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Charles Edwards
A respected antiques dealer reinventing 19th and 20th-century lighting with a modern aesthetic

Antique lighting, especially lanterns, has always been a passion for Charles Edwards, who set up his original shop in Kensington in the 1960s, soon after leaving university. Over the next two decades he sold antiques and decorative items, first in Notting Hill and then on the King’s Road, which, at the time, was the go-to destination for many leading American and London-based interior designers looking to source key pieces for their projects. And it was a conversation with one such renowned designer, David Easton, that led to Charles developing an entirely new strand of the business: designing and manufacturing his own collection of lights. Today, inspired by English, French and American lighting from the 19th and 20th centuries, Charles spends his time scouring books, auctions and antique shops worldwide for relevant references.

 

These are taken back to the design team at the Wimbledon workshop and transformed into beautiful new designs, with a suitably modern aesthetic, that meet international electrical regulations. (All products are compatible with LED bulbs, dimmers and lighting controls.) His constantly growing collection (which at the current count stands at around 400) includes three new ceiling lights – the Hanging Charlotte Lantern, Hanging Hereford Lantern and Suspended Pall Mall Light – all based on Victorian or French Neoclassical styles. The company has also opened two new London showrooms in addition to the King’s Road shop.

Charles spends his time scouring books, auctions and antique shops worldwide, for references that are then transformed into beautiful new designs

Whether it’s a single crystal pendant or a wall lantern, all lights are handmade to order in brass and finished according to clients’ high-level specifications. The company’s bespoke service also allows customers total creative freedom to adapt and custom size any light from the collection or to develop their own exclusive pieces, finished in any preferred colour or metal texture. ‘Lighting is always my first thought when I am creating unique designs and furniture – how the light will refract around the room and from what lighting source,’ commented interior designer Tim Gosling last year. ‘Working with Charles Edwards always provides me with a wonderful palette of lighting.’ As well as being a major supporter of the conservation of historic British houses, the company has worked over the years on specially commissioned projects, such as the restoration of Charles Darwin’s house in Kent and Kensington Palace’s Diamond Jubilee Loggia, which celebrated the 60th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II.

 

And it’s not just on home soil where Charles Edwards is highly regarded: in the past year the company has delivered projects to Kuwait, Qatar and Russia, with more in the pipeline for clients in Japan and South Korea. ‘We are proud of our history of rescuing lights and lanterns from obscurity and redeveloping them into modern styles’, says Charles. ‘We are pleased to promote the heritage of British products worldwide and pride ourselves on our ability to turn expectations into reality.’

 

Charles Edwards 582 King’s Road London SW6 2DY +44 (0)20 7736 8490