Extrovert antiques trader had a taste for the weird
Chris Paraskeva, who brought his 'unusual taste' to Camden Passage, enjoyed collecting and selling interesting objects that were often macabre and quirky
19 April, 2019 — By Emily Finch
Chris Paraskeva started off with a small shop in the Angel Arcade and eventually opened a shop of four floors at 16 Camden Passage
A MUCH-LOVED antiques trader who injected his “unusual taste” into Camden Passage has died. Chris Paraskeva, who ran a variety of shops in Islington’s antiques quarter, died on March 15. He was 66.
Described as “non-ordinary, but in a good way” by his wife Annie Moss, Mr Paraskeva enjoyed collecting and selling interesting objects that were often macabre and quirky in nature.
He first met Annie in the early 90s when he was looking to set up an antiques stall outside the Camden Head pub. He quickly gave up his job as a probation officer in prisons and began selling antiques full time.
“He had unusual taste, I loved that. He had the best selection of antiques, and started from nothing. He enjoyed selling skulls and bones, he’d find amazing things,” said Annie, who runs Annie’s Vintage Clothing in Camden Passage.
Mr Paraskeva once gave Annie a necklace that included his own tooth mounted in silver.
“He was never boring,” she said.
He started off with a small shop in the Angel Arcade – now the Cotswold outdoor clothing shop – and eventually opened a shop of four floors at 16 Camden Passage with his business partner John Goodison.
Chris and Annie on their wedding day
He later left the borough and ran an antiques and gifts store in Columbia Road, east London, called Eat More Lemons and often shipped antiques to Atlanta, in the US.
John recalled how he and his friend strove to create the most beautiful decorative antique shop in London.
Mr Paraskeva placed a pair of mummified puppies in the shop window which he found up a chimney in east London. Demonstrating his eye for business, the odd item was sold for a substantial profit.
“He was extremely extrovert, very complicated and very loving. He struck me as very charming with a very strong personality,” said John.
His hobbies revolved around antiques and he took many trips to France hunting for treasures with Annie.
The couple visited antique fairs in Amiens, Paris and Lille, staying in chic hotels and sampling the fine cuisine.
“We enjoyed those markets, I have such fond memories of those trips,” said Annie.
Mr Paraskeva originally hailed from Hastings where his father owned a Greek restaurant on the sea front. He was a keen sportsman while at Eastbourne College where he enjoyed playing rugby.
Mr Paraskeva leaves behind his wife Annie, sisters Janet and Susan and children Lauren and Joe.