After being immersed in the Art world for many years it is no surprise that the owner of Object d’Epoch Beatrice Ancillon has created a beautiful and unique showroom gallery to showcase her stunning pieces. We went along to meet her in the pretty Old Town in Hastings to find out more about her inspirations.
The showroom is located down an authentic cobbled lane and the standout period building is painted a perfect shade of blue with gorgeous arched windows. Stepping inside the the airy and light-filled space the curated and thoughtful collection sits with an ease and confidence- the furniture, artwork and decorative pieces seem like they are all meant to harmoniously compliment each other.
For a moment we could easily have been fooled into thinking that we had just stumbled across a rare gem in the South of France rather than being in a seaside town in the UK.
When did you start trading? How did you get into the trade?
I grew up in Paris and was always visiting the flea markets there like Porte de Vanves and Porte de Clignancourt. My mother is an artist, so she was an influence.
I started selling antiques in London about 5 or 6 years ago. Someone I knew wanted to clear out a barn full of Victorian memorabilia and it took me no time to get hooked.
What did you do before this?
I was working as an Artist Liaison for various galleries in Paris and I also worked with photographers back in the day. I was sourcing artwork for auction houses and I managed to curate a few exhibitions, which I really enjoyed.
From which countries do you source your antique pieces?
All over Europe.
What designers or periods are you particularly interested and inspired by?
The mid century French and Italian designers are a source of inspiration from the early 1940s up to the 1980s for their craftsmanship and style.
Have you ever come across a really spectacular find that blew you away?
A rare fish-shaped daybed designed by Lina Zervudachi designed for an Italian fashion designer who was opening a boutique in Paris in the 1950s. Her name was Elsa Schiaparelli and she was a leading fashion designer in the 1920s and 30s.
What is your favourite piece right now?
A contemporary modular two parts walnut screen made by designer John Alfredo Harris.
What do you do when you are not working?
I am always working! I am always thinking about what I am going to source next and where I am going to find that special next chair or table.
What was the first piece you ever sold?
A Victorian decoupage collage three-part screen divider.
Who is your typical customer?
They are all very different – but when I sell a piece to my clients I always know they have found a great new home.
Why did you choose to open your premises in Hastings?
I relocated to Hastings over a year ago. I like it here, there is a great mix of people. I decided to give it a go and open a showroom and sell what I love!
What are the most difficult and the rewarding things about running your own business?
The early starts are the worst! But all worth it when you find something extraordinary – which sometimes feels as though it is becoming more challenging.