Prized Possessions: Dutch Masterpieces from National Trust Houses, The Holburne Museum, Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2, until 16th September 2018

A Magus at a Table by Jan Lievens (Leyden 1607 ¿ Amsterdam 1674)

A Magus at a Table, Jan Lievens, 1631-2 © National Trust Images – Angelo Hornak

What a glorious summer but regrettably mine was less so as for the last 8 + weeks have been lost to a persistent, debilitating infection which has taken ever stronger courses of antibiotics to overcome – so fingers crossed victory is in sight.  It has meant that I am very behind in my writing. I should perhaps remember to ‘take the waters’ when next visiting Bath!

ST KATHERINE'S CHURCH, UTRECHT by Pieter Jansz Saenredam (1597-1665), at Upton House, Warwickshire

St Catherine’s Church Utrecht, Pieter Jansz Saenredam, 1636 © National Trust Images

I have visited six of the dozen houses from which this delicious selection of Dutch paintings has been garnered but sadly, so far, not the rest of them. Seeing those pictures that I know again was very much a journey into the past because in some cases it is almost fifty years since I first saw them and yet their beauty and the skill of the artist’s use of paint – for example Ter Borch’s exquisite rendering of a dress (Polesden Lacey) or Cuyp’s Dordrecht sky (Ascott) – has kept them fresh in my mind’s eye.

SELF PORTRAIT WEARING A WHITE FEATHERED BONNET by Rembrandt van Rijn.

Self-Portrait Wearing a White Feathered Bonnet, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1635 © National Trust Images – Chris Titmus

Portraits (people and houses), landscapes, genre scenes, interiors and still-lifes are among the subjects that make up the works on view. In some cases artists collaborated such as in the landscape from Petworth where the painter Hobbema has worked with Adriaen van de Velde who contributed the figural elements to the composition.

The Duet ('Le corset bleu') by Gabriel Metsu (Leyden 1629 ¿ Amsterdam 1669)

The Duet, Gabriel Metsu, 1660-7 © National Trust Images – Christopher Hurst

It is a wonderful journey back into the Dutch 17th century and it makes it easy to understand why ever since they were first painted such works have been so avidly collected and admired, including by  Sir Thomas William Holburne, founder of the Museum.

 

After the Holburne the exhibition will move on to the Mauritshuis in The Hague in October 2018, and then come to Petworth House in West Sussex in January 2019.

 

 

www.holburne.org

Chippendale at Wilton

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South East facade of Wilton House. Copyright (c) Wilton House

Wilton House, near Salisbury, is an absolute delight combining architecture, fine interiors, paintings, sculpture and furniture with elegant gardens and the earliest Palladian Bridge in England. It has been the home of the Herbert family (Earls of Pembroke) since 1544.  It is famous for its suite of State Rooms which were designed by Inigo Jones and Isaac de Caux in the 17th century – many of you will recognise the Double Cube Room which has been used as a location for many films and television programmes but nothing quite prepares you for the wow factor of entering it for the first time.

In celebration of the Chippendale tercentenary the Earl and Countess have commissioned a small booklet that highlights Chippendale pieces within the house, including those which can be firmly attributed to his workshop. You will see many of these as you go around the house.

Chippendale at Wilton

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The 10th Earl commissioned the architect Sir William Chambers to rebuild his London home, Pembroke House and also to provide designs for rooms. It is known from Chippendale’s Director that he provided furniture for these rooms.

Sadly the family papers no longer have any itemized accounts from Chippendale but a receipt for fifteen hundred pound eleven shillings certainly indicate the furniture maker had had a major commission. Other bills show that the firm was still patronised after Chippendale’s death when it was being run by his son Thomas Chippendale the Younger.

Among the items that are definitely ascribed to Chippendale’s workshop are the pair of bookcases in the Large Smoking Room which are en suite with the superb ‘Violin’ bookcase which can be seen in the view of the room. Elsewhere chairs, sofas, hall lanterns, tables, picture frames and pelmet boards remind us of Chippendale’s great design talent.

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The Large Smoking Room at Wilton House. Copyright (c) Will Pryce.

All in all I think the best word to sum up Wilton House is sublime!

 

http://www.wiltonhouse.co.uk/

BOOK REVIEW: Thomas Chippendale 1718-1779: A Celebration of British Craftsmanship and Design

Thomas Chippendale 1718-1779: A Celebration of British Craftsmanship and Design 

Catalogue of the Tercentenary Exhibition

by Adam Bowett (Author), James Lomax (Author)

ISBN-10: 1999922913

ISBN-13: 978-1999922917

£65.00

The Chippendale Society

Layout 1

This highly readable catalogue is a very welcome addition to the telling of the story of Thomas Chippendale and his enduring legacy. Through it one learns of his life and career, the various styles he used, his customers and his relationship with them and most importantly of all we see examples of the furniture he produced – chairs, chests, tables, stools, beds, picture frames, cornices and lanterns, even coffin furniture. Through the publishing of a pattern book – The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director – in 1754 which depicted ‘Elegant and Useful Designs of Household Furniture in the Gothic, Chinese and Modern Taste’ he attracted the interest of possible commissions among the wealthy and indeed it was an immediate success and was re-published the following year. A third edition with extra plates showing neo-classical designs was published in 1762.

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Butler’s Tray, 1763 Dumfries House

The publication of these volumes meant that good examples of furniture could be made by other craftsmen closely following Chippendale’s designs and that is why it has become the norm for firm attributions to Chippendale’s workshop to be backed-up by some sort of documentary evidence such as bills.

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Cabinet, c1773 (one of a pair) which may well have been made to display the Sevres service visible inside. Probably Melbourne House, London

His designs are so enduringly popular that they are being copied or evoked right up to the present day such as, for example, the bookcase produced in c.2000 by Arthur Brett (Norwich) whose design is based on a Chippendale one at Wilton House – on which location a little more later.

 

 

thechippendalesociety.co.uk

Masterpiece London 2018, Royal Hospital Chelsea, South Grounds, London SW3 4LW, 28th June – 4th July 2018 (Preview: Wednesday 27th June)

Chelsea Pieta RW (1) a

A CHELSEA PIETA Circa 1761 Modelled by Joseph Willems (born in Brussels, 1715, died in Tournai, Belgium, 1766) 38.5 cm high Gold Anchor mark to reverse. E & H Manners

It really shows how time flies when one considers that the first Masterpiece was held in 2010 and hasn’t it continued to provide a scintillating cross-section of all the arts whether ancient, contemporary, fine or decorative? This year’s Fair, with its ‘reworked layout’ will no doubt see many collectors, curators and first-time buyers visit as well as those who just want to experience seeing the best on offer.

I have included a small selection of pieces which have particularly caught my eye.

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An 18th Century German ormolu mounted marquetry commode in the manner of DavidRoentgen, the marble a later replacement, c. 1780. Measurements: w: 52.8” (134cm), h: 34.6” (88cm), d: 28.7” (73cm). Edward Hurst Ltd

 

Opening hours:

Preview (by invitation) on Wednesday 27 June, 11am – 9pm

Thursday 28 June, 11am – 9pm

Friday 29 June, 11am – 9pm

Saturday 30 June, 11am – 7pm

Sunday 1 July, 11am – 7pm

Monday 2 July, 11am – 9pm

Tuesday 3 July, 11am – 9pm

Wednesday 4 July, 11am – 9pm

RBC are the Principal Sponsor of Masterpiece London 2018.

New Art Centre 1

William Turnbull, Pandora, 1958-62, 156.2 x 120.6 x 22.9 cm. New Art Centre

 

3. SJP - 18th century German carved gold mounted quartz box, attributed to Hoffmann

An 18th century German gold mounted quartz box, attributed to Friedrich Ludwig Hoffmann, Berlin c.1760. S. J. Phillips

 

Mario_Dilitz_No174_2_S

Mario Dilitz, Austrian, b.1973 Boxing Boy with long Shorts (Artwork No. 174), Oak and red glue, 2018, 6 unique versions 96cm h x 35cm w x 20cm d, Sladmore Contemporary

 

Egyptian bust of bes

An Egyptian Limestone Bust of Bes Ptolemaic, Circa 3rd – 2nd Century BC? Kallos Gallery

 

49 - Monet

Claude Monet Le Bassin Aux Nymphéas Painted: circa 1918-20 Medium: Oil on canvas Size: 381⁄4” x 51” / 97cm x 130cm. Gladwell & Patterson

 

4. KRA - Pair of Louis XVI dishes on stands, Paris, 1785

A striking pair of Louis XVI dishes on stands made in Paris in 1785 and 1789 by the French silversmiths Henri Auguste and Robert Joseph Auguste. Engraved with the coronet and monogram of the infamous Harriet, Duchess of St Albans. Warmers added by Paul Storr in 1811. Koopman Rare Art

 

Apter-Fredericks

An exceptional and large pair of nodding figures which are one of a very small number of known pairs retaining their original costumes. Chinese, Circa 1821-1850. Height 26” 66cm. Apter-Fredericks Ltd

 

http://www.masterpiecefair.com;

Instagram: @masterpiecelondon; Twitter: @MasterpieceFair;

Facebook: Masterpiece London

Book Review: THE MALCOM D. GUTTER COLLECTION OF EARLY MEISSEN PORCELAIN

THE MALCOM D. GUTTER COLLECTION OF EARLY MEISSEN PORCELAIN

EDITED BY MARIA SANTANGELO

Hirmer Verlag
ISBN-10: 3777429848
ISBN-13: 978-3777429847
£52.00

 978-3-7774-2984-7

In reviewing this book I should first like to say that I have known Malcolm for some nineteen years, usually meeting him each time he comes to London and so have been lucky to hear first hand some of the stories about how he acquired pieces for his amazing collection. The stories he so generously shares in this volume highlight what it is to be a true collector – the victories, the defeats and most importantly the ‘kismet’ when an object and collector eventually come together because that is the right outcome.

The quality of these items is remarkable and their history even more so. Malcolm explains how –  on  a limited budget as he is an academic – he has acquired these early Meissen pieces including those that were made for Augustus II’s Japanisches Palais in Dresden which was built to house his porcelain collections and which also included Chinese and Japanese porcelain. Malcolm has some of these too with the Japanese Palace’s inventory mark on them.  It is quite possible that such pieces were the inspiration for modellers and decorators at Meissen.

It really is a “Princely” collection and devotees of Meissen should be grateful for all the studying and hard work Malcolm put into forming this remarkable collection and for his promising it to the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco. While I like porcelain I have never been particularly drawn to Meissen but this book has opened my mind to it in a way that I had not expected. That is really something for a book to achieve! So well done Malcolm in sharing your enthusiasm with a wider public and for allowing us to get a taste of what it is to be a collector of your magnitude.

 

http://www.hirmerverlag.de

Westminster’s Church Street, London NW8 – Present (24th June) and Past (Salisbury Cathedral)

Antiques Anonymous 2017 - image courtesy of Aerial Storytelling (Instagram @joelelman) (7)_preview

Antiques Anonymous 2017 – image courtesy of Aerial Storytelling (Instagram @joelelman) (7)

 Last September I had the pleasure of writing about a new antiques event taking place in the antique hub that is Church Street NW8 – the Antiques Anonymous Flea Market – and as the photographs show it was a successful and well-attended event. I am delighted to be able to tell you that a second edition takes place on Sunday, 24th June 2018 (11am-5pm, free entry). So do get along there for there is much to discover and enjoy, including food and music.

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Salisbury Cathedral – Moses and the Brazen Serpent Window. Courtesy of Salisbury Cathedral

I am unable to be there this time for I no longer live nearby but here in Salisbury there is a direct connection with Church Street which dates back to the late 18th century. In Salisbury Cathedral, above the High Altar, is a triple window depicting Moses and the Brazen Serpent which was given by the second Earl of Radnor, who lived in nearby Longford Castle. The scene, after a picture by John Hamilton Mortimer ARA, is a work in ‘pot-metal glass, enamel and stains’ * executed by Richard Askew who was working in Church Street for the glass painters James Pearson and his wife Eglington Margaret Paterson. What makes the window special is the technique used which was enamelling directly on to plain glass sheets before firing them. Askew also worked for William Duesbury at the Derby porcelain factory.

* Richard Askew – Derby Artist by Major W. H. Tapp, M.C.; The Antique Collector, April 1936.

 

 

http://www.antiquesanonymous.london

www.salisburycathedral.org.uk

Les Colombes in Salisbury, until 22nd July 2018  

Doves

Les Colombes – Salisbury Cathedral

Les Colombes, an installation which started out as a commemoration of the end of the First World War, has gained even greater significance since the nerve agent attack earlier this year in this historic city.  Doves are a symbol of peace and hope and so totally appropriate as an antidote to the events that took place here.

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Michael Pendry installing Les Colombes in Salisbury Cathedral, 9th May 2018

The artist Michael Pendry has exhibited these works at various places around the world and encourages local people to create new doves to add to the total number and has done the same here in Salisbury Cathedral where some 2,500 ‘fly’ in the nave.

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Les Colombes reflected in William Pye’s font in Salisbury Cathedral

The step of taking the doves into the shops and city is a beautiful one for it spreads the message of peace and hope into the community and perhaps, just as following the descent of the Holy Spirit onto the apostles at Pentecost enabled the Apostles to be understood by people of different nations, it will be one that resonates with the many visitors that come here from around the World.

Doves in Casa Fina, High Street, Salisbury (c)

Doves in Casa Fina, High Street, Salisbury (c)

The artist says of his work: “Although the doves are folded by different people in their unity they stand for a fundamental human right – the right to peace and freedom. The time has come to declare ourselves and to stand up for this! May the flock of doves grow, from place to place, from country to country, and across all borders. Peace, freedom, and sustainability in a world of change and disturbance are the key themes of my installations.”

May his words as we approach Pentecost 2018 be heard both near and afar and acted upon.

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Reflections in Salisbury Cathedral

https://www.salisburycathedral.org.uk/

http://www.michaelpendry.de/

https://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/salisbury

www.casafinasalisbury.co.uk

#SalisburyCityofDoves