Thursday, 27 October 2016

An Antique Halloween

We're getting close to Halloween weekend and here at Alfies we're getting into the spooky spirit of this ancient Pagan festival!

Also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve, Halloween was originally the Gaelic festival of Samhain, which was a harvest festival celebrating the last crops gathered in for the winter. The pagans also believed it was a time when the walls between our world and the next became thin and porous, allowing spirits to pass through.  As for the custom of wearing costumes, it was traditionally believed that the souls of the dead wandered among us until All Saints' Day, and 'All Hallows' Eve' gave the dead one last opportunity to take revenge on their enemies before moving on to the next world. To avoid being recognised by the ghosts who might seek them out, people would wear masks and costumes to disguise themselves.

Alfies has a whole host of ghoulish goodies to keep you entertained this Halloween - and Payday! - weekend. Here are a few of our favourites:

'Brain Drain', by Peter Holland, 1966. A mechanism on the back allows red liquid to be inserted to give the impression of blood spewing from the head. From Mark Eaton.

French horse skull From Mark Eaton.

Victoria Frances 20th Century vampire print. From John Cserny Fine Arts.

Vintage mannequin hand,  from Mark Eaton.

Lead Martin Brothers style jug. From Good Time Antiques

Victorian brass devil figural inkwell and pen stand, with hinged lid. From Good Time Antiques

Set of four 1940s cranberry wine glasses, from W&L Antiques

One of a selection of 1960s silver charms. From Good Time Antiques

Sphinx enamel frog brooch. From Gloria Sinclair.

Need a break from shopping? What could be better than a spooky stop off at Alfies' Roof Top Kitchen and terrace?

Friday, 21 October 2016

The First Floor Mezzanine

The First Floor Mezzanine has recently undergone a wonderful makeover, with three new dealers moving in alongside two former Alfies dealers relocated from the ground floor of the mezzanine. It has become an eclectic destination for 20th Century Design & Interiors, ranging from Italian design to Scandinavan and British to South American. In one corner you'll also find a carefully curated selection of vintage fashion.

A view of Paola Bazzoli's stand

A view of Christine Murray's stand

A view of Christine Murray's stand

A view of the Dispensary Vintage stand

Here's a short summary of the new First Floor Mezzanine dealers:

Christine Murray
Christine specialises in British, European, Scandinavian and South American 20th century furniture and lighting.

Rocking chair Angel Pazmino (c1960. Quito, Ecuador), available from Christine Murray

Herman Miller for Eames (Set of 4 ), fibreglass chairs, c1980, available from Christine Murray

Paola Bazzoli
Paola Bazzoli specialises in 20th Century Italian Design. You will find striking pieces such as the following in her stand:

1970s bronze glass, steel and brass bookshelf, available from Paola Bazzoli

Italian Chandelier from the 1950s, available from Paola Bazzoli

Dispensary Vintage
A carefully chosen and presented range of gems dating mostly from the mid 1960s/70s, including immaculate wool coats from Italy, silk tops, silk dresses and vintage furs..

1950s Opera coat, available from Dispensary Vintage

1970s Chiffon floral dress, available from Dispensary Vintage

Angela Ball and Martin Rooney have relocated from the ground floor to the First Floor Mezzanine and specialise in 20th century design and interiors.

A view of Angela Ball's stand

Beni Ourain rug, available from Angela Ball

A view of Martin Rooney's stand

Gold plated coffee table, c.1970, available from Martin Rooney

Christine Murray - Details coming soon.
The Dispensary / Email: / Tel: 07939 537 391
Paola Bazzoli / Email: / Tel: 07552 779 324 /
Angela Ball / Email: / Tel: 078 4677 0743 /
Martin Rooney / Email: / Tel: 07817 119 663

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Birthstone of October: Opal

The name opal originates from the Greek word 'opallios', which meant 'to see a change in colour'.

There are lots of myths and legends surrounding the majestic Opal - The Aboriginal Australians thought that the creator of the stones came to Earth on a rainbow, leaving colourful opals where his feet touched the ground, meanwhile according to Arabic legend, opals fell from the sky in bolts of lighting.

In the Middle Ages, people believed that the opal possessed the powers of each gem that reflected in the stone, making it a powerful and lucky gem to have in ones possession. However, in 1829 with the publication of 'Anne of Geierstein' by Sir Walter Scott, the stones reputation for good luck turned to bad. The story featured and enchanted woman who wore an opal that changed colours with her moods, and resulted in the woman dying when the stone was destroyed. With that the reputation of the opal became that of bad luck (at least to all those not born in October) and within a year of the books publication, opal sales had fallen by 50% in Europe. In the modern day the opal has since shed it's negative association and is once again a very popular gem. 

The opals country of origin is Australia and is made by rain carrying silica deposits underground into cracks between layers of rocks. The water then evaporates and an opal forms in the deposits. It has also been known for silica to seep into spaces in nature such as seashells, wood and even skeletons, creating opalized fossils.

The opal is one of the most popular stones used in jewellery today, and is not only colourful in form but also in its history.

With Octobers birthstone in mind, we took a look around Alfies for some opal jewellery.

18ct gold, diamond and opal necklace. Offered by Kieron Reilly

Art Deco opal, diamond and sapphire ring set in platinum. Offered by Kieron Reilly

Early Edwardian silver and opal necklace. Offered by Good Time Antiques

18ct gold, opal and diamond daisy ring, c1920s. Offered by Naneen Brooks

Gold and opal necklace, c 1950s. Offered by Good Time Antiques

Victorian opal ring with old cut diamonds. Offered by Kieron Reilly

Monday, 10 October 2016


This year marks Alfies Antique Market’s 40th year in business, to celebrate this impressive anniversary, we had a week of celebrations in conjunction with the London Design Festival between September 20 – September 24, which included pop up shops from London Glassblowing and the Antiques Young Guns collective, plus talks and demonstrations from antiques expert Mark Hill and Alfies' dealers. 

We had a special evening on the 22nd, our dealers plus special guests were treated to a compelling speech from Alfies' founder Bennie Gray who gave us a fascinating and nostalgic insight into Alfies past. Peter Layton who established London Glassblowing in 1976, also gave us a wonderful speech.

We would like to thank all our guests and customers for attending our celebrations and making it a dynamic and special week! Here are some pictures from the event...

Complimentary bubbly & cupcakes!

The London Glassblowing Pop-up at Alfies
The Antiques Young Guns Pop-up shop on Church Street

Emilia of Thirteen Interiors Workshop talking about the Art of Upholstery

20th Century Glass with Mark Hill

Alfies' Dealers and Gail of Antique News & Fairs

Alfies' dealers

Peter Layton of London Glassblowing

Alfies' founder Bennie Gray

Photo: Creative Jewellery Company
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