The best of the luxury brands do so much more than create a pleasing environment. They are a portal through which we are offered tantalising glimpses to a parallel universe, one where we often long to reside. Like the best novelists, they encourage us to use our imagination and see the world through different eyes. It is a seductive vision.
That has always been the joy of Talisman. It is not so much an antiques emporium as the glamorous intersection between antiques, interiors and fashion, enthusiastically and joyfully championing pieces that are more about personality than provenance. This is of course down to the inspired eye of founder Ken Bolan, who launched the original Talisman [in Somerset] in 1982 on his return from Switzerland, where he and his wife, Yolie, had opened their first antiques shop 10 years' earlier. So successful did the Talisman formula prove to be - every piece a star - that in 2006 Bolan opened Talisman London in a converted art deco garage on the New King's Road. This was followed in 2010 by a second London showroom on Ebury Street. The 'third' Talisman store is its highly successful online shop, which has made it possible for devotees of the Wow! factor it showcases to satiate their appetite from anywhere in the world. It would be wrong, however, to think that Talisman only concentrates on decorative impact. Tour any of the stores and you will find pieces of exceptional quality, including works by great 20th-century masters such as Paul Evans, Karl Springer, Tommi Parzinger and Pierre Cardin. Bolan was among the first of the current crop of dealers to recognise the genius of Evans and has seen prices for the designer-maker go stratospheric in comparison to a decade ago. To look at a piece by Evans is to marvel at the choice of materials, the hand processes involved and the almost insane obsession to detail and finish. It is a testament to Bolan's love of such masterful craftsmanship that the Talisman workshops are almost unique in the highly sympathetic restoration work they undertake. In the case of Evans, this includes even making a guillotine that cuts at 70 degrees, rather than the usual 90, in order to replicate the shadow lines Evans contrived.
- Service areas
190-192 Ebury Street
SW1W 8UP London