Wednesday, 24 November 2010

City A.M.

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.”


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.

Read the full article here.

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