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.

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