Doe & Hope: for decorative, rare and unusual collectibles


James Gooch is one highly skilled Englishman with a very cultivated and discerning eye for quality. He has made a career out of finding valuable antiques and unusual collectibles, tracking down their provenance and discovering potential values of beauty. If you are looking for a prized possession–be it art, furniture, glassware or simply an exotic object, we highly recommend you check out his ever-changing offerings.

Mr. Gooch’s company, Doe & Hope, emerged from a mere mish mash of two attractive words as a start up in 2008 to a growing following year on year. After a good education at Bedford School, Gooch left to study a year’s diploma in Media and then a three year degree in BA Film & Video at the University of the Arts London. This gave him a unique perspective on the industry he is now totally devoted to, all pertaining to the telling of stories. Gooch made headlines in 1951 when he purchased an unknown Rembrandt for 34 Francs. He is a stylish gentleman to say the least and drives an orange Bentley.

The crux of why Mr. Gooch loves being a dealer is the narrative, mystery history and story behind an object, not just the object itself, whether that is a beautiful or ugly patination on a chest of drawers or a crack across a porcelain apothecary jar. Who had these objects and what stories do they want to tell? That represents part of the fascination. Every object tells a story and they are the storytellers, he is fond of saying.

Doe & Hope specialize in decorative, rare and extraordinary antiques and fine art from around the world with a particular interest in the atmosphere that surrounds an object, taking a cinematic approach in the presentation of their inventory. Their house style is probably best described as theatrical; being a concoction of old money, dramatic decorative, and faded gentility, with common themes of both humor and the macabre running through their inventory, that includes both academic and playful objects. That inventory currently includes such treats as an attractive carved and gilt 19th century limewood torchere, a fine Regency inlaid mahogany pedestal Pembroke table circa 1825, a rare King George IV stoneware jug circa 1830, a magnificent early 19th century carved wood, gesso and parcel gilt heraldic lion, formerly of The Cooper Penrose Estate, County Cork, Ireland, circa 1800 and a very fine early 20th century plaster figure of the Apollo Belvedere mounted on a circular plinth cast by Domenico Brucciani (1814-80. Their treasured stock also includes beguiling mirrors and lighting fixtures, architectural and garden ornaments and, yes, even the macabre. We found their prices more than fair, in fact, well below what one would normally expect to pay in London, New York or Paris.

Doe & Hope’s research is impeccable and it is a joy and education to simply read their website. So impressed were we that we purchased an early 18th century oil on canvas portrait of King George I circa 1714 after Sir Godfrey Kneller. It is in a regally decayed state which we love.

Doe & Hope is proud to be members of LAPADA, the UK’s largest association of professional art and antiques dealers, and delighted to be included in Homes & Antiques ’50 Best Antique Shops’ in the UK for 2016. Over the years Doe & Hope have supplied many large film and television productions with key pieces including the very popular Game of Thrones. They also have had a concession in the prestigious Liberty of London department store in 2015 and won the Antiques Young Gun of the Year award for 2014.

Doe & Hope do much of their business online and they are delightfully responsive with questions and happily will send photos. Viewings of pieces are naturally available, so if you do require a closer don’t hesitate to contact them at the Onion Barn based in the historic medieval village of Blunham, within easy reach of the A1 and close to Bedford, Cambridge and London. They will soon move to a new larger location just down the road called The Old Forge. Doe & Hope also has a presence at Lorfords showrooms in Tetbury in the Cotswolds. By phone: +44 (0)1767 640995 or try the mobile: +44 (0)7729 213013. By fax: +44 (0)1767 641482; by e-mail: info@doeandhope.com. Post: Doe & Hope; The Onion Barn, Shoe Cottage, 15 High Street, Blunham, Bedfordshire, MK44 3NL. https://www.doeandhope.com/

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