London’s expansive selection of shops and boutiques makes niche shopping here a real treat. Antique jewellery lovers who are looking to pick up a “new”, one-of-a-kind item, or simply to browse the selection, should be thrilled by the city’s array of independent shops and dealerships. Best of all, The Egerton House Hotel is ideally placed for a spot of retail therapy, just a short distance from many of London’s finest jewellery stores. Below, find our recommendations for the best shops in London to find that unique piece.
Located on Bond Street, SJ Phillips is one of London’s oldest family-owned antiques specialists – it was founded over 150 years ago. Today, the shop specialises in several areas, including estate and antique jewellery and European silver. The dealer’s stock changes almost daily, and includes pieces ranging from 18th-century brooches to cameo rings and everything in between.
Only a year after its founding in 1849, Hancocks was awarded a warrant of appointment from Queen Victoria. Rumour has it she was so pleased with their work that she became a lifetime patron and even had the Victoria Cross produced by the specialists. Today, the dealer, located in the Burlington Arcade, offers a huge selection of retro and antique finds, including Art Nouveau pieces by Fouquet, Edwardian diamond chokers, and Art Deco jewels from Cartier. For those looking for pieces with an extra oomph, the seller has a broad retro jewellery collection, which has attracted the likes of Joan Crawford and Elton John in the past.
Compared to SJ Phillips and Hancocks, Humphrey Butler is a young upstart: the antique jewellery specialist was only established in mid-2000. However, having worked at both Christie’s and Sotheby’s for a combined 22 years, Butler brings the full weight of his experience to the business. Highlights of Butler’s past dealings include a 17th-century emerald and diamond tiara and a Cartier diamond tassel brooch dating to the advent of the Belle Époque, while today’s shoppers can find everything from studded cufflinks to Victorian pendant necklaces.
Christie’s and Sotheby’s
The two storied auction houses are always a good bet for hunting down special antique pieces. Christie’s, which was founded in 1766, holds new and antique jewellery auctions in its South Kensington location. Over on New Bond Street Sotheby’s, whose origins date to 1744, also boasts an impressive jewellery roster and hosts Fine Jewels auctions.
Beloved by the likes of Kate Moss and Sarah Jessica Parker, Annina Vogel has made a name for herself sourcing exquisite antique charms and pendants from around the world and turning them into thoroughly modern and entrancing pieces. From working miniature hourglasses to diamond-encrusted arrows, each charm tells its own story. Though Vogel doesn’t operate a boutique, her jewels can be found at the Liberty department store in central London.