New Oral History Interview – Stockspring Antiques

Our latest Oral History Interview was with Felicity Marno and Antonia Agnew from Stockspring Antiques, in Kensington Church Street, London. Stockspring Antiques will be very familiar to ceramics collectors and dealers and have been in Kensington Church Street since 1987.

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Stockspring Antiques, London. Image copyright

In an absolutely fascinating and engaging interview, Felicity and Antonia told us about how they started in the antique trade in the early 1980s; they both began with stalls/stands at well-known antique trade locations – Felicity at Grays Antique Centre, London, and Antonia began her dealing from a stall at Portobello Road market, before going into partnership in 1987 as Stockspring Antiques.  As antique ceramics dealers they have 36 years of trading experience and our interview captured much of this rich history.

Here’s Felicity (on the left) with Antonia (right) in their shop in Kensington.


Felicity Marno and Antonia Agnew, Stockspring Antiques. Image courtesy of Stockspring Antiques. Copyright Stockspring Antiques 2015.

During the interview Felicity & Antonia told us about the serendipitous nature of the naming of the business as ‘Stockspring’ – a legacy of the name of the previous business at their address in Kensington Church Street – and, as Felicity mischievously suggested, also a result of her frugal Scottish ancestry – and so ‘Stockspring’ was born.

Amongst some of their other fascinating reflections of the changing landscape of the antique trade in more recent times was the rapid change in the American Decorator market around the year 2000. This market, as many of you will know, expanded enormously during the late 1970s and into the 1980s – Felicity told us a story of a group of American dealers from Atlanta, Georgia, chartering a Jumbo jet to come to Britian in the 1980s, and filling it with stock! – but by the late 1990s the American decorator market had shifted to the more minimalist and ‘contemporary’ look that still has effects on the ‘traditional’ antique market to this day.

We also heard about the development of Kensington Church Street as a key location for the antique ceramic trade – so much so that, as Antonia told us, the street became known as ‘Crock Alley’.  Indeed, many of the famous names in the antique ceramic trade were located in the Street; Graham & Oxley, Hoff Antiques, Jean Sewell, Klaber & Klaber, Jonathan Horne…..

As with all our Oral History Interviews, once we have got around to editing the interview with Felicity & Antonia it will be uploaded to the project websites for everyone to enjoy.




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