A renowned antiques dealer whose lighting designs take inspiration from the 19th and 20th centuries
Charles Edwards has been an antiques dealer since the 1960s when he opened his first shop in Kensington.
He later relocated to Notting Hill and then to the King’s Road, where he continued to build up a reputation for selling decorative objects, furniture and lighting. At the time, the King’s Road was well known for its antiques shops and Charles Edwards became a go-to destination for leading interior designers from London and the US (the company has since expanded, adding two more London showrooms).
Yet it was a chance conversation with designer David Easton, and an agreement to replicate one of his lanterns, that dramatically changed the course of the business. Today, Charles Edwards boasts an exclusive, ever-growing collection of more than 400 lanterns and lights and is considered a leading manufacturer of lighting inspired by English, French and American models from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The company is currently developing new products for the collection, influenced by original English Victorian and French neoclassical lights.
Whether a single crystal pendant or a complete lantern, Charles is continually rescuing well-designed lighting fixtures from obscurity, that are then redeveloped to modern standards and transformed by his design team into beautiful lights that meet international electrical regulations. Everything is handmade to order in brass and finished to clients’ specifications at the company’s workshop in Wimbledon. Any lights in the collection can be custom-sized; alternatively, bespoke lighting can be created from scratch (technical drawings and 3D models are submitted to clients for approval prior to production). The company is committed to having the full collection up to energy efficiency standards, which means that all lights are compatible with LED bulbs, dimmers and lighting controls.
Charles Edwards counts English Heritage, the National Trust, A-listers such as Gwyneth Paltrow (she has theit star lanterns above her stairs) and notable interior designers among its clients. As LA-based interior designer David Netto has said in the past: ‘There are quite a few good-looking traditional lighting options out there, but fixtures from Charles Edwards are in a class by themselves. They have the character and grace I am always looking to put into my projects, and there is an aura of inevitability about them – like a treasured found object that was already there, around which the room sprang up.’
The company is a huge supporter of the conservation of historic British houses and over the years has worked on several restorations and specially commissioned projects, including Charles Darwin’s house in Kent and Kensington Palace, where a new loggia commemorated Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee. Not one for following trends, Charles believes that that good quality and well made lights, furniture and home accessories should last for generations. It’s this philosophy, together with unique designs and attentive customer service, that makes the company so special. As Charles says, ‘We pride ourselves on our ability to turn your expectations into reality.’
Charles Edwards, 582 King’s Road, London SW6 2DY. +44 (0)20 7736 8490