Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cabinet of Curiosities in London

My days of living in London are far behind me now, but I remember my walk in the mornings to catch the tube from Angel to the City where I used to work in Swan Street at an investment bank. My strolls used to take me through a lesser known and idyllic area of London known as Bloomsbury. It's a locale where chic meets old worlde, with small single lane streets, Victorian and Regency mews, very quiet corner pubs etc.

In recent years a number of bijoux shops have opened up there and one in particular which I discovered via the net today, by the name of Ben Penreath. Ben specialises in architectural design, decoration and interiors. The shop is full of wonderful curios all with a coastal old world atmosphere, plus he has an online presence too.

The plaster cast cameos by Peter Hone are wonderful. I love using plaster of Paris and should get to create more items with it.

 If you're into specimen boxes, delightfully detailed botanical prints and sconces, you'll find plenty here.

Architecture is his forte, and you can go online to buy directly from the shop, there's an exciting variety of Victorian pieces coupled with antiques and marine specimens. With unique items and accessories for all areas of your house this is definitely a "must try".

I really love the the sconces I have a pair of old spanish oak sconces in my place with rich ivy carving on which sits a little blue indian incense canister.

Charming candles and crockery plus a miriad of printed gift wraps are there to tantilise.

 Originally the front room of a house,this section of the shop faces the street and I would definitely make a detour inside to get my fill of inspiration.

Images via Wee Birdy.

The specimens below are from The specimen box on etsy, based in Fernandina Beach, Florida their stunning collection of hand made specimen boxes share a likeness with those in Ben Penreath's London shop.

Have a great weekend.

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