1. John Bly – Tring
Antiques dealership John Bly has opened a shop in Tring, Hertfordshire, and plans a new showroom in Chelsea.
The family has trading as antiques dealers in Hertfordshire since the 19th century but have also run a gallery in central London for 30 years.
Following the decision to leave the King’s Road gallery in the Furniture Cave last autumn (September 2019), the dealers initially planned to only open its Tring stockroom as a retail space temporarily before moving to Chelsea.
However, following successful trading by appointment at 24 High Street in Tring, which was reorganised as gallery rather than a storage room, the dealership will now keep this shop open alongside the new space in Chelsea, planned to launch by spring this year.
John Bly, whose grandfather set up the dealership in Tring, runs the business with his son James. They said: “We had intended this as temporary but as it has developed the atmosphere of an old-fashioned antique shop we plan to keep it very much as an operative adjunct to London. It’s in a marvellous old cobbled courtyard once occupied by James’ great-grandfather John, some 50 yards from the site of his first shop, so it’s full of atmosphere, and being just off the high street there is convenient parking.”
The dealership offers antiques as well as valuations, appraisals, upholstering, restoration and cabinet making services.
2. Stone House Gallery – Ludlow
James and Gabrielle Service, formerly of Christie’s have opened Stone House Gallery in the ground floor of a Grade II-listed property in Ludlow. They offer paintings, sculptures, glass and more, all by British artists.
Within the space Gabrielle has also set up a millinery studio after five years learning the art of hat making.
The couple said: “We aim to tempt and provoke visitors with inspirational ideas for adding individuality for the home or special gifts. Private commissions from our artists can be undertaken and we are happy to guide clients throughout this process.
“James offers bespoke advice on buying and selling at auction houses, acting as a mentor for clients, accompanying them to salerooms and acting on their behalf.”
Events are planned, including informal talks, wine tasting and study days.
Call 01584 873644 or email email@example.com for more information.
3. Kirkgate House Eclectic Living – Kirkgate, near Ripon
To buy vintage luggage for his Harrogate-based tailoring business, Rhodes Wood, established back in 1997, Jeremy Wood Beaumont began delving into the world of antiques fairs.
At the same time he met Jools Halliwell, who shared his passion for the eclectic.
“We’d spend Sundays and days off immersed in auctions and antique fairs in the UK and Europe, looking for vintage luggage made by French brands Louis Vuitton, Goyard and Moynat as well as good English brands,” Beaumont says.
It seemed a logical step for the pair to open a shop that tapped into their shared interests and to allow Jools to leave her career in private healthcare.
So, in December last year, having spotted an empty premises at 32 Kirkgate, near Ripon’s seventh-century cathedral, Halliwell opened Kirkgate House Eclectic Living with buying and display help from Beaumont.
“Ripon has cheaper rents and rates than Harrogate and our gut feel is that the town is on the up,” says Beaumont.
Already with a storage unit full of finds, the pair have since journeyed to fairs such as IACF’s Runway Monday and Ardingly, on the hunt for more stock.
Objects include French armoires, contemporary art, old vintage fashion plates, handmade furniture from reclaimed timber and pieces sourced from French chateaux.
The shop is, as the name suggests, an eclectic melting pot of lovely things. “We’re a young business finding our feet, so we focus on what pleases us. The shop doesn’t stick to any period or style but aside from cushions, everything is vintage or antique.”
Beaumont describes Kirkgate House as “a destination retail shop”, with online plans in gestation.
“So far, visitors have been positive, appreciative and encouraging,” he says.
4. My Secret Antiques – Lincoln
The antiques and vintage bug hit Ben Jackson in his early 20s when he began buying at auction. “A friend and I decided to sell our finds at an IACF fair,” he recalls. “We made a profit, enjoyed it and the hobby developed from there.”
Flash forward seven years to December 2019 and he has now opened My Secret Antiques in a 1200sq ft warehouse on Great Northern Terrace in Lincoln.
“It’s an up-to-date version of a traditional antiques shop that I believe younger people are more attracted to,” Jackson says. “My customers are interested in the quirky and unusual, so we stock collectables, petroliana, fairground and industrial items, Mid-century furniture as well as traditional antiques.”
The warehouse opens at weekends, with Jackson’s stock also showcased on Instagram and Facebook. A website is in development, with trade already coming from Australia, South Africa, the US as well as Europe.
5. The Red Lion Antiques and Craft Shop – East Bergholt
An antiques shop has opened in a former stable next to a pub in East Bergholt, Suffolk. The Red Lion Antiques and Craft Shop and the Red Lion pub are both owned by Jonathan Peachey, a pharmaceuticals businessman.
He had lived next door to the pub for more than 10 years, and when the Grade II-listed properties were put up for sale he bought them and spent two years on renovation. The shop, which sells Georgian, Victorian, vintage and retro items as well as newly made crafts, opened before Christmas.
Peachey said: “I have always had a love for antiques and saving our heritage for the future. People have told me I am swimming against the tide by investing in an antiques shop and pub when so many are closing but I think it is a great time to invest. People want to shop locally and buying antiques fits into the green agenda. It never ceases to amaze me how many wonderful, good-quality antique items can be bought for such good prices.”
He has rented out the shop to friends: Red Lion chef Dave Baksh will run the shop with Lucy Elmes, who sources and makes crafts.
Peachey added: “This village has great history – John Constable was born here, and the shop is just a few yards from where his studio was. We can do more to promote the area to tourists and show what we have to offer.”
The shop trades 10am-4pm Wednesday-Sunday and is run by four staff in total. The pub is due to reopen by the summer.
6. Coach House Antiques - Hastings
After 30 years of trading from 42 George Street in Hastings, Coach House Antiques has moved down the road to no 17. Dealers Cheryl and Richard Luck welcome trade and private buyers. Call 07710 234803.