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Buying Art and Antiques in London

Greater London covers more than 600 square miles and has approximately 2,000 dealers in art and antiques whose premises range from the grandest galleries in the smart shopping area known as 'the West End' to stalls in street markets. To help the visitor faced with this huge choice, the following pages indicate where you will find the major concentration of dealers, but it should not be taken as a complete guide as to what London has to offer. Details are arranged alphabetically under numbered postal districts.

N1

There are over 100 dealers' shops in and around Upper Street and Islington High Street. Many of the shops are grouped together in attractive arcades such as Gateway Arcade and Angel Arcade while Camden Passage is a small, pedestrianised street, largely built in the 18th century. The liveliest times to visit are Wednesday and Saturday mornings when over 300 shops, arcades and stalls are open and busy. There is also a small book market on Thursdays. Some traders stay open all day, but some pack up after lunch. Islington has a Visitor Information Centre at 44 Duncan Street, tel: 020 7278 8787. Underground: Angel.

NW3

More than 20 dealers in period furniture and other items. Hampstead Heath is nearby and Kenwood House is open to the public. Hampstead Antique & Craft Market is open Tuesdays to Sundays (tel: 020 7794 3297). Underground: Hampstead.

NW8

Alfies Antique Market, 13-25 Church Street (tel: 020 7723 6066) has around 100 dealers in general antiques and collectors' items and they are open from Tuesday to Saturday, 10.00-6.00. There are other dealer's shops in the area which is close to Lords cricket ground, an important site for lovers of the game. Underground: Edgware Road.

SE1

Bermondsey is famous for its Friday morning market where hundreds of mainly small dealers trade from 5.00 am to around 2.00 pm. There are also a number of warehouse dealers in Bermondsey Street and Tower Bridge Road, who are a good source of trade shipping goods throughout the week. Underground: London Bridge.

SW1

An extensive, elegant area which includes Sloane Street and Motcomb Street in the Knightsbridge area, Pimlico Road further South, and Jermyn Street and King Street in the St. James's area, off Piccadilly. Many dealers in the finest furniture, paintings, sculpture, clocks, scientific instruments, carpets and other works of art can be found here. Underground: Knightsbridge, Sloane Square, Green Park, Piccadilly Circus.

SW3

An area which stretches from the Brompton Road (where you will find Harrods), Beauchamp Place and Walton Street in Knightsbridge to the Fulham Road and Kings Road in Chelsea. There are many good quality shops in all these streets covering most types of antiques, and also antique markets such as Antiquarius in the Kings Road (tel: 020 7351 5353) and the Bourbon-Hanby Antiques Centre at 151 Sydney Street (tel: 020 7352 2106) Underground: Knightsbridge, Sloane Square, South Kensington.

SW6 AND SW10

The western end of Kings Road, past World's End, also has many antique shops with a wide range of furniture, mirrors, prints, scientific and decorative items. The Furniture Cave at 533 Kings Road has several dealers specialising in European and Oriental furniture, sculpture and architectural items. There are also a number of smaller shops in Lillie Road, Fulham. Underground: Parson's Green, West Brompton, Fulham Broadway.

W1

Another smart area incorporating Mayfair, which together with St. James's, has probably the world's most important concentration of dealers in the highest quality fine art, furniture, jewellery, silver, porcelain, carpets and Oriental works of art. These are to be found particularly in South Audley Street, Mount Street, Curzon Street, Bruton Street, and Old and New Bond Street. Here you will find at number 124 The Bond Street Antique Centre (tel: 020 7351 5353) and at 111-112 The Bond Street Silver Galleries (tel: 020 7493 6180).

Off Oxford Street by Bond Street Underground Station you will find two large antiques centres, Gray's Antiques Market at 58 Davies Street and Gray's Mews (tel: 020 7629 7034). Together they house around 150 dealers with a wide range of stock including textiles, sporting memorabilia and jewellery. Underground: Green Park, Bond Street.

W8

Kensington Church Street and the small roads leading off it are home to over 60 quality dealers. Among them are world renowned specialists offering fine art as well as European and Oriental porcelain, pottery, glass, furniture and clocks and more. Underground: High Street Kensington, Notting Hill Gate. Website: www.antiques-london.com

W11

There are many good antique shops in Westbourne Grove, Ledbury Road, and Pembridge Road and the surrounding area. Here you will find paintings, furniture, porcelain, textiles and much more. This area is probably most famous for the Portobello Road where on Saturdays from 5.30 am up to 1,500 dealers set up their stalls in the many arcades in the area for one of the largest and liveliest antique markets in the world. More information and a leaflet is availabale from The Portobello Road Antique Dealers Association (tel: 020 7229 8354). Underground: Notting Hill Gate, Ladbroke Grove. Website: www.portobelloroad.co.uk

WC2

The London Silver Vaults (telephone: 020 7242 3844) at 53-65 Chancery Lane are an essential destination for collectors of silver. Here you will find 40 silver and jewellery shops under one roof. In the neighbouring streets, dealers in antiquarian books, maps and prints can be found. Underground: Chancery Lane.