you love to find?
A lucite glass handbag, this is sought after as one of the most beautiful handbags, they are still out there and I would love to own one.

Do you collect anything?
I still collect the more unusual bags, perfume bottles and other items from the retro era.

Dream Retro | Stand S042/43 | 07999 543 612 |

Thursday, 22 June 2017

New Dealer: Cupio Gallery

Cupio Gallery recently opened within Alfies, located within the hub of design that is the First Floor Mezzanine. Born out of a personal passion for design, you can expect to see a variety of Italian mid-century pieces from this dealer. We spoke with founder Matthew Moreton to find out a little more.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
In short, a forty-something singleton residing in Primrose Hill with the obligatory canine!

How did you become a dealer?
After a long-time passion for all things Italian (gelato included!) my interest in 1940s/1950s Italian design began. After many, extensive visits in and around Italy and Europe, I very quickly found myself craving the designs of Fornasetti, Ponti, Borsani et al - often struggling to bring my impulse purchases back home with me to Blighty! When an opportunity arose to have a showroom space here at Alfies, I seized it, sought a good shipper, and set about to satisfy my own retail impulses whilst helping others find their perfect pieces along the way.

How would you describe your stock?
An eclectic and refined selection of 20th century furniture, lighting and glass design which is predominantly sourced from Italy and Continental Europe. From the understated elegance of the 1930s, through to the flamboyant glamour of the 1970s, our hope is to source stylish and beautiful items that are both original and unique.

Do you have any personal favourites in your collection?
I’m loving the Fontana Arte ‘1462’ pendant that we currently hold. It was designed by Max Ingrand who was Fontana Arte’s artistic director for ten years. The simplicity of its design in conjunction with the use of high quality materials make this a special piece.

What piece would you love to find?
I’d love to have one of the large vintage ‘Eros’ dining tables in Carrara marble. Designed by Angelo Mangiarotti in 1971, the simple ‘gravity’ joint design for the legs looks completely unfussy, allowing the beauty of the marble itself to take center stage. I will have to save my pennies!

Do you collect anything?
I try not to as it can become an expensive past-time, however, I can’t seem to stop buying Murano glass picture frames. I particularly love the earlier ones from the 1940s by companies such as Venini and Barovier - this really was glass production at its best.

Do you have a favourite place to visit in London?
I love London and there are so many wonderful places vying for my attention - the Sir John Soane’s Museum, cakes at Ottolenghi, lunch at Cecconi’s and the Columbia Road Flower Market are just a few of my favourite haunts. For me, however, there’s nothing better than a simple stroll through one of the Royal Parks, we’re so fortunate to have these large green spaces in the middle of our city - a great place to unwind.

A Murano glass vase, Italy, c1950

A Murano clear glass frame, Italy, c1940

A pair of mirrored glass vide poche, Italy, c1970

A Fornasetti lacquered, metal tray with transfers of Greek mythological figures/constellation motifs in gold-leaf, c1950.

Bitossi ‘Rimini Blu’ vase, c.1980. A limited edition 'Rimini Blu' vase from Bitossi and Sons, numbered 127/199, Italy, c1980.

A Venini ’filigrana’ frame, Italy, c1940.

Cupio Gallery | First Floor Mezzanine | 07845 878 088 |

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Father's Day: Antique Gift Inspiration

Father's Day is almost here and for those of you who are yet to find a gift for your dads, we've compiled a list of our top presents for men from Alfies

Dads are usually difficult to buy for, and if you want to avoid another year of beer and wine gums, we suggest you buy vintage! Not only will buying an antique or vintage gift mean that it's completely unique, it's also the environmentally friendly option.

Here are our favourite picks:

A 1951 football trophy made from  aluminum on a marble base. Offered by Tin Tin Collectables.

A vintage, wooden box by Piero Fornasetti. The lacquered, metal exterior features coloured transfers with ‘pipe’ motif. Offered by Cupio Gallery.

Cigar cutter by Pfeilring, Germany. Unused, in original box. c1965. Offered by Robinson Antiques.

Five branded shot glasses on a drink themed tray, c1960s (tray sold separately). Offered by Dream Retro.

Fornasetti 1950s brass and red lacquered ice bucket. Offered by Cupio Gallery.

Murano glass 1960s table lighter. Offered by Dream Retro.

Ruby and diamond fox cufflinks, set in gold and silver. Available from Gareth Brooks.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Interior design trend: Bronze

The metal to look out for this year is bronze, as stated in this article in Vogue. Bronze is the perfect material for an accent and is a subtle material, but one that has a very striking effect. There are lots of ways to integrate metallics into your existing design scheme and we think these bronze pieces would add a classic touch to your home..

Reclining nude, 1950-60s. Available from i Fine & Contemporary Art.

1970s Jockey. Signed. Available from Good Time Antiques.

Swan sculpture in cast bronze from France C 1970. Available from Travers Antiques

Japanese temple lion with rolling ball. 1950s Okinawan. Available from Horner Antiques.

Pair of bronzed mirrors, bevelled. 1960s. Available from Angela Ball.
Sculptural bronze brutalist table lamp by Maurizio Tempestini. 1970s. Available from The Moderns.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

The changing face of Church Street

Church Street isn't just home to Alfies but is also home to a whole host of interesting shops and venues. The street has come a long way since Alfies Antique Market opened in 1976, evolving from a mostly derelict area to a thriving hub within the community and a must visit location for anyone with an interest in art, antiques, interiors and design.

Excitingly, a one day art, antiques and design fair is planned for Sunday 24 September 2017 which will see all the shops on Church Street open their doors and 50 well renowned art, vintage and design dealers stall out on the street, alongside street food and entertainment. Keep your eye on our event page for more information!

Here is our pick of some of Church Street's must visits, or see them all here:

Cutler and Gross Vintage
6 Church Street

Fairly new to the street is British eyewear brand Cutler and Gross, who are well known for their combination of Italian craftsmanship and creative design. Founded in 1969 the company has a long history, and the store on Church Street aims to take a fresh look at vintage.

Matt Mitchell 
24 Church Street

Formerly based in the Second Floor Gallery at Alfies, Matt Mitchell offers original twentieth century furniture, lighting and decoratives with an emphasis on strong European design. 

Daniel Raphael 
26 Church Street

Founded in 2017, Daniel Raphael is a gallery dedicated to contemporary art. The space aims to be a platform to stimulate interaction between both well established artists and emerging ones.

Jessica Ogden: Still
31-33 Church Street

Jessica Ogden: Still is a pop-up exhibition based at 31-33 Church Street until 23 June 2017. It features a selection of objects from her archive of designs and contextual resource collections - the display aims to reflect on her practice and influences to present a new understanding of her work.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Chelsea Flower Show

It's that time of year again when the best in garden design is showcased at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  Held at Chelsea since 1912, it is the most famous flower and landscape gardens show in the world, attracting visitors from all continents.

There are four grades of awards presented – gold, silver-gilt, silver and bronze – in each of the categories listed below. Bronze grade exhibits do not actually receive a medal.

Awards categories:

  •     Flora Gardens and floral exhibits
  •     Hogg Exhibits of trees
  •     Knightian Exhibits of vegetables, including herbs
  •     Lindley Exhibits of special educational or scientific interest
  •     Grenfell Exhibits of pictures, photographs, floral arrangements and floristry

You have until the 27th of May to view the inspirational garden displays at the Royal Chelsea Hospital.

At Alfies, we spotted lots of delightful floral adorned items. Here are our top picks..

1930s Newhall floral plate. Available from Beth.

1980s emerald floral print blouse. 100% silk. Available from Dispensary Vintage.

Victorian Floral Brooch. Available from Zeeba Jewels.

Ogdens St. Julien tobacco ad. Flowers. Available from Dodo.

Japanese hand painted vase, 1880-1900. Available from Horner Antiques.
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