11 November 2010

Grays November Issue

Christmas Festivities At Grays

There is no better time to visit Grays this year! With a variety of exciting events lined up, Grays is on hand to help you find some truly original Christmas Gifts for all your loved ones.

VIP Shopping Day
Saturday 27th November

Start your Christmas Shopping early on Saturday 27th November on Oxford Street's VIP Traffic Free Day. Make sure to visit Grays where you will be warmly greeted with mulled wine and minced pies whilst you shop for the perfect gifts.

Grays Late Night Christmas Shopping Party
Thursday 2nd December


Put Thursday 2nd December in your diaries for an exclusive late night Christmas shopping party at Grays.  Enjoy music and a glass of bubbly as you search for the perfect presents.  From 5pm - 8pm Gray dealers will be showcasing their finest collections and if that is not enough Grays will also be open right up until Christmas Eve!

Please contact us for your free invitation.
020 7629 7034

Guide to Christmas Shopping at Grays
A personal account from one of our expert dealers...

It's that magical time of year when we are all thinking of giving and of course receiving too! Grays is the perfect place to satisfy a girl's and guy's shopping whims. Casually walk around our diverse stands and let your imagination run wild!

Art Deco Moulin Rouge Clip. From Anthea A. G. Antiques.
 Okay, where shall we start? On the ground floor there are watches old and new from such names as Cartier and Rolex, there are fun and serious silver items, from quirky to collectable, all of the highest quality.  These make perfect gifts for any business collegues. Wander past the fine jewellers where a gift for a wife or girlfriend cannot go amiss.
1950s Amethyst, Citrine & Enamel Brooch & Earring Set. 
From Wimpole Antiques, Stand 349.

You then get to that famous staircase! Yes, there is another layer to your overflowing excitement. For your son or husband the serious military stand, for others the beauty of Art Nouveau silver, jewellery, glass, lace, and more! Fabulous vintage and modern watches, oriental china, silver, paintings and more stunning jewellery from the famous houses of Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels, and Tiffany. If your loved one happens to have a mishap with their watch or jewels, a talented repairer is also on hand to solve your problems.

1963 Rolex Oyster P. Cyrlin & Co. Stand 141.
Now step outside and head down South Molton Lane to Grays Mews, a second building full of secrets and treasures from the Middle East, Asia and beyond.  From golden Buddhas, antique kimonos, fine textiles, paintings, ancient beads and coins to sparkling costume jewellery, designer vintage fashion and accessories,  Grays Mews holds a diverse range of gifts waiting to entice and surprise.

Chinese Blue & White Vase Kangxi. From Guest & Gray, Stand H25-28.
Shibori Kimono, 1920s. From Yasuko Kido, Stand G21.

Don't miss the recently expanded area of showcases where collectables, ceramics, glass, and trinkets glisten on display.  Perfect for smaller gifts or tokens for friends and family alike.

Caughley Fisherman Asparagus Server c1780. Premier Antiques, Showcase V18.

Pavone Christmas Tree. From Gillian Horsup, Vintage Modes.

With such a lot to take in, make sure to set aside an afternoon to discover the delights Grays has to offer and take time browsing each floor in both buildings for Christmas gifts your loved ones will treasure for years to come.

7 October 2010

Grays October Issue

Dealer Highlight: Day Fine Arts

Snakes and Ladders Painting, Indian C1850. A Teaching Game for Jain Nuns

Grays welcomes Graham Day, a new dealer to the Mews who has recently relocated from Westbourne Grove. Specialising in paintings, drawings and prints from Asia, he has been collecting extensively since the 1970’s

Graham has a particular interest in Tantric Diagrams, Jain manuscripts, Indian miniatures, Burmese manuscripts, Arabic and Persian calligraphy and Japanese prints.

A retired Fine Art lecturer and practitioner with extensive knowledge of Indian and Far Eastern art, find Graham in the Mews at stand G10-11. You can also have a look at his profile at http://www.grahamday.co.uk/ and view his stock here.

Antiques are Green

 Susie Cooper Floral Jug offered by Premier Antiques. Showcase V018-9

 More and more people are becoming conscious of their personal footprint on the environment and seeking purchases with longevity, a sense of identity, and with quality over quantity being a considerable factor in choice.  Buying something that has been made to last, that oozes style and individuality, and is kinder on the environment is something to be taken seriously. Buying and collecting vintage and antique is not only an ethical way to shop, but it ticks all the right boxes in the style stakes.

 A solid silver Art Deco photo frame. Birmingham, 1919 offered by Evonne Antiques. Stand 351-353

It is a proven fact that antiques are better for the environment, from the very day they were made and throughout their entire lifetime.  Not only are antiques usually hand-made but their materials would have been locally sourced.

“Buying antiques reduces landfill, reduces carbon emissions and reduces consumption of new goods from abroad. The antiques trade is the oldest recycling business in the world and the ultimate in terms of preserving our heritage for future generations.” Nigel Worboys, Antiques are Green Campaign.

The lifespan of a vintage piece also significantly outweighs that of a newly bought mass produced product.  When you buy vintage you are recycling as well as extending the life of the object.  Antique and vintage is often passed down through generations or restored and sold on when no longer wanted, rather than being discarded.  The life story and heritage of each piece could be hundreds of years old, with different owners, locations, stories, scandals, and could include major historical events. This in itself is part of the excitement of collecting antiques and vintage and is why restoring, recycling, make do and mending is definitely the green way to consume.

An Edwardian 2 stone platinum set diamond twist ring offered by John Joseph. Stand 345-7

Support the Antiques are Green Campaign at http://www.antiquesaregreen.org/

From the 16th November
Alfies Antique Market will host 'Design a Greener Future', a special exihibition of designs by illustrators promoting antiques as a ethical way to shop.

Showcase Spotlight: Sebastian Bartes, Dinky Toys

 Windup Lesney Toy Elephant, £190
Corgi Toys Massey Ferguson Tractor with Shovel

Sebastian is a new dealer to Grays Mews. He specialises in Dinky Toys and his stock includes a unique collection of Matchbox and Corgi toys in their original boxes, collectable metal Coca Cola trucks and a beautiful Lesney Jumbo walking Elephant from the 1950’s. You can find his wonderful stock in Showcase V014 in Grays Mews.

2 September 2010

Grays September Issue

Vintage Revival Exhibition at Grays

From 21st-25th September, to coincide with London Fashion Week, Grays will play host to an exhibition exploring the idea of what vintage means in today's society. Looking at niche groups of people, as well as the general public, this exhibition aims to discover what the term 'vintage' has become and what it means to us now.

Illustrated with iconic, rare and unique pieces from the vintage dealers at Grays, this exhibition will explore why people buy and covet vintage pieces, why it matters and why the vintage trend will seemingly never die out.  Intimate text and photography will explain the allure of vintage and how it has found its place in contemporary lifestyles, and what it means for people whose life is defined by vintage, such as shop owners, hairdressers, performers and consumers.

Vintage has not only become part of everyday shopping habits in recent years but it has become a lifestyle choice for many. The exhibition is a rare chance to explore the variety of vintage pieces on offer by Grays dealers and simultaneously get an overall view of how vintage has become an essential part of current fashion trends.

Visit Vintage Revival in the Vaad Gallery in Grays Mews from the 21st-25th September.

Antique of the Month: Vintage Scarves
Vibrant Liberty Scarf from Vintage Modes
Jacqmar Scarf from Vintage Modes

Vintage Liberty Scarf from Vintage Modes

Jacqmar Scarf from Vintage Modes
Vintage scarves have become increasingly popular in the last few years.  With big name designers making high quality silk scarves from the 1940s through to the 1980s there is a high demand for these beautiful designs that are both incredibly versatile in terms of use and works of art in their own right.

Due to the vast amount of types, makes and designs collectors tend to focus on a particular brand, era, or pattern.  For example Liberty, Hermes, Chanel, Yves St Laurent scarves are particularly collectable.  Period silk scarves, especially from World War II are also highly sought after.  Most silk during the war was used to make parachutes so these are rare.  Vintage Modes & Linda Bee in Grays Mews have a large selection of fine silk scarves and make the perfect place to start or add to your personal collections.

Showcase Spotlight: The Beautiful Accessories Company

Hester Cox offers exquisite vintage costume jewellery, including classic pieces by the likes of Lea Stein, Trafari and Monet, alongside delicate ceramics and other small collectables. Find her showcase in the Mews basement, FS8

5 August 2010

Grays August Issue

Dealer Highlight: Yasuko Kido

An Example of a Indigo Boro Textile
Yasuko Kido is a new dealer at Grays. Situated in Grays Mews she stocks a stunning array of Japanese textiles and works of art.
Yasuko Kido has been dealing in Japanese art for more than twenty years. Formerly a specialist of Japanese prints at Sotheby’s London, now she concentrates on Japanese textiles and works of art including Buddhist objects and Mingei works.

Yasuko is particularly interested in folk textiles including patched indigo ragged futon covers called Boro, rare costumes and clothing made with natural fibres, and lavishly woven priest robes with gold threads (kinran).

Yasuko was first enlightened by the beauty of these folk textiles when she assisted a Japanese dealer at the Hali textile fair in 2003. Since then she has endeavoured to promote Japanese traditional techniques of textile making including sashiko, shibori and kasuri that have been long forgotten and replaced with modern technology.

Find Yasuko Kido in Grays Mews, Stand G21.

Antique of the Month: Charms

Novelty 15ct Gold Victorian Locket &  Emerald and Ruby Gold Hand Charm, c1850.  Both from Jo Elton & Olly Gerrish, Stand

Charms (thought to originate as far back as the Neolithic era!) have a history of resurgence that charts many fascinating historical moments. Charms have long been instilled with a powerful sense of significance and symbolism - from early Christians using fish charms to secretly symbolise their faith, to the soldiers of World War II collecting charms as remembrance of people and places known during the war.

 Edwardian Binoculars Charm. From Jo Elton & Olly Gerrish, Stand

The Victorian era saw one such popular resurgence in the wearing of charms, with Queen Victoria herself setting the trend. Not only did Queen Victoria wear charm bracelets herself, but she also commissioned specially made charms to give as gifts.
 Victorian Lunettes on a Extra Long Chain with Small Mother of Pearl Locket. 
From Ting's Jewellery Box, Stand C22-23

The enduring fascination with charms is undoubtedly due in large part to the way they can be used to personalise jewellery, as with the classic charm bracelet. The current renewed trend in charms focuses on customising. Single or clustered charms can be worn as unique pendants or on bangles or bracelets, and varied from day to day to suit your mood or your outfit!
Small Articulated Locket/Fob Charm. From Ting's Jewellery Box, Stand C22-23.

A gorgeous array of antique charms are available from Grays dealers, including Ting’s Jewellery Box, Jo Elton & Olly Gerrish and Sylvie Spectrum, alongside jewellery alteration and customisation services from Alfred Touro.

Showcase Spotlight: Arts of Asia
Alan Wilson’s Arts of Asia showcase features stunning cloisonné vases, lacquer boxes, delicate porcelain and much more! Plus he’s having a summer sale, with 20% off everything in his showcase until the 31st August! Alan’s showcase, FS4, can be found downstairs in The Mews.

2 July 2010

Grays July Newsletter

Wedding Gift Guide

Summer is finally here and with the wedding season upon us why not treat your loved ones to something unique and stylish that they will treasure for generations to come.  From classic silverware to an individual item for the home, you are sure to find something perfect at Grays.

Silver is a great place to start. Picture frames, napkin rings and silver spoons are timeless pieces and can be easily engraved on site to give the gift a personal touch. Hallmark Antiques, Evonne Antiques and ZMS Antiques to name a few, offer some elegant frames and many other classic silverware.

Art Nouveau silver picture frame with inscription 'Friendship is a Sheltering Tree,' 
Birmingham 1903. From Evonne Antiques, Stands 351-353.

Art Deco Coffee Set from ZMS Antiques, Stand 124 & 125

Browse more stock from our silver dealers here.

Fancy getting the bride and groom something slightly different? We have hand picked a few great gift ideas for inspiration:
Fine China Trade Ivory Frame from Anita Gray, Stands 307-309
This very intricate and delicate carved ivory frame from Anita Gray is a magnificent piece craftsmanship and an great investment.
1930s Cocktail Shaker from Aid A Sale, Showcase FS2

Ice Bucket from Elliot Lee, Stands 131-132 & 143-144

A wonderful ice bucket in the form of a seated elephant with original ivory tusks and glass button eyes, c1880.
Glass from Alexia Amato, Stands K10-12

These beautiful Bohemian glass pieces are perfect as a new addition to a home and also an ideal  Ruby Anniversary gift. Find out more about Bohemian Glass here.

Wedding presents don't always have to break the bank. This stylish 1970's Silver-plated candle stick from The Beautiful Accessories Company is priced at just £36.00.

Grays Gift Certificates are a fantastic alternative gift. Available in denominations of £50, £20 and £10, why let the couple choose a unique piece to remember the day?

Showcase Spotlight: Walter Schaetzke

Specialising in Royal Copenhagen Pottery, Walter successfully deals nationally and his colourful and eclectic showcase can be found in the basement of The Mews. Walter deals in 20th century ceramics at very competitive prices, including Wedgwood, Copeland Spode, Beswick, Sadler, Poole and Royal Copenhagen. Find his ceramics in V13.

Keep Up To Date:

Follow Grays on the following social networking sites and keep up to date with the largest antique centre in London!

2 June 2010

Grays June Issue

The Art & Antique Fair Season Begins!

The beginning of June also means the opening of many art & antique fairs in and around London.  Starting today (3rd June) is the West London Art & Antique Fair where 55 specialist exhibitors from Britain and abroad will be showcasing antiques and high quality collector's pieces. There will also be a selection of contemporary/modern art & sculpture dealers which alongside the traditional dealers make for a lively and interesting visit.

There will be a complimentary shuttle service running between Grays, West London Art & Antiques Fair, Olympia, ABA Book Fair and Kensington Church Street.

You can also pick up complimentary tickets to the West London Art & Antiques Fair at Grays Reception.

For more details please click here.
Or call Grays on 020 7629 7034.

Fair Dates for you Diaries:
3rd-6th June West London Art & Antiques Fair
3rd - 5th June ABA Book Fair - London International Antiquarian Book Fair
4th - 13th June Olympia - London International Fine Art Fair

Antique of the Month: Netsuke

A Netsuke is a miniature sculpture that originated in Japan over 300 years ago. Men would suspend their pipes and tobacco pouches from the silk cord from their kimono and a netsuke would act as a toggle stopping this cord slipping through their obi (kimono sash). 

 Black Inro with Original Netsuke, 18th Century. From K&Y Oriental Art.

Collectable netsuke are art forms in their own right; full of beautifully carved images and patterns by exceptional craftsmen. These often intricate images represented different aspects of Japanese culture at the time; displaying rich folklore, religion, professions as well as real and imaginary creatures. 

Netsuke Warrior, 18th Century, £1200. From David Bowden.
David Bowden (unit 126), K&M Antiques (unit 369-370) and K&Y Oriental Art (K24-25) in the Mews all have a fantastic collection of netsuke ranging from early 18th Century to the 19th Century.

 Japanese Ivory Puppy on a Ball Netsuke, 18th Century, £1250 . From K&M Antiques.

Whilst many are traditionally made from ivory, it’s a common fallacy that all netsuke are carved from this material.  Craftsmen used materials available to them at the time, so box or cherry wood, boar’s tusk, amber and marine ivory were also commonly used.

Japanese Netsuke by Masatami, c1848. From David Bowden.

Netsuke production was most popular in Japan from the early 17th Century until the 1860’s. Production still continues today but as netsuke are seldom used, they are made only for display and can lack the traditional craftsmanship of their earlier counterparts.
Japanese Wooden Nesuke of Two Mice. From K&M Antiques.

Collector's Luggage & Travel Accessories

On your way to visit the new Louis Vuitton flagship store on New Bond Street? Why not go back in time and explore Elliot Lee’s magnificent collection of Louis Vuitton luggage. Find vintage luggage and luxury accessories downstairs at Grays in unit 143-144.  Elliot’s stand is a treasure trove of unique collectables and Vuitton trunks dating back to the middle of the 19th Century!

Jo Elton & Olly Gerrish
The Antique Jewellery Company.com

RBR Group have changed their name to Jo Elton & Olly Gerrish and have a brand new website.  After spending hours cataloging nearly every piece in their extensive collections you can now view all their stunning jewellery and fine accessories in one place!  Visit their new webiste by clicking here.
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