“Most people are scared of antiques,” begins Isobel Procter, the founder of PI London. “It’s true! They don’t necessarily know where to look or to go, or even what to expect.” She is sat with her poodle, Carlos, in the café on the upper floor of Alfies Antique Market in Marylebone.

“But I have always loved antiques – my mother was an antiques dealer - and not only are they completely sustainable, but it’s also nice to know that you are wearing something that no one else can get.” 

“But,” she continues, “I realised that there wasn’t something out there that was modern and easy so people could access antique jewellery. So I just decided to set it up myself.”

PI London is an online curated collection of antique jewellery every piece of which has been sourced by Procter herself. “I never have a plan in mind,” she explains, “but I do think my collection is really a personal curation. It is an extension of me in a way - just things that I like and that stand out.”

If clients themselves have something specific in mind, but don’t necessarily have either the time to scour vintage shops and fairs, or the specific knowledge required to identify an item’s quality or provenance, they can also request specific items through PI London’s personal curation service.

“I love hall marks!” exclaims Procter. “I find that they are a secret sort of code on the jewellery. So, you might see this buckle ring, but then once you know that it was made in London and is from 1805 then you can imagine the story behind it.”

“And in Victorian times,” she continues, “they had so many symbols that meant something to them. Jewellery really had its own language and they believed in it as well. For instance, a swallow would be given to someone for safe return, a sailor, or someone like that; forget-me-not flowers would be to remember a loved one; a snake, which was actually Queen Victoria’s engagement ring, became a symbol of eternal love.”

“Charms as well. They became popular with Queen Victoria and every time there was a significant moment in her life Prince Albert would create a charm and gift it to her. So, if you see her charm bracelets they are so personal and tell a story of her life. Each one is entirely individual and has a personal significance. But no one else has to know, it’s a little secret, just your own thing.”

Procter only sources solid gold or silver pieces because, as she explains, although her jewellery “might be vintage, they can also be modern heirlooms. And I want them to last forever!”

Jewellery from PI London can be found here.

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