Black Bough is an independent shop set up by Adam Withington and Alex Barter in March 2011. The name ‘Black Bough’ is inspired by a short Ezra Pound poem which reads “The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough”. The poem can be read as seeing beauty in every day things and this is the philosophy behind the shop. We stock items that we think are well made, well designed and… well priced. Some of the things that we stock are old, some are new, all are made with consideration and care.
Alex’s watch career began in 1996 at Sotheby’s auctioneers. Initially based in London, in 2002 Alex was posted to Geneva to run Sotheby’s watch auctions in Switzerland. Spending most of his time travelling around the world, viewing, valuing and selling antique and vintage watches, Alex returned to London in 2005, becoming Deputy Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s watch department. Alex left Sotheby’s in 2009, setting up as an independent watch consultant and co-founding Black Bough with Adam Withington. In addition to his work at Black Bough, Alex acts as a Watch Consultant to Sotheby’s and a number of other Art Companies. Alex is a member of the Antiquarian Horological Society and is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, the oldest surviving horological institution in the world, founded by Royal Charter in 1631.
Adam Withington previously ran the old Great Western Studios in West London; something of an institution, it provided workspace for 125 artists, craftspeople and designers – work by some of those artists is stocked at Black Bough. Outside of Black Bough (for which he makes a small range of in-house products, and for which he has designed some new products which will hit the shelves shortly) he is one of the founding members of the Marches Supper Society, is a keen shopper in specialist garden nurseries and inveterate reader of magazines – some high brow and some decidedly trashy.