May 24 2011
It takes time to track down vintage pieces that add an original and decorative touch to your home, but Zoe Hoare provides a terrific short cut with her new website. If her name sounds familiar, cast your mind back to Appley Hoare, the antiques shop in London’s Pimlico Road that she ran with her mother for 11 years. Appley herself still trades in 18th- and 19th-century French country antiques online (www.appleyhoare.com); meanwhile, Zoe has moved to Sagaponack, New York, where she lives with photographer Chris Mead in a captain’s cottage built in 1740 from ship’s timbers. From here she runs her online business, Chez Zoe, specialising in unusual vintage homewares.
“I love honest pieces that once worked hard in the kitchen, barn, dairy and on the farm,” she says. Her constantly changing stock delivers this passion with great charm and authenticity. Expect to find homeware-with-history such as a 1920s French blue enamel milk jug (first picture, £175), French “chocolat chaud” china bowls with 1930s stencil decoration (set of six, £270) and 19th-century Swedish wall-hanging baskets (£160).
Some items are rare finds, including an American folk art doormat, c1880, with a heart motif handmade in iron (£250). Other designs recycle original materials, such as cushions made from vintage French linens (£150). And then there are curios such as the 19th-century French zinc clock faces still bearing remnants of old numerals but no longer ticking (from £350), and 19th-century French faux books, once used as zinc filing boxes, some still with their original labels (set of three, £750).
Smaller items, including 19th-century French linen napkins dyed in soft, romantic colours (second picture, £350 per dozen), are easily shipped and Zoe herself delivers larger pieces on regular trips back to Britain.