Thursday, 26 November 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

The History Of Thanksgiving

In the United States in 1621, in present day Massachusetts, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast prompted by a good harvest that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

Thanksgiving proclamations were made by church leaders in New England until 1682, and then by both state and church leaders until after the American Revolution. During the revolutionary period, political influences affected the issuance of Thanksgiving proclamations. Various proclamations were made by royal governors, John Hancock, General George Washington, and the Continental Congress, each giving thanks to God for events favorable to their causes. As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26th 1789, "As a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God".

In modern day the President of the United States, in addition to issuing a proclamation, will "pardon" a turkey, which spares the bird's life and ensures that it will spend the duration of its life roaming freely on farmland.

On this special day, many will be preparing for a grand feast with loved ones and friends around the Thanksgiving table. At Alfies we offer a superb range of both vintage and antique pieces to make sure you have the best dressed table around, along with the perfect Thanksgiving gifts.

A selection of 1960s solid silver charms, offered by Good Time Antiques

Original hand painted vintage print, offered by Moe Heidarieh

Pair of Mid-Century gilt candle sticks, offered by Louise Verber Antiques

1930s French cocktail set, offered by Nadine Okker

A stunning 1930s carving set, offered by Goldsmith & Perris

A beautiful Art Deco silver plate tray, offered by Louise Verber Antiques

1930s Native American advertising poster, offered by Dodo

A fabulous 1960s pineapple ice bucket, offered by Louise Verber Antiques

Thursday, 19 November 2015

International Men's Day

International Men's Day is an annual international event celebrated in more than 60 countries, on 19 November. The idea is to promote male role models, increase awareness of men's health issues, improve gender equality and highlight discrimination. Or simply to get people to show some appreciation for the men in their life!

Each year secondary themes are suggested, such as peace in 2002, healing and forgiveness in 2007, "Our children our future" in 2010, and "working together for men and boys" in 2014 - which addressed issues that affect males all over the world.

This year the theme is “Working To Expand Reproductive Options for Men”, designed to encourage cooperation in addressing reproductive issues.

In celebration of International Men's Day, we have put together a few examples of mantiques you will find at Alfies all year round. 

Original 1960s James Bond Aston Martin toy model, offered by Eclectic Antiques & Contemporary

15 Jewels Pocket Watch, record watch, 1924, offered by Moe Heidarieh

A selection of hipflasks, silver plate and leather, 1900s - 1940s, offered by Goldsmith & Perris

Machine age lamp by Marbro, USA, 1950s, offered by Matt Mitchell London

Radar Men From The Moon, CineFilm, offered by Atomium

9ct Gold round cufflinks with white and baby blue edging, offered by Gareth Brooks

Gopnered 1930s leather briefcase, offered by Tin Tin Collectables

1950s search lights on stands, offered by Steven Lazarus

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Asian Art in London

Now approaching its end, Asian Art in London runs between the 5th and the 14th November and is a ten day celebration of the world's best Asian art. It brings together over sixty of the top dealers, major auction houses and museums for an annual festival of the finest Asian art.

It's the eighteenth year of the event in London, which highlights a wide range of antique and contemporary art from Asia, and exhibitions, lectures, gallery talks, collectors' talks, auctions, study days and performances will take place throughout the week.

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.

There is an Asian Art in London Award 2015, which shortlists 10 works of art 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.

At Alfies we have dealers who stock a fantastic selection of Asian ceramics, sculpture and art.

Here are a selection of Horner Antiques' pieces. Michael of Horner Antiques has collected antiques for many years and has a keen eye for detail in oriental porcelain, glass, ceramics and collectables. He also sells a range of delicate English Sliver.

Japanese gold lacqueur tray and martini glasses

Japanese Cloisonné vase, 1880-1900 with white metal mounts,
with bamboo and bird pattern and enamel roses. 

Japanese Famille Noir ginger jar, c1890. 

Chinese bronze teapot with a dragon spout, Qialong, made about 1850.

Japanese Kutani charger, c1880.

Chinese bronze shishi urn, 1800-1820.

1920s pair of Chinese vases with matching ginger jar.

Michael Horner
Ground Floor, Stand G031
Tel: 07748 653 580

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Remember Remember Alfies November

"Remember remember the 5th of November!"

This weekend Britain will commemorate the failed gunpowder plot with traditional bonfires and firework displays all over the country in memory of, mainly, Guy Fawkes who was caught attempting to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605.

Gunpowder Plot, 1605

The tradition remembers the failure of the Gunpowder Plot that took in place November 1605 under the Houses of Parliament by a group of Roman Catholic activists led by Warwickshire-born Robert Catesby, who planned to assassinate King James I and restore a Catholic monarch to the throne. 

When Protestant King James I acceded Queen Elizabeth, English Catholics had hoped that the persecution they had felt for the last 45 years would finally end, but when this didn't happen the conspirators plotted to assassinate the King and his ministers during the state opening at the Houses of Parliament. The plotters secured the lease to an undercroft beneath the House of Lords, and Fawkes was placed in charge of 36 barrels of gunpowder that they smuggled in a cellar below the House of Lords. It has been discovered this was enough to destroy not only the entire building but anything within a 500 metre radius.

The scheme started to fall apart when an anonymous letter sent to William Parker, the 4th Baron Monteagle, warned him not to avoid the House of Lords. This lead to the authorities searching Westminster Palace during the early hours of 5 November, and found Fawkes guarding the explosives. Over the next few days, he was questioned and tortured, and eventually he broke. Immediately before his execution on 31 January, Fawkes jumped from the scaffold where he was to be hanged and broke his neck, thus avoiding the agony of the mutilation that followed.

Today the tradition of searching Parliament before a state opening still takes place every November since 1928, by the Yeomen of the Guard, and they are still armed with lanterns.

Fawkes has become synonymous with the Gunpowder Plot, the failure of which has been commemorated in Britain since 5 November 1605. His effigy is traditionally burned on a bonfire, commonly accompanied by a fireworks display.

Take a look at our range of dazzling sparklers, good enough to "Oooohhh!" and "Aaaahhh!" at.

A selection of 1960s silver charms, offered by Good Time Antiques

A stunning collection of 1970s Scottish glass paper weights, offered by Robert McKoy Fine Arts

A hand coloured print over 100 years old, perhaps unloading the barrels of gunpowder, offered by Moe Heidarieh

A dazzling burst of colour that looks like spinning catherine wheels. A 20th century Murano glass mirror, offered by Sambataro

Beautiful fireworks style Scottish glass paper weights, offered by Gloria Sinclair

A pearl and 18ct gold brooch/pendant. An orange Burmese pendant and a stunning amethyst 18ct gold pendant, all offered by Pars Jewellery

A gorgeous 1920s winter coat, offered by Tin Tin Collectables

A fun vintage silk scarf depicting a rainy day, 'Raining Cats And Dogs', offered by Tin Tin Collectables

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Trick or Treat?

Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. Its origins are more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in, meaning "end of summer") when people would light bonfires and wear masked costumes to ward off souls of the dead, including ghosts, goblins and witches, whom they believed returned to mingle with the living.

The custom of trick or treating has several origins. During Samhain, the Druids believed that the dead would play tricks on people and cause panic and destruction, therefore they were appeased with offerings of food and drink. It is suggested that trick or treating evolved from a tradition whereby people impersonated the spirits, or the souls of the dead, and received offerings on their behalf. The "trick" is usually an idle threat to perform mischief on the homeowners if no treat is given to them.

At Alfies we can assure you there are no tricks, only frightfully delightful treats! Set the scene for Halloween with these creepy curiosities our dealers have on offer...

1930s brass Barclays Bank shop front eagle emblem, offered by Eclectic Antiques & Contemporary

GHOSTS - Stories of the Supernatural, by Elliott O'Donnell, offered by Atomium

Vintage black cat vase, offered by Renato

Apothecary’s morphine bottle, offered by Atomium

1930s paste spider brooches, offered by Carole Collier

1970s celluloid and brass studded scarab brooch, offered by Tony Durante

French 1930s orange silk and black lace with enamel clasp evening bag, offered by Tony Durante

1930s large black velvet hat, offered by Tony Durante

1940s silver & marcasite cat brooch, offered by Connie Speight

Happy Halloween!

Friday, 23 October 2015

Alfies: Curiouser And Curiouser

"Have I gone mad?"
"I'm afraid so, but let me tell you something, the best people usually are."
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland 

Roller-printed cotton chintz - Alice in Wonderland
C F A Voysey, 1920

If you love the fantastic world of Lewis Carroll's Wonderland then a visit to the V&A Museum of Childhood is a must. Delve into a new perspective of Carroll's heroine, Alice, in a beautiful display marking the 150th anniversary of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The exhibition shows how Alice and her Wonderland friends have been embraced and adapted all across the world, and how she has inspired many of the most celebrated designers, stylists and photographers. Follow Alice's evolution through a collection of garments, photographs and rare editions along with a brand new commission by pattern-cutter Josie Smith of Roksanda. The exhibition is on display until Sunday, 1 November.

Alfies is a Wonderland in its own right, here you will find many beautiful curiosities to fall in love with, and be sure to visit our Roof Top Kitchen for your own Mad Hatter's Tea Party.

24 hour large pocket watch in nickle silver, 1910. Offered by Moe Heidarieh.

A fabulous 'Queen of Hearts' early Victorian garnet and gold heart shaped ring. Offered by Gareth Brooks

French 1920s 'Looking Glass' wall mirror. Offered by Nadine Okker

1930s Disney House teapot. Offered by Beth

Dodo, the wonderful mascot for our vintage posters, paintings and prints dealer Dodo

French Art Deco peach and blue glass wall clock mirror. Offered by Nadine Okker

A trio of 1950s 9ct gold crown charms, with enamel and semi precious stones. Offered by Good Time Antiques

Pair of French brass early 20th century griffin candle stick holders. Offered by Louise Verber Antiques
A pair of 1930s French chemist 'Drink Me' bottles. Offered by Travers Antiques

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