22 December 2016

Last Minute Gift Ideas

It’s the last week before Christmas and for the last minute shopper we know how stressful it can be trawling along the high street from shop to shop in search for the perfect gift. Choosing the right gift can be a challenge, and the pressure to find that all important item is probably weighing on your mind.

To find something unique and of high quality that will last for years doesn't fit the criteria of most high street products. That's why we think Grays is the ideal place to go gift hunting - antique and vintage items have stood the test of time and you can be rest assured the recipient isn't likely to already own your chosen item.

We're open late until 7pm this Friday and until 4pm on Christmas Eve, so if you're heading to Oxford Street, why not go off the beaten track and make Grays your Christmas shopping destination - located just moments from Bond Street tube station. With 200 dealers spread over 2 buildings and 2 floors - and a price range to suit all budgets - we're sure you won't leave empty handed!

Make sure you don't miss the showcases in the Grays Mews. We've put together a few examples of the type of stock you'll find in the showcases, including items from our curated Christmas Gift cabinet (showcase P8) from various Grays dealers.

Showcase V28: Silver rimmed cut glass salt cellars with 2 spoons, W&H Sheffield 1902 - £125 - Available from Past & Present.

Showcase P8: 1940s yellow gold charm bracelet - £445 - Available from Spectrum.

Showcase FS6: Vintage Italian decanter - £28 - Available from Hongman Yang.

Showcase V12: Black forest bear - £68 - Available from David.

Showcase V13: Match box holder by Herend - £22 - Available from Walter Schaetzke.

Showcase V23: Czech glass vase, c1970s - £40 - Available from Phillip Varma.

Showcase V15: Fendi beaded baguette - £630 - Available from Modes & More.

Showcase C22-23: Victorian 9kt locket - £68 - Ting's Jewellery Box.

Showcase P8: Boston Bomber WWII plane model/ashtray - £485 - Available from Leon's Militaria.

Grays Christmas Opening Hours

Friday 23 December:
Late night opening until 7pm

Saturday 24 December:
11am - 4pm

Grays will be closed from 4pm , Saturday 24 December 2016, 
until 10am, Tuesday 3 January 2017.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and New Year!

16 December 2016

Christmas Partywear at Grays Antiques

Believe it or not, the Christmas Party season is upon us and here at Grays we have a fantastic selection of frocks, accessories and jewellery to help make you the hottest dresser at your office Christmas do.

Of course Grays has a reputation for dazzling antique jewellery, and there couldn't be a better occasion than Christmas to adorn yourself with jewels.

Vintage Modes have a great selection of vintage clothing, shoes, bags, jewellery and more, and now with two new dealers - Amanda Langham and Tanya R Vintage - there is even more to choose from.

1960s ruffle hem dress, from Amanda Langham

1970s dress, from June Victor

Sapphire and diamond heart ring, 1890, from Aurum 

Victorian necklace, from Emmy Abe 

Loris Azzaro 1980s dress, from June Victor

1970s dress with Art Nouveau inspiration, from Tanya R Vintage.

Lozenge shaped openwork brooch mounted in platinum. Russian, circa 1910, from Nigel Norman.

8 December 2016

Engagement rings at Grays

Grays is well known for its unique and beautiful selection of fine engagement rings - from 18th century rose cut diamonds, to splendid Victorian clusters, stylish Edwardian, elegant Art Deco and contemporary classic styles.

The engagement ring has been a symbol of betrothal for centuries and it was in fact the Archduke Maximilian of Austria who, in 1477, first started the tradition when he presented a diamond ring to his betrothed Mary of Burgundy.

The diamond is still the most popular stone of choice, which is no wonder considering that it is believed to represent everlasting love. The Italians have even called it, ‘pieta della reconciliazione,' meaning 'stone of reconciliation', due to its supposed ability to maintain harmony between man and wife.

If it is a diamond you are looking for, why not consider an antique ring as an ethical and eco-friendly option? The great thing about an antique ring is the backstory - imagine the great love your ring could have inspired in years gone by!

Finding a ring can be a daunting task, but at Grays you can find expert assistance and guidance from our dealers, many of whom have over 40 years' experience in the trade - that's a lot of happy couples! Grays has a reputation for assured quality and possesses one of the largest ranges of antique jewellery in the UK, with something to suit all tastes and budgets. Our guide to buying an engagement ring is a great place to start and below we have put together a selection of engagement rings that Grays has to offer.

An emerald cut diamond ring with baguette sides, set in an 18ct white gold mount. Art Deco. Offered by Alexandra Engagement Rings

A platinum, sapphire & diamond set with a fine "oval cut natural un-treated" sapphire, flanked on either side by two well matched "old round cut" diamonds. c1930. Offered by Robin Haydock

A 1.75ct old mine cushion cut diamond, set in a 18ct gold mount. English made c1840. Offered by Anthea AG Antiques Ltd

A ruby & diamond three stone ring, offered by The Antique Jewellery Company

A solitaire diamond engagement ring on a platinum setting. Art Deco. Offered by Persis Antique Jewellery

24 November 2016

Christmas Shopping at Grays

Believe it or not, Christmas Eve is only one calendar month away today! With Black Friday deals hitting the shops, a lot of you will be choosing this weekend to start your Christmas shopping. The Grays Christmas Gift Guide 2016 is now available in-store at reception or online here, and features a fantastic array of antique and vintage gift ideas for your nearest and dearest.

Grays and The Mews will be open for Christmas shopping right up until Christmas Eve at 4pm and will be open late on Friday 23 December until 7pm for last minute shoppers! Don't forget you can also buy gift vouchers from reception in the Mews, in denominations of £10, £20 or £50, which make a great gift for those difficult relatives. If you're planning a trip to Grays, why not take in the stunning Bond Street Christmas lights while you're in the area?

Bond Street Christmas lights, image courtesy of Time Out London

The Grays and Alfies Christmas Gift Guide 2016
A pair of cufflinks in 18ct gold set with jade and natural pearl c1930s. From Horton London.

Boucheron gold and diamond brooch, from Emmy Abe.

Nautical trump caller for bridge, Chester, 1909. From Hallmark Antiques.

1900 glass and silver sugar shaker, from Raysil Antiques.

If you need even more reason to get in the festive spirit, Grays' sister centre Alfies Antique Market in Marylebone is hosting its annual late night shopping party this time next week, Thursday 1 December, from 5pm until 9pm. Enjoy vintage inspired music from The Haywood Sisters and complimentary canapés and drinks from the Roof Top Kitchen while you browse. You can suss out what lies ahead in 2016 with forecasts from our in-house tarot card reader and this year, for those who arrive between 5pm and 6pm, there will be a special raffle draw with a range of gift vouchers available to win. Make sure you RSVP via info@alfiesantiques.com or 020 7723 6066, quoting 'newsletter', or via our Facebook event here.

The Haywood Sisters in the Roof Top Kitchen

17 November 2016

New vintage dealers at Grays!

Here at Grays we recently launched a competition in collaboration with Homes & Antiques to find two new vintage dealers to join the Vintage Modes Collective, located in the Grays Mews basement. We are happy to introduce our two fantastic winners as Tanya R Vintage, who won first prize of six months rent-free pop-up space and Amanda Langham, who won the runner-up prize of three months rent-free pop-up space.

Tanya R Vintage

Tell us about Tanya R Vintage..
I am a dealer in vintage clothes, accessories and costume jewellery.

What first interested you in vintage fashion?
Impossible to pinpoint an exact moment. My mother has an innate sense of style and I remember admiring her clothes when I was young.

How long have you been dealing for?
I have been dealing on and off for many years.

What was your first job?
As a curator at the V&A Museum.

What is the best thing about being a dealer?
Finding ‘treasures’ in unexpected places. The detective work/research that an item can lead to. Also meeting interesting customers and collectors.

..And the worst?
Only being able to take a fraction of my stock when doing a vintage fair can be frustrating.

What is your favourite fashion decade?
1920s – 1930s.

Tell us a secret?
I have dusted the china in 10 Downing Street!

Amanda Langham

Tell us about Amanda Langham Vintage..
Amanda Langham, I sell 1940s and 50s clothing and 1960s-80s interesting pieces. Vintage designer labels, velvet opera coats, glitz and glam wear, and accessories with a passion for vintage hats.

What first interested you in vintage fashion?
Watching old black and white movies when I was younger. I fell in love with both music and fashion from the 1940s and 50s.

How long have you been dealing for?
About 15 years.

What was your first job?
A personal assistant with a recruitment company.

What is the best thing about being a dealer?
It is great meeting the customers and seeing a wide variety of colourful characters, but in particular it’s when a customer finds that special item and loves it.

..And the worst?
Sourcing a piece of vintage but realising that it will never fit me, or not being able to restore a piece of amazing vintage to its former glory.

What is your favourite fashion decade?
1940s although a growing passion for Art Deco 1920s-30s coats is emerging! Hopefully I will find one or two for Vintage Modes.

Tell us a secret?
I am also a vocalist.

Be sure to visit Grays and Vintage Modes and have a look at the fantastic collection of carefully curated clothing and accessories. Below you can see a selection of the new stock our competition winners have in store.

Jersey couture maxi dress, designed by Pierre Cardin. 1970s. Available from Tanya R Vintage

Loris Azzaro silver and gold tiered-chain handbag, 1970s. Available from Tanya R Vintage

Black velvet dress with taffeta pleated bodice and godet inserts, 1950s. Available from Tanya R Vintage

Yves St. Laurent vintage suit. Available from Amanda Langham

1950s velvet opera coat. Available from Amanda Langham

1960s Lurex dress. Available from Amanda Langham

10 November 2016

Southbank Centre Winter Festival

Running from Friday 11th November 2016 to Wednesday 25th January 2017, the Southbank Centre’s popular Winter Market returns this year with an array of events including one of the best Christmas markets in London, where shoppers can bag gifts, festive produce, sweets & treats.

Southbank Centre Winter Festival 
The Southbank Centre transforms into a wintry Nordic landscape complete with a giant Norwegian tree, surrounded by a bustling market. Check out the festival's packed programme of free and ticketed events or taste something new at the Winter Market, with traditional mulled wine, mince pies and German sausages. There is also plenty of Christmas shopping, as well as family activities to keep the children entertained.

To celebrate the winter festival and all things festive we have found a selection of wonderfully wintry items from our dealers at Grays.

Christmas bauble inspired brooch with holly decoration,  available from Ting's Jewellery Box

Christmas tree brooches available from Gillian Horsup Vintage Jewellery
Butler and Wilson Christmas dog brooch, available from Gillian Horsup Vintage Jewellery

Meissen figure of winter, 18th century, from a set of the Four Seasons available from Guest and Gray

Vintage silver and white moss agate - merlinite - ring available from Arabella Bianco

Vintage silver plated art deco style earrings with red enamel and aurora borealis rhinestones, by Pierre Bex. available from Arabella Bianco

4 November 2016

Winter Art & Antiques Fair, Olympia

The flagship art and antiques event of the winter season is currently underway at Olympia, presenting work from across the arts, antiques, jewellery and design spectrum.

Over 100 dealers will come together to enjoy this unique shopping experience, a few of the regular exhibitors are our very own Grays' dealers. Here's a little taster of the type of items you'll find in their stands...

Serhat Ahmet - Stand H7
Specialising in Meissen, KPM Berlin, Sèvres, Vienna and other fine European porcelain and objets de vertu. Exhibiting a diverse range from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

A rare and charming Meissen Art Nouveau group by Alfred Koenig, 'Skaters, dancing', c.1910-11.

Meissen Pâte-Sur-Pâte Vase with Two Panels of Cupid, set on an imperial blue ground, blue crossed swords mark to base, c.1880

Anthea AG Antiques Ltd - Stand E15
A collection of pretty gem set jewellery circa 1840-1870s, with a selection of signed pieces.

Lalounis bangle, 18ct gold

Vintage ruby and turquoise ring

Matthew Foster - Stand D30
Matthew Foster is one of the United Kingdom's leading purveyors of highest quality collectables from the Art Deco, Retro, Art Modern and 1960s periods of the 20th Century.

Art Deco drop earrings.

Art Deco necklace. European, 1920s.

Horton London - Stand A21
LAPADA member, David Horton has over 35 years of experience in jewellery, antiques and fine art.

Maurice Lambert (1901-1964), Bird in Flight, bronze on wood plinth, c1920s

Pebble ring by Naum Slutzky c.1960, yellow gold pebble mounted as a ring, with simple wirework setting holding the stone

John Joseph - Stand F18
John Joseph specialises in genuine antique pieces with natural untreated stones. You'll find a range of  single, three and five stone engagement rings, gold Victorian brooches and diamond pieces.

 Platinum set with a fine diamond snowdrop pendant, with removable brooch fittings, original box, 1910

Emerald and 2.70 Carat Diamond Marquise Ring

Persis Antique Jewellery - Stand H18
Persis have over 13 years of experience and are dealing in a stunning range of fine antique and vintage jewellery.

Aquamarine & diamond cluster ring, Art Nouveau
Art Deco sapphire & diamond ring

Wimpole - Stand B10
Wimpole stock wearable period jewellery from 1790-1970, they specialise in stylish items of good quality and design.

Edwardian Siberian Amethyst and diamond pendant, platinum and 15 ct gold, c1910-1920

Art deco onyx and diamond pin, c1925  

Winter Art & Antiques Fair 31 Oct - 6 Nov 2016
Olympia London - Hammersmith Road, W14 8UX
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