Thursday, 31 March 2016

New Dealer- Tobacciana Collectibles

This April we welcome a new dealer to the Alfies team; John Halsall of Tobacciana Collectibles, our latest dealer to join the ground floor.

Stand G085/86 has undergone a Spring transformation, filled with a colourful collection of decorative and promotional ashtrays and jugs. Many made by iconic potters such as Moorcroft, Royal Doulton, Limoges, Sundry and other pub and bar related items.

A 1953 Queen Elizabeth Coronation ashtray

We asked John a few questions...

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your business?
I have been collecting ashtrays for many years and started to trade in the year 2000. I sell collectable vintage ashtrays and jugs, many of which are rare French blue ashtrays, German, Spanish and British.

What first interested you in collecting?
I was always on the look out on my travels and the French blue ashtrays always caught my eye, from there my collection grew and expanded to trays and jugs from all around Europe.

How did you first start dealing in collectibles?
Having gained a large collection I decided that when I reached my 70th birthday it was time to turn my hobby into a business.

Do you have a personal favourite in your collection?
Yes, the French blue ashtrays. I like the bright colour. Some are like pieces of art work with hand painted designs, many made by well established potters like Moorcroft and Royal Doulton.

Two classic French vintage ashtrays

What are the most collectable ashtrays?
The Royal editions are always popular, and so are the Heineken branded ones. There is a fan base around the world for Heineken and many collectors are always looking out for vintage collectables.

Here are just a selection of ashtrays available from Tobacciana Collectibles:

A rare Moorcroft pottery ashtray made for promoting Marston's beer, 1 of 800.

A Cruise and Atlantic liner QE2's own brand of malt whisky flask.

A Royal Doulton porcelain bar water jug, matching ashtray also available.

A Wade porcelain ashtray promoting Warwick's 'Milkmaid' stout.

A Monagesque porcelain (similar to Limoges) souvenir ashtray commemorating the
 marriage of Prince Rainer to Hollywood actress Grace Kelly in 1956.

John Halsall- Tobacciana Collectibles 
Stand: G085/86 at Alfies Antique Market

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Easter Inspiration

The Easter weekend is upon us - nice and early this year - and we are sure that lots of you are looking forward to your long weekend in, and away from, London.

Although the weather may be a little gloomier than we have all hoped for, we are still feeling in the Spring mood here at Alfies. To inspire your Easter shopping - we are still open this Saturday, 26 March - and your Easter dressing, we have put together a selection of our favourite Easter and Spring inspired pieces in store.

Easter Bank Holiday Opening Hours
Friday, 25 March: CLOSED
Saturday, 26 March: OPEN AS NORMAL, 10AM-6PM
Sunday, 27 March: CLOSED AS NORMAL
Monday, 28 March: CLOSED AS NORMAL

1950s Floral dress, available from Carole Collier.

1950s Spring floral bonnet. Available from Carole Collier.

Chinese silk dress with winter lining. 1920s-30s. Available from Carole Collier.

1950s Cloisonné egg, available from Good Time Antiques.
Vintage bunny charm, available from Good Time Antiques.

French 1970s chick centrepiece for eggs, signed. Available from Gloria Sinclair.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

New Art Dealer Joins Alfies

This month we welcome John Cserny to Alfies, our latest art dealer to join the art gallery on our first floor.

Stand F050/51 has undergone a wonderful transformation, filled with a beautiful array of still life, landscape, portrait, impressionist paintings, and more! Ranging from the early 17th century up to the 1980s, John has a large selection of fine art works including many signed and important pieces.

A view inside John Cserny's shop

We asked John a few questions...

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your business?
I have been a professional art dealer for over 35 years dealing in fine art from the 17th, 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries.

What first interested you in art?
I remember when I was about 6, my father, who always had an interest in art, asked my opinion on a painting. From then on it's always been an interest of mine.

How did you first start dealing in art?
Originally I had a career as a mechanical engineering designer, but in 1982 I decided to take a new path and pursued my love of art to become a professional dealer.

Do you have a personal favourite in your collection?
Yes, this one has always been my favourite;

I bought it a long time ago thinking it was a portrait of the Admiral De' Ruyter as it said so on the back, however it actually looks nothing like him and is in fact a portrait of the Admiral Cornelis Tromp, a Dutch navy officer who then became a Danish Admiral. He was quite a character, a ladies man and a heavy drinker. So much so that a lot of Dutch pubs are named after him. He was also very vain and at the time had all the best artists make portraits of him!

Do you have a favourite artist?
Yes, my particular favourite is the French painter James Tissot. I love his subject matters and how he conveys the Parisian party scenes.

Here a just a few from John's collection that he has to offer; 

Clockwise from top left: An early continental C20th still life of flowers, signed oil on canvas; C20th water colour and gouache 'New Years Day Show & All Fools Day Show' by Alexander Romanovich Levitsky, born 1940; Early C20th British school oil on canvas, 'Boys By The Sea'; Late C19th, oil on metal panel, 'Amorous Couple' by John Dawson Watson.

Clockwise from top left: C1700 Spanish school oil on canvas, 'Rescuing Souls From Damnation'; 1882, E G Black, oil on canvas of a girl gathering wood; 1950s signed water colour and gouache fashion design; C19th oil on canvas, signed landscape of resting wood gatherers.

Clockwise from top left: Late C20th, signed oil on canvas 'Chicargo Girls'; 1889 Italian signed oil on canvas painting of 'Venice By Moonlight'; Early C18th oil on panel Dutch portrait of the Admiral Cornelis Tromp; 1982 water colour and gouache by R P Lister, 'The Four Grey Ladies'.

Stand: F050/51 at Alfies Antique Market

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Mother's Day

This Sunday, 6 March is Mother's Day, when we celebrate and honour our mothers and grandmothers, as well as the concept of motherhood. Another celebration of the female is International Women's Day, taking place next Tuesday, 8 March. Hurrah for women! 

International Women's Day is an annual celebration of women in both history and society. The focus of the day differs throughout the world, from a general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women, to a discussion of women's economic, political and social achievements. There is also a tradition of choosing a theme for each year and this year the theme is; "Make It Happen - Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality".

Throughout March London is playing host to an event called "Women's History Month", which is a diverse programme of events and exhibitions centred around female artists, activists, performers, writers, community groups and organisations, and is curated by Alternative Arts

Here at Alfies we have a fantastic array of stock that would make great gifts, whether you're shopping for Mother's Day, or simply spoiling the woman in your life.

Gilt bronze photo frames c1880, from Nadine Okker.

1970s enamel abstract brooch, from Gloria Sinclair.

Jade Opaline Glass Murano Trinket Box, from The Moderns.

Late 19th century mercury glass gilded interior, with flora and fauna etching. From Louise Verber Antiques.

Ostrich egg lamp with gilt metal in pineapple design, MidCentury or earlier. From Louise Verber Antiques.

Antiques lace hanging decoration from Sheelin Lace.

Still life flowers, oil and pastel, signed Nigel Lyyton. Offered by Nadine Okker.

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