Whenever I am in a new city, I enjoy strolling around the streets without a city guide or online recommendations, just to see what I can find.
Usually, I manage to find remarkable stores, architecture or restaurants. During my last visit in London, I stumbled upon the store of A. Pash & Sons.
Since 1926, the purveyors have been selling mostly French and British antique silver in London. Originally, A Pash & Sons was located in the West End, but today it is located at 37 South Audley Street, Mayfair.
When I say silver, I mean sterling silver in addition to Old Sheffield Plate. I spoke with the owner, and she told me that they pride themselves on their selection of rare and decorative silver, including pieces with important provenance.
Royal Silver Service
At the time, their most prominent silver set was definitely an extensive 10 foot long silver service garniture de table that once belonged to Queen Adelaide and was made by Garrard’s. Apparently, it is very unusual to find a royal silver service of this quality on the market.
The story goes that the mirror plateau (the large mirrored tray) as well as the dramatic pair of seven-branch candelabra were a gift from Queen Adelaide to Earl Howe, née Richard William Penn Curzon, on 11th December 1796. The Earl later added a sumptuous ten light candelabrum in 1852 celebrating his new title and his ancestry with the arms of Curzon-Howe Impaling Gore.
Now, this may seem like a very generous gift, and in fact it would have been, had not the Earl been the Queen’s lover.
Interestingly, the set is sold with the original custom-made wooden storage trunks! This set was very delicately and opulently decorated with leaves, a crown and various berries. Most people today would not have a dining table long enough or tall enough ceilings to appropriately display such a garniture de table – not to mention the taste for such ostentatious display!
Of course, such a lavish acquisition comes with a hefty price tag of £1,900,000! Luckily, antiques are apparently not subject to the 20% VAT, so you that was actually the take home price. Nevertheless, I cannot imagine who would actually dine in such a setting nowadays.
Apart from that first eye catcher, there were many other antique silver and vermeil (gold plated silver) pieces. While most of them were made in the 19 century, they also had 18th and 17th century silver antiques for sale.
A. Pash & Sons Selection
If you are interested in more simplistic objets d’art , let’s say from the Bauhaus period, this store is definitely not for you. Nevertheless, if you happen to be in Mayfair, I suggest you stop by because it is very rare to be able to see items with such a high level of craftsmanship today.
They also carried a number of silverware sets, though I have to say some seemed really gaudy to me – especially the ones that had combined silver and gold tones. Of course, the craftsmanship on these forks and knives was remarkable but I would not even want to use them at home if I received them for free. What do you think about gold silverware?
Probably the least expensive item I saw in there was a table mirror for about £2,500. Although I was told they also have a few items south of the £1000 mark, A. Pash & Sons is certainly a store for affluent collectors with an appreciation for antiques – most of these pieces require other antiques to go with them.
If you cannot make it to London yourself, you should take a look at their website, where they list most of their items including good photos and prices.
Have you seen our new google plus page yet? Please add us to your circles in the sidebar on the right.A. Pash & Sons
37 South Audley Street, Mayfair
Hours: 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday. Saturday by appointment.