30 October 2012

Egyptian Revival and Autumnal East at Home

The Egyptian Revival was a design style which itself was revived twice in the twentieth century and is characteristically elegant and mysterious. It often uses humble materials but it alludes to treasures of the east, earlier gods and goddesses, and exotic luxury. With the Napoleonic Wars entire buildings in Europe begun to be built to resemble those of ancient Egypt and jewellery and domestic object were designed with reference to Egyptian art.

1920s Egyptian Revival Brooch from Gillian Horsup

But real enthusiasm for the style arrived in England with Admiral Nelson’s defeat of Napoleon at the battle of the Nile. Napoleon took a scientific expedition with him to Egypt which described in a book all things Egyptian. It inspired everything from tea sets to jewellery. In the twentieth century the Egyptian Revival craze took hold with mass manufacturing and the historic events of Carter’s archaeological discoveries of Tutankhamen’s tomb.

French Silver & Onyx drop earrings from Linda Bee

Pharaonic Faces with Czechoslovakian glass in form of Scarabs from Linda Bee

On November 1922 Carter’s excavation team found the steps leading to Tutankhamen’s tomb by far the best preserved pharaonic tomb and masses of treasures found in the Valley of the Kings. It caused a sensation back home. In 1972 a major exhibition of Tutanhamun’s treasures in the British Museum had an overwhelming public response. Both revival periods created a proliferation of wonderful objects - some of the finest examples of which can be found here at Grays.

Egyptian Revival brooch with unusual colour glass centrepiece from Gillian Horsup

Brooches -  top French Silver Amethyst, French Silver Scarab and French Silver Cat all  from Linda Bee

Egyptian style cuff from Sian Salter

18 October 2012

Asian Art London Guide

Duchange & Riché

Asian Art dealers, Duchange & Riché specialise in rare and exquisite Chinese and Japanese objets d’art from between the 14th and 19th Centuries.

Originating in Paris in 1965 by lead expert Michel Duchange, Duchange & Riché’s gallery now lies in the heart of the antique district of Sablon, Brussels, run by Michel’s daughter Anne and her husband and business partner Philippe Riché, himself a member of the Oriental Ceramic Society.

Having recently opened an outlet in Grays Antiques, London, Duchange & Riché felt it pertinent to join other respected London based dealers in participating in Asian Art London 2012. They have taken the Art Space Gallery on Maddox Street in which to showcase exceptional pieces of Chinese taste, Export and East India Company, as well as a remarkable Japanese collection.

They will be participating in the Mayfair late night opening and hosting an afternoon lecture by guest speaker, Natalie Vandeperre, Asian Art Curator (China, Japan and Korea) at the Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels. Also in attendance will be Jean Marie Simmonet, Director of the Belgian Institute for Chinese Studies.  Simmonet’s book, The Orchid Pavilion: The Art of Calligraphy in China, draws reference to the story of ‘The Lanting Gathering’, illustrated on a few special pieces which will be exhibited by Duchange & Riché during Asian Art London.

Visit the exhibition from 1-10 November 2012 at

18 Maddox Street, Mayfair, London W1S 1P (Art Space Gallery)

16 October 2012

Nina Rai Couture Hats: Swarovski Crystals and Feather Head Pieces

With her couture and bespoke hand crafted tiara's and headpieces, Nina Rai Couture Hats is a true asset to our diverse range of showcase dealers. Nina Rai studied at Central Saint Martins and worked for a number of years in Fashion, Styling and Make-Up Artistry. She has always been driven by a passion for beauty, style and adornment, so becoming a Haute Couture/Bespoke Milliner was a natural next step. Nina wants to create a timeless collection and gets inspiration from the refined quality of period tiara's and the sophisticated glamour of the 1920s.

The metal work of the tiara's and headpieces is rhodium plated, a tough precious metal, member of the platinum family. This is gradually worked with an ageing technique, Nina uses Swarovski and Austrian crystals that are also aged/distressed to give the design authenticity. Feathers are hand dyed and ironed to give the right fall and shape, an extremely time consuming procedure that creates the perfect head piece. 

Each piece is created as a work of art, and they all hold there own as far a design goes. The Flower Tiara, 'Dante' remains a favourite amongst many, and Nina also finds 'Deir' to be a very special head piece.

''I see the Tiara's/Head Pieces as investements, timeless treasures that can be kept for many years to come. My focus is always on the impeccable attention to detail and fine craftsmanship with sophistication and elegance remaining the core of my work.''
Nina Rai

Clear Swarovski crystals in aged silver rhodium plated setting

Made off Swarovski crystals and feather.

Amber/Topaz Swarovski crystals gold tone rhodium plated setting, on comb.

Swarovski crystal and feathers with faux pearl. Silver rhodium plated setting on double head band. 

Tiara's at Grays Antiques - Showcase V023

Besides her wonderful range of tiara's and headpieces, Nina Rai also offers a fine collection of vintage, costume and antique jewellery. Find more information on her website: www.ninaraicouturehats.com

4 October 2012

Showcase Dealers

In Grays, as well as the dealers who have shops within the market we also have a number of showcase dealers all with fantastic items. It is an ideal location for those looking to have year round exposure for their stock, with sales made by Grays reception staff.

Here are a few of our picks of what you can can buy right now.

From Sian Salter

Signed Vintage Dior Necklace

Sarah Coventry Bracelet

Thomas Fattorini enamel Egyptian cuff

From Margaret Mullins

Chrome Penguin Cocktail Shaker

Gilt metal locket

1908 Leather purse with silver clasps and whistle.

From Time Antiques

Art Deco Scorpion gold brooch

Ivory Bottle, 1900

If you are interested in becoming a showcase dealer you can find information here

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