News & Events

  • Michael Fenn

    Dear All,

    It is with regret that I have to announce the sad death of Michael Fenn on Sunday morning the 19th of April. 2020 . He had bravely lived with Cancer for several years , had several bouts of Sepsis in the past four months and was admitted to a care home in February. Luckily, in these difficult times, Bernard was able to be at his side when he died peacefully in the early hours of Sunday morning.

    Many of you may remember Michael at 97 Pimlico Road where he managed the Fine Antique shop “Hermitage” since the 1970’s. He worked along side Bernard Vieux-Pernon, the owner, creating one of the corner stones of The Pimlico Road in the hey-day of the Antique’s boom.

    Originally working in promotions for Martini, Michael then had his own shop in Camden Passage, Islington in the late 60’s . Here he met Bernard who went on to open his own shop on The Pimlico Road. Soon after this Michael joined him here too to help grow his business. Despite several health problems through the years, diabetes and latterly Cancer he enjoyed a long and varied life. Eventually in 2006 “Hermitage” closed.

    Bernard and Michael remained very close friends, in all some 55 years. So much so that as Michael’s health declined Bernard very kindly offered Michael a sheltered haven in his beautiful London apartment where he could be better looked after. Thus during the last few years of his life he was in the secure and safe hands of a devoted friend as well as the love and care of his sister Audrey.

    Our thoughts are with Bernard, Audrey and their families and friends.Look after yourselves and cherish those you love in these troubled times.

    Regards and best wishes.
    Mark Boyce.

  • Covid-19
    Dear all,
    How quickly the world can change. The Pimlico Road, like the rest of us, is in lockdown. All our dear friends have had to close their doors and are worried about the future.
    We all send out a huge thank you to the Emergency Services, the Health and Medical Workers, the Super Market and Corner Shop Keepers, the Delivery Service providers, the Postal Services and all the other wonderful people who try so hard to keep the country going.
    Every one of us sends out our thanks to all of you for sticking to the Governments advice and request that you STAY AT HOME and try and keep your distance from friends and family outside your immediate environment. Such actions will hopefully help bring this crisis to an end as soon as possible. Keep up the good work.
    Luckily the Grosvenor Estate has cancelled rents for three months, for which a big thank you. The Government has cancelled Business Rates for a year and offered help for employee’s wages. Another big thank you.  You , local business’s and those further afield, will still need support to keep going beyond this crisis. It is up to us all to reach out and give support where we can, be it to your immediate neighbour, family and friends, your work colleagues and to a stranger who may need your help.
    There are so many things to keep you entertained, productively occupied or merely distracted online. There are also many things you can still order or buy online. So I hope the shops and design business’s you see on The Pimlico Road Association website will continue to inspire you, encourage you to plan ahead and help take your mind off the worries that surround us all.
    Keep safe. Keep your distance. Keep positive. We will get through this together.
    Thinking of you all. Regards and best wishes.
    Mark Boyce.
  • Summer News Letter

    Dear All.

    As no one has seemed to take up the baton to write you a news letter and as I was recently in London I thought I would give you an update from my remote rural idle in the Welsh hills.

    I planned to go up to town for The Pimlico Road Private View on the 26th of June anyway but arrived earlier for a friends 80th Birthday celebration on Friday. I highly recommend The Pavilion on the Embankment just opposite Dolphin Square should you require a venue. Our very generous hosts, Charles and Sarah Paterson, Sarah used to have an Antique shop in Suffolk, it was Charles’s birthday, found the perfect spot projecting out over the river with glorious views up and down stream, and across to the new American Embassy. Quite magical as the sun set and turned all the glass facades a rosy pink. I was delighted to be sitting next to Anne Mollo , the brilliant and gifted set designer and near her partner , also in films, Jon Bunker. Friends from the old days when I had a gallery on the Pimlico Road. 100 hundred of us dined in this room, wrapped in glass on two sides, suspended above the Thames

    I was lucky enough to be staying with Paulene Stone and we were joined by her son Harry who had flown in from LA. We did some shopping at the market on Orange Square on Saturday morning before he arrived, always a pleasure and a great place to meet friends. We spent a very pleasant half hour looking round Robert Kime’s. He had some splendid old Persian carpets, some beautiful 17th and 18th century Chinese porcelain pots and vases and a stunning set of dinning chairs , probably Italian. At dinner that evening it was wonderful to be joined by Anthony and Annie Outred, David Thomas , Mark Ossowski and his girlfriend Samantha, an exciting artist living and working in England and Italy. Small world, she is a daughter of the renowned Antique Dealing family The Keal’s of Broadway and Knightsbridge, more old friends. Last but not least the ever glamorous and beautiful Marilyn Lownes joined us and made sure we behaved ourselves.

    Paulene, Harry and I had a delicious light lunch at the Poule au Pot on Sunday, another treat, at one of my all time favourite restaurants on the Square. The joy of sitting here at one of their pavement tables is that I kept meeting old friends from around the world in town for the various Antique Fairs and Auctions. Afterwards we went window shopping on The Pimlico Road and surrounding Streets. Harry went off to watch the football but joined us for dinner at The Great India on Lower Sloane Street , always a must when I visit London. So much eating and drinking !

    Monday boring chores including the dentist but at least on the way back I had a chance to pop into Joanna Woods shop on Elizabeth Street and have a chat with Kathy. Walking back down Ebury Street I said hello to everyone in Robert Kime’s and next door to Christie in John Adams Fine Art. Dashed across the road and popped into to say hello to the Ramsay’s in their delightful gallery and nipped next door to say hello to Tomas Starzewsky and Laura. I paid a brief visit to Gabriel Bernardi , glad to see they are still there despite the threat to move them on. He had a wonderful new glass collection on display and some new furniture designs to admire. In the evening I had two invitations. One to the very generous Sloane Club Summer Party at The Royal Hospital , the other to Anthony Outred and Carlton Hobbs exhibition in Carlton’s wonderful gallery on Bloomfield Terrace. As I could not take a guest to the former, Paulene and I went to the latter where champagne flowed and canapes appeared endlessly. A beautiful selection of rare 19th century items of furniture were presented to coincide with the launch of Christopher Payne’s exhaustively researched book “Paris Furniture: the luxury market of the 19th century”. It was a delight to see Lennox Cato and his wife , dealers from Kent; Paul from John Sandoe’s heavenly book store in Blackwater Terrace; Reiner Zeitz another dealer and many more. We retired to have dinner with Harry at The Ivy on the Kings Road and were very lucky, by chance , to be placed in their splendid gardens. Such a pity they will note let you book a specific spot.

    Tuesday dawned with yet more glorious sunshine and rising temperatures. The Pimlico Private View was eagerly anticipated for the evening. I went for a morning stroll and managed to see David Humphrey at Humphrey Carrasco, they were rearranging the showrooms and placed a splendid set of library steps in their window. Had a chat with Nella at Christopher Butterworth’s , Luke at Dale Rogers, where I spotted a sensational plaster cast of a rare dinosaur’s skull . In Holbein place I had a chat with Jude in Bennison Fabrics and next door admired a splendid sofa upholstered in mustard yellow velvet in Paulo Moschino’s beautiful window. Paulene , Harry and I decided the day was too good to waste so we walked to Hyde Park to see the Christo installation on the Serpentine. Quite stunning and the complimentary exhibition in the Serpentine Gallery was well worth the extra few yards. We walked back to Lower Sloane Street and had a light lunch at the ever popular La Bottega where I bumped into Guy Tobin from Rose Uniake’s gallery, Peter Hurford over from Australia , he once had an Antique shop on the Kings Road, and other friends from the area.

    Eventually the time arrived to visit The Pimlico Road Private View. Paulene and I were joined by Mrs Hormaeche and her wonderful daughter Alexandra , a successful Barrister. Where to start ?
    First into Sybil Colefax and John Fowler, the show rooms were looking as ever glamorous and elegant the outside beautifully bedecked with splendid baskets of summer flowering plants. Then next door to Christopher Howe where I was delighted to see his daughter Holly, who is expecting her first child. Congratulations. On to Jamb to see Will and Charlotte, loved the late 17th century English, black and gold, Japanned Cabinet on chest with a beautifully fitted interior of tiny drawers.
    Promemoria and Mark Ransom were heaving with guests, popped in briefly to say hello to all in Poggenpohl Kitchens. Hazardously crossed the busy road to Rose Uniacke’s. Rose was looking deliciously cool in an elegant white linen shirt dress, her gallery as stylish as ever. Alexandra collapsed into a magnificently over scaled blue velvet armchair which looked extremely comfortable.

    A brief respite having chatted to several old friends at Rose Uniacke’s, crossing Holbein Place we spent a few minutes with The Outred’s and admired some very elegant Neo-Classical marble sculptures. Another brief stop to talk to Paul at Haynes Fine Art and to admire a splendid little Lowry industrial scene with his little stick men in profusion. Linley and Soane were shutting up but we managed to catch Paulo Moschino and Phillipe at their shop on the corner of Ebury Street and Bourne Street. Popped next door to see John and Kathy Adams, and Christie, for a last glass of champagne and to admire their lovely exhibition of mid 20th century French paintings. We did not have time to visit Robert Kime’s which was a great shame as I adore his shop, we went home to meet Harry for supper. Luckily a light meal back at the house. I was also moving home that evening to stay with Mrs Babs Thomson in Battersea to whom I caught the bus after our farewell meal. Harry was flying onto Italy the following morning at the crack of dawn.

    Despite the warm weather I was up bright and early to visit more friends. I eventually made my way back to Babs’ house. Helped tidy up her front garden, do a few repairs for her as she was going out to lunch with a friend. Had a leisurely afternoon, a shower and change of clothes to accompany her to The Masterpiece Preview opening. I love driving in town in the evening and being able to park any where. We strolled through the magnificent Royal Hospital Grounds to the imposing Marquee on the lower fields. Queues to get in and queues to leave, but all progressed quickly and soon we were enveloped in the glamour and super luxury of the splendid exhibits inside. First stop is always Wartski’s ,as it is virtually the first stand, to admire the Faberge. There are too many staggeringly beautiful things to mention so I will be very brief. Steinitz had a spectacular set of twelve embroidered pilaster panels covered with glass beads over 12 feet tall dating from the 1740’s. These formed the basis for their spectacularly decorated and furnished stand. Somewhere I spotted a stunning Dufy flower still life singing with vibrant colours. Another stand specialised in early illuminated manuscripts but what I really loved were their collection of early personal jewelled pendant reliquaries and crosses. It was great to see our own 88 Gallery with a stunning and elegant stand of mid 20th century furniture. Linley too were present with a very stylish stand displaying some of there outstanding bespoke collection of furniture. A Riva Launch, a huge Picasso painting, Verdura Jewellery, Chippendale furniture, a Gainsborough portrait, a diamond and emerald tiara of breath taking stones, silver and objets d’art to wet the appetite of any Maharajah, Oligarch or Master of Industry. As always friends galore, the Bachofen’s from Austria, the Landrigan’s from America, the younger Steinitz from Paris, Munira Bonnet from France, friends from Italy and Spain . What fun and a pure delight. The huge marquee was filled with glamorous and attractive people of all ages eager to look , learn and hopefully to buy something wonderful. We slipped away just before closing time for dinner just around the corner . Guess where ? The Great India , not so glamorous perhaps but very welcoming as ever and delicious food. It must be good for friends from New York arrived soon after and Tim Langston from the Pimlico Road, with a client, was also having dinner there. So a leisurely drive home along the Embankment passed the twinkling lights of the Albert Bridge and across the illuminated Battersea Bridge, the river looking majestic in the failing light of a Summers evening. Pure magic.

    I hope you are managing to stay with me. Thursday dawned and I still had lots of friends to call on. Firstly a few close to home in Battersea within walking distance and then a stroll across Albert Bridge to catch a bus back to The Pimlico Road. I had to pop up to Elizabeth Street to see Joanna Wood, Lucy her PA, Andrew Buchanan, and Kiran who runs the shop. Glad to hear business was booming on all fronts . Back down Ebury Street to buy some Chocolates at “R” Chocolates, a gift, as I was meeting Paulene and Marilyn for lunch at Harry’s behind Harrods . Strolled back and looked at the new shops on Pavilion Road before popping into Paulo Moschino’s , Bennison, Outred and Dale Rogers on our way home. Called in to say hello to Sylvia Mimicopoulou at Jane Churchill, the first of my Pimlico Road friends to visit me when I moved to Wales. At last returned to Babs who had had a relaxed morning without me, what a relief for her. A light supper , a couple of TV programmes and bed. Exhausted.

    My trip was sadly over only too soon, but what a trip. I managed to cram in so much and see almost all the people I wanted to see. The Pimlico Road is looking as wonderful as ever and all the changes have not destroyed its charm. New shops like Fermoie , Roberta e Basta and The Odd Chair Company have fitted in seamlessly. Old friends and new continue to make it one of the most welcoming and enjoyable shopping destinations in the country. Friday morning I returned to Gloucestershire for the weekend and then back to Wales on Monday morning. Stimulated, inspired and re-invigorated by all that I had seen and experienced.

    I probably will not be back in London until December so I hope you all have a wonderful Summer. Long may the sunshine last.

    Regards to you all.
    Mark Boyce.