26 November 2015


Thanksgiving Day is traditionally a day for families and friends - primarily in the United States and Canada - to get together for a special meal. This occasion has been an annual holiday since 1863 to give thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.

On this important day, with loved ones around the Thanksgiving table, it's necessary for the host to have their best tableware laid out. At Grays, there is no shortage of exquisite tableware on offer. Below is a selection of items that would make your table the best dressed of them all!

A boxed set of Mother of Pearl and silver fruit cutlery set. Sheffield 1911, offered by Raysil Antiques
Wallendorf Coffee Pot & Cover with Puce Decoration, c.1765, offered by Serhat Ahmet Antiques

A boxed set of 6 silver coffee bean spoons, offered by AMS Antiques
Wine Glass Jug (sold as a pair) c1850, offered by Jack Podlewski
Meissen tête-à-tête comprising covered chocolate pot,covered sucrier, milk jug, cup &
saucer and tray, offered by K & M Antiques
1960s Silver & crystal decanters by Roberts & Dore, offered by Past & Present

23 November 2015

Christmas at Kew Gardens!

It's that time of year again and Christmas is can already be seen across London, with its spectacular illuminations and festive atmosphere. Everyone is spreading their own Christmas magic and Kew Gardens is no exception. By Wednesday 27th 2015 up until 2nd January 2016, this magnificent garden will have a beautiful seasonal transformation!

Decorated Christmas trees at Kew Gardens

But with or without the splendor of Christmas, Kew Gardens is truly one of London's most beautiful places. Situated in the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames, it holds the world's largest collection of living plants. The Collection includes more than 30,000 different kinds of plants together with an impressive herbarium containing over seven million preserved plant specimens. It also hosts a library which includes more than 750,000 volumes and over 175,000 illustrations. In addition, in 2003 Kew Gardens was added to the list of world heritage sites by UNESCO. The gardens even has its own police force, Kew Constabulary, which has been in operation since 1847.

The gardens as we know them today were founded in 1840, created from the exotic garden at Kew Park, but their origins can be traced all the way back to the merging of the Royal estates of Richmond and Kew in 1772.  Ever since then it has been structured, built and changed by many, although some of its earlier creations still remain today, such as the lofty Chinese pagoda built in 1761 by William Chambers, and the adjoining ‘Dutch House’. This was purchased by George III in 1781 as a nursery for the royal children, and is today better known as Kew Palace.

Other popular features are Palm House, the Nash and the Princess of Wales Conservatories and Queen Charlotte's Cottage, just to mention a few. 

Though nothing can really compare to the glorious greens and colourful shades of nature, the seasonal illuminations that light up the buildings, trails and plantings do create a special kind of warmth and delight. With the mile-long trail that will lead visitors past dancing lit-up fountains, a scented fire garden and many decorated Christmas trees, Kew Gardens will most definitely plant a wonderful seasonal mood in both mind and heart. 

At least it has done so here at Grays and while we count down the days ‘til Christmas, we have collected some of our own splendid examples of nature.  
18ct gold, jade and diamond leaf earrings. Offered by Spectrum

20th century, white paste, leaf shaped, double clip brooch. Offered by Gillian Horsup.

Edwardian platinum cluster ring, c1910. Offered by John Joseph.
18ct gold, diamond & ruby enamel bee necklace. Offered by Spectrum.
20th century, vintage, gold tone mesh snake brooch. Offered by Gillian Horsup.

1890s, large bronze jay bird signed by Bergmann. Offered by Mariad Antiques.

18 November 2015

International Men's Day 2015

International Men's Day (IMD) is a yearly global event celebrated in more than 80 nations - including the UK - on the Thursday, 19 November. IMD is a worldwide grassroots movement that welcomes everyone on the planet to come together and celebrate men in all their diversity.

Each year the event has grown in popularity, and is consequently celebrated by an assortment of organisations, plus public and charitable sectors in the UK, which use the event to highlight the need to provide more support to men and boys across the globe.

The current year's theme is 'keeping men and boys safe' and is designed to help more people consider what action we can all take to make a difference by addressing some of the issues that affect men and boys all over the world.To find out about International Men's Day and the events they are running throughout the event you can follow the www.ukmensday.org.uk 

Below we have selected a few of our favourite 'mantiques' from Grays which you can spoil a man with this year on IMD.

Art Deco gold filled pocket watch from Nayabelle

Balloon cased clock 2hour, 8 day clock with a French movement
housed in a solid mahogany case. 1905 from Old As Time Antiques

Edwardian Carved Intaglio Rock Crystal Dog Cufflinks from The Antique Jewellery Company

Half pint pewter tankard with curving handle. English, c.1820 from Jane Stewart

Skeleton clock single fusee 1900-1915 from Old As time Antiques

5 November 2015

ASIAN ART IN LONDON: 5 November - 14 November 2015

It's the eighteenth year of Asian Art in London, bringing together over 60 of the world’s top dealers, major auction houses and museums, and highlighting a wide range of antique and contemporary Asian art. This event will comprise of exhibitions, lectures, gallery talks, collectors talks, auctions, study days and performances. 

Following the UK-China Summit in London last June, the 2015 UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange showcases the very best of British culture in China and vice versa. This year the Asian Art in London Gala Party celebrates this cultural exchange with support from the Chinese Embassy. 

The winner of the Asian Art in London Award 2015, will also be announced on night of the Gala. 10 works of art are drawn from across the region, showcasing a wide range of materials and techniques. The prize will be judged by a committee including curators from the Ashmolean Museum, the Fitzwilliam Museum, and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Below are a few examples of the shortlisted objects: 

Imperial gilt-bronze ‘dragon’ ritual bell, 1716, Chinese (Kangxi period) Christie’s London

Bidri hookah base, 1650–75, Indian (Deccan, Bidar) Simon Ray Indian and Islamic Works of Art

White marble Ganesh, mid 9th century, Afghanistan (Hindu Shahi/post-Gupta Period) Joost van den Bergh

During this ten-day festival we are putting Grays on the map (and all year round!). Our dealers stock an incredible selection of Asian ceramics, silver, sculpture and art. 

Below is just a small example of items our dealers have on offer..

Chinese porcelain snuff bottle, Liu Hai, offered by David Bowden

Blue & white Chinese jar, c1622-1722, offered by Wheatley Antiques

Garuda 18th/19th century, bronze, solid casting, two parts, offered by Matthew Wood
Safavid tile, Persian, 17th Century, offered by Antique Choices

Rare Chinese helmet-shaped famille verte ewer, Kangxi (1662-1722), offered by A Guest & Gray

19th Century Chinese export Tu Mao Xing, solid silver, seven piece tea set, c.1880, offered by Pushkin Antiques Ltd

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