Guest Blog: Elena Bowes visits Creel & Gow

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Another post from our roving New York reporter Elena, who has found another local gem worth putting on your to-visit list if you are visiting soon.

If you’re in Manhattan’s Upper East Side on the lookout for something eye-catching, unusual and very much one-of-a-kind then amble over to East 70th street between Park and Lexington avenues. There, on a quiet, tree-lined residential street sits a charming boutique in what was once the stables to prominent architect Grosvenor Atterbury’s townhouse.

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Creel & Gow is a delightful shop, a cabinet of curiosities owned by two avid collectors – Paris-based Jamie Creel, below

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and former Sotheby’s expert and transplanted Brit Christopher Gow . The morsel-sized shop packs a big punch with exotic nature-based accessories from such far-flung corners of the globe as North Korea, Colombia and Timbuktu.

Looking for a Nigerian headdress to wow your friends? My sister thinks her bridge group will be green with envy.

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Or perhaps a Mayan loin cloth? Or both? Together!

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“We always come back and put things with feathers or textiles in the deep freeze for a month to kill all eggs and things”, reassures Gow.

This taxidermy moose below, with its antlers carved in Bali would inject some punch to any fireplace …

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Creel & Gow is porn for globetrotters, especially if the friendly owners are in town and not scouring the world for exotic finds to bring home. They admit they are both obsessed with travel.

Gow estimates he’s been to 180 countries, 17 this year alone including Guam, Eritrea and Easter Island. What’s still on his list? Papua New Guinea, Libya, Chad, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“My wanderlust drives me to countries that are difficult to reach or not the usual places tourists visit. As time goes by I come back more and more empty-handed as the world seems to be shrinking and the original factor or the quality factor is lacking.”
While Gow laments how much harder it is to unearth original treasures, it’s hard to tell that by browsing in the shop. Boredom is not an option.

This taxidermy zebra from South Africa commands centre stage…

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There were a lovely set of hand-loomed placemats from Bhutan that required Gow to sip not one, but two cups of rancid yak butter tea to seal the deal.

Creel is just came back from Sumba, Indonesia where he brought back some pig sticks. Of course. Next stop Tangiers and Mozambique.

Who knows what finds Creel & Gow will next pack in their carry-on.

More on Creel & Gow website here

More from Elena Bowes here

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