Lassco at Brunswick House, purveyor of reclamation, ornament and curiosities, is housed in a Georgian mansion by Vauxhall Cross in London. It’s in the midst of two fast lanes of traffic’ back and front, and sits on the St George’s Wharf development, which dwarfs it. Against a real backdrop of modernity and fast track activity the magnificent double fronted house certainly stands out. It has a stature and pride reflective of the time in which it was built and I’ve often whizzed past it in a car and made a note to visit.
So, last week that’s precisely what I did and what I stumbled upon was a charming treasure trove. You will find architectural pieces from columns to chimney pieces, furniture, flooring, and lighting. There’s even old street signs and clothes (bought from the English National Opera). You name it and it’s here. The stock spans the time from Georgian through to the 1960s.
I asked Director Ferrous Auger what was the real key difference between Lassco and an antiques dealer and he stated that he simply doesn’t like the classification pertaining to an antique, i.e that an item has to be over 100 years old. If something is re-sellable and stylish then Lassco will have it. Because of this Georgian hob grates nestle amongst English National Opera cast offs and 1960s wooden toys. They also sell almost all of their stock in the condition they found it with only a number of pieces having been restored where it will significantly improve the chances of a sale or the value of the piece. Lassco get the majority of their stock from private sales, just people selling stuff’ however they will also get contacted by museums or institutions that will be changing interiors with stuff they need to get rid of.
In Auger’s expert opinion, the market for architectural salvage, or particularly well-made furniture is growing, ‘possibly because people are encouraged by the fact an item has lasted for so long. It’s also because people are realising they can pick up well-made Georgian furniture for a fraction of what you’d probably be purchasing new’ says Auger.
Rooms in Lassco are hired out for personal functions and I can imagine would make a charming ‘Jane Austen meets Austen Powers style’ venue for a dinner party.
There’s also a fabulously eclectic cafe restaurant furnished with an range of lights and furniture which are on sale. So you may only pop in for a cafe latte and emerge, having fallen deeply in love with the seat that you were sat on, with a fine Regency chaise tucked below your arm. A stroke of genius from the owners of Lassco.