The Lacquer Chest was established in the early 1950’s and
taken over in 1959 by Vivian and Gretchen Andersen.
We sold things that many shops neglected to see the charm or
importance in.
Among our early customers were Terence Conran ( pre Habitat)
the student Hockney, Ossie Clarke,Alan Bennet,Lee
Miller,Donald Sutherland,Julie Christie,Jean Shrimpton…
Vivian mades some amazing finds in those days including two
Charles Rennie MacIntosh clocks,and a painted dressing table
by Burgess which was used for the poster of his show in the
Royal Academy in the 1970’s.
We still sell to customers we made decades ago as well their
children and grandchildren.
The Hire department , established in the early 60’s has propped
hundreds of cookery books, food pictures and for many films
and television series ,it has introduced us to people with a
different artistic perspective and opened our eyes to another
“The Lacquer Chest is its own world, a place where you can rummage and get inspiration. But you can also pick up a background or the odd enamel mug that can become part of your world, part of the world of your book. I also love the staff, their enthusiasm for what you’re working on, and their efforts to make everything go smoothly. It’s a rare, old-fashioned, slightly mad and wonderful place.”
Diana Henry
An award-winning food writer, journalist and broadcaster. She is the author of ten books.