We like to keep an active presence online to reach clients worldwide, but the heart of our operation is in our London gallery. Being in St James’s is ideal, as it is a central hub for art dealers and auction houses. In fact, Christie’s is on our doorstep, and leading dealers in Old Master paintings, silver, porcelain, and Asian art are just a stone’s throw away. And St James’s is not just about art–St James’s Palace, numerous private members clubs, and high end shopping are also central parts of the neighbourhood.
So how did it all start? The name St James is derived from a hospital from the 12th century dedicated to Saint James the Less, which stood on the site of what is now St James’s Palace. In the 1660s, Charles II gave Henry Jermyn, 1st Earl of St Albans, the right to develop the area into a series of residential streets surrounding St James’s Square. Through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the growing presence of art galleries and tailors, along with the private members clubs (colloquially described as ‘Clubland’) made St James into what we know it today.
Mackinnon Fine Furniture has been at our gallery in St James’s since 2009, when we established premises on Ryder Street. Ryder Street is believed to have been named for Captain Richard Rider (d. 1683), who was Master Carpenter to Charles II. In the seventeenth and eighteenth century, Ryder Street was full of terrace houses with occasional Georgian shop-fronts. Today, most of the buildings on Ryder Street date to the past one hundred years.
We are happily placed at number 5 Ryder Street on the south side of the street with our gallery window displaying a continually changing selection of antique from our collection. Below are two different window displays we have had at the gallery Both are shown in the evening, which creates a dramatic lighting effect.
For all those based in London, stop by the gallery to see our collection. And to those who live further afield, we hope you will take the time to come and visit us when you are in town–and of course enjoy the rest of the sights and attractions that St James’s has to offer.