Dear Diva Readers,
top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>In July I wrote about attending the Antiques Young Guns Awards Ceremony in London. That night I had the pleasure of meeting Edd Thomas, the mastermind who choreographs the antiques collection at Edd In The Clouds where he focuses on antique and vintage furniture that suit the modern home. He looks for pieces that have a real story to tell where possible. Most of Edd’s pieces date to the decorative art period of the 1850s-1950s including important designers and retailers.
Edd explains, “There is nothing better than finding an unloved item from the dusty corner of one persons home and putting it pride of place in someone elses.”
Dealing is far more than just work for Edd and he is a proud member of the Antiques Young Guns movement, a passionate group of young people working in the Antiques industry. Part of the awards ceremony in July was pairing Antiques Young Guns with trade legends for a mentorship program. Edd Thomas was paired with Marc Allum of The Antiques Roadshow.
After the party we went for dinner with a group of Antique Young Gun friends and Edd was telling me about a recent purchase he’d acquired for his store – a 10 seat Gothic style Victorian mahogany dining table which is one of the original tables from the opening of the Natural History Museum in London. I love pieces with provenance. When I buy antiques I’m looking for a story – for romance – for adventure! I was hooked and immediately began asking questions.
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Edd explains, “The Gothic style dining table seats 10 comfortably. Constructed in solid Cuban mahogany it has aged beautifully. With its 6 legs and very solid top, the piece dates to 1880-1881 and would have been used to display larger animals in either the main hall or one of the side wings of the museum.” Indeed early photos of the museum show a very similar example with a giant stuffed crocodile on top!
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The Natural History Museum, designed by Sir Alfred Waterhouse, remains one of the jewels of London. As with most civil projects the original costs of the building spiraled out of control. However, as Edd explains, “despite this the Treasury were still willing in Dec 1877 to sign off a substantial furnishing cost of £177,000 understanding the importance of the tables and show cases to the visitor experience. While Waterhouse designed some of the cases and benches himself, the majority of the furnishings were designed by Sir John Taylor who was senior surveyor at the office of works and a joint designer of the British Museum. The detailing on the legs of this table is a common one found on other items throughout the museum even today and the table was most likely a designed by Taylor. It was most certainly constructed by the firm of W.Cubitt and Co.”
With changing needs this example was finally sold off by the Museum in 2005 to the previous owner and a quick tour around the museum today shows only one or two similar tables (but far smaller) still exist, making this almost unique. It comes with a letter of sale from the museum as well as relevant research Edd has collected from their archives.
Offered in good condition with great original patination to the top, this table is an opportunity to buy a piece of British history with a story to tell! Measuring 235cm long x 140cm wide x 77cm high – it’s priced £3700.
Contact Antiques Young Gun Edd Thomas of Edd in the Clouds for more details.
Until Next Time,
The Antiques Diva®