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ANF Blog

In Conversation with ... Kate Thurlow of Gallery Forty One

Kate Thurlow founded Gallery Forty One in the 1970s when London was brimming with wealthy cool characters who collected fine objects with abandon and talented makers were emerging with ground breaking new designs for the masses. The Atomic Age generation gave way to the BIBA generation who were looking for new style experiences and Kate Thurlow tapped into that vibe then and continues to do so now with an exquisite century mash up of early antique furniture, objects and textiles from around the globe with contemporary craftsman made furniture, all chosen for enduring style and appeal.

We talk to Kate about her estimable forty year career at the heart of the London antiques trade.

 

Antiques News & Fairs - In Conversation with ... Kate Thurlow of Gallery Forty One

Kate Thurlow

 


ANF: Tell us about your early career with some personal history:

KT: I escaped Stratford upon Avon in the late sixties to the University of Bradford, Yorkshire to study French and Russian. Learnt to drink prodigiously and developed a taste for extremely good curry. Headed to London post degree to look for work.

1971-78 Research assistant then Gallery Manager at Hugh Moss Ltd selling Chinese Art at Bruton Street, Mayfair, 1978-88 partner at David Alexander Antiques selling 17th century and earlier English and Continental furniture, King’s Road, Fulham and 1988-present I am a sole trader selling early English and Continental furniture, mirrors lighting and objects from all periods.

 

Antiques News & Fairs - In Conversation with ... Kate Thurlow of Gallery Forty One

Carved limewood sculpture of a prophet, Swabian circa 1500 priced at £6,500.


ANF: Your career choices at the beginning clearly influenced your later career, tell us what has inspired you:

KT: An interest in early furniture ignited by working in the Shakespeare Trust properties whilst at school in Stratford upon Avon. Discovering “abroad” and hence the wealth of museums and public properties. Italy was a revelation and I still love Italian Renaissance furniture and art more than any other.

The interiors created by visionary decorators / dealers such as the work of Axel Vervoordt in Antwerp and Rose Tarlow in Los Angeles in combining beautiful early pieces with contemporary art, modern design and mid century furniture.

Antiques News & Fairs - In Conversation with ... Kate Thurlow of Gallery Forty One

Mixing it up!


ANF: Your taste is very au courant with a stylish blend of both antiquity and contemporary craft work. Has this been a gradual theme to mix or have you always seen the potential to collaborate with designers in your antiques business? 

KT: Sadly being Mid Century myself I appreciate the early 20th century designers, who now of course command greater prices than that of Italian Renaissance, but what is being sold as “Mid Century” nowadays is too close to home!

When I started out in the furniture business in partnership with Rodney Roberson we specialised in English oak furniture which was very popular in the early 70’s. We very early on started travelling regularly to France and bringing back 16th and 17th century French, Spanish and Italian pieces which not only were less money than the English equivalent they were earlier and much more interesting!

I’ve always loved giltwood and colour and so the introduction of these more frivolous decorative elements helped to lift the sombre tones of oak and walnut. Of recent years thanks to my collaboration with Tony Bunzl I’ve found that 20th century Studio Pottery and 18th and 19th century Indian miniatures work very well with the more solid pieces and add a more contemporary feel to the modern interior.

Antiques News & Fairs - In Conversation with ... Kate Thurlow of Gallery Forty One

Kate Thurlow - the perfect blend

ANF: Describe your current audience:

KT: Last century I sold predominantly to the international trade, interior decorators and private collectors. This century everything has changed and there are fewer collectors for serious objects. The trend for uncluttered interiors, which I feel might now be changing, as more recently there has been a tendency towards so called “Maximalism” which re-embraces texture and pattern. Today my clientele is still amongst the international trade but I sell predominantly to private individuals who either fall in love with something or are looking for a specific piece which will add individuality to their houses.

ANF:  Antiques fairs are at the heart of what we do in this industry, which ones have you worked with in your career?

KT:  I used to exhibit at all three Olympia Fairs but recently only in the June fair. I love the Decorative Antiques Fair in Battersea and have exhibited there on and off for the last fifteen years.

ANF: Tell us more about your affiliations with other dealers – we hear your share your current showroom in Battersea with another dealer?

KT: About ten years ago I started working with Tony Bunzl who was bored with his retirement, having had a beautiful shop in Chelsea dealing in early continental furniture. Tony has introduced me to British Studio Pottery and Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic Art from the Indian subcontinent and more often than not our tastes are very complementary.

This year, having shared stands at the Decorative Fair, Joanna Booth has taken a space in my studio. Joanna deals in early European Works of Art, tapestries and textiles.

Antiques News & Fairs - In Conversation with ... Kate Thurlow of Gallery Forty One

Gallery Forty One


ANF: What does your diary look like for 2019? Do you have any events coming up?

KT: I very much miss the face to face interaction between customer and seller, as however magical the internet is, the relationship is quite different when conducted solely online.

Antiques News & Fairs - In Conversation with ... Kate Thurlow of Gallery Forty OneLarge Baroque armorial carving, Italian, circa 1700 priced at £2,750.

Our next event will be our “Open Studio” days in the first week of December to coincide with London Art Week when our usually by appointment only rule is waived and we throw open the doors to visitors all day long until early evening. Fellow incumbent Adam Calvert Bentley will also be exhibiting.


Open Studio Days:
Tuesday 4th December: Midday until 8pm
Wednesday 5th December: Midday until 8pm

Unit 54, Safestore Business Centre, Ingate Place, Battersea, London SW8 3NS

See Kate Thurlow, Joanna Booth and Adam Calvert Bentley at The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair 22-27 January 2019.

 



Antiques News Blog

In Conversation with ... Kate Thurlow of Gallery Forty One

Kate Thurlow founded Gallery Forty One in the 1970s when London was brimming with wealthy cool characters who collected fine objects with abandon and talented makers were emerging with ground breaking new designs for the masses. The Atomic Age generation gave way to the BIBA generation who were looking for new style experiences and Kate Thurlow tapped into that vibe then and continues to do so now with an exquisite century mash up of early antique furniture, objects and textiles from around the globe with contemporary craftsman made furniture, all chosen for enduring style and appeal.

We talk to Kate about her estimable forty year career at the heart of the London antiques trade.

 

Antiques News & Fairs - In Conversation with ... Kate Thurlow of Gallery Forty One

Kate Thurlow

 


ANF: Tell us about your early career with some personal history:

KT: I escaped Stratford upon Avon in the late sixties to the University of Bradford, Yorkshire to study French and Russian. Learnt to drink prodigiously and developed a taste for extremely good curry. Headed to London post degree to look for work.

1971-78 Research assistant then Gallery Manager at Hugh Moss Ltd selling Chinese Art at Bruton Street, Mayfair, 1978-88 partner at David Alexander Antiques selling 17th century and earlier English and Continental furniture, King’s Road, Fulham and 1988-present I am a sole trader selling early English and Continental furniture, mirrors lighting and objects from all periods.

 

Antiques News & Fairs - In Conversation with ... Kate Thurlow of Gallery Forty One

Carved limewood sculpture of a prophet, Swabian circa 1500 priced at £6,500.


ANF: Your career choices at the beginning clearly influenced your later career, tell us what has inspired you:

KT: An interest in early furniture ignited by working in the Shakespeare Trust properties whilst at school in Stratford upon Avon. Discovering “abroad” and hence the wealth of museums and public properties. Italy was a revelation and I still love Italian Renaissance furniture and art more than any other.

The interiors created by visionary decorators / dealers such as the work of Axel Vervoordt in Antwerp and Rose Tarlow in Los Angeles in combining beautiful early pieces with contemporary art, modern design and mid century furniture.

Antiques News & Fairs - In Conversation with ... Kate Thurlow of Gallery Forty One

Mixing it up!


ANF: Your taste is very au courant with a stylish blend of both antiquity and contemporary craft work. Has this been a gradual theme to mix or have you always seen the potential to collaborate with designers in your antiques business? 

KT: Sadly being Mid Century myself I appreciate the early 20th century designers, who now of course command greater prices than that of Italian Renaissance, but what is being sold as “Mid Century” nowadays is too close to home!

When I started out in the furniture business in partnership with Rodney Roberson we specialised in English oak furniture which was very popular in the early 70’s. We very early on started travelling regularly to France and bringing back 16th and 17th century French, Spanish and Italian pieces which not only were less money than the English equivalent they were earlier and much more interesting!

I’ve always loved giltwood and colour and so the introduction of these more frivolous decorative elements helped to lift the sombre tones of oak and walnut. Of recent years thanks to my collaboration with Tony Bunzl I’ve found that 20th century Studio Pottery and 18th and 19th century Indian miniatures work very well with the more solid pieces and add a more contemporary feel to the modern interior.

Antiques News & Fairs - In Conversation with ... Kate Thurlow of Gallery Forty One

Kate Thurlow - the perfect blend

ANF: Describe your current audience:

KT: Last century I sold predominantly to the international trade, interior decorators and private collectors. This century everything has changed and there are fewer collectors for serious objects. The trend for uncluttered interiors, which I feel might now be changing, as more recently there has been a tendency towards so called “Maximalism” which re-embraces texture and pattern. Today my clientele is still amongst the international trade but I sell predominantly to private individuals who either fall in love with something or are looking for a specific piece which will add individuality to their houses.

ANF:  Antiques fairs are at the heart of what we do in this industry, which ones have you worked with in your career?

KT:  I used to exhibit at all three Olympia Fairs but recently only in the June fair. I love the Decorative Antiques Fair in Battersea and have exhibited there on and off for the last fifteen years.

ANF: Tell us more about your affiliations with other dealers – we hear your share your current showroom in Battersea with another dealer?

KT: About ten years ago I started working with Tony Bunzl who was bored with his retirement, having had a beautiful shop in Chelsea dealing in early continental furniture. Tony has introduced me to British Studio Pottery and Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic Art from the Indian subcontinent and more often than not our tastes are very complementary.

This year, having shared stands at the Decorative Fair, Joanna Booth has taken a space in my studio. Joanna deals in early European Works of Art, tapestries and textiles.

Antiques News & Fairs - In Conversation with ... Kate Thurlow of Gallery Forty One

Gallery Forty One


ANF: What does your diary look like for 2019? Do you have any events coming up?

KT: I very much miss the face to face interaction between customer and seller, as however magical the internet is, the relationship is quite different when conducted solely online.

Antiques News & Fairs - In Conversation with ... Kate Thurlow of Gallery Forty OneLarge Baroque armorial carving, Italian, circa 1700 priced at £2,750.

Our next event will be our “Open Studio” days in the first week of December to coincide with London Art Week when our usually by appointment only rule is waived and we throw open the doors to visitors all day long until early evening. Fellow incumbent Adam Calvert Bentley will also be exhibiting.


Open Studio Days:
Tuesday 4th December: Midday until 8pm
Wednesday 5th December: Midday until 8pm

Unit 54, Safestore Business Centre, Ingate Place, Battersea, London SW8 3NS

See Kate Thurlow, Joanna Booth and Adam Calvert Bentley at The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair 22-27 January 2019.