The market town of Petworth has long been known as the antiques centre of the south. It was on a visit here in 2004 that Nicola Jones discovered Augustus Brandt and soon became a regular customer. Four years later, after purchasing a Georgian townhouse nearby, she was invited to buy into the business and, in 2014, took full control. ‘The internet age has brought enormous changes to the antiques business and when I took over I decided to diversify by introducing modern and contemporary furniture and expanding the bespoke range beyond the tables and chairs already crafted,’ explains Nicola. The company is now located in her restored 18th-century townhouse and an adjacent coach house. ‘The juxtaposition of Georgian gilt mirrors with 21st-century oak tables of outsize proportions has proved very popular and the business has grown tenfold since 2014, with sales online across the world.’
This growth includes a lifestyle shop in the town’s Market Square, selling luxury brands such as Linley, William Yeoward and Cire Trudon, plus an art gallery that showcases contemporary photography by the likes of Bruce Rae, Peter Thuring, Andrew Holligan, Brian Griffin, Amanda Lockhart and Alison Jackson. Last autumn, Augustus Brandt held the largest ever exhibition of work by sculptor Philip Jackson (famous for his RAF Bomber Command Memorial in St James Park), who lives in West Sussex. ‘His splendid and monumental figures, inspired by Venice, were shown dramatically in our Georgian interior, surrounded by Continental mirrors, furniture and chandeliers,’ says Nicola.
A client had set their heart on an eighteenth century Gustavian dining table that wouldn’t fit through their front door. So we designed a bespoke version in our workshop