08 November 2018

NEW APPOINTMENT, Contemporary Collaborations Curator

We are delighted to announce that Erin Hughes has recently been appointed in a newly created role with us as Contemporary Collaborations Curator.

Erin completed her MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art, London in the Summer of 2018. After her BA at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford, she spent four years living and working in Berlin where she was a co-founder of Cypher Space, which led to co-founding Cypher Billboard in London.

In her role with us Erin will be selecting and working with contemporary artists, who are inspired to create artworks incorporating individually selected objects from the Robert Young Antiques Collection. The newly created works will be exhibited, as unique installations, in our gallery window space.

The initiative aims to integrate and explore the unspoken narrative, together with the material, sculptural and textural qualities of antique pieces, in cross-historical collaborations. by re-contextualising them in a contemporary language, whilst simultaneously reflecting the artist’s responses to their selected objects and expressing the inspiration they derive from them.

Erin has successfully pioneered this initiative in two ground-breaking exhibitions with us. The first, her own installation, entitled “Home Time” in 2017 and then curating Victor Seaward’s “Exponential Decay” in 2018. Both were excitingly innovative and enthusiastically received, convincing us that we should continue to explore and develop this collaborative initiative with contemporary artists and formalise a series of curated Exhibitions.

As a Graduate of the RCA and an award-winning artist in her own right, we believe that Erin is perfectly positioned in the contemporary art scene, to identify and select emerging artists, who are inspired by and relate to, our historic pieces. Artists who will create unique works incorporating antique elements in the medium of their choice.

Initially Erin is scheduled to curate three Exhibitions in 2019, the first of which will be installed in January, (further details of the artist and work will be announced shortly).

She will also be holding “Open Call” events during the year, to explain and define the initiative to potential artists, who plan to propose works and concepts for consideration.

She will also be happy to receive direct applications to exhibit with us at

This is an exciting initiative for all of us at RYA, where we have been proposing the qualities of cross-pollinating selected antique pieces with contemporary art for many years and are now committed to taking it a step further………………..







16 October 2018

MOVING ON………..not what we’d like to live with, but what we simply can’t live without.

In 2007, we regretfully had to leave our Studio space on the ground floor of a wonderful, high ceilinged Victorian Printing Works near Wandsworth Roundabout, when it was sold for re-development. A space we had rented, furnished and occupied it for over 25 years.

It had original iron framed windows, raw plastered walls, an end-grain wood block floor, huge double height stable doors and a mezzanine which we built over the back half of our space.

On the lower level we had excellent storage under the mezzanine and a workspace, where we created sample and mood boards, carried out minor restoration work and occasionally I did some easel painting. It was difficult to heat in winter, gloriously cool in summer and we loved it.

It was a private, creative space, from which we grew our Riviere Interiors design consultancy. It housed our extensive reference library, samples, drawings and files of both historic and current projects. We furnished it with a large French trestle based Architects Table, a long grain-painted Plan Chest, an oak Book Press, a massive solid riven slate Blackboard, (which we used to list priorities and deadlines), a small Victorian drop end chesterfield sofa, together with various other pieces of furniture and accessories, that we accumulated over the years, both for their function and inherent appeal. All antique, all genuine and all serving a valuable purpose. We loved it there, but sadly had no option but to move on.

After six months of panic searching for somewhere new to house our Studio, we got lucky and were invited to take a large space on the ground floor of a warehouse style Plumbers Merchant’s, near Battersea Heliport. Our ground floor space is at the “office end”, with various other studios/offices above, occupied by a Graphic Designer/Artist and Arts Correspondent, a Photographer, a boutique IT Company, and a couple of other unidentifiable small businesses. This end of the building became affectionately referred to as the “Art Department”. It was a modern purpose-built space, heated and air-conditioned, with insulating ceiling tiles, strip lighting, a bright royal blue painted floor and “privacy windows”, (with just a hint of a view of the Thames).

We painted the floor a neutral grey colour, ordered some amazing quality metal shelving for the full length of two of the four walls, set up our old phone number, computers, a large format printer and some vintage industrial task lighting. Once we had installed our familiar studio furnishings, together with our reference and sample libraries from the old printing works, we began to feel at home. After two further days of ferrying accumulated antiques, we were up and running. Phew!

Something over ten years on and this space has now also been sold for re-development and we find ourselves back where we were and are required to vacate early next year. Both spaces have been very useful, and apart from their Studio function, they became valuable storage for stock items we were “thinking about” putting away for exhibitions and catalogues, keeping for photography or sometimes just of inherently uncertain destiny and waiting for a perfect project or opportunity.

Over the years, we have surrounded ourselves with many great objects which have enhanced our working spaces, alongside some interesting antique pieces that we haven’t wanted to part with. Looking forward, we will sadly no longer be able to house them all. So gradually we plan to offer selected pieces for sale through our website, in order to clear the space before the deadline. Some of these pieces have shared up to 40 years of our professional lives and much though we have enjoyed having them around it is time for us to go our separate ways.

The Artist’s Studio Easel, the massive framed riven slate Blackboard and the oak screw-thread Book Press are the first of these offerings and will shortly be uploaded to our website and others will gradually follow.

We're not closing, retiring or even slowing down, just rationalising & Moving On.....



11 October 2018


We are delighted to share details of recent changes to the RYA team personnel and structure.

Florence Grant, has recently been appointed as “Head Girl”, to run our Battersea Gallery. Florence now has executive responsibility for the management and running of all day to day affairs and organising our participation in both the New York Winter Show and Masterpiece London. She will also help plan and put together our Catalogues, and to curate our Annual Folk Art Exhibition in May. Florence interned with us when at school and then over three years as an undergraduate. She finally joined us full time in 2017, after experience working in PR and Finance.

We are also delighted that Ilse Oliestelder, our previous Gallery Director, has recently returned from Maternity Leave and is back working alongside Florence, on a part time basis. She will be doing some work remotely and will be at the Gallery on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Ilse has over ten years experience with us and we are excited to have her back in the team. Her new role will be slightly more project focused, concentrating on managing our online presence and developing new initiatives. She will be well known to many of you, both in the U.K. and United States and she brings a lovely feeling of continuity with her.

Both Florence and Ilse have had valuable experience with us, developing an innate  understanding and sensitivity for the works we handle and they understand the nature and style of our business. We feel very privileged to have them on board.




03 August 2018

We are very pleased to announce that we have welcomed another member to the Robert Young Team. Annette Seaman has taken over the Saturday Position at our Battersea Gallery. 

We are now open again on Saturdays between 9:30 am and 4:30 pm. 

Robert Young Antiques 


13 June 2018

Masterpiece London 2018

The days are longer, we’ve even had some sunshine and a chance to enjoy the garden. The Mayfly have hatched on the Hampshire chalk streams, the Derby has been run, the World Cup is about to kick off in Russia and Wimbledon, with its graceful athleticism, strawberries and Pimms is already on the horizon………..which all means that Masterpiece London is about to make its magical ephemeral appearance in the South Grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

This staggering temporary installation has become internationally recognised as London’s Premier Summer Art Fair, with its incomparable variety of artworks in multiple media, from ancient to contemporary. Many of the world’s leading specialist dealerships bring carefully curated collections and unique artworks to London for the Masterpiece week.We consider it a privilege to exhibit and have enjoyed participating every year since its inception in 2010.

The individual objects and their presentation are endlessly inspiring and somehow encapsulate everything we like to find at an art fair.
Masterpiece celebrates excellence, but it does so quietly and confidently. It champions juxtaposition and “cross collecting”, whilst breaking through boundaries of some traditional collecting philosophies.

The selected primitive and vernacular works we handle, which were generally created by anonymous untrained hands, get to be seen in the same forum as works by some of the most significant talents and eminent artists from the narrative of mainstream art history.

Masterpiece provides the perfect setting for these works to be appreciated for their unique qualities of form, texture and uninhibited “spirit”.

It is exciting, comfortable, effortlessly stylish, inspiring and fun.We hope that many of you will be able to come and visit us and allow yourselves plenty of time to wander, look closely and smile.

04 June 2018

House and Garden Top 100

House and Garden Magazine has revealed in their June 2018 issue, their new list of the “Top 100” interior designers working in the UK.

This list is published every three years and Editor Hatta Byng says it “is a meticulously compiled directory of those we consider to be the best interior designers in the country”.

The publishers state that “What each of these designers have in common – with their vastly different approaches and sizes of team – is that they all do their job with dedication, integrity and flair”.

It is a great honour that our Riviere Interiors design consultancy has again been included alongside such a stellar group of professional designers.

We are delighted and much appreciate the recognition.

Image Credits: Top, The Sitting Room of a Riviere Designed Kensington Town House, as featured in Ros Byam Shaw's "Perfect English Townhouse". Published by Ryland Peters and Small, London 2018, pages 8-21 entitled "A Humble Elegance", and Bottom, The Drawing Room of a Riviere Designed Charles II Town House featured on pages 110-123, titled "Urban Idyll". Photography by Jan Baldwin.



17 April 2018

19th Annual Folk Art Exhibition

As the London summer season approaches, we are preparing for our 19th Annual Folk Art Exhibition.

As usual, the Exhibition will be held in our Battersea Gallery and we will shortly be publishing the accompanying Catalogue (#51), illustrating and describing over fifty works. 

We love the creative process of sourcing and curating this annual event and the opportunity it gives us to welcome you, our friends and clients, both old and new, to view the collection of our recent acquisitions.

The Preview opens on Thursday 10th May at 11:00am and the exhibition will run through until Saturday 19th May, from 10:00am-6:00pm (closed Sunday 13th).

Please sign up to our Mailing List HERE to receive news and updates, or for a copy of our forthcoming Exhibition e-catalogue, which will be available from around the beginning of May. 

We look forward to seeing you then. 












04 April 2018

“#karmacycle” It All Started in Brooklyn and the Ripples Spread

It was late on an unexceptional grey and drizzly Saturday morning.

We’d been to the local Farmer’s Market and had just brewed a freshly percolated pot of coffee.

Glancing through Instagram, at the kitchen table, I came across the image of a hand painted sign, recently uploaded by a colleague of ours in Brooklyn, and was immediately struck by its colours, passion and pathos.

In a pocketful of words, it described the grievance, frustration and loss suffered by an anonymous resident of his neighbourhood. Simply stating:


It was $200 used and I need it to go to work. I can’t afford                                  another one. Next time, steal a hipster’s Peugot. Or not steal!                              P.S. bring it back!”

Reacting on impulse, I contacted Stephen Powers immediately and suggested we should buy the sign from the victim, for the cost of the stolen bike.

I knew that as both an artist, and specialist dealer in folk, naïve and outsider art, he had already been touched by its qualities and the narrative it evoked, which is why he had initially photographed and posted it.

He duly went round to the house, made the deal and the two of us became joint owners of this flattened out, eight-foot-long, cardboard carton and its bright yellow lettering.

Then it went bonkers………………..

The simple story somehow struck a chord, initially in and around NYC, then gradually spreading further afield, until we were receiving messages from various places around world.

It was picked up by The Washington Post, then gradually by local and US National News Stations including Stephanie Ruhle on MSNBC, CBC, The Today Show, CBS NY and it was subsequently reported in Antiques Magazine, The N Z Herald, The Hamilton Spectator and The Antiques Trade Gazette in London.

The widespread reactions have been positive, inspiring and warm.  Amanda Needham, the bike theft victim, has picked it up, run with it, and is passing it on. The story of #karmacylcle, (as she has tagged it), goes on and the ripples are still rippling….……..

“Street Art”, “Outsider Art” or however you choose to see it, a simple heartfelt, handwritten sign, created in anger, in Brooklyn, is telling its story all round the world. 




27 March 2018

Perfect English Townhouse

Last month saw the publication of Ros Byam Shaw’s most recent book, continuing her exploration of accessible English interiors.

Once again working in collaboration with the talented and sensitive photographer Jan Baldwin, they visit and feature “14 distinctive townhouses full of charm, character, and style”.

We are delighted that two of our recent Riviere Interiors projects were selected for inclusion; “A Humble Elegance” (pages 8 -21)) and “Urban Idyll”, (pages 110 - 123).

It is an inspiring and wide-ranging publication crawling with individuality and peppered with interesting and well observed detail.

The selected case studies are in London and other towns and cities around England, as the publisher says, “All are full of character, stylish and visually pleasing” and it is publications like this that lend us the opportunity of seeing how others decorate and furnish their homes.

The notes on the flyleaf end by noting: “These are the kinds of spaces that most of us are familiar with and that many of us occupy. What is unusual is how cleverly and creatively they have been decorated and designed.”

Published by Rylands Peters and Small, ISBN 978 1 84975 924 3


12 January 2018

New York, New York

Our selected consignment for the 2018 New York Winter Antiques Show was packed and shipped at the beginning of December and has arrived safely. We follow it over tomorrow and our set-up work begins first thing on Sunday Morning. 

We select pieces for these exhibitions with great care, over the period of a year, in an attempt to curate an exciting and well balanced installation, that represents the best examples of European Vernacular Furniture and Folk Art that we can source. 

It is wonderful to begin the year at such an historic and well attended show, the longest standing and most venerable in the USA, and it is an honour to have been invited to participate for the past eighteen years. 

During this time we have made some great friends and clients in New York, many of whom travel a long way to visit the show. In a world where the internet and digital images are playing an increasing role in our professional lives, it is a pleasure to meet and chat with them in person and to view, discuss and handle the works we show.

So we hope to meet many of you, regular visitors and old friends, again soon and to greet new clients and visitors over the next couple of weeks. The Show opens on Friday 19th January, (with a Charity Preview on the Evening of Thursday 18th January), then open daily through until Sunday 28th January.


Robert and Josyane.


Gallery Tour