Here at “The Rookery” in East London, we have assembled an eclectic mix of English and Continental antique furniture, mirrors, glass, plaster casts and objects that we love and hope you do too.
Our collection is not period specific. We buy and sell what we love, ranging from 18th and 19th century gilt mirrors, furniture and objects, to 19th and 20th century plaster casts by Brucciani, Franchi and others.
What we look for when we buy is beauty, design and a quirky individuality. We offer our customers, be they dealers, decorators, set designers or private clients, a personalised and quality service with integrity.
We are open by appointment only in Hackney, and look forward to meeting you.
Please note that our stock is also available for hire. Please email or call us to discuss your requirements.
Dominic Straiton is the owner of "Tales From The Rookery" and is no ordinary antiques dealer. He comes from a long line of antiquarians. His great grandfather sold antiques from his shop in Edenbridge, Kent – selling fruit and vegetables in the front, and antiques out the back. His grandfather was a silver antiquities dealer in Brighton; and his father, as well as being a doctor, was also a specialist in antique silver and precious gems.
Not only does Dominic collect, repair and restore beautiful items, he also researches their creation, provenance and social history, thereby setting each precious piece in its rightful context and allowing their stories to be told - hence the business name of “Tales from the Rookery”.
In true storytelling tradition, Dominic also has his own “tale” to tell:
At the age of eighteen, Dominic began working as a porter for the world-famous auction house of Christie’s. It was here as a young man that Dominic was able to gain privileged access to a variety of antiques, treasures, collectibles and works of art – to hold, examine and study pieces that would have ordinarily been beyond the reach of the general public. Often, up to three hundred pieces would pass through his hands each week. Christie’s taught Dominic not only how to value pieces, but also how to bid for them – invaluable lessons for his future plans. He also had his first glimpse of how Christie’s in-house specialist technicians painstakingly restored and renovated beautiful works of art and pieces of furniture. Dominic knew from that moment on that he wanted to learn how to restore and to renovate, and so set out to study the art of the master craftsmen. Nowadays, amongst his many acquired skills, he particularly loves restoring furniture and gilding.
Dominic has a broad interest in historical pieces, and specialises in those from the 18th and 19th centuries, passionately picking items that he is drawn to and admires. He is regularly inspired, for example, by the collections held in the “Enlightenment Room” at the British Museum, and Sir John Soane’s Museum in London. He has enormous respect for the art and craft of by-gone years, as well as for the hearts and hands that made each unique piece he collects.
At “Tales from the Rookery”, Dominic draws upon his keen eye for detail, and his natural forensic and analytical capacities – inherited, no doubt, from his medically-trained father. He is able to create a “case history” for every antique he collects, to provide care where it’s needed, and to prescribe exactly the right amount of restorative work to bring the piece back to life, without erasing it’s beautiful history.
Dominic does not believe in “over-restoration” – each piece, by dint of the fact it has survived so long, will have its naturally inherent imperfections. Those imperfections give an antique its character, and they are as unique and as beautiful as character lines on a face. Without these marks of time, pieces simply become bland, generic and lose their authentic appeal.
Dominic’s uncanny ability to “look beyond the surface” both delights and enthralls his customers. His depth of knowledge, passion and respect for precious objects is combined with a sincere, friendly and approachable manner.
Visits to the Rookery are by appointment only, and a warm welcome is always assured – not least from Dominic’s characterful dog, Mr. Smith! Being a very cultured and educated dog, Mr. Smith is well versed in 18th and 19th century antiques, and he invites you to check out “Mr. Smith’s Top Pick” every fortnight on the “Tales from the Rookery” Facebook page and to follow us on Twitter, and here with our very informative and fun blog.
There is no doubt that all of Dominic’s discerning clients understand the importance – and the joy – of discovering an antique’s unique “tale”.
It is perhaps no surprise, therefore, that antiques and anecdotes abound at “Tales from the Rookery”.
What tales might we tell, for your delight?