Thursday, 23 February 2017

Treasures of the Deep

Horner Antiques on the ground floor of Alfies have an exciting display of porcelain rescued from the seabed. Shipwrecked antiques have long been collectable due to the romance and tragedy associated with found objects.

Over the last few years a number of wrecks have been found in the South China seas off the coast of Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. There are examples from 1430 (Ming Dynasty) through to 1815 - 20 (Ching Dynasty).

Bowl with barnacles

Staining on a bowl which lain next to metal

There are pieces with barnacles that have started to grow on them and the glaze has been eroded by seawater. Where pieces have lain next to metal you can see staining on the porcelain, such as in this piece from Tek Sing which has a stylised peach blossom design.

Tea bowl saucers from different wrecks and periods

Here are two examples of tea bowl saucers from different wrecks and different periods, showing the evolution of style. Both of these are stylised cherry blossom in decoration, one is from the wreck of 'Ca Mau' which sank in 1725, the other from the Tek Sing which sank in 1822.

Spoons from the wreck of the 'Desaru' 

From the wreck of the 'Desaru' which sank off the Johor peninsular, Malaysia, Horner Antiques are very  fortunate to have a pair of spoons, the colour is more vibrant and flo blue in appearance.

Small bowls decorated with a repeating Greek pattern

You will also find small bowls decorated with a repeating Greek pattern and different amounts of glaze loss, this would have happened where the porcelain in the middle of the bowl was more protected from the elements as the packing crates rotted and the cargo settled on to the seabed.

Stand G012-13
Tel: 07748 653 580

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Autumn/Winter Fashion Week 2017

Today marks the final day of New York Fashion Week, with the London edition beginning tomorrow, followed by Milan and then Paris. This is the time where we see how the future landscape of fashion will be shaped and the trends that will become the focus of design for the season ahead.

At one time a very exclusive event, fashion week is now accessible to everyone courtesy of social media, and all it takes is a smart phone to get a head start on applying the trends to come to your own wardrobe before they hit the high street. Of course a lot of modern design looks to the past for inspiration - we think doing this with vintage clothes will allow you to take a trend and make it truly unique. If you're searching for a something unique to adorn your wardrobe, then look no further than the wonderful vintage dealers Alfies has to offer. Read on for some of the current trends with a vintage feel.

Political Slogans/Propaganda: 'Keep It Under Your Hat' scarf by Arnold Lever, c1942. Offered by Tin Tin Collectables

Political Slogans/Propaganda: 'Shoulder To Shoulder' scarf by Arnold Lever, c1943. Offered by Tin Tin Collectables

Political Slogans/Propaganda: 12th Air Force scarf by Charles Addams, c1943. Offered by Tin Tin Collectables

Tones and Texture: Ruffle shirt and knitted cardigan, c1980s. Offered by Dispensary Vintage

Tones and Texture: Gingham shirt and cable knit cardigan, c1970s. Offered by Dispensary Vintage

Tones and Texture: Velvet coat and silk scarf, offered by June Victor

English Heritage: Men's Burberry coat, offered by Dispensary Vintage

English Heritage: Grid patterned wool coat, offered by Dispensary Vintage

English Heritage: Grey wool coat, offered by Dispensary Vintage

English Heritage: 'Darby Winners' scarf by Welch, Margetson and Co, c1948. Offered by Tin Tin Collectables

Women's Suits: Ladies fine wool worsted, c1938. Offered by Tin Tin Collectables

Friday, 10 February 2017


February's birthstone is the amethyst, a gem which has been hugely popular across the eras, making antique amethyst jewellery easy to find. The fact that purple could for centuries only be produced from natural materials made it labour-intensive and thus highly expensive – at one point the stone was literally worth its weight in gold! As a result the amethyst became linked to royalty and power. The Victorians were big fans - when Queen Victoria wore a gown to the Royal Exhibition in 1862 dyed with the newly available product the colour became extremely fashionable.

The amethyst is popular for is hue and vibrancy and at Alfies our jewellery dealers have a beautiful selection of pieces on offer:

1930s amethyst ring. From Good Time Antiques.

Victorian 18k gold and amethyst necklace. Available from Kieron Reilly.

1900-1915 Suffragette amethyst bracelet. From Zeeba Jewels.

1870/1880 Austrian amethyst necklace. From Zeeba Jewels.

An amethyst ring surrounded with small diamonds set in white gold. 1960s-70s. From Gareth Brooks.

Edwardian Suffragette necklace. 1910-1915. Amthyst and natural pearl. Available from Zeeba Jewels.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Valentine's at Alfies

It's that time of year again when we can not avoid the influx of heart shaped objects and red roses. Each year it becomes more and more difficult to find that perfect gift, something that's neither too cheesy, nor too ubiquitous, and suffice to say it can be difficult to get into the spirit of Valentine's. However, with around 70 dealers specialising in a variety of items such as jewellery, glass, ceramics, vintage fashion and home accessories, a visit to Alfies can diminish any gift hunting anxiety. Rest assured that the recipient won't have seen your chosen gift anywhere else, making it all the more special and unique.

Here are just a few of our top Valentine's picks: 

18ct gold and diamond earrings, 1960s, offered by Pari's Jewellery

1920s Art Deco diamond bracelet, French, offered by Kieron Rielly

Art Deco heart pendant, gold with 10ct diamond, offered by Pari's Jewellery

Pale green fabric and silver frame, offered by Hayman & Hayman

Arnold Lever for Jacqmar silk scaf, 1952, offered by Tin Tin Collectables 

"First Love" Steel engraving, c.1860s, offered by Moe Heidarieh

Mid Century crystal hand cut decanter, offered Robinson Antiques

If you want to raise the bar even higher we also have an in house jewellery designer, Creative Jewellery Company, whose main area of expertise is hand made bespoke jewellery. Their jewellery is custom made for each individual to their own personal requirements.

An example of a Creative Jewellery Company's bespoke designs

Creative Jewellery Company - Laurance Mendoza
Second Floor Gallery, Stand S052
Tel: 07754 059 856

Friday, 27 January 2017

Chinese New Year 2017

This coming Saturday, 28 January marks the first day of Chinese New Year. New Year is also known as the “Spring Festival” in China and is the longest and most important holiday there. The New Year’s festivities end two weeks later on the 15th day of the first month and this day is known as the Lantern Festival. London's festivities are the biggest celebrations outside Asia and every year, hundreds of thousands of people head to Chinatown to wish each other "Xin Nian Kuai Le" (Happy New Year in Mandarin) or "San Nin Faai Lok" (in Cantonese). Find out more about events happening in London this weekend here.

2017 is the year of the fire rooster - each Chinese New Year is characterised by one of 12 animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac - which symbolises loyalty, commitment, hard work and family values amongst other values.

Alfies has several dealers who stock high calibre Chinese and Asian Antiques, such as Horner Antiques who has a keen eye for detail in oriental porcelain and is based on the ground floor, and Hongman Yang, who is based on the first floor and deals in a variety of items, including paintings and jewellery as well as ceramics.

Here are some of our favourite pieces:
Large Famille Noir Chinese Vase - Dragons Chasing Through Flowers, 1st Republic. From Horner Antiques.

Chinese 'Blanc de Chine' of a deity holding a peach. From Horner Antiques.

Chinese blue and white plum flower ginger jar with wooden lid. From Hongman Yang.

Chinese tea caddy Qianlong period. From Diplomat Treasures International.

20th century bowl with rooster. From Hongman Yang.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Colour of the Year: Green

Pantone have announced that the colour of 2017 is green, also known as "15-0343 Greenery". The highly influential colour-matching firm said that "Greenery" will be the dominant shade in fashion and design for the next 12 months. 

In fashion it provides a pop of colour in accessories and shoes, or as a bold accent in pattern. The theme for home decor and interiors this year is all about bringing the outside, inside. 

Pantone’s executive director Leatrice Eiseman puts it this way: “Greenery symbolises the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.”

With this in mind, we picked some items from various dealers in luscious shades of green.

Vintage green & white gingham shirt, available from Dispensary Vintage

Urnaium decanter set 1930s, available from Beth

1940s knife sharpener, available from Paola & Iaia - The Originals

‘The Garden of the Golden Orb’ by Ronald Morton, available from Robert McKoy Fine Arts

Shell shaped Murano glass, with shades of green and gold leaf. c1955, available from Robinson Antiques

1920s Leaf necklace, available from Carole Collier

Thursday, 12 January 2017

The London Art Fair

The annual London Art Fair is the UK's largest contemporary art fair, taking place at the Business Design Centre from 18-22 January. This year is the 29th edition of the fair, which is generally being regarded as the event that kicks off the year for the art world.

The fair primarily has a contemporary focus and presents a lot of modern British art along with other works ranging from the early 20th Century through to the present day. Around 125 galleries showcase within the main fair, and in addition there are also curated sections focusing on younger galleries, new work and contemporary photography. Tickets to the event can be purchased here.

We have a range of art dealers within Alfies, many of whom have a huge variety of work from many different periods, and whilst there is a lot of traditional items, there are some beautiful contemporary works on offer too. Here we present some of our favourites.

Painting on canvas by Anna Mae of the Portobello Group, 2013. Offered by Graham Thomas.
'Dorset Abstract' by Richard Witham, 2014. Offered by Graham Thomas. 
'Flowers in a Window' by Richard Suddaby, 1940s. Offered by Graham Thomas.
'Flowers' by India Duncan, 1970s. Offered by Mark Eaton.
'Snowdonia' by W. Matthew, oil on board, 2014. Offered by Mark Eaton.
'Venice' by Ray Rossepi, oil on board. Offered by Robert McKoy Fine Arts.
Unknown, oil on board, 1950s. Offered by Robert McKoy Fine Arts.
'Blue Geisha' and 'Orange Samurai' by David Harper, 2014. Offered by David Harper.

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