"Swing into Davies Street and head for Grays Antique Market, one of the largest of it's kind in London. Here, and around the corner at it's sister showroom The Mews, you'll find unique pieces with a fascinating history, including vintage fashion and beautiful jewellery - a kind of Heirlooms R Us to suit every budget."
Gifts with a Sense of History
Tuesday, 23rd November 2010
Antiques are in fashion this Christmas
by Timothy Barber
It’s no coincidence that the recession has overlapped with a surge in the popularity of all things old fashioned. If our confidence in a bold, sparkling future has faltered, our interest in the aesthetics of the past – and the values of quality, provenance and craftsmanship that go with it – has rocketed upwards. 1940s-themed club nights are thriving, vintage fashion items are hotter than ever, Savile Row is once again an epicentre of male style – and at home, nothing says now like something that was made way back when.
Which means that, for Christmas, antiques make for far more stylish gifts than things bought brand new, and they’re better value too.
“You can get the same quality as a modern piece of jewellery or other decorative item at a fraction of the cost,” says Neil Jackson, manager of Grays, the popular Mayfair antiques market. “You’re buying something made years ago by artisans, that wasn’t mass produced and is likely to be unique, that has a history and character that can’t be replicated."
...And that’s half the fun, of course – shopping for antiques can be a journey of discovery whether you end up buying anything or not, as Jackson points out. “You’re getting an education and history of the period you’re buying from, and for the dealers explaining things and imparting knowledge is their passion – you always come out feeling that you’ve gained something.”
ANTIQUES IN LONDON | WHERE TO GO
Grays Antiques Market Just round the corner from Bond Street station, this is the vintage lover’s alternative to Mayfair’s exorbitant boutiques, with over 200 dealers gathered under one roof. It’s open Monday to Saturday, and on 2 December its Christmas shopping party includes live music and drinks, though you’ll need an invitation to attend. Call 020 7629 7034 to attend. 58 Davies St and 1-7 Davies Mews, W1K 5AB. www.graysantiques.com
Housed in a Grade-II listed Edwardian showroom, this market showcases a wide range of luxury jewellery, affordable art, vintage fashion and textiles. Late night shopping evening, 2 December, 5pm-8pm. Free by invitation.
Christmas Shopping Parties December 2nd - Grays Antiques
December 9th - Alfies Antique Market
"Enjoy live music and drinks at these late-night shopping parties, where dealers offer antiques, jewellery, and collectables (Grays) and twentieth-century furniture, art and vintage fashion (Alfies). Admission free by invitation: call 020 7723 6066."
19. Festive Antiquing
Our antique gift feature on page 37 shows how simple it is to buy an original present. And where better to browse for such delights than at a late-night Christmas shopping party? Alfies Antique Market and Grays, London are treating you to an evening of cocktails, bubbly and entertainment while you shop. Alfies' is on the 9th December and Grays' is on the 2nd."
"Christmas Days Out
Spend the afternoon away from the hustle and bustle of the high street and enjoy sophisticated Christmas shopping at Grays. With over 200 of London's finest antique dealers you will find perfect gifts that will last a lifetime."
The first week of December sees the start of the Christmas party season with the dealers and management at Alfies Antiques Market in Church Street, Marylebone and Grays Antiques in Davies Street, Mayfair opening the doors in the evening with cocktails, music and shopping. Grays Antiques party takes place from 6-8 on Thursday 2 December 2010 and the Alfie's party takes place at the same time on Thursday 9 December. To receive a complimentary invitation contact Grays Antiques and Alfie's Antiques Market"
New dealer at Grays, Great Canes has been featured in November's issue of BBC Homes & Antiques Magazine. Find their beautiful collection of rare and unique walking sticks and antique canes in Grays stand 121.
"A Vintage Christmas - Late Night Shopping at Alfies and Grays Escape the crowds on Oxford Street and enjoy a more serene shopping experience at Alfies Antique MArket and Grays this Christmas. Gems range from vintage biscuit tins (right) to Louis Vuitton Luggage or Tiffany jewellery. Call for your free invitation.
Grays Christmas Party - December 2nd, 5pm-8pm. 58 Davies Street & 1-7 Davies Mews, W1 (+44 20 7629 7034; www.graysantiques.com)"
"London has been a veritable horological oyster for Bonhams during the past couple of years, since Christie's and Sotherby's ceased holding watch auctions in the capital. Now the competition is hotting up again, after Sotherby's reinstated its London sale in July and scheduled another for December (see calender). In addition, a long-established dealer is planning to start swinging the gavel at his own independent watch auctions. Johnny Wachsmann, whose Pieces of Time business has been a fixture of Mayfair's Grays Antiques Market (right) for 25 years, was organising his first auction as this copy of On Time went to press. He intends to use a central London location and accept everything for consignment from the best Patek Philippe models down to items worth as little as £200."