The Third Imperial Egg at Wartski, 14th to 17th April only

The Third Imperial Egg, Wartski, 14 Grafton Street, London W1

Faberge Egg 1 @Wartski

I feel sure that many of you will have read the story of the amazing rediscovery of this Easter Egg created by the Tsar’s goldsmith, Carl Fabergé, and so I will not fully repeat it here.

This superbly made egg was the gift of Tsar Alexander III to his wife Marie Feodorovna for Easter 1887. There was a long-established tradition in Russia of giving eggs at Easter which, like in other Christian denomonations, is regarded as the most important festival in the Russian Orthodox religious year. The eggs were also regarded as a token of deep love.

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So given in 1887, loaned by the Empress to a charity exhibition in 1902 in the Von Dervis Mansion (you can just see it above on the second shelf of the vitrine containing the Empress’s loans, including other Fabergé eggs) and confiscated by the Bolsheviks during the Revolution. It was put up for sale by the Soviet government in 1922 and then disappeared from sight until it was sold in New York by the auctioneers Parke-Bernet in March, 1964. At that time no one realised its significance and it was sold for the equivalent of £875. Fortunately it was illustrated in the catalogue and when this was discovered by Fabergé researchers in 2011 hopes of its continuing survival were raised.

As you may know it had disappeared again but was subsequently bought for its gold scrap value at a bric-a-brac market by a man living in the Mid-West of the USA. He tried to sell it seven times to no avail but when eventually he typed Egg and Vacheron Constantin into Google he came across an article on the egg’s survival in the Telegraph which quoted Wartski director Kieran McCarthy,  so he got in touch with Kieran (the photo shows how Kieran first saw the egg in the States) and the rest, as they say, is history.

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Wartski are Royal Warrant holders and leading experts on the work of Carl Fabergé.

I quote here a full description of the egg:
The reeded yellow gold egg opens by pressing the brilliant cut diamond pushpiece, to reveal a Vacheron Constantin watch with diamond set gold hands that is hinged to allow it to stand upright, the egg is supported on an elaborate sabléd gold stand, stood on lion paw feet and encircled by finely chased coloured gold garlands suspended from three cabochon blue sapphires topped with rose diamond set bows. Made in the workshop of Fabergé’s Chief-Jeweller: August Holmström in St. Petersburg, 1886-1887. Height 8.2 cm.

Faberge 3 @WartskiFaberge 4 @Wartski

The Egg is similar in size to a hen’s egg as were the previous two Easter Eggs made for the Tsar but this is the first of the Imperial Egg’s to have a special stand. It was quite usual for the stand to be of a different style to the egg. The garlands adorning the stand are made of individual parts which have been pegged together. The “surprise” is the Vacheron Constantin pocket watch and it is thought that it may have had a special significance to the Empress and that is why her husband decided to have the watch encased in this egg.

Faberge 5 @Wartski

As I write this I am still absorbing the marvellous experience and privilege of having been able to hold and examine this wonderful, historical object. For obvious reasons this cannot happen on public show but when you come to see the egg on display you will also be able to see images from the “miraculous” history of its survival. Do give a silent vote of thanks to the new owner who has so generously allowed it to be seen and its return to be celebrated in this exciting way!

Faberge 2 @Wartski

Open to the public from Monday, 14th to Thursday, 17th April from 11am to 5pm. Entrance is free, but queues are expected.

http://www.wartski.com

Pictures are courtesy of Wartski

National Trust’s London Project – 2 Willow Road, Hampstead

RYAN GANDER: THE ARTISTS HAVE THE KEYS, 2 Willow Road, Hampstead, London NW3 1TH, until 2nd November 2014

View of the exterior of 2 Willow Road at night.  Credit ©National Trust Images, Dennis Gilbert

View of the exterior of 2 Willow Road at night.
Credit ©National Trust Images, Dennis Gilbert

This is great fun for the noted artist Ryan Gander has created works which comfortably sit within the art collection, furniture and fittings with which the celebrated Hungarian-born architect Ernö Goldfinger furnished his Modernist home.  Gander’s work was inspired by them and his self-assembly money box – Anyone with a family is motivated by money – uses the same slot-together technique that Elizabeth Goldfinger used for two lounge chairs.

Ryan Gander at 2 Willow Road  (courtesy Sam Roberts) 68

Ryan Gander at 2 Willow Road
(courtesy Sam Roberts) 68

This project, supported by the Lisson Gallery, has allowed Gander to use his magpie approach in re-inventing objects to a great effect and you will have a fun time identifying those which he has created and those that were in the house originally.

Ryan Gander at 2 Willow Road  (courtesy Sam Roberts) 52

Ryan Gander at 2 Willow Road
(courtesy Sam Roberts) 52

Goldfinger is best remembered for his post 2nd World War residential tower blocks, including the Trellick Tower (North Kensington) and the Balfron Tower (Poplar) both of which are fine examples of Brutalist architecture, not to mention an eponymous book and film!

Ryan Gander at 2 Willow Road  (courtesy Sam Roberts) 1

Ryan Gander at 2 Willow Road
(courtesy Sam Roberts) 1

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/2-willow-road

Ryan Gander at 2 Willow Road  (courtesy Sam Roberts) 32

Ryan Gander at 2 Willow Road
(courtesy Sam Roberts) 32

National Trust’s London Project – Fenton House, Hampstead

HAMPSTEAD’S VILLAGE PEOPLE: PORTRAITS OF CULTURAL ICONS, Fenton House and Gardens, Hampstead Grove, London NW3, until 29th June 2014

 View of the South Front of Fenton House-  Copyright National Trust Images Matthew Antrobus.

View of the South Front of Fenton House-
Copyright National Trust Images Matthew Antrobus.

This exhibition is part of The London Project a programme where the National Trust brings special events to their ten London properties to make them even more special places to visit. Hampstead has attracted artistic and intellectual residents since the early 19th century and this special exhibition, organised in conjunction with The National Portrait Gallery, brings photographic images of thirty of Hampstead’s famous residents, past and present. Elgar, Dame Judi Dench, Ricky Gervais and Peter Wynn Barkworth are just a few of those that you will see in this celebration of Hampstead lives.

Village People, Fenton House Courtesy: Sam Roberts

Village People, Fenton House
Courtesy: Sam Roberts

The 17th century house is a treasure and contains the porcelain collection of its last owner Lady Binning, as well as the Benton Fletcher collection of early musical instruments. The aforementioned actor Peter Wynn Barkworth left part of his collection of English Impressionist and Camden Town Group paintings and drawings to The National Trust to be displayed in the house.

Village People, Fenton House Courtesy: Sam Roberts

Village People, Fenton House
Courtesy: Sam Roberts

Lovers of interior decoration will also find pleasure in the interiors which were refurbished by the legendary John Fowler in 1973 for The National Trust.

A view of the Oriental Room which takes its name from the Chinese Porcelain displayed there at Fenton House London Copyright National Trust Images Nadia Mackenzie.

A view of the Oriental Room which takes its name from the Chinese Porcelain displayed there at Fenton House London
Copyright National Trust Images Nadia Mackenzie.

 

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fenton-house

The New Chelsea Art Fair, April 10th – April 13th 2014

The New Chelsea Art Fair, Chelsea Old Town Hall, London SW3, April 10th – April 13th 2014

Lilford Gallery "Sabine" by Mark Karasick

Lilford Gallery
“Sabine” by Mark Karasick

Following last year’s successful relaunch this year’s fair brings together forty modern and contemporary art galleries from around the UK. There will be an eclectic, stylish mixture of paintings, sculpture and other media to browse. With prices ranging up to £50,000 it makes this a good place to start or enhance a collection.

 Sheridan Russell Gallery  Bushra Fakhoury  "Fertilitas",  Bronze                   (Bushra has a very large sculpture in Hyde Park opposite the Hotel Intercontinental of a Clown balancing an Elephant)

Sheridan Russell Gallery
Bushra Fakhoury “Fertilitas”, Bronze
(Bushra has a very large sculpture in Hyde Park opposite the Hotel Intercontinental of a Clown balancing an Elephant)

This year Didier Ltd is bringing jewellery by post-war artists, sculptors, architects and designers. What can be more fun than to wear something by your favourite artist?

Didier ltd "Ziggurat", 18ct gold and enamel pendant necklace, earrings and ring, in unique fitted painted wood box, 1968, Joe Tilson (UK, b. 1928)

Didier ltd
“Ziggurat”, 18ct gold and enamel pendant necklace, earrings and ring, in unique fitted painted wood box, 1968, Joe Tilson (UK, b. 1928)

http://www.chelseaartfair.org

Art World "Promenade sur l'avenue 2010", Jamin

Art World
“Promenade sur l’avenue 2010”, Jamin

HESTER FINCH – Alone in Berlin, 8th – 13th April 2014

HESTER FINCH – Alone in Berlin, Jessica Carlisle, 83 Kinnerton Street, London SW1X 8ED

Finch Chelmno, Poland

Finch
Chelmno, Poland

In this new, strong body of work Hester Finch captures her exploration of the psychological potential in painting with skill and verve.

Finch The Hospice (Blue)

Finch
The Hospice (Blue)

There are three groups of pictures: The Accused, a series of miniature-like images that invite judgement and empathy. The Atrocities, landscapes which on deeper inspection reveal elements that raise questions. Are we seeing something peaceful or is there more to the story? Is it a seemingly tranquil landscape or a war ravaged terrain for example? The final group of works is The Hospice, where sheets and cloths are seen in an enigmatic, contorted fashion that suggests memento mori and loss.

FINCH  Miniature (untlted triptych) 2014

FINCH
Miniature (untlted triptych) 2014

Opening Times:
Tuesday 8th – Sunday 13th April 2014
10am to 8pm (Sunday 12pm to 6pm)

 

http://www.jessicacarlisle.com

Finch Prison Camp, North Korea

Finch
Prison Camp, North Korea

 

All images are copyright

Hockney at Dulwich Picture Gallery

Hockney, Printmaker, Dulwich Picture Gallery, until 11th May 2014

David Hockney,  Lithographic Water Made Of Lines And Crayon (Pool II-B) 1978-80,  Lithograph, 29 1/4" x 34", Edition: 42  © David Hockney / Tyler Graphics Ltd.

David Hockney,
Lithographic Water Made Of Lines And Crayon (Pool II-B) 1978-80,
Lithograph, 29 1/4″ x 34″, Edition: 42
© David Hockney / Tyler Graphics Ltd.

This exhibition coincides with the 60th anniversary of the creation of David Hockney’s first print and is an extensive survey of his etchings and lithographs, which are the two main techniques he uses in executing his prints. There are over a hundred works on show, dating from 1954 to his computer works of 2009.

David Hockney,  Two Boys Aged 23 or 24 from Illustrations For Fourteen Poems from C.P. Cavafy, 1966-67,  Etching, 31 1/2 x 22 © DAVID HOCKNEY

David Hockney,
Two Boys Aged 23 or 24 from Illustrations For Fourteen Poems from C.P. Cavafy, 1966-67,
Etching, 31 1/2 x 22
© DAVID HOCKNEY

What becomes apparent and may not be a well-known fact is his use of literary sources, including poetry. Just as in his paintings, portraits are an important and revealing subject matter, among these are to be found Celia Birtwell, Peter Langan and the art historian and curator Henry Geldzahler.

David Hockney,  Celia, 1973,  Lithograph, 42 3/4" x 28 1/2" ED: 52,  © David Hockney / Gemini G.E.L.

David Hockney,
Celia, 1973,
Lithograph, 42 3/4″ x 28 1/2″ ED: 52,
© David Hockney / Gemini G.E.L.

What is noticeable is that throughout this sixty-year period Hockney is searching for new methods and ways of expression and technique. Is it I wonder an attempt to recreate the excitement of his early explosion on to the art scene? No matter what, judging by the amount of people visiting the show on the day I was there, he is a deservedly popular artist.

David Hockney,  Views of Hotel Well III, 1984-85,  Lithograph, 48 1/2" x 38 1/2" Edition: 80,  © David Hockney / Tyler Graphics Ltd., Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt

David Hockney,
Views of Hotel Well III, 1984-85,
Lithograph, 48 1/2″ x 38 1/2″ Edition: 80,
© David Hockney / Tyler Graphics Ltd., Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt

 

http://www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk

Wick Antiques at Harrods

Wick Antiques Pop-Up Shop at Harrods, until 30th April 2014

LAPADA member Wick Antiques have an exhibition at this world-famous London department store and as you might expect from such an emporium you will find the unusual and the stylish from prehistoric items to industrial relics. All have been chosen with great care and verve by dealer David Wackett and Charles Wallrock of Wick Antiques.

Italian Art Nouveau alabaster figural lamp, circa 1900

Italian Art Nouveau alabaster figural lamp, circa 1900

Charles sums it up saying: “Having worked with Harrods for 23 years, I was delighted to be asked to put together a pop-up exhibition for the most famous store in the world. It is a great privilege so I really wanted to go to town, creating a wow factor exhibition with style and pizzazz, highlighting the quality of the pieces I have sourced from all over the world. We hope the exhibition continues to be a great success and that visitors to Harrods are inspired to embark upon an adventure of buying unique and beautiful works of art“.

Billiard Table made for the 1st Baron Blyth, circa 1895

Billiard Table made for the 1st Baron Blyth, circa 1895

Location:
3rd Floor, Harrods, Knightsbridge, London

Intricate Flemish Cabinet from Alton Towers, seat of Lord Shrewsbury

Intricate Flemish Cabinet from Alton Towers, seat of Lord
Shrewsbury

 

 

All images are copyright

LARTA – The London Antique Rug and Textile Art Fair, 3rd-6th April

LARTA – The London Antique Rug and Textile Art Fair, 3rd-6th April

Gallery Nomad (Robert Aigin) Antique North West Persian Heriz, circa 1890. 566 x 350 / 18ft 7in x 10ft x 10in)

Gallery Nomad (Robert Aigin)
Antique North West Persian Heriz, circa 1890.
566 x 350 / 18ft 7in x 10ft x 10in)

This specialist Fair returns for its fourth annual exhibition at The Showroom a venue which is also very close to Alfies and the other antique shops on Church Street, NW8. At the Fair you will find an assortment of textiles, rugs and carpets mainly from the Caucasus, Persia, India and China being shown by leading specialist dealers.

Owen Parry  Detail from Persian Silk Brocade, Qajar period, 19th century

Owen Parry
Detail from Persian Silk Brocade,
Qajar period, 19th century

It is the perfect place to go whether you are a collector, interior designer or just looking for a colourful, decorative rug or carpet for your home.

Seneh Rugs Antique Persian Afshar 1.56m x 1.30m  Circa. 1880, South Iran

Seneh Rugs
Antique Persian Afshar 1.56m x 1.30m
Circa. 1880, South Iran

On the opening evening (3rd April) an “online virtual fair” will be launched on the LARTA website (www.larta.net) which will show the participating dealers ‘stock. Online visitors will be able to contact each dealer to enquire or purchase an item during the Fair. Sold items will be indicated to avoid confusion.

Galerie Arabesque The front of a Kutch embroidered dress from Gujarat India

Galerie Arabesque
The front of a Kutch embroidered dress from Gujarat India

Location: The Showroom, 63 Penfold St, London NW8 8PQ

All images are copyright