SPONSORED Aesthetically pleasing in every way possible, Audrey & Wolf Antiques is a feast for the eyes, both on Instagram and online with their website. In a time where it seems as though competition amongst antique jewelry sellers is at an all time high, Audrey & Wolf stands out above the crowd. They’ve been in business for 15 years, with the majority of that time selling to the trade only from their Portobello location in London. This past January they’ve decided to widen their circle by launching a website and opening up their business to the public. What keen timing, as a few months later COVID happened and all anyone could do was dream of shopping Portobello Road from the confinement of their couch. Lucky for Audrey & Wolf they had their website up and running, having the ability to offer their hundreds of beautiful fine antique cheap engagement ringspieces for the world to shop.
I wanted to learn more about this shop, so I asked Louise all the important questions, which she kindly answered. Hope you enjoy!
What got you started in the antique business?
I started in the jewellery trade 15 years ago when a family friend gave me a job travelling extensively in the UK and Europe selling to jewellers and antique shops. It was an incredible opportunity and I was able to experience a very valuable side of the business.
After a few years I realised my passion lay in the history, provenance and the incredible quality of fine antique pieces. At this point I decided to go out on my own as an independent dealer. The search was on to build a collection of beautiful, characterful and rare one-off pieces.
Shortly after that I seized a chance to take a stand at Portobello Road. The market carries a ludicrous pace of a Saturday morning, but the comradery and astonishing characters make this a special place to trade.
Tell us a brief history of Audrey & Wolf?
Havingapresence atPortobelloRoad opened my eyes tothe wide varietyof people who love antiquejewellery. I wanted to bring my finds to a wider audience, so in 2019 we moved online, and when COVIDstruckwerealised weneededtoaccelerate our brand’s online presence. It’sbeen aterrificexperience so far.Weare a smallfamily businesswith asimple aim; to search outbeautiful,intriguing,top quality,rare,vintageantiqueandestate jewellery. It’s such a passion of ours tofind new homes for these important pieces.
We don’t consider ourselveslimited to an era or genre of jewellery. We areenthusiastsforwonderful pieces of art. We are always learning andtake enormous pleasure insharingour findsdirectly with our customers and really try to deliver a personal service. We often take commissions to find specific pieces. Onefantasticoutcome ofpivoting ourbusiness modelis getting toexperiencethe pure joycustomersexpress once they receive their future heirloom.
In any given year, where do you travel to find antique jewelry to sell?
Most of our jewellery isclassicantiqueEnglish, so wetravelextensively around the British Isles.We alsospend time travelling around Europe to find treasuresandmake frequent tripsto the USA.
We’re constantly scouring. Youcan find amazing things in the most unlikely places sometimes – so we cast the net wide. Thatfeeling ofunearthingsomething phenomenal iswhat drives us on.
Do you have any stories about how you acquired a certain piece of jewelry?
A few years ago,Icame across aparticularly special piece in auction. There was ajob lot of mainly costume jewellery. One of the pieces was a filthy double-crossed arrow brooch with a heart-shaped centre. I thoughtitmayclean-upwellas they are saleable enough so I bought the lot. When I got it home and began to clean the brooch, I quickly realised it was a special piece of jewellery. On the brooch pin itself,I discovered some numbers and amaker’smark.The grotty brooch turned out to be anextremely rare Art Deco Cartierrubyand diamond arrowbrooch.Ithad been previously featured in the Cartier archive and in the end Iactually sold it back to Cartier for their collection.
Any jaw-dropping or memorable pieces you’ve sold throughout the years?
The hardest thing about working withstunningjewellery is not being able to buy it all, especially when you’re starting from nothing!ThebestpieceI havebought(to date)wasan outrageousCarlo Giulianobrooch. Heis one of my absolute favourite makers andwasone of the world’s most celebrated goldsmiths.The Giuliano brooch/pendant I bought was a ridiculously elaborateexample. A double-sided vibrant scene featuring horse heads, enamelled jesters with typical design andenamelling. Itwas one of the most beautiful things I’d ever seen. I knew I couldn’t afford it,butIhad to own it.I hate regretting the things I don’tbuy!I would have loved to keep it, but alas, I had to sell it on to a collector. It’s something I’ll never forget.
Your favorite piece of jewelry?
My fashion ringsfavourite piece of jewellery is actually not strictly mine – it’s a ring I bought for my daughter. It’s a Victorian Burma ruby dress ring. She absolutely loves it but isn’t allowed to wear it until she’s a lot older! It’s a beautiful thing to invest in for her future. Lucky girl!
I think coloured stones are wonderful, it’s an area we are strong on and are constantly trying to find fresh pieces. Good large antique coloured dress rings are incredibly popular at the momentand a great investment.
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