Page 95

The mayfair Magazine | Interiors

Treasure trove Established by the church as a palace for bishops before falling under ownership of the infamous Albemarle Club, Ely House has been shaped by its multifarious inhabitants. We catch up with Mallett, one year on from their acquisition of this historical Georgian building W O R D S : k AT I E r A N D A L L

‘T

Images courtesy of Mallett Antiques

his is the Bishop of Ely’s old morning room,’ says Justin Evershed Martin, associate director of one of Mallett, one of the oldest and most established antique dealers in the world. ‘And this bedside table is probably the most important piece of Russian decorative art of its kind,’ he continues. The antiques enthusiast, who has been with the company for eight years, is taking me on a guided tour of the architecturally stunning Ely House, the Grade I listed building to which Mallett moved one year ago. He is weaving the story of these beautiful and intricate antiques, primarily sourced from the 18th-century and Regency periods, with the illustrious history of Ely House, located at 37 Dover Street. The bedside table in the morning room was commissioned by Tsar Alexander I, after he made a state visit to Prussia in 1802, Evershed Martin explains. During my visit it is sitting in the striking morning room, with its printed statement wallpaper, amongst a collection of rare antiques and objets d’art. ‘The Tsar was attempting to get the King of Prussia to side with Russia against Napoleon and whilst visiting had supposedly fallen in love with the King of Prussia’s wife, who was a famed European beauty,’ says Evershed Martin, ‘On arrival home he decided to send a diplomatic gift. Instead of set of porcelain, or something one might

expect, he commissioned a pair of bedside tables and a dressing mirror. The theory being that first thing in the morning and last thing at night she would think of him.’ The history behind Ely House makes it the perfect platform to showcase Mallett’s carefully selected pieces, and, although unconsciously done, this space recreates the quintessential 18th-century London abode. Ely House, importantly, has not been transformed into a clinical retail space, quite the opposite in fact; Mallett has created an intimate and personal setting in which clients, antique-aficionados and the general public can step back in time and peruse beautiful objects away from the hustle and bustle of Mayfair. As I

‘Mallett has created an intimate and personal setting in which clients, antique aficionados and the general public can step back in time’ quickly learned whilst being whisked through the various rooms, the Mallett specialists are not only knowledgeable about the company’s variety of antiques, but also about the very building in which they work. Ely House was built between 1772 and 1776 and was originally in the hands of the church 

87

The Mayfair Magazine January 2013  

Welcome to the December edition of The Mayfair magazine, celebrating the dynamism of the area and bringing you the latest features, articles...

The Mayfair Magazine January 2013  

Welcome to the December edition of The Mayfair magazine, celebrating the dynamism of the area and bringing you the latest features, articles...

Advertisement