Father and son John and James Bly offer everything from the rarest period furniture to contemporary ceramics at their London gallery in Chelsea.
The Bly family have been dealers in Tring, Hertfordshire, since the beginning of the 19th century and the grandfather of the present John Bly first established his own business in the town centre in 1891.
John joined the business as a young man in the 1950s, following a spell at Sotheby’s in the furniture and decorative arts departments, and went on to learn about the antiques trade from his father, Frank John. His expertise has been showcased in a number of definitive books on antiques and collecting, on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow and his own ITV programme Heirloom. John Bly lectures in Britain , Europe and North America and writes for a variety of specialist magazines.
John Bly is a Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and is a past Chairman of the British Antique Dealers Association (BADA).
St James', London
James came on board in the early 1990s when John Bly occupied a two storey showroom in Bury Street, St James’. This move from the country put John Bly firmly on the map of high-end dealers with specialist stock of unique and provenanced items. During the 1990s John and James exhibited at many of the top international art and antique fairs including Palm Beach, Florida, The Armoury, New York and Grosvenor House in London. They were the first dealers to establish relationships with leading private banks and wealth managers and incorporated these alliances with private shows they staged at The Carlyle Hotel in New York, Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, UBS Bank headquarters in Chicago and London and The Royal Exchange in London. Exclusive events were hosted for their clients, something the Blys continue in their spacious showroom. Please refer to the Events page.
In 2012, James found their current London space, a 1200 sqft showroom in a former brewery that they share with a number of other dealers which gives the Blys access to a very different range of clients.
Here, they showcase an inventory that is characterized by both quality and provenance, and ranges from the exquisite to the elegant to the eclectic. The gallery has become something of a destination.
James also manages a small showcase at the world renowned Chelsea Harbour Design Centre at the bottom of Lots Road. Displayed on a rotating turntable they always have an exemplary piece to show which serves as a physical advert encouraging interested visitors to see the rest of their stock just up the road.
If you are interested in hosting your own marketing event in this unique space please do get in touch.