LONDON CONNECTION makes every effort to create flats that are special, different, and unique. I am Thomas Moore III, and it is my responsibility and pleasure to collect interesting objects to place in our many flats throughout London. Over the years, we have found antique furniture, interesting and decorative paintings, and conversation pieces which have been the source of questions, conversations, and many photographs. People will return home and report back to us that this item or that item was interesting. One lady told me she was in the “orange” apartment while her sister and her husband were downstairs in the “blue” apartment. Numerous visitors have asked where I found a particular grandfather clock, or a chair, or a table. When this happens, I understand that a flat is more than a few rooms with beds and kitchens and chairs. It is my determination that LONDON CONNECTION FLATS will be experiences!
For this article, I am going to highlight our three London Connection flats on Clarges Street in Mayfair which bring a great deal of interest. The questions we receive inquire about their history and age as well as where I acquired them. Let me share details which might interest you, especially if you are booked to stay in one of these flats or are considering a visit in the future. There are three London Connection Flats in this small early 19th century building; first floor is the “blue” flat, the second floor is the “orange” flat, and the third floor is the “green” flat. So, let’s chat.
Flat #1 Clarges is a handsome flat with items of great interest. Some of the antiques have been in my family for decades, but others have been gathered along the way to enhance the charm of the Clarges Street flat. Let’s take a look at the room and then talk about some of the pieces which might interest you.
When a visitor first enters the sitting room, the first thing that strikes them is the large collection of VANITY FAIR PRINTS which have been taken from the pages of “Vanity Fair” magazines published since 1868. The caricatures are of politicians, members of the Royal Family, as well as socialites and aristocrats who dominated the London scene. It is such fun watching who was satirized week after week during the Victorian Age. I have collected over 200 caricatures and have placed them in several of our London Connection flats. Enjoy!
The magnificent 1705 desk in the corner will certainly draw your interest. It was made of fine dark Caribbean imported mahogany and placed in a priory in northern England where it would have been in the same room until I bought it at an auction years ago when the residence was closed. It is the real McCoy. Open the desk doors, and you will view numerous Chelsea botanical plates which date to about 1780. I think visitors love it.
The large grandfather clock in the corner is everyone’s friend. When I first found the clock which was in the abbey where the desk was found, my heart said YOU CAN’T SEPARATE THEM AFTER ALL THESE YEARS. I have removed the weights and don’t wind the clock because visitors are not used to the banging of an old timekeeper. I call this clock THE LONDON CONNECTION TIMEKEEPER. It was made in Wales about 1820 and enjoys welcoming guests to another London Connection flat. HAPPY TIMES in London.
In 1988, I bought this cherry Georgian sideboard dating to about 1780 to replace a similar one which I had loved so much. I bought it from a dealer in Holland Park for a flat which I owned in Battersea. Now it is gleaming in #1 Clarges, and the drawers are filled with kinds of goodies like furniture and silver polish! Several visitors have commented to us that they thought this beautiful 237 year old cherry sideboard is their favorite item in the room. I love it, and I love sharing it with our London Connection guests.
The 17th century Shiva placed on the sideboard is one of the most amazing items in the room. I prize it very much because it has been in our family for decades. It came to our family with an Indian dowry chest which came to England when an Indian bride brought it to England from Delhi. It was once filled with jewels, silks, cloth, and family miniatures. Now it is tucked under the sideboard to add charm and curiosity to one of London Connection’s finest flats.
The large George I ca1720 drop leaf mahogany table is a special piece. Since Clarges #1 is for two London Connection visitors, only one table leaf is lifted. Many, many happy visitors have eaten here on this very beautiful and important antique. The 1860 Victorian chairs were purchased from a dealer in Northern England when I was looking for a set of lovely antique chairs. It is a very beautiful setting.
Cristina who manages our flats in London located an antique clock dealer who also had other pieces she thought might interest me. She put me in touch with him about a fabulous Regency gilt mirror in perfect condition with original mirror/glass. I needed something very special for the wall above the dining table and discussed the purchase with my son Thomas. When he saw the price, he gave me that "ARE-YOU-SURE-DAD” look. Eventually we realized that it would be one of the most important items in the room and would certainly be a wonderful investment. Besides, I could just imagine all the London Connection visitors who would be checking their appearance before an evening theater or opera or ballet in London’s West End. The dealer brought it to the flat, and three of us carefully hung this magnificent addition to the room.
Clarges Street Flat #1 has been a part of London Connection’s offerings for many years. It is in great demand and is always requested. I believe that the location of this flat in Mayfair is important, but the interesting and unique furnishings welcome a visitor to London in a very London Connection way. There is no question about it, we make every effort to give our guests a real English experience. Enjoy!
Ah, now to FLAT #2 CLARGES. Use the lift which will take you right into your own flat, into a world of color, and history, and comfort. So, let’s take a tour and enjoy years of collecting for your pleasure while staying in a London Connection flat in the heart of Mayfair.
The minute a visitor walks into this flat, a sense of amazement and delight will come over you — at least I hope so. I have filled this accommodation with some of my favorite personal items. Stephanie and I often stay in this flat because of its location in Mayfair and also for the contents which include antique furniture, the color of the walls, the grandfather clock, the desk display cabinet filled with fine 18th century porcelain and jade. I have gathered these items over many years, and I love to share them with London Connection visitors who come to London to live like Londoners.
The table and chairs are placed in the center of the flat lounge in hopes London Connection visitors will make this room a happy place by dining, playing cards, reading the paper, and of course keeping a travel diary. The table is a 17th century ca 1625 drop leaf table made in northern England of English oak. It is as solid as stone and enjoys having guests enjoy their visit to London. The four chairs are English dating to 1780 and came from a fine house in Gloucestershire when the contents were auctioned. For a bit of atmosphere, I have placed a lovely pair of Georgian 1775 brass candlesticks on the table; I found them on Portobello Road and bought them because I felt they were elegant. I am so happy that visitors haven’t been hard on the chairs because they are lovely, and a bit fragile. I can see our clients in this room with dishes, papers, and books all over the table. I hope so. :) The lovely Queen Anne desk ca 1700 is one of my great treasures. Where did I find it? I bought it from the antique dealer who supplied the gilt mirror in Clarges Flat #1. When he offered the desk to be in this corner of the room, I was thrilled. I filled the display cabinet part of the desk with 18th century Derby porcelain, ivory, and my collection of 18th century Japanese tea bowls. London Connection visitors are welcome to use the desk for writing as I do every evening. I love this piece of furniture and I enjoy sharing it with YOU while you are in the flat during your London holiday.
The George II highboy is another treasure. It is filled with my personal dishes and pieces of silver, so it is simply a decorative backdrop for the room. When a visitor walks into the room, it will catch his eye. It dates to about 1750 and came from a lovely home in Sheffield. Many country pieces of English furniture were made of oak which is a hard wood and has a rich color. This piece is English through and through, and even has its original brasses. I put it in the room for its height, its color, its English beauty. Please enjoy it when you visit our London Connection flat.English homes and apartments were lighted by candles for centuries. They were made of silver, vermeil, pewter, and of course English brass. In one of the windows of this flat, I have placed a few Georgian 18th century brass candlesticks made in England . I collect 18th century Queen Anne and Georgian brass candlesticks to create a truly English setting. I hope you enjoy them. Let me tell you about the gorgeous mid-19th century MENORAH which I believe is a real treasure. Early one morning, I went to the Jubilee Antique Market in Covent Garden, always held every Monday morning, looking for interesting decorative items. As I arrived a dealer was unwrapping a box full of items he was going to sell. When the Menorah came to the surface, I reached for it with the greatest of pleasure. He asked me if I was Jewish, and I responded that I was Christian, but I loved and respected the item. The beautiful piece was to be the centerpiece of his booth in the market, but he knew that I would give it a great home. I polish it and admire it every visit. I hope you will love it as I do.Each of the three flats on Clarges Street has an early grandfather clock — or long case clock, as the British say. This very beautiful 18th century clock with its original face is a “beauty.” I found an antique dealer who had a clock shop near London, and he suggested this clock would be a good investment because it is completely original. He brought it to the flat on Clarges Street, and I fell in love with it on the spot. I have removed the weights while London Connection guests are in residence because of the very loud banging of the clock works. It is obvious that this clock spent its first 200 years in a very large English country house. Now, this beauty is in our flat for our wonderful guests. I send greetings from the clock to clients coming to this flat! On we go to Clarges Flat #3 which is one of the most wonderful popular flats offered by LONDON CONNECTION. This is our third flat in this wonderful early Victorian building. The location in Mayfair is amazing, and the flat and its contents make a visitor feel like Londoners. Let’s check it out, and you can see all the details on our website www.londonconnection.comThis photograph was taken when the room was only partially furnished, but it gives a good idea of the peaceful setting which has been so attractive to London Connection visitors. The paintings are contemporary and were collected for this flat. The sofa was selected to contribute to the soft setting and comfort of this wonderful one bedroom flat. Now, let’s enjoy images of the items which are now in the room.The six chairs are an important addition to this flat. I purchased these chairs for another flat, but they are very elegant and suited Flat #3 Clarges. They were made in Bath in 1720 and made for the Chando family. hey came up for auction, and this sleuth Thomas Moore decided they were perfect for our London flats. I think they are very beautiful, and visitors will dine in great comfort and style — this is our goal.Every Monday morning finds Stephanie and me at Jubilee Antique Market in Covent Garden where dealers bring their stock for discerning collectors. I arrive early to be there when the dealers unpack, hoping to spot something which grabs my attention. About a year ago, a wonderful dealer and friend pulled this magnificent helmet from her packing, and I jumped to purchase it. It is one of my very favorite objects I have placed in our London flats. We are not sure if it is a military object or a fireman's helmet, but we do know that it is a hit with London Connection visitors. If you book Clarges Flat #3, you are welcome to check it out and can give us your view about it original use. The style is definitely 1820, and it is certainly from somewhere in the British Empire, possibly Australia.The two 19th century brass lanterns are a treasure and a wonderful addition to Clarges #3. They are beautifully made, so typical of 19th century Japanese metal work. They are 14 inches tall and exquisite. I have an antique dealer friend in Portobello Road Market who found these lanterns in Cornwall where he lives. He brought them to the market thinking he would offer them to me. I did not hesitate. I hope you enjoy them. The large pewter tankard is an outstanding piece of 18th century English pewter. My mother once told me that we first like gold, then we like silver, and finally we like pewter. I have proved her correct; I greatly admire this fine piece. The pair of English 19th century Victorian candlesticks are often on the dining table at dinner time. They are not rare, but they are very fine quality and in great condition.The equestrian bronze figure represents the Duke of Beaufort at Badminton House. I found it in an art gallery in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. I have personally known the Duke of Beaufort’s family since I was very young, and the Duchess who died about eight years ago was very dear to me. We used to hunt for mushrooms on the Badminton Estate. Badminton is all about horses and riding to hounds — I enjoyed the scene very much. This wonderful bronze is now part of of Clarges Flat #3 for your pleasure.I am a sleuth. I wander all over London looking for artwork which I feel will enhance one of our London flats. I love the watercolor in this English style which dates to about 1900, probably of the Lake District or Scotland. It has its original frame and now hangs above a Dutch oil painting which I recently acquired. I have filled the walls with paintings I have gathered over the years. My happiest times are the hours wandering through London being a happy sleuth.A couple of years ago, I was wandering up Church Street in South kensington and spotted this pair of 19th century Japanese brass stork candle features. The minute I found them, I knew where they were going: #3 Clarges! They are very heavy and beautifully made. I watch television, but I am always distracted by these beautiful objects. As you will see, Oriental art is always part of my world, and I hope you will enjoy these objects while you are in residence in this flat. There are more than 20 Japanese block prints throughout the flat which have been collected wherever I luckily find them. Beautiful.I was looking for decorative items in the Bermondsey Market recently and spotted this amazing 18th century very fine rosewood frame and exquisite needlework. I took it to a dealer whom I have known for a long time who informed me that it was probably Russian, but definitely 18th century. I was delighted. Stephanie hung it over the bed in this bedroomfor enjoyment. The Meiji Japanese block prints with a portrait of the Meiji Emperor is a great addition toour Clarges #3 bedroom. I hope you will like it.Stephanie and I were with our friends in the Portobello Antique Market when Stephanie spotted ten matched Japanese domestic-scene block prints. She bought them and has been thrilled about them ever since. Six are grouped near the sofa and four prints hang on an adjacent wall. These are very special, and I know visitors have enjoyed them. Thank you, Stephanie.Early English porcelain has been my passion for many years. Derby “Japan Pattern” created by this fine porcelain factory has been my first love. This small cabinet contains five Derby plates dating to about 1830 and a few Derby cup and saucers about 1810 with London handles. The cabinet is Edwardian about 1910 and perfect for my favorite pieces of china. Enjoy.Flat #3 Clarges is one of my favorite flats in London. It is beautiful, peaceful, comfortable, and charming. The contents were all especially chosen and are part of the London Connection collections, gathered for a visitor’s enjoyment. Have fun!Well, if you are still reading, I know you love fine art, antiques, and special collections as much as I do! And you better understand how one visitor felt when he told us, "I don't need to visit a museum, I am LIVING in one!" The next step is to come and be a resident for a week or even a month in one of our Clarges flats. YOU WILL LOVE IT.