Thursday, 22 March 2018

Spring has Sprung

This week Spring has officially begun. With the arrival of March 21st, so too comes the arrival of the period that marks the start of seasonal rebirth. Following Winter - which symbolises death - Spring is viewed as the resurrection and represents rejuvenation and renewal. These symbolic representations are long standing and can be seen throughout culture in poetry, literature, theatre and art. Common depictions of this season are flowers, baby animals, and vibrant shades of yellow and green.

With this in mind we took a look around Alfies to find some Spring like representations of our own..

An Oriental decorated vase. Available from Hongman Yang

A floral watercolour, 1934. Available from Moe Heidarieh

A Carlton Ware buttercup sugar shaker, c1930s. Available from Beth

Flowers in vase, oil on canvas, c1930s. Available from i Fine & Contemporary Art

A Chinese 'Famille Noire' brush pot, late Qing period, c1900. Available from Horner Antiques

An Edwardian glass and enamel trinket pot. Available from Beth

A Chinese dinner plate with painted design, Qianlong, 18th Century. Available from Diplomat Treasures International

A floral print, c1870s. Available from Moe Heidarieh

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Symbols of Ireland

Ireland has a very rich heritage along with old traditions and symbols. With St Patrick's Day fast approaching, we look into the meanings behind the symbols of Ireland.

Saint Patrick, Ireland's patron saint, is said to have used it as a metaphor for the Christian Holy Trinity. According to legend, the shamrock was a sacred plant to the Druids of Ireland because its leaves formed a triad, and three was a mystical number in the Celtic religion, as it is in many others.

Vintage shamrock charm, available from Good Time Antiques

Entrée dish with shamrock design lid, Birmingham 1910, available from Goldsmith & Perris

Spurrier & Co napkin Ring, Birmingham 1906, available from Goldsmith & Perris

The Irish harp was featured on the Coat of Arms because King James was not only the ruler of England but of Ireland as well. The harp has also been synonymous with Guinness since 1862, when it was used as a symbol on the first bottle label for Guinness. It is because of the harp trademark that Guinness named its first lager 'Harp' in 1960.

Harp charm, available from Good Time Antiques

Green is the national colour of Ireland, which is known as “The Emerald Isle”. On St Patrick's Day, it is customary to wear shamrocks, green clothing or green accessories. St. Patrick's revelers thought wearing green made one invisible to leprechauns, who would pinch anyone not wearing green!

"Genie bottle" by Empoli c1960s, available from Robinson Antiques
1950s evening bag with matching headband, available from June Victor 

The London St Patrick's Day Festival 2018, a three-day cultural and community festival across London will kick off today, Friday 16. More details here.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Celebrating Women

Mother's Day is coming up soon, falling on Sunday 11th March, and is the perfect time to show your Mum the love she deserves. Today also happens to be International Women's Day, so it really is a great time to be coming together and supporting each other as females -  if you're looking for an event where you can experience this kind of atmosphere then the WOW (Women of the World) festival is currently running at the Southbank Centre until Sunday.

With all of this going on, it's worth celebrating the women in your life - what better way to do so than with a gift? Here's our pick of the bunch from Alfies:

A floral painting, oil on canvas, mid 20th Century. Available from i Fine & Contemporary Art

A pair of paste and enamel earrings, 1980s. Available from April Antiques

An Italian ceramic coffee pot and sugar bowl, 20th century. Available from The Originals

A silver baby pram charm, 1960s. Available from Good Time Antiques

A Victorian emerald, diamond and pearl brooch, English, c1890. Available from Kieron Reilly

A selection of Victorian cranberry and vaseline glass vases. Available from Beth

A vintage tulip brooch, 1950s. Available from April Antiques

A floral painting, oil on canvas, mid 20th Century. Available from i Fine & Contemporary Art

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Ocean Liners: Speed and Style

From the mid-19th century to the late 20th century, the ocean liner revolutionised sea travel. Ocean Liners: Speed and Style at the V&A, explores the design and cultural impact of the passenger liner around the world, delving into the hidden design stories of some of the world's most resplendent liners, including the Titanic, Normandie, the Queen Mary and the Canberra. 

This exhibition revives the golden age of ocean travel, from ground-breaking engineering and fashionable interiors, to the lifestyle on board and their cultural impact on art, architecture, design and film. With over 250 objects including paintings, sculpture, ship models, fashion, photographs and posters. The exhibition will also feature works by Modernist artists, designers and architects inspired by liners.

Image taken from the V&A website

Image taken from the V&A website

Image taken from Riba Journal

Image taken from the V&A website

Taking inspiraton from this exhibition we discovered lots of luxurious items at Alfies that wouldn't look out of place on an ocean liner, reminiscent of the golden age of splendour.

Furniture and home accessories at Alfies

Cunard To Canada poster 1930s, available from Dodo Posters

Art Deco flame grained rosewood club chairs, available from The Moderns

Art Deco walnut table, available from Travers Antiques 

Decorative blue vase, available from Diplomat Treasures International
A selection of vintage suitcases and Louis Vuitton trunks, available from Tin Tin Collectables Luggage


Those who went on ocean voyages filled their Louis Vuitton steamer trunks with finery. The decks resembled a red carpet of the latest fashions, with the rich and famous donning apparel by the world's greatest designers. 

Vintage tiara, available from Zeeba Jewels

1920s dress, available from June Victor

1930s beaded dress, available from Tin Tin Collectables

1920s Bathing suit "WESTOE LADIES - ASC - SOUTH SHIELDS", available from Tin Tin Collectables

1920s bathing suit with belt loops, available from Tin Tin Collectables

R.M.S. Queen Mary dining scene, Jacqmar London silk scarf, available from Tin Tin Colllectables

Ocean Liners: Speed & Style will run until 17 June, 2018 at the V&A
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