Monday, 26 September 2011

Crystal Palace Antiques & Modern

Ever since I started this project, one of the places I've longed to feature is the big antique shop on Jasper Road. Situated in a large 4 storey warehouse, it's a treasure trove, both for the antique enthusiast, and the interior photographer. Opened in its present form in 1998 by Dave Roper, it was previously an indoor market, and before that it had been home to tailors' workshops.

Each floor is split into different rooms or areas, each belonging to a different dealer. Dave runs the ground floor, and can often be found in the little office by the entrance. Every thursday he makes the arduous journey up from Dorset, to run the shop over the weekend. Then it's back down to the west country to indulge his other passion, restoring his 1950s Jag XK120. Prior to his involvement in antique furniture, he had worked as a mechanic on classic cars, so historic crafts have always been central to his career.

Dave Roper

When I pay shop a visit, which is usually weekly, I always start at the top and work down. It's worth going regularly, as the best pieces don't hang around for long. There's a great mix of Victorian and 20th century, and as well as the currently popular items you would expect to see, such as  mid-century sideboards and Danish chairs, there are always unexpected items, such as the statue (above), as well as vast Dutch wall maps, Czech circus posters, and even a 1950s fitted kitchen.

While the upper floors resemble loft interiors with light flooding the merchandise on all sides, the ground floor and basement are caverns in need of further exploration. Despite the lack of daylight, the pieces are well displayed, with assorted lamps adding to the atmosphere. I particularly like the room at the back of the ground floor, belonging to dealer, Andrew Keeble, with it's glowing 1960s shades vying for attention with coloured glass, beneath the meagre daylight spilling through pavement lights above.

Down in the basement, the back room is occupied by dealer, Ben Adams & Designs of Modernity, which has a clearly defined mid-century aesthetic.

The last room you come to has a striking backdrop of deep grey, belongs to ex-sculptor, Matt Mitchell. Matt developed an appreciation for design while studying at St Martins, and has since been involved in many artistic fields, such as gilding, and creating public art, before turning to restoring and selling antiques.

Matt Mitchell

Other dealers include, Gillian Curran, Jerome Leadlay and Nick Clapham (below).

Nick Clapham

Jasper Road
020 8480 7042
Open 7 Days a Week

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Et Pourquoi Pas ?

The British have long been proud of their ability to laugh at themselves, but it seems they do not have a monopoly on this. Fabrice Tuesta is a Frenchman, and has pinned his colours firmly to the front of his little clothing agency and gallery opposite Sainsbury's, in the form of a very dapper frog in a bow tie. 

Humour is only one of the methods Fabrice employs to drum up business. His very sociable nature means that he has a great rapport with his customers, and once they have been in, they are likely to return. And he needs them to return, not just to buy, but also to supply the stock for the shop to sell. Although essentially selling second hand goods, being a clothing agency means that he depends on locals with good taste. So, much that passes through the shop is good quality and hardly worn. 

Fabrice Tuesta

With an impressive CV, having run shops for big name brands such as Prada, Calvin Klein, and Zara, Fabrice knows a thing or two about retail. On a personal level, however, he was always much more in tune with the vibe of Camden Market, than say Sloane Street. So when he left the Designer stores behind, it was in the very different, and more down to earth atmosphere of Haynes Lane Market that he first set up shop. After establishing himself there, he was quick off the mark when the opportunity of his own shop on Westow Street arose. His sassy window displays confirm that although perfectly at home on the Triangle, he adds a dash of Knightsbridge "Je ne sais quoi".

Venturing to the back of the shop, you reach a door that takes you past the changing cubicle to a gallery. Walking through this door, I always feel a little like Mr Benn, unsure as to what sights may lie beyond...

45 Westow Street
020 8653 8282