Ronald Phillips: Exploring the finest antiques store in London

Ronald Phillips is arguably the brightest jewel in the glittering crown of Mayfair antiques dealers...


A London institution for 65 years, the family-run dealership has, for many decades, looked after some of the finest pieces from the halcyon days of English craftsmanship.

In fact, an afternoon stroll through Ronald Phillip’s Bruton Street showroom is like a guided tour around the greatest drawing rooms and smoking parlours of the 18th and 19th centuries – a commode from Doddington Hall here, a set of reclined library chairs from the Ettington Park library there; some Gainsborough armchairs from Glemham Hall over there. It is a history book crossed with an art gallery crossed with a time machine.

The history of Ronald Phillips Antiques

Ronald Phillips first exhibited at the famous antiques fair at Chelsea Town Hall back in 1952 – a time when wartime rationing and austerity was slowly fading from memory, and a renewed culture of collecting and decorating was beginning to flourish. Later that year a showroom was opened on the Old Brompton Road, before hop-skip- jumping over to Bruton street in 1974. It still sits there today.

How the business developed over the years

Ronald Phillips has handled some of the most important pieces of English furniture to emerge from the 18th century. The estimates for most pieces in the company’s care begin at £100,000 and stretch well into the stratosphere, while the names on display form a Who’s Who of the greatest designers and cabinetmakers in the history of the world: Thomas Chippendale, John Lobb, Pierre Langlois.

When the stakes are this high, it’s worth getting the experts in. And there are few experts quite like the team at Ronald Phillips. Each piece of furniture is rigorously vetted for authenticity, its provenance and heritage examined in microscopic detail. Perhaps most telling about the ethos of the place is the fact that Simon Phillips, Ronald’s son, still runs the show. This means the relationship between client and company is intimate, friendly and bespoke, while the company’s reputation in the antiques world remains revered and unimpeachable. After all, it’s got his name on it.


The Ronald Phillips sale

Perhaps the most exciting item in Ronald Phillips’ recent history – and one that neatly unites all those values of craftsmanship, care, passion and expertise – is the sale of the Bridgewater House Porphyry Dolphin Tables.


An outstanding pair of George III giltwood side tables designed by the esteemed Charles Heatchote Tatham, these pieces have a glittering history that traces the uppermost reaches of the English beau monde.

Once part of a suite of at least twelve tables commissioned for George Granville Leveson- Gower, Marquess of Stafford and 1st Duke of Sutherland, the dolphin tables originally formed the furnishings for a lavish gallery at the famed Bridgewater House in St. James. They are utterly characteristic of a Ronald Phillip’s offering: beautiful, unique, and in possession of a remarkable story.

To find out more about Ronald Phillips or to explore their wide range of products, visit their website for more information.

Further Reading