Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 15.05.17 Red-eye from Los Angeles and noon touchdown at Heathrow the 28th of July, cab it into Fulham, shower, and make myself ready for the opening party of the Guinevere Pop Up Shop at Weiss Gallery in Jermyn Street. I have flown in from LA to work at the Pop Up for the six weeks it will be open.

‘Pop Up Shop’ sounds a tad casual for what I find when I get there. The gallery, styled by Guinevere’s resident designer, Dean Robinson, is looking gorgeous and luxe. Furniture, lighting and accessories are mixed together with specially selected paintings from the Weiss collection. The look is sumptuous, gold, red and ebony feature in the main room, and cream, soft green and gold in the long gallery.

16-07-25-Guinevere385 A crowd soon gathers, enjoying the hors d’oeuvres by the Imperial, the champagne, and, I notice, especially the Tom Collins with blood orange!

My favourite pieces from Guinevere are a pair of bronze statues of Atlas standing on plinths inscribed with quotations from Pliny the Elder’s Natural History.

One figure is holding up the planetary system, and the plinth is inscribed: ERRATIUM MOTVS LVMINVM CANONICA (The motions of the Planets and the General Law of their Aspects) Volume 1, chapter 12. The other figure is holding up the planet Earth, with the inscription below: MEDIAM ESSE MVNDI TERRAM (That the Earth is in the Middle of the World) Volume 2, chapter 69.

My elegant Louis XV style desk here at the Pop Up is directly opposite a portrait of a Dutch lady who looks incredibly like Frances McDormand (the actress from Fargo). This lady is in formal court dress, a stunning black and gold gown, delicate lace at her neck and cuffs, ropes of pearls and a massive brooch on her bosom. Somehow I can’t see Frances in this outfit, but here she is, every day, keeping her counsel!


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Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 12.31.15 One of the best things about working at Guinevere is the fact that we are constantly surrounded by a large selection of ever-changing eclectic and beautiful objects –predominantly antique but also some contemporary pieces.

Some of my favourite items in the showroom are by the contemporary artist Paula Swinnen, whose work is inspired by natural forms of flora and fauna. Not only are the objects functional, they are also works of art; engaging, quirky and unique.

Paula Swinnen discovered her passion for the arts at the early age of fourteen, which led to her studies at the Fine Arts Academy in Brussels. Twenty years later, Paula’s interest and experience has developed and she is now a highly successful self-taught sculptor. Using the ancient lost-wax technique, Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 13.09.08 which enables the artist to capture exquisite detail. Paula has mastered every stage of working with bronze, from the casting to creating the patina. Although working in a field largely dominated by men, due to the huge physical effort involved, Paula has become a prominent figure, creating truly expressive and personal works. Paula is a great friend of ours and we have been lucky enough to represent her since 2011.

It’s always exciting when a new piece of Paula’s comes into the showroom from Brussels. Each piece always has a new element or special twist, which displays the artist’s constantly developing personal style. What piece of furniture will she create and which animals will she choose to incorporate into them? A snail creeping up a banister perhaps, or a lizard or dragonfly perched on a branch of a candelabra?

Swinnen Vignestable Last week I was delighted to find a new ‘Vignes’ center table placed in the showroom. We had a similar design in a coffe table a few years ago, but the scale and intricacy of this piece is spellbinding. The legs of the table and the branches that spring from it are moulded as gnarled vines, patinated in a light brown finish. A great deal of attention is paid to the vine leaves, each one being individually shaped, adding a real sense of life and movement to the piece. P1170739 Delicate curling shoots and bunches of ripe grapes also issue from the main branches. The leaves, shoots and grapes are finished in polished bronze, with a lovely warm gold tone complementing with the brown branches.

When you look closely, you can spy two snails creeping along the branches. A freestanding polished bronze bird stands poised on top of the glass table top, with a crown on its head, surveying its kingdom, watching us work and looking out for potential buyers and a new home!


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It has been a while since I’ve been to Montpellier with Dad (AKA Kevin Weaver). It’s supposedly because we need enough people left manning the shop but I have a sneaking suspicion that it might be down to the fact that with two of us along, that’s twice as much food and wine. Wine possibly being the main issue.

That being said, we arrived the night before the fair and we went out to eat at a place he’s been waxing lyrical about; L’Entrecote. As some of you might have guessed, the main thing on the menu is steak. I say the main thing… It’s the only thing. That and ‘allumette’ chips. The only decision you make at this restaurant is how you want the faux filet cooked (‘rare’, ‘medium rare’ and ‘what are you doing!?’) and what kind of wine you are having. We ate outside, just off the main square with really delicious steak (cooked in butter… I could practically hear my arteries screaming at me) and endless refills of the most addictive chips you can imagine. Yes, I said endless refills.

IMG_8768 Moving on from my brief sojourn as a restaurant critic (yes please!), we were up at the crack of dawn the next day, or as some people call it, 6.30am, making our way to the fair in our strange little rental car. With the sun already starting to make an appearance the two of us, along with the hundreds of other dealers streaming into the fair, began making our way around the stands, the dealers scrambling to get their pieces out on show in the hope of an early sale. Dotted amongst the usual fare were a few fairly odd pieces; at one point I thought a fox had decided to join the party, but was disappointed to realise that as it was stuffed, he wasn’t going anywhere.

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 16.03.38 After about an hour or so with nothing to show, we started wondering if we would find anything at all and were just beginning to give up hope when we came across some tapestry pilasters. IMG_8772[1] No, that wasn’t a mistype, we really did see a set of four 17th Century tapestry pilasters, and having never seen anything like that before Dad thought they would be perfect for the showroom. I’m sure they’ll be featuring on our Instagram and possibly twitter once they’ve winged their way over from France, so keep an eye out for that.

Soon after that a bar and pair of stools were spotted. Being for sale it wasn’t stocked with alcohol and bar snacks but was still exciting enough for us to snap up before anyone else got to it first. Sadly it won’t be going in my living room as I had originally hoped, but maybe with a bar in the showroom Dean might be inspired to create a whole bar set up; chairs to lounge in around low tables, with cocktail shakers and shot glasses scattered about the place. Maybe even a bottle of champagne waiting in an ice bucket for all the hard working antique dealers at the end of the day?

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52472I have always loved Textiles old and new, but once I started working at Guinevere (centuries ago!!) My love of all textiles grew.

Beautiful vegetable dyed yarns, woven into tapestries. Reminding us of time gone by in castles and mansions. Cold, windy, wet days with barely any light, warmed up visually by the rich yet muted colours, and exciting us with a story.

Tapestries have been out of fashion, but I bought some recently because I love them and I was thrilled so see that some of our clients agree with me. They are wonderful pieces of history. Our most recent acquisition is an early 18thC Flemish tapestry. With a rich border, where the colour has remained, the central section filled with gorgeous flowers, food on plates, a bow and arrows, crossed swords at the top and blue parrots at the bottom.

Unknown-2 Setting the scene in the middle is a cascading waterfall and a grand house in the distance to give depth. Framed buy trees, the colours of which are amazing. Leaves of every shape and oversized to give an element of drama, with colours ranging the spectrum of blues and greens. The tree trunks are a medley of warm browns and terracotta.

Unknown-1 The characters are all in dramatic positions, arms up, feet pointing to show movement. Their clothes are swaying too. Not to mention, the main attraction of Perseus having just cut of Medusa’s head triumphantly. He is keeping her eyes well away from the crowd, no-one wants to turn to stone.

Thank you to all of you who, like myself, love a bit of drama and colour, tied together with history. Long my we continue to find them!!

I have trawled the internet and found some other excellent examples of these beautiful fragments of history.

1074500_lNazmiyal Collection
18th Century Flemish Tapestry Pastoral – “Combining Romanticism, classicism and Baroque artistry, this spectacular antique Flemish tapestry is a quintessential example of this highly evolved art form that flourished in Dutch-influenced Flanders throughout the 18th century”

T3F0273a_org_z Mallet Antiques
Flemish Tapestry Depicting the Crowning of Esther, late 16th-early 17th century, probably Oudenaarde.

1da1eefb_295a_4cb0_8c09_236675629b1a_z Robuck
17th Century Flemish Tapestry, “Rescue of the Nymph Io from the Giant Argus” The scene depicting a well-known Roman and Greek Myth: Hera, wife of Zeus has turned his lover, the nymph Io, into a cow and has cast her out of the heavens to earth and the garden of Nemea and ordered Argus, the all seeing Giant, to watch over her.


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Ckhh83tWgAERTVE Parties have a strange effect on people; the pre party nerves can be a killer.

For the Chelsea Design Quarter Summer Street party we had pre ordered the champagne and popped the first cork bang on the dot of 6.Ckh7Y_uWkAAk3fg Marc stood patiently waiting for the first throng of eager visitors, the street was starting to get a buzz about it and the weather for once, when you have plan, was ice meltingly glorious.

During the quiet before the storm, I went on a little wonder to see what everyone else was doing. Many shops seemed to be doing the same, patiently waiting for invited parties and people in the know to arrive, some showrooms, Villaverde springs to mind, had gone all out with photographers and an outdoor set where you could get you photo taken, Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 14.30.41 all very luxe. There was a good atmosphere throughout and actually the Kings Road closures for once was of benefit, with quitter roads, it seemed almost like we had been cordoned off just for this event. How special.

The theme was the Queen, and her 90 years. The men on stilts, as always, were a sight, literally head and shoulders above the rest of the entertainment. Marc had a great time with them as can be seen. A magician and a brass band also joined the party.

People arrived in waves, but always quite big waves, old faces and new faces in equal measure, which is always a treat. Drinks were flowing and nibbles were nibbled (and not only by the Guinevere staff), overall a very enjoyable event.

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IMG_20160520_101314 Very late in the day but the after effects of the delicious brunch, as provided by the ever excellent Everyday Fabulous food, has just worn off, that and the bellini’s.

IMG_20160520_101834 About two weeks ago, Natasha, Dean and myself went on a magical mystical tour of Farley Hire. If we thought our showroom was big, we have been dwarfed and superseded to say the least.

We were lucky enough to be given a tour by none other than Mark Farley, and even though we thought we would be able to find our own way round I think we would never have found our way out, and also then we wouldn’t have had the stories. Chandeliers that Kate Moss (among others) has swung from, a chair graced by Marilyn Monroe’s derrière, not to mention all the Game of Thrones props (fan girl moment).

IMG_20160520_093101 I can not express to you the tardis like nature of the building, and also the amount of items it stores. Reams and reams of paintings, crockery, furniture, fabric, EVERYTHING.

IMG_20160520_093924 Mark has an exceptional eye with some pieces being reproduced as well as a vast quantity of antiques and originals. It is very interesting the difference between a prop hire and our showroom, everything is beautifully aged, and meant to be so. With even items that you may consider completely unusable such as this battered chair are requested.

As a girl who has always longed for a pony, the Indian section with its array of carved wooden horses really spoke to me.


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IMG_7244 Last Friday IMG_7236 was very warm, and Heather and I were invited to see a clients house on our way out of town. The house in question is a listed building simply known as The Chalet, Hampton Court. And it is a chalet, built some 150 years ago and shipped over from Switzerland in 1882. Myck, the current owner and our host explained that since he bought the property and the surrounding marina he had raised the whole house by 1.5 metres, allowing him to add another floor. He also gave us a tour of the grounds and explained the plans for an outdoor floating pool in the river between two pontoons and an indoor pool built into a dry dock.

Inside the house there is a wonderful conservatoryIMG_7234[1] where you walk above a pond stocked with fish. The basement has a cinema and a beach style games room with sand.

IMG_7239 The Boffi kitchen has bronze doors and the dining room has a huge glass table which glimmers when it catches the light. This leads out onto an outdoor entertainment area with beautiful river views.

The master bedroom suite is accessed via a glass staircase and takes the whole top floor with huge ceilings and more views over the river.

Whilst this is still a work in progress, the style is very individual and already very much in evidence, and walking around outside in the warm weather with the tropical plants in the grounds it was very hard to believe we were in England.


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Piazza Plebiscito I had the good fortune to spend the day in Naples to view a collection of Attic style vases, which were made in this city in the 18th and 19th centuries as tourist’s mementoes for visitors doing the European “Grand Tour”. The richest visitors invariably bought the ‘real thing’, as many Attic and Appulian vases were being uncovered back then and sold to the highest bidder. The canny Neapolitans knew that this was a limited source of supply, so started making gorgeous copies of these vases for the more modestly wealthy visitors. Anyhow, vases appearing soon at Guinevere hopefully.

Spaccanapoli I didn’t have the luxury of making a long weekend of it, so it was the 6am flight out for me, followed by the evening flight back – Oh the glamour! Still, I knew that my business would be concluded by lunchtime, so I planned a leisurely stroll through the Centro Storico and Spaccanapoli areas, finishing with a tour of the Capodimonte museum, which I had never visited before, and is home to Caravagio’s Flagellation of Christ – considered to be one of the most influential paintings of the late Renaissance, and a work that I have wanted to see for a long time.

I started my stroll at the Piazza del Plebiscito , a grand public square which is very un-Neapolitan in its scale and sense of space – surrounded by imperious colonnaded buildings including the Royal Palace. Suitably impressed, I wandered up the insanely busy Via Toledo, flanked on the left by the Spanish Quarter with it’s narrow streets which lead tantalizingly up to Castel St Elmo and San Martino – The Spanish Quarter has a difficult reputation due to it’s historic ties to the Camorra, and it’s still not a good idea to wander around there looking too ostentatious! I was beginning to feel peckish, and I had spent a lot of the previous weekend researching where I was going to eat my lunchtime pizza. Pizza in Naples is a bit of a religion – it is said that the worst pizza in Naples will be better than the best pizza anywhere else in the world, and I think I agree. Also, Neapolitans think that five euros is expensive for a pizza, and actively boycott posh pizzerias – so, you get to eat one of the best snacks on earth for the price of a moldy London sandwich – not bad. Anyhow, all my research went out the window as I spied a few outside tables by a pizzeria in Piazza Carrita, plonked myself down and ordered a Margherita and a beer – it was predictably sensational but set me back 8 euros! I obviously wasn’t blending in.

Marble table A little further up Via Toledo, I turned right up the succession of streets which make up Spaccanapoli, which is one of the three historical Greco-Roman roads which run east to west across the city. This was chaos on a grand scale – absolutely barking. The street is impossibly narrow, with some of the higher floors looking as if they’re about to touch balconies. Traditional shops, pizzerias, cafes, pasticcerias, butchers, fishmongers and plenty of shouting occupy the street level, sometimes housed under grand arches, but always a bit grimy, not at all sanitized. I was tempted to go for another pizza but knew that I would not make it up the hill to the Capodimonte with two pizzas on board.

Porcelain room The Capodimonte is a grand 18th century Bourbon palace with towering views over the city. It’s surrounded by tranquil gardens, and is built around a traditional central courtyard. The famous old masters collection includes works by Titian, Masaccio, Mantegna, Raphael, Botticelli, Bellini etc etc reads like a role call of Neapolitan renaissance artists – and some who were just passing through. It really is a fine setting to see these extraordinary works, and I had the place pretty much to myself – no crowds with noisy guides and no selfie sticks!

Judith and Olophernes There are some astounding staterooms with mind boggling furnishings and works of art including “The Porcelain Room” which is entirely constructed from 18thC Capodimonte porcelain, including the walls and ceiling. My favourite was the Camuccini room which is centered by an enormous (about 12 foot) circular marble table – supported by Roman marble legs excavated at nearby Herculaneum, and the top is inlaid with exquisite Roman mosaics. I was now having to watch the time as my return flight beckoned, so I hurried through the second floor, pausing to gawp at the disturbing Judith and Olophernes by Artemesia Gentileschi, which depicts two women calmly sawing the head of the Greek general Olophernes – they look serenely detached, as if they were preparing lunch.

So finally, I turned the corner to see…a blank wall. There was a guard snoozing by the blank wall. “Dove è la Carravagio?” I ask. – “Monza” he replies, and resumes his forty winks.

I should have had the second pizza.
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51764-890x890 As the cold misery of winter starts to subside, and we hotfoot our way into spring, wedding season comes into its own. With the melodic ding of church bells also comes the need to show your love and support for the newly weds with a unique and useful gift.

51943-890x890 Aware that large department stores have the monopoly on such affairs hasn’t held us back. Although that cutlery set is necessary, you might find yourself in search for something a bit more unique, something that hasn’t been asked for necessarily, but that you know they will simply love and cherish forever, dare I say it, something with a bit more personality. This is where the humble antique comes into its own.

The chances of doubling up on such a gift are remote to say the least. In light of this we have launched a gift section, with free UK postage (what more could you want?!). From trinkets such as the beautiful 50’s red snake skin box above, to the perfect frame to commemorate the occasion,DA155663-1 we can help you find that extra special something to put you head and shoulders above the rest (not that it’s a competition of course…)

P.S We aren’t limited to just weddings, we have a smorgasbord of gifts for all special occasions! And we aren’t alone, Lorfords antiques have a pretty spectacular selection, I’m a big fan of these Dachshund Knife rest should anyone ever wish to know…


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935432_l Lacca Povera, perhaps more commonly known as Arte Povera; which literally translates to poor art, is as term which you might be surprised to find associated with some of the beautiful European furniture of the 19th and 20th Century, such as these Venetian Consoles from Newel, left, or our Italian Commodes below. Far from showing a lack of wealth, however, this was a actually an incredibly popular finishing technique, often taken up by amateur hobbyists as well as professionals, based on the Chinoiserie craze of the time. It involved taking Asian concept and aesthetic, to some extent ‘westernising’ it, and recreating it in a less expensive and time-consuming manner.

52215-hi-res As opposed to layer upon layer of lacquer being built up, along with labour intensive hand-painted designs that went into making pieces such as Coromandel screens, Lacca Povera was a much shorter process. It involved paper cut-outs, which were often purpose-made commercially printed images that might then have been hand-coloured, being applied using fish glue onto the already prepared surface. This was then varnished several times, making it difficult to distinguish the edges of the images from the surface of the object.

p3jTt What once began as a less expensive, simpler version of chinese lacquer is now considered quite a rarity, often as or if not more valuable than some of the more readily available Chinoiserie pieces. These Lacca Povera pieces lack the formality of traditional chinese decorative lacquerwork but retain the elegance of their inspirational counterparts.

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