23 February 2017

Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932

One hundred years on from the Russian Revolution, the Royal Academy is taking a look back at one of the most momentous periods in modern world history with an exhibition entitled, "Revolution: Russian Art 1917–1932"

Renowned artists on display will include Kandinsky, Malevich, Chagall and Rodchenko, who all lived through the fateful events of 1917, which ended centuries of Tsarist rule and shook Russian society.

The exhibition is running until 17 April 2017 and tickets cost £18. In celebration, we have unearthed several antiques at Grays from the run up to, during and period after the revolution. Here are our favourite picks.

Art Nouveau Sapphire Diamond & Ruby Trefoil Ring. Probably Russian. From The Antique Jewellery Company.

Russian silver cloisonne enamel master salt by Lubavin of Moscow 1896-1907. From Shapiro & Co.

Enameled Russian silver bowl. Moscow ca 1900. From P & R Szuhay.

lozenge shaped openwork brooch mounted in platinum. Russian, circa 1910. From Nigel Norman.

Russian metal travelling icon of St Nicholas of Myra, late 19th century, with blue and white enamel. From Guest and Gray.

16 February 2017

Old as Time Antiques

We Have Moved
A18, The Mews at Grays 

Views of the Old as Time stand A18

Old as Time Antiques joined Grays Antiques in October 2014, originally using showcases P4 and FS06 in The Mews offering a selection of datelined shop ready warranted clocks and timepieces. Most recently, at the end of 2016, Old as Time took up an opportunity to develop their business at Grays by moving into unit A18 which provided more space, allowing them to offer a total range of clocks, timepieces, watches and small furniture. As their business dateline is 1930s, the majority of the items offered will range between early 19c to the first half of the 20c.  

Ken Jacobsen started trading as Old as Time Antiques in 1981 selling antiques and collectables at antique fairs.  By 1984 he had evolved the business to provide a comprehensive range of services. These include the service and restoration, valuation, surveys and audits of Antique Clocks and Small Furniture, in addition to buying and selling clocks and furniture. This move will allow them to offer a broader range of items, especially LCGM, LCGD, Wall Regulator, Fusee Walldial and Marine clocks and timepieces displayed on or alongside appropriate small furniture of the period. They are also planning to offer a selection of Barometers.

"I initially started trading in antiques as a secondary business activity  and having a technical engineering background quickly identified a compatibility with selling Antique Clocks. The challenge was to ad value to the selling and support of these items. Areas such as clearly describing the item, preparing each item for sale, supporting each sale and the customer for the initial 12 months. From the pre-sales preparation, we addressed the service, repair, restoration and valuation needs of our customers."

Below are some examples of the pieces currently being offered.

8-day 1/2 hr Arts & Crafts Mackintosh inspired Clock, c1900/30

8-day Art Deco Mantel Timepiece, Elliott c1920/30

30hr Art Deco Mantel/Desk Timepiece , c1920/30

8-day Jaeger LeCoultre Mantel/Desk Timepiece, early 20c

8-day Jaeger LeCoultre Mantel Timepiece, early 20c

Also, should you view this unit’s display and not find a specific piece you require call Ken on 01442 395761, he is very willing to undertake a search to locate examples for you. Talk to him if he’s available.

All their clocks are 'shop ready', having been prepared by individuals who have a proven record of completing simple and complex repairs to quality timepieces, clocks and watches. 

Unit A18, Grays Mews
Open Monday and Thursday afternoons, or anytime by appointment
Facebook: @oldastimeantiques
Twitter: @OATantiques
01442 395761 (ext 6 for the support staff)

10 February 2017

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is an occasion to make a declaration of affection to your nearest and dearest, and a time when traditionally lovers surprise each other with gifts and tokens. Cards, chocolates and jewellery are commonly given.

Victorian Valentine's card
Valentine's Day was originally a day to celebrate Saint Valentinus who performed weddings for soldiers who were not allowed to marry and was thus jailed. From prison the Italian saint wrote a letter to the daughter of his jailer - with whom it is believed he was in love with - before he was executed. His letter was signed ‘From your Valentine' starting the now international tradition.

Valentinus died on February 14th, 273 AD, which later came to be the day we now celebrate as St Valentine’s day.

Why not go green and unique this Valentine's and gift your loved one an antique? Here are a few lovingly picked Valentine's gift ideas for your loved ones available from some of our dealers here at Grays.

A pair of 18ct gold and pearl and diamond earrings, c.1950s, available from Shapiro & Co

19th century Victorian Meissen group of lovers, available from K & M Antiques

Vintage double heart gold tone brooch in brushed and shiny textures by Grosse. Available from Arabella Bianco

Beautiful Heart and Crown Brooch, available from Spectrum

Silver crescent moon clip earrings with gold washed hearts, available from Gillian Horsup

2 February 2017

Birthstone of the Month: Amethyst

January is finally over and February is here! We think it's a good reason to celebrate, especially if you took part in 'dry January'. Though if you have had one too many don't fret -  February's birthstone, the amethyst, is aptly associated with protecting its wearer from drunkenness! The name Amethyst comes from the ancient Greek ἀ a- ("not") and μέθυστος méthystos ("intoxicated"). 

However, the stone is not just associated with drinking, Tibetans consider the amethyst sacred to the Buddha and make prayer beads from it. In the Middle Ages, it was considered a symbol of royalty and used to decorate English regalia.

Regardless of its connotations, the amethyst is a stunning stone which adds a beautiful splash of colour to jewellery. We have discovered an array fine pieces adorned with amethyst at Grays. Here are our top picks:

Late Victorian amethyst flower brooch, available from the Antique Jewellery Company

Bernard Instone Arts & Crafts silver and amethyst brooch, available from Van Den Bosch

1930s platinum set amethyst ring surrounded by diamonds, available from DIEM

1950s Amethyst cufflinks set in 18ct gold, available from Horton London

Large emerald cut natural ametrine stone (half amethyst, half citrine), 1970s, available from Leila in the Mews

Late Georgian/ Early Victorian collet gold and amethyst, necklace, available from Robin Haydock

15ct yellow gold cabochon amethyst heart pendant surrounded by a border of double row split pearls, available from Spectrum

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