What I Know About Style

The Portobello Antique Store


Charli Evans of The Portobello Antique Store on what makes a great piece, plus how antiques can be defined as a 'luxury necessity'

What makes silver and silver plated items so special?

Throughout civilisation silver has been coveted and valued as a precious metal. Its malleable nature lends itself to be fashioned into both functional and ornamental pieces that can be handed down from generation to generation. Silver plated items tend to mirror their more expensive cousins but can still be unique in nature and of an exceptional quality making fabulous additions to embellish the discerning decorator’s home. What makes our store a go to destination is the hand picked nature of our stock. Our buyers are highly selective and travel all over the world to ensure that the Portobello Antique Store offers a range of the finest silver and silver plated wares in the country.

What are the characteristics of a great antique piece?

Condition is important. Also uniqueness, workmanship and artistry are significant. Some pieces stand out due to their historical significance and pedigree, for example we once had in stock a pair of large silver plated soup tureens that belonged to Agatha Christie, and others purely on the merits of quality and design.

Is your Notting Hill location good for sourcing items or do you have to cast your net wider?

As a retail destination Notting Hill is a fantastic shopping experience for our clients but in order for our shop to consistently stock items with the finest quality attributes we travel worldwide.

How do you go about sourcing items?

We travel extensively in the UK and abroad to antique auctions, shows and exhibitions. This involves lots of research and relationship building in order to secure the most interesting, and saleable items.

Do you have a typical customer?

Our clients are wide ranging from the close vicinity of our shop in Notting Hill to every corner of the world. Generally our customers value beautiful design, outstanding quality and pursue perfection when furnishing their homes.

What are the most exciting items available in the store right now?

Too many to list, but off the top of my head we have recently acquired a Victorian Rams head snuff mull (pictured) which apart from being functional is a fun addition to our pieces. It won’t win any prizes in the cruelty stakes but being Victorian items such as this are an important part of British cultural heritage.

Are antiques a luxury or a necessity?

That very much depends in which capacity you use them. The majority of our clients purchase from us to use in the home or as gifts for the recipient to use. Therefore in that respect they are a necessity, however for those that use antiques purely decoratively I suppose you could say they are a luxury. Though we find that the days of decorative antiques are a thing of the past, people tend to want their purchases to be functional – lets call them a ‘luxury necessity’. As William Morris said ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.’

Do you have any other go-to west London antique stores?

We love Alice’s on Portobello Road for quirky homewares! And This Old Thing London’s Portobello-based costume jewellery range is home to an amazing selection of designer vintage accessories.

What’s your philosophy on life?

As we are an entirely family run enterprise we value time spent with family, love and laughter. All of which you can’t fail to find in the atmospheres of our shop.

The Portobello Antique Store, 79 Portobello Road, London, W11; www.tjevansantiques.com; 020 7229 8202

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