As one of London best antique dealers, Will Fisher and his wife Charlotte Freemantle run Jamb, one of the most distinguished destinations on the Pimlico Road for antiques and exquisite reproductions of 18th and 19th-century pieces, like chimneypieces, lighting, and general furniture.
Their Georgian home in Camberwell is a bright example of a home filled with the same beautiful pieces that they make and sell in their shop, reflecting the couple’s shared aesthetic sensibility and relentless drive for perfection.
Will Fisher named Warner Dailey the reason for his interest in interiors after a childhood meeting, being this one the father of his best friend. Fisher’s favorite saying—and a tenet he continues to live by—comes from Dailey: “I’m interested in things that look like they’ve grown roots on them.”
Jamb, the company Fisher runs with his wife, Charlotte Freemantle, has gained an international reputation for sourcing and reproducing such objects: rare fireplace mantels, 18th-century statuary, exquisite reproduction lighting, and country house furniture. Their gallery on the Pimlico Road in London’s Belgravia is frequented by celebrities and royalty, but Fisher is more likely to be found in their workshop in the lesser-known suburb of Mitcham. “It has become the throbbing heart of the company,” he says. “I find it utterly intoxicating to be in that environment, putting things together, working out how we can take objects and make them more appealing, more beautiful, more perfect in any way.”
The couple lives on a four-story Georgian terrace in Camberwell, south London. When they purchased the property in 2006, it was viewed as “the ugly duckling” of the street. (A Gothic Revival bay window and porch had been added to the purist Georgian facade.) But the couple both felt “unbelievably excited” by the interiors, which, although in “a state of decay” and stripped of original features, had managed to retain “a lot of souls.”
The reclaimed wall tiles are from the Manhattan subway. The bespoke kitchen island is made from reclaimed teak laboratory tops; the heavy brass handles were salvaged from an old plan chest. The built-in cupboard has a concealed bead panel—” the purest of simple decoration”—and is painted in Biscuit, an archive Farrow and Ball color that Fisher describes as “country house livery.”
Fisher set about sourcing new-but-old surfaces, starting in the basement kitchen and working his way up through the four stories. He found a quantity of fossil-rich Purbeck stone, which he stored in a barn for several months, hand-selecting the slabs and having each piece individually milled before laying it throughout the basement level. “It looks enormously probable,” he says. “I don’t think anyone would ever come in the house and not think that the floor has always been there.”
The couple made the “emotionally and financially exhausting” decision to rebuild the interior walls with lathe and plaster. “It’s one of the most sympathetic things you can do to an old building—to allow it to breathe,” explains Fisher. “And it gives a fabulous feel to the entire house. When you look at the way the light hits the lime plaster, it is very, very different from the flat plane of a plastered wall. And light is everything, isn’t it? It does set the tone for the entire house.”
Moving up through each story, they have adhered to what would have been the original hierarchy of the house. The kitchen retains the below stairs aesthetic of scrubbable surfaces and heavy, pared-back furniture. Then, as you ascend the stairs, the detailing on the doors and fireplaces becomes grander before quietening down again in the attic rooms. “Hopefully, it all kind of works and feels probable but still very sleepy,” says Fisher.
“If you can’t change your location, change your environment”Their quintessentially British front room was all redecorated during the lockdown.Behind the sofa, Will Fisher installed a vast cabinet that he describes as “the holy grail of country house surfaces” the strong architectural cabinet that is comparable to a perfect Palladian building is placed at the back of our drawing-room. Sadly, it’s something of such significant value that one day, we’ll have to let it go through our hands.”
Emotional attachment — that’s how Fisher describes his finds. And “not just for what they are, but for the circumstances in which they were procured”.
“There is a fundamental framework that we adhere to within the business and at home,” – Will Fisher.
That said, the couple has over the years, sold off many of their possessions. The contents of their tablet room were auctioned off in 2012 (“we were both bereft”) and they have found themselves sofa-less on more than one occasion. “I don’t know why we ended up selling the sofas,” says Fisher. “It’s one of those ridiculous things, the temptation of an antique dealer. We’re fundamentally hawkers and traders. Also, we need something to sulk about. Life’s nothing without regret.
Photography credits to the owner
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