Cat Stevens spoke of “yellow ties and old brown suits”, “cuckoo clocks and plastic socks, lampshades of old antique leather” and “boots made out of feathers” in his playful 1960s song about London’s Portobello Road market – and you’ll be able to find a similarly diverse array of objects not far away in Church Street, Marylebone, on Sunday June 24 when the area’s 80 or so antiques dealers and a range of traders from out of town get together to stage Antiques Anonymous.
This is the second edition of the one-day happening, which last year attracted as many as 5,000 visitors. It will combine high-end antiques, bric-à-brac, vintage clothing and modern art with pop-up food stores, street entertainment and live music events in a bid to recreate the traditional “flea market” atmosphere that existed before the advent of eBay and other forms of online selling.
Antiques Anonymous is hosted by the dealers of Church Street’s so-called “antiques quarter” and the people behind the long-established Alfies Antique Market, the largest indoor venue of its type in London. Westminster City Council has also sponsored the event as part of its programme to regenerate Church Street as a riposte to Britain’s decline of “bricks and mortar” retailers.
Among the local dealers taking part is Les Trois Garçons – a boutique set up by the same trio behind the erstwhile Shoreditch restaurant of the same name – that sells bespoke, handmade furniture and accessories alongside a curated selection of vintage items, while Sans Pretention will offer a complete array of antique interiors items (its “objects” collection is priced from around £550) from its permanent location at number 22.
Visiting dealers include Retrouvius that will have a stall with industrial and salvaged interiors pieces priced from £60; Simon Pugh Antiques offering 19th- and 20th-century furniture, art and objects from £100 to £20,000; and The Moderns, which has a permanent base in Alfies and hopes to attract buyers looking for architect-designed objects.