Friday - 18 April 2014

Chance visit leads to link up with top London store Liberty

23 January 2014Written by Anna Brady

You never know just who might wander into your shop without you realising it on an apparently uneventful day.

And top of the wish list of influential visitors for many dealers may well be, ooh, say a head buyer at Liberty department store, the shop recently described by potter Grayson Perry (who has designed a range of scarves for the shop) as for people who "think they've got eclectic taste".

What better for people who think they've got eclectic taste than some antiques?

Liberty, of course, used to have an antiques department and the furniture and objects made by the firm in the early 20th century are a core cog in the English Arts & Crafts movement.

But, while the dealer Patch Rogers holds annual Arts & Crafts selling exhibitions at Liberty, there has been no permanent home for antiques in the store for some time, until last week with the arrival of Drew Pritchard's concession on the fourth floor.

"Liberty found us by chance," says Drew. "The head buyer was on holiday in Beaumaris on Anglesey in North Wales and the hotelier recommended she pop into my shop.

"We presume she did but she didn't make herself known at that time."

First Order

But about a month later Drew received an email asking if Liberty could visit and they placed their first order. That was 18 months ago and he has been supplying them ever since.

"We have also built up a professional relationship with the emporium that has resulted in this concession stand branded 'Drew Pritchard at LIBERTY London'".

Drew, who started dealing at the age of 23 and also presents Quest TV's Salvage Hunters, has that sort of eye-catching and appealingly quirky stock that fits well with current interior trends and tastes.

For Liberty, he has selected a mix of 19th and early 20th century furniture and objects, some of which are shown here, which he hopes will "be in similar standing to that of Liberty founder Arthur Liberty.

"His heritage lives on in the selection of beautifully designed products on offer and the very fabric of the building's world-famous architecture".

Drew is currently exhibiting at the Decorative Fair, on this week from January 21-26.

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