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Spitalfields Antique Market 7

May 6, 2010
by the gentle author

This charismatic chatty young Italian is Giovanni Grosso, who sells immaculately fine gloves, hand-made in the nineteen fifties by his father Alberto, the renowned glovemaker of Naples – a rare opportunity to purchase this precious stock, since Alberto ceased glovemaking in the nineteen seventies. Giovanni himself is a talented sculptor who showed me some tiny cameos he has carved with astonishing skill into seashells. Currently serving an apprenticeship in stone carving with Raniero Sambuci, Giovanni explained to me that he came to London because “…in Naples, unless you compromise with the mafioso you leave!”

This noble man with the face of saint from a Romanesque cathedral is John Andrews, who deals in “vintage fishing tackle for the soul” and is the author of “For All Those Left Behind,” a memoir about his father and fishing. Learning that angling is a dying art, I was hooked by the melancholy poetry of John’s collection which speaks of the magnificent age of British fishing between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth century. “I am addicted to buying and selling it, and I live in my own little world,” confessed John, which sounded so attractive to me that I accepted his invitation to join a fishing trip immediately. See his collection for yourself at www.andrews of Trousers by Old Town.

This is the distinguished Mr Singh, expertly modelling a dress sword which belonged to the Lieutenant General to the Tower of London between 1880-90, a very fine example of its kind, that was once presented to Lord Chelmsford. “I must differentiate myself from the general public and I do it by an emphasis on quality,” explained Mr Singh modestly and, as I cast my eyes upon his impressive selection of antique silver cutlery, I found no reason to disagree. If you see Mr Singh, impeccably dressed English gentleman, and dealer in militaria and classy bric-a-brac, either here in Spitalfields or at St James, Piccadilly, be sure to pay your respects and wish him “Good day”.

This is the lovely and innately sassy Amelie Kondzot who brings a modish touch of French glamour and sophistication to the old Spitalfields Market, dealing in her select vintage French women’s fashions. “Every two months, I go back to see my family and get new stock,” she explained in her softly spoken tones – that draw you closer to catch her words – before confiding shyly, “I do have a big wardrobe of clothes, shoes and bags!”, rolling her dark eyes while blushing at her own admission. Let us indulge her penchant, because no-one can deny Amelie possesses a certain irresistible feminine chic which we need more of in Spitalfields.

Photographs copyright © Jeremy Freedman

3 Responses leave one →
  1. Francesca Tortora permalink
    May 6, 2010

    Fabulous, fabulous darling!

  2. May 6, 2010

    I love market life…the people, the treasures and the vibe. Spitalfields Market is great for “character spotting” as I call it… Maybe one day you’ll stop by at Greenwich Market which is my “local” market – I know it’s “south of the river”, but I promise you don’t need a passport to get there 😉 Thanks for another lovely post. Carole x

  3. Jennifer permalink
    May 7, 2010

    What a great insight on market life. When i was younger – and I must confess that was many years ago I remember this market – but not like this… so much has changed, but at least the mixture of stall holders from all walks of life remains.

    I’ve been following this blog for some time and love these portraits every Thursday.
    Look foward to see next weeks characters….


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