Friday 31 August 2012

Camelot - Colonial Antique Furniture

I am actually loathe to give details of this fabulous retail find....but it would be selfish not to.

I have spent weeks hunting high and low for a teak coffee table. Sick of the black laminate and glass atrocity provided by our landlord, I have looked everywhere. I've been to Oshiwara antiques market in Jogeshwari and I've been to Chor Bazaar in search of a bargain. We have been to Phillips Antiques, The Raj Company, and I have also tried Anemone in Raghuvanshi Mills, Colonial Collections in Fort and The Great Eastern Home (a veritable behemoth of antique furniture).  The latter are all the well known places to find antiques and reproduction colonial furniture in Mumbai but all, in my mind, charge ridiculously high prices.  So alas, we have had no luck finding exactly what we wanted.  Then I thought about doing what most Mumbaikars probably do in this situation - have something made. Carpentry is so cheap and lots of people get bespoke stuff done all the time.  However I was lacking a good recommendation and I knew that trying to communicate exactly what I wanted (and to my exacting standards!) to an Indian tradesman would end up being a farce.  So I gave up on that idea too.

Following a notice in my favourite online magazine Mumbai Boss that "Camelot is hosting a sale with up to 30 per cent off on colonial and Art Deco furniture in teak, rosewood and mahogany", I thought that my shallow life was about to be changed .  I literally started salivating at the mouth. What is this shop Camelot? Would I find that elusive coffee table?  Would it be a bargain? Oh how delighted Mr Jules would be!

Unable to go on the first day of the sale (due to my very important humanitarian work/day job), we popped down the following Saturday morning to the Camelot shop in Kemps Corner.  127 Kemps corner (to be exact) is a colonial house down a longish drive off the heaving main road.  Immediately I was taken - colonial antiques in a colonial setting!  (Amy, I hope you are reading this, you would have been beside yourself!).

The beautiful entrance to Camelot

Getting there a day after the sale had begun was a BIG mistake.  Virtually everything was sold out!  Even my dream coffee table (if there is such a thing as a dream coffee table) had been sold and I was devastated!  Oh well I thought to myself.... it just meant that I would have to look around and pick something else out to 'tide me over'.

Perhaps not to your taste, but this was the coffee table I coveted

The Camelot showroom consists of two large rooms and a terrace area displaying conservatory furniture.  There is a good range of high quality art-deco and colonial chair sets, campaign chests, dining sets, sofas, side tables, wardrobes, chests, desks, mirrors and art.  And much more.  It all looks hand-picked - I couldn't see anything poor quality and I don't think much was reproduction (which is the problem when you go antiques hunting in Chor Bazaar or Oshiwara).  Even better, the owners do not seek to rip you off like most other antique places.  The prices were very reasonable and even more reasonable during the sale. 

Indo-Portuguese rosewood dining set.  I would have bought this had it not been 'sold'

I told the lady that I was very upset that the coffee table had been sold but she told me not to worry as she would let me know as soon as a similar one came in.  Watch this space!!

In the meantime, and because I can't resist a sale, Mr Jules bought a teak art deco side table to go next to the sofa and for himself, a lovely teak medicine chest.  Well he thinks it's for him, but it so happens that it perfectly houses my lovely new collection of Chimanlal stationery....

UPDATE 15.03.13
Please see my latest blog on Moorthy's - a paradise for colonial antique furniture.  Find the blog here.

New teak medicine chest on top of new art deco side table.  The teak chest was 3,000 rupees in the sale (£35/$52)

Perfect for my new collection of beautiful Chimanlals stationery!

Side table.  Lamp from Pure Living, Phoenix Market City (Bandra Kurla).
"Bombay Art Deco" book by Navin Ramani from Crossword, Kemps Corner
More images of Camelot (with thanks to the Manager):

Art deco rocking chairs, chests and side tables in a terrace setting

The obligatory Ganesh

Colonial sofa set on the balcony

A good selection of affordable, art deco colonial furniture.  Stuff I love!

Colonial & Antique Furniture
127 Kemps Corner
Next to Om Chambers
Tel: 91 (22) 2364 4594

(Beautiful hand crafted stationery)
Wallace Street,
Fort, Mumbai 400 001.
Close to New Excelsior Cinema

Update 31/03/13 - Please read my (almost) complete guide to buying colonial antique furniture in Mumbai here: 

Update 05/04/2014 - Please read my post about returning to Camelot for its April 2014 sale.


  1. Jules - you are so going to have to buy a big country pad when you get back to the UK at this rate. All that gorgeous beautiful furniture will need a home. I'm envious - looks like a fab find. Oh the fun you must be having!!! x Amywu

  2. Every picture has something new. Love the designs and colour of the antique furniture.

  3. Just loved this blog about antique furniture. I'm always on the lookout for some cool old stuff to house my ever growing books collection and other artefacts!!! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you Aadil - and for all your other comments! I love Indian manufactured furnitures, especially when made of teak...we are trying to buy as much as possible to one day take back to the UK. However, I fear because of this blog, I will drive up prices at Camelot..or they will run out of stock!

    2. Yeah, that's what happens when we locals go there too, they just hike up the prices and don't come down on them, just because they know you will be coming later on to buy at the higher prices!!! You gotta bargain really hard to get a good price and they don't like us locals doing that especially when they can sell at higher prices without haggling. But then the actual prices are always much less than what they say is a distress sale price also.

  4. hii...i guess you are really fond of antique furniture...well we manufacture colonial furniture and are based in Delhi...
    we reproduce antique furniture in teak wood.... you may contact us at m sure we wont disppoint you....thanks



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