People often ask me: what is Hawker Trading? Hawker trading was the first company I created dedicated solely to the buying and selling of Antique furniture, sculpture, objects, lighting and curiosities. It is now the sister company to Jamb, the reproduction side of the company that has grown from the antiques. Based jointly at the Jamb showroom and run by the same team, Hawkers’ main focus is English and Irish furniture of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century. Design is paramount with the Antiques we buy, with the pieces retaining their original ‘Country House’ condition and surface. No better illustration of the company aesthetic can be found when Jamb and Hawker Trading combine to produce our much celebrated imagery for advertising.
One of my favourites images is of our reproduction Chesham which is synonymous with the Jamb aesthetic and brand. We used the setting of our own house in Camberwell with a distressed version of the Chesham in Portland Stone to give the shot a lived in and authentic feel. Above the Chimneypiece hangs a George II swan neck pedimented mirror. For me they are an essential part of English decoration and have become a backbone to our antique business. We always endeavour to have as many period and untouched looking glasses in our inventory as possible. The hippo skull rests on a diminutive mid 18th century mahogany console table with its original Bardiglio top. I always try to acquire good English and Irish consoles as they are hard to find and are great pieces of furniture for decorating . The concept behind this shot above was to get a tonal balance – with the gilding of the George II mirror furniture adding a faded grandeur to the dry aesthetic of the mahogany and stone surfaces.
One of the first shots created (above) was of the reproduction Pelham fireplace with the Haywood grate. On reflection I think we tried to include everything but the kitchen sink! The reproduction surround holds centre stage in another masculine library environment. All of the furniture in this image has since sold but we always have comparable items.
Another library shot used to advertise our Longbourn chimneypiece (inspired by a mantel from Aynhoe Park) shows the eclectic nature of the Hawker Trading inventory. No self respecting Country House should be without a natural history collection or odd piece of Victorian taxidermy.
In our Dryham fireplace image our intention was to give the feel of the quintessential Country House drawing room but this time using a rug and fabrics to layer the image with colour and texture. We broke our usual format to use a pair of sofas that create perspective and to make it feel more immersive.
It’s great fun blending reproduction items: the Dunshay fireplace, the Melbury mirror, Bucknell table and Kemble stool from the Jamb collection were all inspired and designed from the genuine untouched English antique furniture. You can see through our advertising photographs the journey of Hawker antiques being used as an inspiration to build the Jamb collection of reproduction furniture and the essential factor in expressing the Jamb aesthetic.