Thursday, 23 August 2018

Gillian Horsup: 'The items I buy have to be distinctive'

Gillian Horsup in her stand 

Gillian Horsup has been buying and selling vintage jewellery and accessories in London and the UK for 35 years. Before moving to Alfies Antique Market this summer: she previously shared a stand with Lola of Unicorn in the Mews at Grays Antiques.  Gillian, Lola and the rest of The Vintage Modes collective are now based on the Second Floor of  Alfies Antiques Market.

We asked her about how she first started in the vintage world...

A view at Gillian's stand 

Gillian please tell us how did you start trading in vintage pieces?

I have been trading for 35 years. I started in the vintage world by collecting myself. I lived in the East end of London and used to go to jumble sales as there were lots around my area. I slowly got interested in all sorts of antiques and in particular Art Deco pieces, mostly jewellery. I had a young family and I've done various jobs- I worked in teaching and as a secretary. At the same time I started doing fairs. I don’t know how I did it. But I did it. I’ve been everywhere. I’ve done Covent Garden Market, Greenwich Market, and I had a shop for years in Camden Passage. When that closed down I moved to Grays Mews and was then trading with Unicorn from Bond street.

Could you tell us what has changed in the vintage world throughout this time?

There aren't as many Antique Events on any more and the number of markets is shrinking. Alfies is great because it is a dedicated space. I’ve done various things but in the end I decided I wanted to be indoors. My family changed  and I didn’t want to carry things anymore-I still end up carrying. What has changed all those years is different shopping patterns but most startlingly is the venues. It’s difficult to find Art Deco events in the London area anymore because the venues are so expensive. People want variety and here we have a bit of everything-  glasses, compacts, ring boxes, fans, pins, hats, bags, jewellery from pearls to early plastic.

We are very intrigued to know how do you choose your stock?

I buy anything that catches my eye, and anything I like. We have such a variety of customers that I can’t restrict myself to a specific era or style. I used to specialise in Art Deco, but it doesn’t pay to be a specialist anymore. I look for items with good style and of good quality- I don’t like boring.

What do you consider boring?

I consider boring anything that I see lots of or that I do not notice at all. The items I buy have to be distinctive in their specific field and a little different. They have to stand out. They have to say hello to me.

Would you like to choose a piece for us that you're particularly fond of and tell us something about it?

My favourite items at the moment are Czech glass jewellery. I love items that people have taken care in the making of. You are dealing with objects created by skilled workers and skilled designers.

Interviewed 21st August 2018 by Titika Malkogeorgou

We've photographed some of our favourite distinctive items now available in Gillian's shop...

Vintage green and gilt chains earrings

Gold Tone Diamante Snake Brooch
Lea Stein Half Colerette Brooch 

Gillian Horsup at Vintage Modes | Second Floor, S057/58 | | 02074998121| | Instagram @gillianhorsup | @gillianhorsupvintagejewellery 

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