CHRISTOPHER COLES looks at some of the famous old names that have moved out of the Savile Row environs in recent years and where they are to be found. And to cater for sporting interest spurred by the Olympics, he has chosen items from them that have sporting affinity.
Although some antiques shops do survive in the Savile Row area, notably in St George, Clifford and Sackville Street, the rent rises that have forced tailoring firms away from the Row have also had an effect on many dealers that had previously been based in the area.
But many continue in business, some nearby, others a little further afield, as in the companies featured here.
Established in the early part of the 18th century, Harvey and Gore is an antique jeweller and silversmith with a tangible connection to the Row itself. It has changed location many times over the years but has had premises in Vigo Street and Burlington Gardens as well as a short spell at number 32 Savile Row.
The business, currently located within Richard Ogden in the Burlington Arcade, has been family-owned since its inception and has been run by the Norman family for over 50 years. It carries a vast range of pieces to suit all budgets, ranging from some very keenly-priced modern silver and enamel cufflinks to Cartier and Wiese masterpieces at the other end of the price spectrum.
Old Sheffield plate is also a house speciality. This was the first form of silver plating and was adopted by such illustrious names as Matthew Boulton from the mid 18th century onwards. Largely unlike modern electroplate, a much simpler and inferior process, Sheffield plate is extremely collectible, and Harvey & Gore always stock a good range of pieces. The firm are members of the BADA so specialist advice, discretion and authenticity are guaranteed.
A member of the Norman family, and previously a long-serving member of the Harvey and Gore staff, Nigel Norman now operates independently from within Grays Antiques in Davies Street.
At top, diamond studded racing brooch, and silver jockey and horse below, both from Harvey & Gore; above, porcelain trophies c 1814-1830 from Brian Haughton.
Although he does carry a range of pieces, Nigel is particularly renowned for antique cufflinks, typically having around 50 pairs in stock at any given time. Reverse crystal intaglios (rock crystals carved from the back and then painted in painstaking detail), jewelled dress sets and enamel styles are always available and regimental pieces are also often offered for sale.
The firm is also a part of the BADA and LAPADA, exhibiting at the BADA, LAPADA and Art Antiques London fairs during the year. A visit is highly recommended to anyone looking to add to their cufflink collection.
Another firm that once had premises on Burlington Gardens is the ceramics dealer Brian Haughton. Equally at home with pieces from the great European factories such as Meissen and Sevres or English firms such as Chelsea, Bow and Worcester, his present gallery in Duke Street displays a wide range of pieces.
From the smallest "toy" porcelain scent bottles to entire dinner services there are also examples of sculptural porcelain busts and figures featured prominently.
As well as being a prominent dealer, Brian Haughton and his wife organise several important antiques fairs worldwide, including the wonderful Art Antiques London event in a marquee erected in Hyde Park each summer. The fair will take place from the 13th to the 20th of June this year and will be an event that no antiques enthusiast will want to miss.
Agate and diamond cufflinks above by Harvey & Gore; gold fish cufflinks below by Hopkins and Jones; at bottom, an Olympics poster from 1972 at Henry Sotheran.
Once known as Hayward and Sintzenich and based in Sackville Street, the firm now known as Hopkins and Jones has attractive premises in William IV Street, close to St Martins and Trafalgar Square. The small shop is something of a Tardis, containing as it does a large range of silverware, jewellery and vintage watches.
On a typical visit you will find all sorts of table and collectible silver, ladies jewellery and gentleman's cufflinks and stick pins. Stock has also included pieces by the likes of Cartier and Giuliano and as well as a friendly welcome, the staff are happy to provide accurate advice about potential purchases.
The firm also offers a corporate gift service and a range of modern pieces that can be personalised to suit individual needs.
Thankfully, there is one antiques business that continues to thrive on Sackville Street. Henry Sotheran Ltd have been antiquarian booksellers and print dealers since 1761, initially in York, then in London from 1815.
The firm's shop contains two large floors packed with stock in showrooms almost directly opposite to Dormeuil's London headquarters. There really is something for everyone, regardless of budget, with staff more than happy to leave you to browse.
Sotherans also offer a variety of associated services such as bookbinding, paper conservation and advice on building and caring for any library and print collection.