Bellmans Auction: A Glimpse into the Collection of Anthony Gardner

Bellmans prepares to showcase the Collection of the late Anthony Gardner, a distinguished jewellery dealer and collector based in London, renowned for his expertise in the Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts movements.

This much-anticipated auction is scheduled for the 16th of April 2024 in Sussex, while a preview event dazzled attendees at Cromwell Place in London.

The Treasures Up for Auction

The focal point of the auction will be Gardner’s private assortment of jewellery, boasting exquisite pieces from acclaimed artisans such as Cartier, Liberty & Co, Faberge, and Boucheron, among others.

Bellmans Auction: A Glimpse into the Legacy of Anthony Gardner

Additionally, a substantial collection of spare parts from his repairs workshop will be up for grabs. Beyond jewellery, Gardner’s discerning eye extended to silverware, ceramics, glassware, paintings, furniture, books, and various works of art. Notable names in his collection include Lalique, Chiparus, Liberty, Omar Ramsden, and Tiffany.

The Legacy of Anthony Gardner

Anthony Gardner, who graced the world from 1938 to 2023, embarked on his entrepreneurial journey in the 1960s alongside his civil partner, Michael Becker (1943-2013).

Together, they laid the foundation of The Purple Shop, initially venturing into the realm of fur coats and belts at Portobello Road market. However, their passion for craftsmanship soon led them to establish a celebrated London boutique.

Specialising initially in costume jewellery and later delving into luxury Art Nouveau antiques, they swiftly ascended to the summit of their field, garnering international acclaim.

Cultural Impact and Clientele

The Purple Shop became synonymous with elegance, attracting a loyal following in Chelsea and beyond. Their emergence coincided with a flourishing period on Kings Road, teeming with creative vitality and hosting luminaries such as Vivienne Westwood, Zandra Rhodes, and Mary Quant.

Bellmans Auction: A Glimpse into the Legacy of Anthony Gardner

Royalty and Hollywood alike graced their clientele, with luminaries such as Princess Margaret and Barbra Streisand frequenting their establishment. The distinct designs of Purple Shop adorned catwalks across Europe and graced the pages of prestigious fashion publications.

Insights from Harrison Goldman

Harrison Goldman, esteemed Auctioneer and Head of the Sale at Bellmans expresses profound gratitude for the opportunity to steward Anthony Gardner’s illustrious collection.

Gardner and Becker left an indelible mark on London’s antiques landscape, particularly within jewellery circles. Their legacy endures through ‘The Purple Shop’, an iconic fixture within Antiquarius on the Kings Road.

The upcoming auction presents a rare chance for enthusiasts to acquire treasures from the late 19th century, encompassing fine jewellery, porcelain, and sculpture, many of which have been concealed from the public eye for nearly five decades.

A Testament to Partnership and Passion

Anthony and Michael’s enduring partnership spanned over five decades, marked by a shared love for collecting. Their West London abode served as a sanctuary for over 65 years, housing an unparalleled array of artworks that undoubtedly shaped their creative endeavours.

Bellmans Auction: A Glimpse into the Legacy of Anthony Gardner

Michael, hailing from Hamburg, initially honed his craft as a graphic designer for prominent fashion houses in London before transitioning to jewellery making. His creations encapsulated the essence of Chelsea’s evolving fashion scene from the late 1960s to the 1980s, alongside a deep appreciation for Art Nouveau aesthetics.

Anthony Gardner: The Renaissance Man

Not merely confined to the realm of entrepreneurship, Anthony Gardner’s multifaceted talents extended to the theatrical domain. A graduate of RADA alongside luminaries like Albert Finney and Sian Phillips, Gardner trod the boards both on stage and screen.

His distinguished acting career saw him sharing scenes with icons such as Elizabeth Taylor, John Hurt, and Vanessa Redgrave. Memorable performances in Franco Zeffirelli’s ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ and numerous West End productions cemented his legacy as a versatile performer.

This meticulous curation of Gardner’s life’s work serves as a testament to his unwavering dedication to beauty and craftsmanship. As Bellmans prepares to unveil these treasures to the world, enthusiasts and collectors alike await the opportunity to partake in a piece of history.

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