October 3, 2008

Source Book: Antiques

I love poking around London's markets looking for antiques, but my mother assures me that the bargains that she and my father would find in the 50s, 60s and 70s are no longer there, partly due to the current exchange rate and partly due to the popularity of shows like Antiques Roadshow.

On this trip, I will be hunting for spoons. I have two sets of flatware, one the French Ivory-handled knives and forks that I've collected for years, and the other, a recent gift of some Mappin & Webb silver from the late 1800s. Neither set has spoons, so that's my quest.

Here are some of the places I will check:
  • Alfie's Antiques Market - This art deco-fronted former department store houses about 100 dealers of all sorts. The last time I was there, I watched a posh couple dickering with a dealer over two beautiful eiderdowns. I seem to remember a lot of mid-century modern, something I am not shopping for at all.
  • LASSCO is always a must do. The salvage at LASSCO is very different from what we have in Baltimore, mainly due to the age difference in the buildings. A few years ago, a friend and I set up an architectural salvage company, and I've always been fascinated by it. I am not likely to lug home a radiator or some flooring, but there are always little bits and pieces that are great finds!
  • Appley Hoare has a new location on Pimlico Road, just down from their old place, which I knew. She specializes in French country furniture and accessories. Click here to see some photos of her work. There are a lot of great stores along Pimlico Road, and they are all expensive!
  • One of the places I might have some luck with my spoons is at the London Silver Vaults, which is actually a collection of 30+ dealers, most of whom specialize in English silver. I may take piece or two of my M&W silver to see if they can match it, or as M suggests, just photocopy one for perfect scale!
  • I fell in love with Josephine Ryan's work ages ago and even wrote a post about it almost exactly a year ago. It looks like such a fun shop, full of lots of interesting goodies!

Of course, there are a zillion other antiques stores in London, in addition to the famous Portobello Road and the other open markets, but this is just a hint.


  1. looks like the 22 bus which i am sure you will be riding

  2. looking forwad to hearing of your adventures- antiquing and otherwise!

  3. Oh wow, it looks like you are having some big adventures. looking forward to more!

  4. You will definitely wonderful spoons at the silver vaults but there will be no bargains. Your new header is the BEST.

  5. Most of my other recent trips to London were for business and other meetings. This will be the first time I've been in London for ages with lots of time to myself... except for when I am meeting with some London-based bloggers.

  6. Meg -- love the lion at the top! Hope you find some fabulous spoons.

  7. Good luck in your quest! Love the header.

  8. Dont forget about the Russians!, in addition to the exchange rates and AntiquesRoadshow....

  9. OOOOOOOOH....I just love London shopping! We went 2 years ago and I just loved Portobello and have some cherished things I purchased there. This makes me really want to return and SOON!

  10. Anon... I forgot about those pesky Russians.

  11. the russians generally aren't shopping for antiques - they're looking for things that are shiny and new.

    a few notable exceptions, but it's in the very high end of the antique trade.

  12. Anon@5:42, my sources tell me that the Russian invasion is causing the price of many things to rise.

  13. When in London, do bring home some
    blue and white china...
    to whet your appetite...here is my humble effort


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