19 September 2014

New dealer in the spotlight: Serhat Ahmet at Grays

Serhat Ahmet joined us in Grays Mews just two months ago with his stock of fine European porcelain, adding this prestigious location along to his established Saturday residency in Portobello Road Antiques Market.

Serhat - who was the winner of an Antiques Young Guns Mentoring Award in July 2014 - has been actively involved in the world of fine European porcelain for over 20 years. A second generation specialist dealer, he has been surrounded by ceramics – in particular Meissen, KPM Berlin, Sèvres and Vienna – from an early age. This has meant that Serhat has developed an extensive knowledge of the subject and an excellent eye for objects of quality.

Competitively priced for both trade customers and private collectors worldwide, Serhat Ahmet is a destination for buyers of fine European porcelain when visiting London.  Serhat says, "The majority of our stock dates from the 19th century, but with demand from the next generation of collectors turning to objects that complement modern interiors, our range also extends to select pieces from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods, as well as some post-war modernist pieces from the long-established manufactories such as Meissen and Rosenthal. For the discerning collector, with a desire for the earlier items of European manufacture, we always carry a good selection of 18th century pieces in our stock".

"I'm really excited about the opening of my shop at Grays as it allows me to show my stock to new and existing customers during the week, and is set in a wonderful building in a fabulous part of London.  We're in the heart of the London arts and antiques world and the serious buyers that frequent Grays have a wide selection of goods from 200 quality dealers to choose from in a serene environment".

You can visit Serhat at his shop from Monday to Friday, 10 am - 6 pm at Stand H10/H11 in Grays Mews, 7 Davies Mews, London W1K 5AB.

Here are our favourite pieces from Serhat Ahmet's vast collection:

Meissen Pair of Pugs, c.1850. Offered by Serhat Ahmet
Meissen Figure of the Piping Drummer from the 'Cris de Paris', c.1935.
Offered by Serhat Ahmet
Meissen Yellow Canaries on Tree Stumps, c.1870. Offered by Serhat Ahmet
Meissen Topographical Tray with Scene of Pillnitz, c.1870. Offered by Serhat Ahmet
KPM Berlin Floral Charger, c.1895. Offered by Serhat Ahmet
Vienna Style Vase & Cover with a Musical Scene, c.1890. Offered by Serhat Ahmet
Sèvres Bleu Lapis Vase, c.1879-82. Offered by Serhat Ahmet

To contact Serhat Ahmet directly or visit his website:
Phone: +44 7956 388 028
Email: info@serhatahmet.com
Web: www.serhatahmet.com

12 September 2014

Blue September

September is the month when the international fashion crowd land upon our capital for London Fashion Week. During one week in September and the weeks leading up to LFW, we are made aware of the current and upcoming style trends.

It is rather apt that Sapphire is the birthstone of September, the colour blue featured prominently on the Autumn/Winter 2014 catwalk. An elegant way to add hints of blue to your attire is to accessorise with sapphire jewellery.

Below is a selection of stunning sapphire jewellery available at Grays.

Art Deco Sapphire & Diamond Engagement Ring, offered by Alexandra Engagement Rings

Sapphire & Diamond 18ct Gold Edwardian Curb Bracelet, offered by The Antique Jewellery Company

1920s Cornflower Blue Sapphire & Diamond Cluster Ring, offered by Robin Haydock

1920s Sapphire and Diamond Bow Brooch, offered by Nigel Norman

Sapphire and Pearl 1950s Necklace, offered by Horton London
Victorian Sapphire & Rose Cut Diamond Cufflinks, offered by Nigel Norman

 Platinum Set Sapphire & Diamond Ring c1920s, offered by Anthea AG Antiques Ltd

Victorian Pearl and Sapphire Pendant, offered by Charlotte Sayers

Diamond & Sapphire Ring, c1910s, offered by Emmy Abe

We would like to remind you, due to the flooding in the lower ground floor of the Grays Mews in August, Vintage Modes is temporarily closed whilst the shop undergoes renovation. We hope to re-open Vintage Modes in the very near future - watch this space for updates!

In the meantime you can catch Susie Nelson and Lesley of Arabella Bianco at the Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair, Frock Me! Vintage Fashion Fair and the Hammersmith Vintage Fashion Fair

Gillian Horsup and Lola of Unicorn will continue to sell their costume jewellery in the lower ground floor showcases, V001 - V008.

5 September 2014

Murano Glass; Story of an Island!

We had such tremendous fun researching the intricacies of blown glass for our previous blog that we ended up expanding and outgrowing our blog post space and ended up leaving out Murano glass. 
Here we are picking up the thread of the unique story of Murano glass. 

Murano is an island which consists of a series of seven smaller islands in the Venetian Lagoon. The islands which are linked by bridges are famous for blown glass production of a particular type with an international reputation for durability and high aesthetic quality. Crafting everything from art glass and glass jewellery, Murano’s glass makers held the monopoly of high quality glass making in Europe for centuries. 

Byzantine craftmen arrived in Venice after the sack of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade. In 1291, the Venetian Republic, fearing fire of its mostly wooden buildings, ordered glass makers to move their foundries to Murano. Murano glass makers subdivided into niches and developed a very tight community with distinct houses. Typically, each Murano glass house employed numerous sellers, servants, and cutters. 

Blue Murano bubble glass, offered by Totos Jewellery & Antiques

Millefiori beads from Murano, offered by Gillian Horsup Vintage Jewellery
1950s Murano glass necklace with birds and leaves, offered by Linda Bee

By the fourteenth century, Murano glass makers had gained in reputation, and soon became some of the most prominent figures of the Republic enjoying many special privileges. Servants of the glass houses studied the works of the great masters and learned the secret arts. When the Ottomans took Constantinople in 1453 more glassworkers arrived in Venice.

At once a marriage of Islamic and Western glass blowing styles, initially, it became famous for glass beads and mirrors. Developing or refining many technologies Murano glass artisans gained more control over colour and transparency. Aventurine  glass (glass with threads of gold) was invented in Murano as did enamelled glass, crystalline glass, multicoloured glass, milk glass and imitation gemstones made of glass. 

Murano glass sold to aristocrats, wealthy merchants, and heads of state, and during its heyday it produced the vast majority of Europe's mirrors and chandeliers. By the 17th century, Murano had even developed a patron saint for glassblowers, known as St. Anthony Abate.

1950s Murano glass necklace with fruit and leaves, offered by Linda Bee

Murano decorative glass

Murano artisans employed a unique cooling process, by which they maintained liquid glass in its pliable state for a long time to create a viscous but malleable paste. They did this by slowly and carefully cooling the glass admixture. A craftsman created a mold of a durable material, usually baked clay and sometimes wood or metal. The mold comprised at least two parts, so that it could be opened and the finished product inside removed safely. Although the mold could be a simple undecorated square or round form, many were in fact quite intricately shaped and decorated. The designs were usually carved into the mold in negative, so that on the glass they appeared in relief

Glassware collectors often can distinguish historical pieces from individual Murano houses.

A selection of Murano glass beaded necklaces, offered by Gillian Horsup Vintage Jewellery
Murano silver bracelet, offered by Gillian Horsup Vintage Jewellery
Murano millefiori bead earrings, offered by Gillian Horsup Vintage Jewellery

Written by Titika Malkogeorgou
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