September 04 2010
The part of the South Coast where I live is chock-a-block with the kind of shops that make us the envy of our London friends: one-off stores that reflect the owner’s eccentricities, enthusiasms and expertise – and great value to boot.
One such is Patrick Robbins, who runs a wonderful antique shop in St Leonards-on-Sea. As well as stocking fine furniture, objects and paintings at more than fair prices, he is also a dealer in oriental rugs and carpets, including tribal rugs, such as Balouch, Shahsavan, Kurdish, Turkmen and Afhsar.
All the rugs are hand-woven or hand-knotted and each is therefore unique. Many cost well under £1,000 – the most expensive are bespoke commissions which can cost in excess of £15,000. While he and his business partner, Justin Nahum, do a healthy business from the shop premises, they also run an excellent online shop – www.orientalrugsonline – but I would recommend you phone to make an appointment and visit in person.
Now that I have found Patrick, I don’t intend to buy my rugs from anywhere else. So far I have bought a thick Persian Gabbeh, roughly 200cm x 150 cm, for £625, and also a finely knotted Persian Kashan, about 250cm x140cm, for £1,200.
And it seems that Patrick has fans in high places: when the supremely elegant Royal Suite at Claridge’s was refurbished by Linley a couple of years ago, guess who provided the large blue Kashan carpet to match their scheme?
Open Tues-Sat, 10am-5.30pm.