19 September 2014

New dealer in the spotlight: Serhat Ahmet at Grays

Serhat Ahmet joined us in Grays Mews just two months ago with his stock of fine European porcelain, adding this prestigious location along to his established Saturday residency in Portobello Road Antiques Market.

Serhat - who was the winner of an Antiques Young Guns Mentoring Award in July 2014 - has been actively involved in the world of fine European porcelain for over 20 years. A second generation specialist dealer, he has been surrounded by ceramics – in particular Meissen, KPM Berlin, Sèvres and Vienna – from an early age. This has meant that Serhat has developed an extensive knowledge of the subject and an excellent eye for objects of quality.

Competitively priced for both trade customers and private collectors worldwide, Serhat Ahmet is a destination for buyers of fine European porcelain when visiting London.  Serhat says, "The majority of our stock dates from the 19th century, but with demand from the next generation of collectors turning to objects that complement modern interiors, our range also extends to select pieces from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods, as well as some post-war modernist pieces from the long-established manufactories such as Meissen and Rosenthal. For the discerning collector, with a desire for the earlier items of European manufacture, we always carry a good selection of 18th century pieces in our stock".

"I'm really excited about the opening of my shop at Grays as it allows me to show my stock to new and existing customers during the week, and is set in a wonderful building in a fabulous part of London.  We're in the heart of the London arts and antiques world and the serious buyers that frequent Grays have a wide selection of goods from 200 quality dealers to choose from in a serene environment".

You can visit Serhat at his shop from Monday to Friday, 10 am - 6 pm at Stand H10/H11 in Grays Mews, 7 Davies Mews, London W1K 5AB.

Here are our favourite pieces from Serhat Ahmet's vast collection:

Meissen Pair of Pugs, c.1850. Offered by Serhat Ahmet
Meissen Figure of the Piping Drummer from the 'Cris de Paris', c.1935.
Offered by Serhat Ahmet
Meissen Yellow Canaries on Tree Stumps, c.1870. Offered by Serhat Ahmet
Meissen Topographical Tray with Scene of Pillnitz, c.1870. Offered by Serhat Ahmet
KPM Berlin Floral Charger, c.1895. Offered by Serhat Ahmet
Vienna Style Vase & Cover with a Musical Scene, c.1890. Offered by Serhat Ahmet
Sèvres Bleu Lapis Vase, c.1879-82. Offered by Serhat Ahmet

To contact Serhat Ahmet directly or visit his website:
Phone: +44 7956 388 028
Email: info@serhatahmet.com
Web: www.serhatahmet.com

12 September 2014

Blue September

September is the month when the international fashion crowd land upon our capital for London Fashion Week. During one week in September and the weeks leading up to LFW, we are made aware of the current and upcoming style trends.

It is rather apt that Sapphire is the birthstone of September, the colour blue featured prominently on the Autumn/Winter 2014 catwalk. An elegant way to add hints of blue to your attire is to accessorise with sapphire jewellery.

Below is a selection of stunning sapphire jewellery available at Grays.

Art Deco Sapphire & Diamond Engagement Ring, offered by Alexandra Engagement Rings

Sapphire & Diamond 18ct Gold Edwardian Curb Bracelet, offered by The Antique Jewellery Company

1920s Cornflower Blue Sapphire & Diamond Cluster Ring, offered by Robin Haydock

1920s Sapphire and Diamond Bow Brooch, offered by Nigel Norman

Sapphire and Pearl 1950s Necklace, offered by Horton London
Victorian Sapphire & Rose Cut Diamond Cufflinks, offered by Nigel Norman

 Platinum Set Sapphire & Diamond Ring c1920s, offered by Anthea AG Antiques Ltd

Victorian Pearl and Sapphire Pendant, offered by Charlotte Sayers

Diamond & Sapphire Ring, c1910s, offered by Emmy Abe

We would like to remind you, due to the flooding in the lower ground floor of the Grays Mews in August, Vintage Modes is temporarily closed whilst the shop undergoes renovation. We hope to re-open Vintage Modes in the very near future - watch this space for updates!

In the meantime you can catch Susie Nelson and Lesley of Arabella Bianco at the Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair, Frock Me! Vintage Fashion Fair and the Hammersmith Vintage Fashion Fair

Gillian Horsup and Lola of Unicorn will continue to sell their costume jewellery in the lower ground floor showcases, V001 - V008.

5 September 2014

Murano Glass; Story of an Island!

We had such tremendous fun researching the intricacies of blown glass for our previous blog that we ended up expanding and outgrowing our blog post space and ended up leaving out Murano glass. 
Here we are picking up the thread of the unique story of Murano glass. 

Murano is an island which consists of a series of seven smaller islands in the Venetian Lagoon. The islands which are linked by bridges are famous for blown glass production of a particular type with an international reputation for durability and high aesthetic quality. Crafting everything from art glass and glass jewellery, Murano’s glass makers held the monopoly of high quality glass making in Europe for centuries. 

Byzantine craftmen arrived in Venice after the sack of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade. In 1291, the Venetian Republic, fearing fire of its mostly wooden buildings, ordered glass makers to move their foundries to Murano. Murano glass makers subdivided into niches and developed a very tight community with distinct houses. Typically, each Murano glass house employed numerous sellers, servants, and cutters. 

Blue Murano bubble glass, offered by Totos Jewellery & Antiques

Millefiori beads from Murano, offered by Gillian Horsup Vintage Jewellery
1950s Murano glass necklace with birds and leaves, offered by Linda Bee

By the fourteenth century, Murano glass makers had gained in reputation, and soon became some of the most prominent figures of the Republic enjoying many special privileges. Servants of the glass houses studied the works of the great masters and learned the secret arts. When the Ottomans took Constantinople in 1453 more glassworkers arrived in Venice.

At once a marriage of Islamic and Western glass blowing styles, initially, it became famous for glass beads and mirrors. Developing or refining many technologies Murano glass artisans gained more control over colour and transparency. Aventurine  glass (glass with threads of gold) was invented in Murano as did enamelled glass, crystalline glass, multicoloured glass, milk glass and imitation gemstones made of glass. 

Murano glass sold to aristocrats, wealthy merchants, and heads of state, and during its heyday it produced the vast majority of Europe's mirrors and chandeliers. By the 17th century, Murano had even developed a patron saint for glassblowers, known as St. Anthony Abate.

1950s Murano glass necklace with fruit and leaves, offered by Linda Bee

Murano decorative glass

Murano artisans employed a unique cooling process, by which they maintained liquid glass in its pliable state for a long time to create a viscous but malleable paste. They did this by slowly and carefully cooling the glass admixture. A craftsman created a mold of a durable material, usually baked clay and sometimes wood or metal. The mold comprised at least two parts, so that it could be opened and the finished product inside removed safely. Although the mold could be a simple undecorated square or round form, many were in fact quite intricately shaped and decorated. The designs were usually carved into the mold in negative, so that on the glass they appeared in relief

Glassware collectors often can distinguish historical pieces from individual Murano houses.

A selection of Murano glass beaded necklaces, offered by Gillian Horsup Vintage Jewellery
Murano silver bracelet, offered by Gillian Horsup Vintage Jewellery
Written by Titika Malkogeorgou

28 August 2014

Grays' Pop-Up Vintage Shop!

Today and Tomorrow - 28TH & 29TH AUGUST 2014

With our lower-ground floor having been closed for the past few weeks, our many Vintage dealers who are usually based down there, have been left without somewhere to show their extensive collections. To give their unique pieces the chance to be seen, Grays will be hosting a pop-up sale next door in The Music Room today 28th August and tomorrow 29th August. Vintage Modes; featuring Gillian Horsup, Arabella Bianco and June Victor, as well as Kitty Verity, Maria Kamon and Ting's Jewellery Box will all be hosting stalls so don't miss out on their fantastic assortment of clothes, jewellery, bags and accessories - recommended by Time Out London, there are too many beautiful items to be left in storage! 

Vintage Modes selection of coats and bags

Kitty Verity's selection of costume jewellery

Gillian Horsup will also be showing her more accessible collection of lower priced brooches and small pieces of jewellery, so there will be something in everyone's price range, and with payday tomorrow - who cares anyway?

Gillian Horsup's brooch collection

20 August 2014


Fine jewellery at Grays is superabundant. You will find birthstones of every month in the form of brooches, ring's, bracelets, earrings and cufflinks, making it the ideal gift for your loved one.

Peridot is the birthstone for the month of August, we have put together a selection of peridot jewellery available from our dealers....

Edwardian Double Heart Brooch set with Peridots & Natural Split Pearls, offered by The Antique Jewellery Company

Edwardian Peridot & Diamond Set Cluster Ring, offered by Wimpole Antiques

Art Nouveau Peridot & Pearls Necklace and Earrings Set, offered by Boris Sosna t/a C & B Gems & Antique Jewellery

Victorian Pearl & Peridot Brooch, offered by Emmy Abe

18ct Yellow Gold, Emerald & Diamond Ring, offered by Westminster Group

9ct Pink Gold, Diamond, Pearl & Peridot Fly Pendan, offered by Beaut

30 July 2014

The Horrors of War

The 4th of August marks the 100th anniversary of the German invasion of Belgium and the start of World War One. Many people are unaware of the true extent of atrocities committed towards innocent Belgian civilians by the German army.

Only recently, a series of etchings portraying the inconceivable plight that men, women and children suffered were rediscovered. These terrible events were known at the time as ‘The Rape of Belgium’.

The graphic illustrations were so horrific that when artist Pierre-Georges Jeanniot displayed his series of etchings, they were immediately banned by the police to avoid panic and public outcry. 

The Horrors of War is a set of  rediscovered etchings depicting the barbaric treatment of Belgians by German troops. A specially produced, illustrated, explanatory book by Mark Hill (pictured above) comes with the full set of ten etchings.

Almost one century since the events occurred, these historically important etchings can be seen again. Acquired by Mark Hill, the set of ten original copper etching plates were professionally restored and the illustrations subsequently published for the first time.

An exclusive numbered, limited edition of 250 sets are available to buy. Each etching has been given a title relating to an event that took place.

X – In The Church
III – The Massacre at Blamont

The Horrors of War series can be viewed in Mark Hill's shop at Grays Antiques, stand G23. More information can be found on Mark Hill's website here.

28 July 2014

Lost Bust of Shelley Acquired by Tate

A twice life size bronze bust of the poet Percy Shelley by Amelia Robertson Hill (1820 – 1904) has been acquired by Tate Britain from Horton Art and Antiques.

Exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1882 and highly regarded by critics in its day. The bronze then remained in the artist’s home until her death in 1904.

Amelia produced only sixty works during her lifetime – mainly portraits, busts and statues – consequently her work is generally less known to the wider general public.
She was one of the first female sculptors to be given a public commission; her most famous work, the statue of David Livingstone in Edinburgh.

Commenting on this recent acquisition, the Tate Director, Sir Nicholas Serota said “We are extremely pleased to begin Amelia Robertson Hill’s representation in the Collection with this work”.

The bust will be exhibited in Gallery 9 of the Tate from August 2014.
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