Exploring the Pimlico Road with Hatta Byng, Editor of House & Garden Magazine

Exploring the Pimlico Road with Hatta Byng, Editor of House & Garden Magazine

F or me a saunter down Pimlico Road is always exciting – not just because it fills me with nostalgia for my 20s (my first job was as a design assistant for the interior designer Joanna Wood, who was based here until recently). There is always going to be something unusual or simply very beautiful to see, something that will truly make the room in which it inhabits or quietly delight in equal measure. Pimlico Road has long been synonymous with some of the greatest and quixotic names in English tastemaking – be it Christopher Gibbs or Geoffrey Bennison, or now Rose Uniacke and Will Fisher (to name just a few).

While names have come and gone over the decades, the last few years have seen the area thriving and strumming with the energy of its mix of new names alongside old, contemporary furniture, fabrics and objects alongside country house antiques. For me, the brilliance of the Pimlico Road dealers is not only their eye and knowledge, but also the way they lead the charge in the way we use antiques now. One can leave inspired by the way things are displayed every bit as much as by the pieces themselves – and the conversations one has had along the way. The arrival of Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler just a few years ago has ramped this up a few notches, too, with its restrained arrangement of decorative pieces with perfect lines and scale against bold colours and wall finishes.

This sale of items from 10 of the Pimlico Road dealers is a brilliant encapsulation of their individual interests, eccentricities and tastes. Glamorous mid-century pieces from dealers such as Gallery 88 sit alongside a wonderful country-house boot scraper being offered by Patrick Jefferson. Re-imagined pieces by Christopher Howe – the master at ‘perfecting the imperfect’, to use a phrase coined by Sotheby’s specialist Thomas Williams - mix with more serious pieces from Anthony Outred: the handsome, Irish, green marble-topped centre table has caught my eye.

Hemisphere Gallery, Pimlico Road

It is a sale that includes the delightful, the decorative, the English and the exotic, the mid-century and the eighteenth-century – with the odd curve-ball thrown in for good measure, such as the model of the Emperor Penguin from Tarquin Bilgen. The fact that any of these pieces has passed through the hands of one of these dealers is surely a noteworthy provenance in itself.

English Furniture

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