24 May 2011

Showcase Spotlight: Time Antiques

If you don't already know about it Grays is actually spread over two buildings! Just a short stroll down South Molton Lane brings you to Grays Mews, home to a wide variety of dealers .

Nestled among the many stands you will find a series of showcases spanning both floors. Showcasing a myriad of collectables including jewellery, glassware, ceramics, and silver, Grays showcases are one of the best places to find a thoughtful and unique gift for friends or colleagues.

Time Antiques are new to Grays Mews and can be found in showcase P08 on the ground floor.  Founded by Christopher Parkin in 1985, Time Antiques specialist in Decorative Arts from 1870-1970 including Art Deco, Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts.  Expect to find a mixture of jewellery, silver, and ceramics with a definite aesthetic style.  We love the items from his showcase below, especially the pretty enamel pieces! The bright blues and greens are perfect for Spring!

A selection of silver & enamel hat pins from the 1900s. Prices from £125.

Sea green & blue opal pendant and earrings. £225.

Blue enamel butterfly pin. 1912. £295.

WMF Box, 1900. £485.

1930s blue and pink orchard Moorcroft vase. £275. 

14 May 2011

The Cameo:

An influential piece of jewellery throughout the ages, cameos are often seen to resurface in Modern fashion. Despite reaching their peak in popularity around the 18th Century, cameos have actually been around as early as 30BC! Below pictured is an Egyptian glass cameo from the ptolemaic period, 304-30 B.C

Egyption Glass Cameo selling at Christies, New York.
'Originally, cameos were probably related to intaligo, a carving used to make a seal. When pressed against wax or clay, the depressed design on an intaligo turns into a raised seal or crest. The cameo jewellery of the Greeks spread to the Romans, and then onwards through Europe...'

Many sources claim that Napoloeon's wife Josephine adored cameos and was probably responsible for their rise to fame. Here she is pictured below in full cameo parure...

Image taken from www.enchantedbyjsephine.blogspot.com
Her penchant for cameos must have influenced the Emperor of France, Napoloeon I, as his own coronation crown was also accessorised with the intricate carvings set in gold.
The Crown of Napoleon created in the 19th century, called "Crown of Charlemagne".

Generally, however, older cameo brooches were suspended from ribbons which were pinned to garments, and had a loop of metal in their setting through which a ribbon can be run. Below is an example of how the Victorians would have worn their cameo:

Painting by Robert Theer
Vogue Paris cover 2010- Model is wearing an antique cameo suspended on black ribbon.

Grays found a particular dealer who specialises in unusual cameos. Michelle Rowan has a vast knowledge of these delicate carvings and has produced a book titled ' Nineteenth Century Cameos'. She has also given lectures to Museums such as the V&A and the Tiffany Museum, Japan.

Here are some of the items from her shop within Grays:

Various Cameos offered by Michelle Rowan at Grays Antiques, stand  313-315. Prices range from £450 to £1850.

We have come up with some modern takes on the cameo if you are planning a wedding event or a party:

Antique cameo pendent and earrings paired with a dress from www.brides.com

Kirsten Dunst in the film 'Marie Antoinette'

Images taken from 'Opulent Creations' where you can find more cameo inspired party/wedding ideas

11 May 2011

Summaria Lunn Gallery Opening

Last night saw the opening the new contemporary art gallery Summaria Lunn in the lower ground floor of Grays Mews.  Make sure you come along and see the exhibition by artist Yun-Kyung Jeong, it runs until 4th June.
The striking gallery entrance with green foliage

Keep an eye out on their website www.sumarrialunn.com for the next exhibition!

6 May 2011

Changes in Grays Mews

It's been a hive of activity this month in Grays Mews and it's set to continue!  With a whole host of new dealers moving into the Mews there is an atmosphere of change and excitement.

Among the changes is new furniture dealer Christopher Hodsoll opening a large stand of the new area in the Mews. Well known for his idiosyncratic taste in antique furniture - a sort of English country house grandeur seen through a quirky Eighteenth century connoisseur's eye - Christopher Hodsoll worked as an antique dealer in London for many years with the great Geoffrey Bennison. He has continued Bennison's tradition of boldly luxurious, but slightly faded, aristocratic taste but has added his own enthusiasms, such as his love of architectural antique furniture. Visit his website here for more details.

Here is a sneak peek of what's in store:
A few stunning pieces are beginning to arrive.
New lighting being fitted.
A&J Antiques and Jewellery have also recently opened in the Mews with a collection of delicate Asian art, antiques and jewellery. 

Dotted around the Mews on both floors you will find an eclectic mix of colours, periods, and prices in our many new showcases.  With a hugh variety ranging from antique lockets, (see Grays dealers featured in a great article in BBC Homes & Antiques magazine this month) dinky toys, and vintage handbags, to Art Nouveau silverware, Clarice Cliff teacups, and 1920s costume jewellery.

Part of the new addition of showcases in the Mews.

We also need to welcome Persis and Maria Perez, two new jewellery dealers in the Mews. Between them they stock a incredible selection of antique jewellery, with Art Deco target rings proving popular at the moment.
Georgian enamel & sapphire ring from Persis.
Art Deco ruby & diamond target ring from Maria Perez.
As well as all the new dealers moving in let's not forget our longer established dealers who have kept the Mews a haven for collectors and customers alike.  Here is just a small sample of who you might find :
Jeremy Mason - Oriental Art
Jane Stewart - Antiques including Medieval & Pewter Pieces

Michelle Payne - Antique & Pearl Jewellery
Linda Bee - Vintage Costume Jewellery
Finally we would like to introduce Summaria Lunn, a contemporary art gallery opening next week in the lower ground floor of the Mews.  Make sure to pay a visit and see their inaugural exhibition Yun-Kyung Jeong: Axonometric which runs from 11th May.

Grays & the Mews are open from Monday - Friday 10am-6pm, and Saturdays 11am-5pm.
Open as usual throughout the crossrail works. Come and visit us!
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