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.

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.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Clerkenwell Design Week: International Design at Alfies

This year's Clerkenwell Design Week will take place 23-25 May 2017 (less a week, more an intense two day extravaganza) and celebrates its 8th anniversary. As the leading  UK’s leading independent design festival, CDW expects an increase on last year's 34,000+ attendees and will host design led exhibitions and events across 8 official, and several more unofficial, CDW venues. Last year it was also announced as Winner of Best UK Tradeshow at the AEO Awards 2016.

The focus for 2017 is the best of international design and to celebrate, we've rounded up our top picks of new in design pieces from around the globe at Alfies.

Czech educational chemical molecular models (left model c6 h12, right model ETANOL)
 – Mid Century. From The Moderns at Alfies.

Leucos domed table light, 1970s. From Cupio on the First Floor Mezzanine at Alfies.

Modular tubular vase, brass plated, 1970s/80s. From The Moderns at Alfies.
Elegant Italian desk c1955. Mahogany top, black lacquered metal legs, cream lacquered panels and drawers.
Available from Martin Rooney at Alfies.

1960s Chrome chairs By Poul Nørreklit. From Thirteen Interiors at Alfies.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

May's Birthstone: Emerald

The Emerald is a jewel of long history, legend and fascination. Whilst there are other green gems such as Jade, Tourmaline and Peridot, it is always the Emerald that is associated with landscapes and nature because of its vivid colour - Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle and Seattle is referred to as the Emerald City. Even Thailand's most sacred religious icon is known as the 'Emerald Buddha'. The name is derived from Ancient Greece and the first known Emerald mines were in Egypt, with Cleopatra being particularly fond of the gem, using them to adorn many of her royal outfits.

The stone is part of the 'Beryl' family of gemstones and legend says that it holds a number of mystical properties, including being able to see into the future if the stone is placed under the tongue. Not to mention its use to reveal the truth and ward off evil spirits.

The colour of the Emerald is said to reflect new Spring growth, making it the perfect birthstone for the month of May, and of course here at Alfies we have some perfect Emerald pieces to offer.

An Austrian/Hungarian emerald and pearl silver bracelet, 1860s/70s. Offered by Zeeba Jewels.

Left to Right: A two carat diamond and three carat emerald ring, 1980s; A French Art Deco emerald and diamond ring, 1930s. Offered by Kieron Reilly

A Wedgwood shell plate 1920s/30s. Offered by W & L Antiques
A diamond and emerald bow brooch, 1940s. Offered by Zeeba Jewels

Art Deco diamond and emerald rings, 1930s. Offered by Kieron Reilly

An American jug with diamond detailing, 1940s. Offered by Renato

An emerald and diamond 18ct necklace, 1980s, Offered by Zeeba Jewels

Thursday, 4 May 2017

History of the Trunk

Trunks became very popular in the Victorian Era, at this point railroads were established as well as inter-continental travel by water, making long distance trips more accessible and thus easier to transport luggage.

A view of Tin Tin Collectables Luggage

Early trunks were usually a simple lockable wooden box with a paper-lined interior, but like most things from the Victorian period, went on to become intricately designed making them attractive as well as functional. They were covered in leather (or sometimes painted with ornate designs), paper, canvas and some form of decorative metal hardware. This was offset by practical features such as different compartments, drawers, trays and hangers.

Trunks were ubiquitous up until the 1920s, solidifying their position in history and paving the way for our continued interest and current use as decorative furniture, such as a storage chest or even a coffee table.

Below are just a few examples of trunks available at Tin Tin Collectables Luggage.

1910 French 'mocodile' trunk in printed canvas with polished wooden struts. 

Low steamer with solid lock, studs, knuckles and painted panels with original labels.

Rare and well conditioned Campaign trunk, circa 1900s. Originally the property of Col. J W Hackett (eventually Lieut. General). Solid leather construction with original padlock and key over brass hasp. 

 Large and impressive French ocean liner trunk from 1910. Heavily ribbed canvas outer with polished wooden banding and brass locks and trimming with leather edging.

Leslie Verrinder of Tin Tin Collectables gives his advice on caring for your antique and vintage luggage in a special Homes & Antiques cut out and keep article.

Tin Tin Collectables Luggage is based on the first floor at Alfies.
Stand F014
020 7258 1305

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Dealer Spotlight: Moe Heidarieh

Located in the reception area of the market is Moe Heidarieh, Alfies resident watch specialist. Having been a dealer here for around 20 years he is nearly part of the furniture and one of Alfies stand out characters - always in a good mood, welcoming and ready to help anyone who comes through the door.

Moes stand is a little nook in the corner of the building where a collection of items mingle together. You can be sure to find prints, art and even the odd book tucked away, but Moes real passion is timepieces. He has a large collection of both men's and women's watches or many eras and designs available. And he's always willing to change a battery for you.

Below you'll find just a small selection of watches available from Moe.

Moe, hard at work

A men's Ebel watch, Swiss made with a mechanical winder, 1940s
A full hunter pocket watch, gold filled with mechanical winder, 1920s
A women's Aurore watch, gold plated with quartz winder, 1960s
A men's Baume and Mercer watch, Swiss made with quartz winder, original strap with 14ct gold, 1990s
A women's Omega watch, Swiss made with mechanical winder, gold plated, 1960s

A women's Limit watch, Swiss made with incabloc design, 1960s

Moe Heidarieh
Stand G009-011
Tel: 07807 359 931

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