30 March 2012

New Showcase Dealers!

Keep a look out!  We've got four new showcase dealers joining us at Grays this April - it's looking like close to a full house!

J & S Antiques, P5 - Joyce has an eye for immaculate Chinese porcelain and stone carvings.  Her agate jewellery and figurines are a must see!

Osmanieh Antiques, V009 - Stephen has decided to share his hobby of antiquing with the world, giving us the opportunity to see his amazing collection of Art Nouveau ceramics and silver pieces.  Come see his beautiful Minton vases, c.1900, and his amazing silver plated goblets.

Dunhill Lighters, V022 - Andrew collects lighters; specifically Dunhill lighters.  All very straight forward. Except that Andrews lighters all seem to have a marvelous story behind them, and are kept boxed, polished, and in working condition.  Now that's a love worth holding a light to!

Silver Era, V025 - Lois has amassed a collection of uncommon silver from the early Victorian era straight through to the 1950's.  The collection is not only particular in it's contents, but has also been extremely well cared for, producing a showcase filled with bright unique silver.

And keep a look out for a few more dealers coming soon!

27 March 2012

Liberty of London catalogue

While browsing through Linda Bee's wonderful collection last week, I spotted a Liberty of London catalogue from 1931-1932. Linda trades in items that are every girls dream and this catalogue is definitely one of her many hidden gems. The catalogue shows Liberty's long tradition for fashionable and eclectic design featuring the famous Liberty fabrics, scarves, clothing as well as furniture, toys and jewellery from the 1930s. At Grays we are a big fan of Liberty and you can find the most amazing pieces with some of our dealers... 

Liberty Catalogue from 1931-1932.

Hand-printed Silk Scarves from Liberty of London

A selection of silk Liberty scarves from Vintage Modes (Grays Mews, Basement)

A Liberty of London scarf from Linda Bee (Grays Mews)

Frocks, suits and dressing gowns - Liberty & Co

Liberty of London shirt from Vintage Modes (Grays Mews, Basement)

Liberty of London cotton dress from Vintage Modes (Grays Mews, Basement)
Necklaces and chokers - Liberty & Co

A selection of vintage necklaces from Gillian Horsup (Grays Mews, Basement)
Dolls, soft toys and mascots - Liberty & Co
A Lenci doll and a Chad Valley bear from Sarah Sellers and Glenda Antique Dolls 
(Grays Mews, Basement)

16 March 2012

James Baldwin Antiques at Grays

James Baldwin Antiques has recently opened on the lower ground floor at Grays after trading at Portobello Road.

Based in London, James Baldwin Antiques supply antique silver to trade and private clientele from all over the world.  Offering an extensive collection of silver across the board, JBA also have a few areas of speciality.  They are one of the main dealers in Old Sheffield Plate and Georg Jenson silver.   They also stock 20th century design including post war British silver, and British Arts and Crafts as well as silver canteens and silver plated cutlery.

This stunning solid silver coffee set (pictured above) was made in Copenhagen by the renowned Georg Jensen, and is of wonderful quality. The set bears a very early marks, Georg Jensen, GI 830, Copenhagen. These are the marks used by Georg Jensen silversmith between the years 1915 and 1918. It is extremely rare to find Georg Jensen silver this early!

This magnificent pair of Georgian silver salts (pictured above) were made in London 1848 by the renowned Benjamin Smith, who worked alongside Paul Storr for Rundell Bridge and Rundell - the authors of the Regency style in silver, and silversmiths to the Prince Regent.

This Art Deco silver bowl (above) was made in London 1929 by Henry Hobson Plante, silversmith to the Royal Family. It is of exceptional quality, entirely hand raised and hand made, with wonderful hammer marks in evidence. It is fully hallmarked English Sterling Silver.

High Art Deco silver is rare in England, and we believe this to be the work of R E Stone. It looks very much like his work, and this was the year which R E Stone first set up his workshop, and so the question remains, did he in fact make this bowl by special order, for Plante, who was a prestigious and important retailer. It is unsurprising at this date that the piece is not signed, as it was not till the thirties that Stone himself became respected in his own right.

You can find many more fantastic pieces and information on the JBA website.  
Click on the 'articles' section to learn about collecting silver, how to care for your silver, and more about Georg Jenson.

You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Visit James Baldwin Antiques in Grays, stand 111.

8 March 2012

MOTHER'S DAY, and International Womens Day!

Mums the word this week, as we at Grays help you prepare a perfect Mother's Day for your Mum.

And what better way to get in the Mother's Day spirit than by celebrating International Women's Day!
Here's a little example of how integral women are to both culture, art, and history.  Please leave us your  comments and stories about the power of Mothers and women in general!

A Little History Drama...

Irish Lace Stole, Circa 1900.  Diane Harby, Grays Market. 
In Ireland, during the great potato famine, Irish mothers and daughters scraped together what they could to help their families survive.  To put off poverty and unemployment wealthier Irish women would give charitable classes on crochet, which lead to a new crochet style that became world renown for its artistry and ingenuity (no one could afford paper to make the designs, so they did them from their imagination). The effort proved integral to the styles of the 19th century throughout Europe, and provided a strong feminine presence in the generally patriarchal country.  Talk about powerful women!

Now, back to some Mother's Day Ideas!

The Usual Suspects

Everyone likes a bit of familiarity with gifts, but think outside the box to get something unique and fit for use. Mother of Pearl is a great way to show her how motherhood can produce great things. 
Silver and Cameo style Perfume Bottle, Circa 1883.  Evonne Antiques, Grays Market.
Picture Frame. Linda Bee, Grays Mews
Baroque Pearl Necklace.  The Pearl Gallery, Grays Mews.
Mother of Pearl Edwardian Pill Box.  Bygone Era, Showcase  Grays Mews.

Mother of Pearl Jewellery Box circa 1913.  AMS Antiques, Grays Market. 

The Woman You Call Mother...

...Is actually a person too!  Mums have to be pretty clever and pretty fun to raise children.  Let her game in style, and challenge her to a few games yourself!
Travel Chess Set.  Mary Wellard, Showcase V011 Grays Mews.
Rare Chinese Chess Set.  Anita Gray, Grays Market. 

Relax, Mum!

Mums love their children, but sometimes children can be exhausting!  Let her know that you care about her by giving her the perfect relaxation tools.

19th Century Cup and Saucer with Arabic Decoration.  Mayfair Antiques, Grays Mews.

Example of Engraving in Wine Glass.  Bennet and Thoroughgood Engravers, Grays Market. 

Don't Forget...

...To tell your mum you love her.  A gift may be symbolic, but nothing is better than the words straight from the heart.

Amethyst Heart.  Fossil Earth, Showcase FS005 Grays Mews. 


2 March 2012

Check Out Cleopatra's Eyes!

Isn't it great when you find out something new about something you already love? We certainly love our jewellery,  but Chloe at Cleopatra's Eyes gives us a whole new perspective to fall for.  Chloe (previously a Grays dealer herself) has an expert knowledge of jewellery in relation to our current culture.  And her attention to little details allows her to find out the most interesting histories about the way we look at jewellery today.
She also features Grays dealers on her website, so what's not to love!
Visit her at www.cleopatraseyes.com today for a special blog post on Crufts Dog Show 2012!

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