by Alice Freyman
As you may know, Alfred Fredericks first opened the doors to an antiques shop at 265-267 Fulham Road in 1946, in a post war Britain, when the country was still on rations.
An awful lot has happened in the last 70 years, but the family have stood here steadfast trading and selling the best of eighteenth century English furniture.
We wanted to acknowledge this land mark year in a number of ways.
First our annual brochure was a special 70th anniversary edition with a front cover which (we believe) visually demonstrates how well-designed and well-constructed furniture can transcend time. A dedication was made to Harry and Guy’s parents – Bernard and Carole Apter – who worked tirelessly to further the business in the last few decades.
The main focus of our celebrations was a party held at the galleries in June to which many old and new clients were invited. We wanted an opportunity to say “Thank You” because without clients there would be no business.
We decided to follow a 1946 theme in honour of the first days of Apter Fredericks.
The Save the Date Cards took the form of ration books, with various forms of antique furniture replacing the food types…. “Each page of this book authorizes you to purchase rationed goods as designated by the Ministry of Antique Furniture. Price ceilings have been established for your protection, but as with all rationing, goods are available on a first-come basis.” Later, formal invitations were issued in the form of a telegram.
In keeping with the theme, the gallery was decked out with vintage props and perhaps most importantly a cocktail bar which served some bespoke drinks that had been made specifically for the event. We had fun inventing their names – The Very Old Fashioned, the Long Island Iced Tea Caddy, etc.
We decided to include a famous Apter Fredericks window display for the evening, and we added live performance art in the form of a lady in vintage dress who entertained guests and bemused passers-by… For more party photos, please have a look at our Facebook page.
In the run up to the party and in keeping with Apter Fredericks’ desire to be relevant and current, we also undertook a more contemporary form of celebration – a social media campaign: #707070 – in which we posted 70 photographs in 70 days to celebrate 70 years. A mixture of stock, behind the scenes shots, and other amusing or interesting photos helped to boost our social media following, particularly on Instagram.
In our anniversary year Apter Fredericks participated in four art fairs, starting with the Winter Antiques Show in New York in January, then the Palm Beach Show in February, Masterpiece London in June and finally the inaugural TEFAF New York Fair which was held in October. The shop also remained open throughout.
Our award winning booth at the Winter Antiques Show 2016, a room set complete with ‘windows’ with a view of Manhattan.
Our ‘contemporary plinth’ booth at TEFAF New York 2016
For a front of house team of just three we hope you appreciate our continued efforts to bring beautiful furniture into your lives – and hopefully into your homes! We certainly enjoy talking about the pieces and if you have any questions at all, as always, we would be happy to try to answer them.