Friday, 8 August 2014

Gorgeous Green

Summer in August conjures up images of deep blue skies, flowers in full bloom, the soothing sound of nature and of course, green. Green is often used to symbolize rebirth and renewal and immortality and is most commonly associated with nature, vivacity and life.

It's no wonder that some of the most beautiful items at Alfies are luscious shades of green...

Late Victorian enamel and pearl brooch, offered by Sheila Cameron

1950's green paste necklace by Vendome offered by Tony Durante

A stunning French emerald and diamond ring, c1920s. Offered by Kieron Rielly

1960s sculptured green ceramic lamp. British. Offered by The Originals

Linthorpe bowl by Christopher Dresser offered by Janes Antiques

Green and clear glass vase signed Val. St. Lambert, offered by Louise Verber Antiques

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Time Keeper

Your watch. It is an accessory, it is an investment, it is your most truthful friend. Whether you have it safely put away in a pocket, pinned to your chest or on your wrist; it is yours and, hopefully, just the way you want it. The working mechanism of a watch depends on the movement and there are a few of them to choose from. Even if you cannot see it at first glance, the movement play a definite part when pin pointing the characteristics of the watch you are wearing. At Alfies Antique Market you can find any of the different watch movements mentioned below.  

Mechanical Watches
What characterize a mechanical watch is the mainspring. The mainspring is a spring that gradually unwinds and transmits energy. You have to wind up your mechanical watch yourself, which makes it very traditional and creates a nice contact with your watch. Most models require a wind up every 24 hours, so a mechanical watch asks for some attention to be drawn from you every day. In other words, some time spent in order to see the time. 

A Cyma watch from the 1920s, mechanical wind up (offered by Moe Heidarieh)

1920s watch, mechanical wind up (offered by Moe Heidarieh)

Automatic Watches
The difference between a mechanical and an automatic watch is that automatic watches are self winding, so they do not need  to be wound manually. This is possible through a small weighted rotor that has to oscillate in order to wind up the mainspring inside the watch. When you wear the watch motion is created from the wrist and arm and so your movement translates into energy that powers the watch’s gears to wind up the mainspring. 

An automatic watch from the 60s (offered by Moe Heidarieh)

Quartz and Electronic Watches
These movements are more modern and are now widely used timekeeping technologies. Electronic movements are driven by battery and generally come without any moving parts. A quartz watch is powered by an electronic oscillator regulated by quartz crystal to keep time. Because the crystal oscillator can create a signal with very precise frequency, quartz clocks are slightly more accurate than mechanical clocks. The frequency is broken down through an integrated circuit where power is being released through a small stepping motor setting the watch in motion. 

A Garrard Quartz watch (offered by Moe Heidarieh)

A Jaquet Girard Quartz watch from the 70s (offered by Pari's Jewellery)

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Digital art at Alfies Antique Market

If you’ve seen the Barbican’s Digital Revolution and Jean Paul Gaultier exhibitions recently, you’ll know that digital mapping is at the cutting edge of the art world right now.

Central St Martins graduate Jack Irving makes use of the technique, which allows video to be screened onto almost any 3D surface, in his new exhibition ENIGMA, which Alfies Antique Market is proudly hosting for two weeks from Saturday 26th July on our second floor.

Jack’s work comprises the head of an alien goddess miming four Lady Gaga songs over a nine-minute installation. At one point metamorphosing into the head of a pig to complement the track ‘Swine’, the exhibit has both darkly psychedelic and erotic undertones. His method of using holographic glitter mirrors to transform the effect of the digital mapping makes Jack’s approach to this new art form unique and fresh and, Alfies feels, secures his status as a bright star for the future.

Having studied product design, Jack’s vision for his degree showpiece was to create a production concept for a future Lady Gaga world tour, basing his design on the star’s most recent album ‘ARTPOP.’ The album references sea goddesses, galaxies, space and time, which Jack used as key inspirations throughout the design process, creating an installation which collides the deep abyss of both space and the underwater world.     

The actual installation that you see is a 1:150 scale model of a design intended for big shows at Wembley Stadium: an alien manta ray creation which gives the impression of an extraterrestrial invasion upon Wembley. The overall production would take the shape of a three-hour spectacle, but the nine-minute installation you see offers a sample of how the finished piece would transport the audience through the power of projection technology. In a stadium setting, the large projection-mapped head would mimic Lady Gaga’s expressions in an exaggerated fashion. Exploring the theatrical possibilities of the latest technology, Jack’s exhibition offers an unmissable glimpse into today’s rapidly changing art scene.   

So come on down to Alfies and check out Jack’s exhibition – blink and you’ll miss it! Why not combine your visit with some shopping or lunch on our roof top terrace while the summer’s in full swing?

Friday, 11 July 2014

Antique Young Gun Awards at Alfies

Last Friday, July 4th, Alfies was the proud host of this year's Antique Young Gun Awards.

The Roof Top Kitchen was the perfect setting, the guests chatted excitedly, the drinks flowed and the sun shone down on the terrace. Spirits were high to say the least!

To start the proceedings, Bennie Gray delivered a witty opening speech followed by Gail McLeod editor of Antiques News & Fairs and a co-founder of the Antique Young Guns movement. The awards were hosted by fellow AYG founders George Johnson and Mark Hill.

The Antique Young Gun of 2014 was James Gooch of Doe & Hope, congratulations to James and to the 11 winners of the mentoring scheme, who were paired up with experienced members of the antiques trade, and to the 8 winners who won a showcase at the prestigious Lorfords @ Babdown.

Full results here.

Guests enjoying drinks on the terrace

George Johnson, Gail McLeod and Mark Hill on stage

Bennie Gray's opening speech

A winner is announced

Alys Dobbie of NanaDobbie, winner of a showcase at  Lorfords @ Babdown

Lily Trunfull of No1 Lewes, winner of a showcase at Lorfords @ Babdown

Matthew Wise of Cubbit Antiques, winner of a showcase at Lorfords @ Babdown

A perfect mentor match, Jason Clarke with Lennox Cato, antique dealer and regular contributer to the BBC Antiques Roadshow.

Matt Goymer of Delphis Antiques heads to the stage

Matt Goymer of Delphis Antiques wins mentorship with Ian Michael Towning.

Marika Clemow of Antiques Trade Gazette wins Special Judges' Award.

William Potts wins Judith Miller award for Outstanding Potential.

The 2014 Antique Young Gun award winner, James Gooch of Doe and Hope.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Accessorise in Style

No matter the era, accessorising has always been a way to show off wealth and promote your social status, but it must not be more complicated than the will to add some extra spark to any ordinary outfit. Accessories are all about personal taste, and your choice of style can truly reflect upon your personality. 

Alfies has everything you need in order to accessorise in your favorite era or decade. Here comes some of ours!


During the Victorian period a wide and eclectic flavour grew for a range of different materials such as mother of pearl, jet, tortoiseshell etc. Another thing that grew was the female hairstyles. Great chignons with long ringlets were topped up with ball combs of different shapes and sizes. 

1900's Opera glasses, offered by June Victor

Victorian ball combs, offered by Naneen Brooks


In the 1930s you walked with a steadier heel. Sandals were popular during the day, but for a night out you preferably slipped your feet into toeless shoes with a heel. Colours and patterns were very welcome as the designers of the decade showed a more playful attitude towards fashion than ever before.

Leather gloves, offered by Tin Tin Collectables
A pair of 30s shoes, originally from India, offered by June Victor


The decade came with a demand for a more feminine look, but the 1950s also meant a lot of change within the fashion industry. The desired silhouette changed almost every year and there was also a clear division between Christian Dior’s New Look and a more easy-to-wear kind of style. 

Crochet gloves, offered by Tin Tin Collectables

Cork bag, offered by Carole Collier


It was a curious decade with a strong belief in the future. Pop culture was a strong influence and nothing was too extreme when it came to patterns, shape and colour. In fact, colour was more of a rule than an exception. With that said, a classic alternative to the explosive colours was still an option. 

Funky sunglasses with earrings, offered by Tin Tin Collectables

Dickens and Jones silk scarf, offered by June Victor
Miss Dior beanie, offered by Carole Collier

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