Weapons across the centuries

The Olympia Arms Fair, The Pillar Hall, Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, London, W14, 30th September 2017, 9:00– 15:00

Patrick Mestdagh
Mughal jade handle dagger, from the Jaipur region, India, circa 1680

The Pillar Hall’s smart neo-classical inspired interior provides the backdrop for this exciting new fair. Organised by Thomas Del Mar, whose antique arms and armour auctions take place at nearby 25 Blythe Road, the fair has attracted forty dealers from the UK, USA and Europe. The pieces on view range from Bronze Age axes to First World War items.  So expect armour, firearms, pistols and swords as well as tribal weapons and a Mughal jade handled dagger.

The Pillar Hall Olympia home to the Olympia Arms Fair on 30th September 2017

It really promises to be a special event whatever your level of interest and collecting. The Arms and Armour Society and the Historical Breechloading Smallarms Association will also be attending.

Alban Arms & Armour
A fine hand-and-a-half sword, South German or Swiss circa 1550

http://www.olympiaarmsfair.com

Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery

Opus Anglicanum: Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery, V&A Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7, until 5th February 2017

Opus Anglicanum Installation View (c) Victoria and Albert Museum

Opus Anglicanum
Installation View
(c) Victoria and Albert Museum

The V&A’s world-class collections combined with works returning to these shores for the first time since they were made in the Middle Ages make this a truly spectacular exhibition and one that captures the imagination.  Many of the objects have associations with notable figures such as the murdered Saint Thomas Becket, the Black Prince and Edward I and his consort Eleanor of Castile.

The Chichester Constable Chasuble ca. 1335-45 Image copyright: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Art Resource Scala Florence

The Chichester Constable Chasuble ca. 1335-45
Image copyright: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Art Resource Scala Florence

England was the leading producer of luxury embroideries from the Twelfth to the Fifteenth centuries and counted Popes, Cardinals, Kings and Queens among its patrons. The Latin phrase ‘opus anglicanum’ means ‘English work’ and was first used in the 13th century to describe the ravishing and desirable silk embroideries which were hand-made, using gold and silver threads, in London, usually by women.

The Dunstable Swan Jewel, ca. 1400 c The Trustees of the British Museum

The Dunstable Swan Jewel, ca. 1400
c The Trustees of the British Museum

The hundred plus objects in this show includes examples of both ecclesiastical and secular pieces. Some of the earlier ecclesiastical have survived because they were interred during the burials of the bishops or abbots who wore them. Secular examples did not fare so well as they were either discarded as fashions changed or wore out but records show that there was a demand for them.  This exhibition has some rare survivals of secular work, including some with links to the Plantagenet English Kings.

Part of a horse trapper 1330-40. Photo c_RMN-Grand_Palais Paris, musée de Cluny - musée national du Moyen Âge.

Part of a horse trapper 1330-40.
Photo c_RMN-Grand_Palais Paris, musée de Cluny – musée national du Moyen Âge.

Alongside the embroideries you will find other period works in varying media such as manuscripts, sculpture, metalwork and panel paintings which emphasise the connection in the artistic output of the times. The exhibition also considers the impact of the English Reformation on these textiles and the revival of interest in the 19th century.

The Steeple Aston Cope (detail) Date: 1310-40 (c) Victoria and Albert Museum

The Steeple Aston Cope (detail)
Date: 1310-40
(c) Victoria and Albert Museum

The exhibition’s co-curator Glyn Davies sums it up saying: “As a historian, the opportunity to see all these objects, normally scattered across museums and cathedral treasuries in Europe and North America, together in one place is thrilling. We are grateful to all lenders that have generously agreed to loan works for this exhibition. England enjoyed an international reputation for the quality of its embroidery. This exhibition shows English art on a European stage.”

His co-curator and textiles specialist Clare Browne adds: “The exquisite attention to detail in these embroidered works makes them not just impressive examples of craftsmanship and luxury materials, but vivid glimpses of life both in reality and in the medieval imagination. From the grim torture of martyred saints to a mother’s tender swaddling of her new-born baby, scenes are depicted with a meticulous precision that the sophisticated embroidery techniques made possible.”

As I said at the beginning this is an exhibition that stirs the imagination and the sight of these embroideries stirs the mind and soul as much today as it must have in medieval times.

 

The Syon Cope Date: 1310-1320 (c) Victoria and Albert Museum

The Syon Cope
Date: 1310-1320
(c) Victoria and Albert Museum

Support generously provided by The Ruddock Foundation for the Arts

 

vam.ac.uk/opus | #OpusAnglicanum

BOOK REVIEW: Going Once

Going Once: 250 Years of Culture, Taste and Collecting at Christie’s

 going-once-jacket

ISBN: 978 0 7148 7202 5

Phaidon

£39.95

 

What better way to celebrate two hundred and fifty years as a leading art business than through the two hundred and fifty objects selected for this book.  It is a wonderful survey of these remarkable sales and the high prices achieved whether for a 3,000-year-old Assyrian frieze or Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz. Paintings, furniture, gold and silver, sculpture, wine, even a London Routemaster bus are included.  One feature I like is that as well as giving the original sale price they also give today’s equivalent value.

 

This is a great book to dip into time and time again as there is much to learn and enjoy from it.

phaidon.com

BOOK REVIEW: Watteau’s Soldiers: Scenes of Military Life in Eighteenth-Century France

Watteau’s Soldiers: Scenes of Military Life in Eighteenth-Century France

Aaron Wile

Published by GILES in association with The Frick Collection, New York
PRICE — UK£25.00 / US$39.95
ISBN — 978-1-907804-79-3

9781907804793

France’s involvement in the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14) unwittingly provided Watteau (1684-1721) with an opportunity to produce a little-known body of work depicting military subjects. As one might expect the military glories of battles or the generals and kings involved were not the subject matter Watteau chose as he preferred the more run-of-the mill scenes of marches, encampments and bivouacs and showing soldiers at rest and play.

Antoine Watteau was a master draughtsman and the book reveals this through the images of the beautiful chalk drawings as well as finished paintings.  Watteau would take a figure from a drawing and with almost the idea of the ‘cut and paste’ technique use it in the composition of a painting as author Aaron Wile explains.

This book is a delightful and erudite composition which is easily accessible to all but is combined with a catalogue raisonné of Watteau’s military works, including drawings now only known from prints.

While the book was published in conjunction with the exhibition Watteau’s Soldiers: Scenes of Military Life in Eighteenth-Century France, at The Frick Collection, until 2ndOctober 2016, it will have a very long shelf life and be much read and sought after by all interested in the arts of early 18th century France.

gilesltd.com

MASTERPIECE 2016: SELECTION 1

Masterpiece London 2016, The Bull Ring Gate Entrance, South Grounds, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, London SW3, 30thJune – 6th July 2016

 

Hancocks The world’s largest cushion cut diamond crossover ring 2016 Courtesy Hancocks

Hancocks
The world’s largest cushion cut diamond crossover ring
2016
Courtesy Hancocks

 

Peter Petrou A Fine Japanese Daimyo Suit of Armour Mid Edo Period Circa 1750 Courtesy Peter Petrou

Peter Petrou
A Fine Japanese Daimyo Suit of Armour
Mid Edo Period Circa 1750
Courtesy Peter Petrou

 

Christopher Kingzett Graham Sutherland Study of Sir Winston Churchill 1954 Black chalk and pencil 4½ x 11½ in (37 x 29.5 cm) Courtesy Christopher Kingzett

Christopher Kingzett
Graham Sutherland
Study of Sir Winston Churchill
1954
Black chalk and pencil
4½ x 11½ in (37 x 29.5 cm)
Courtesy Christopher Kingzett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

W W WARNER ANTIQUES An exceptional pair of Worcester vases and covers Circa 1765-8 29.2cm (11 1/2in) (4)

W W WARNER ANTIQUES
An exceptional pair of Worcester vases and covers
Circa 1765-8
29.2cm (11 1/2in) (4)

 

Richard Green Gallery John Constable Landscape with Horses 1810 Courtesy Richard Green

Richard Green Gallery
John Constable
Landscape with Horses
1810
Courtesy Richard Green

 

Linley The Girih Treasure Chest 2016 specially dyed deep blue ripple sycamore, sycamore and satinwood, gold and white gold leaf Courtesy Linley London

Linley
The Girih Treasure Chest 2016
specially dyed deep blue ripple sycamore, sycamore and satinwood, gold and white gold leaf
Courtesy Linley London

 

http://www.masterpiecefair.com

 

 

Masterpiece London 2016 – Preview

Masterpiece London 2016, The Bull Ring Gate Entrance, South Grounds, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, London SW3, 30thJune – 6th July 2016

Nazy Vassegh, CEO of Masterpiece with J.F. Courville, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the RBC Wealth Management 2015 Courtesy Masterpiece London

Nazy Vassegh, CEO of Masterpiece with J.F. Courville, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the RBC Wealth Management
2015
Courtesy Masterpiece London

Now in its 7th edition one can easily understand why Masterpiece has become a magnet for collectors and museum curators from around the world.  There is a great emphasis on quality and connoisseurship and the pieces on show reflect more than five thousand years of art history – and yes they are for sale.

Vetting during Masterpiece London 2015 Courtesy Masterpiece London

Vetting during Masterpiece London 2015
Courtesy Masterpiece London

Masterpiece’s chief executive Nazy Vassegh says: ‘I am delighted to announce so many exciting additions to this year’s fair. Masterpiece 2016 will have unrivalled depth and quality, and I am pleased that Masterpiece continues to strengthen every edition. We are looking forward to another great year.’

It truly is a must visit fair and allow yourself plenty of time because there are so many exciting things to see and tempt. Like me you may well want visit more than once.

Vetting during Masterpiece London 2015 Courtesy Masterpiece London

Vetting during Masterpiece London 2015
Courtesy Masterpiece London

Over the coming days I will post varied selections of what is on show.

 

http://www.masterpiecefair.com

Olympia Summer Fair 2016

The Art & Antiques Fair, Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, London W14, 27th June – 3rd July 2016

Opening Day, June 2015

Opening Day, June 2015

This Fair certainly has staying power as it is in its 44th year and continues to draw visitors in from home and abroad to see what the hundred and sixty participating dealers have to offer for their collections and homes.

Wakelin & Linfield An unusually large late 19th century two plank Spanish table in walnut with carved decoration to the legs and original ironwork supports to the base. L144” x W39” x H30.25” In the region of £25000 Provenance: Orson Welles

Wakelin & Linfield
An unusually large late 19th century two plank Spanish table in walnut with carved decoration to the legs and original ironwork supports to the base.
L144” x W39” x H30.25”
In the region of £25000
Provenance: Orson Welles

The Fair’s Director, Mary Claire Boyd sums it up: “The Art & Antiques Fair, Olympia is London’s original, quintessential art and antiques fair. Over four decades since the event was founded, we continue to pride ourselves on offering a wider choice of high quality, vetted art, antiques, furniture and collectibles than any other event in the capital.”

Art Ancient Large piece of Roman glass work, reflecting the heights achieved in glassblowing in the 1st-2nd Centuries AD

Art Ancient
Large piece of Roman glass work, reflecting the heights achieved in glassblowing in the 1st-2nd Centuries AD

Among new “features” is Showcase which highlights five specially chosen galleries and dealers – Simon Pirzada (ceramics), The Parker Gallery (Fine Art), Adam Gahlin Fine Art (Modern paintings, drawings and prints), Adam Bentley (Contemporary Art) and Store Street Gallery ((Contemporary Art).

Albermarle Gallery. SOFA LONDON Rado Kirov Monolith mirrored stainless steel 227 x 30 x 110 cm (89 x 12 x 43 in)

Albermarle Gallery. SOFA LONDON
Rado Kirov
Monolith
mirrored stainless steel
227 x 30 x 110 cm (89 x 12 x 43 in)

The well-known SOFA CHICAGO – a Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design Fair (SOFA) will have a European version at this Fair as Mary Claire Boyd, explains“We are very excited to introduce SOFA LONDON as part of The Art & Antiques Fair, Olympia for the very first time this June. SOFA is widely known in the US for its international dealers selling one-of- a-kind masterpieces. Here in London we have an elite selection of dealers who will be showcasing original works from different artists and makers using a variety of mediums. For sale will be works of art including ceramics, metal work, photography, glass works, textiles, furniture and sculptures that appear more contemporary and cutting edge than other pieces in the fair, but yet will also stand the test of time. SOFA CHICAGO attracts over 35,000 people but for those who aren’t able to cross the pond to attend we’re delighted to offer this opportunity within the UK.”

Opening Day, June 2015

Opening Day, June 2015

According to recent research there is a resurgence in the demand for antiques and again I will share Mary Claire Boyd’s observations on this: “The world of antiques can be intimidating at first glance but this research shows that there is a real thirst for antiques. They are appreciated for the qualities they can bring to people’s homes– particularly amongst the younger generation who are frustrated with spending money on furnishings that only last a few years. 

Galerie Arabesque Three-legged ottoman inlaid table. Provenance: estate of Eduard Starke-Pascha, Berlin-Constantinople

Galerie Arabesque
Three-legged ottoman inlaid table.
Provenance: estate of Eduard Starke-Pascha, Berlin-Constantinople

“While people see great benefits of purchasing antiques often they don’t realise the options and scope available to them – and the affordability.  Antiques are unique, often come with a fascinating story – and add individuality to your home.  They can also be combined very effectively with contemporary art and furniture.”

Gilden’s Art Gallery JOAN MIRÓ 1893-1983 Sun Eater | Mangeur de Soleil, 1955 Original Hand Signed and Numbered Lithograph in Colours on Arches Paper Paper size: 76.2 x 56.5 cm. / 30 x 22.3 in.

Gilden’s Art Gallery
JOAN MIRÓ 1893-1983
Sun Eater | Mangeur de Soleil, 1955
Original Hand Signed and Numbered Lithograph in Colours on Arches Paper
Paper size: 76.2 x 56.5 cm. / 30 x 22.3 in.

Very true indeed as many leading interior decorators would no doubt concur.

Tribal Gathering London Mende helmet mask ' Sowei'. Sande society. Sierra Leone

Tribal Gathering London
Mende helmet mask ‘ Sowei’. Sande society. Sierra Leone

 

Manning Fine Art “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster, printed in 1939

Manning Fine Art
“Keep Calm and Carry On” poster, printed in 1939

 

Kate Thurlow Louis XIV upholstered oak armchair, circa 1700 Provenance: Formerly in the collection of Yves St Laurent.

Kate Thurlow
Louis XIV upholstered oak armchair, circa 1700
Provenance: Formerly in the collection of Yves St Laurent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Kelly Books, June 2015

Don Kelly Books, June 2015

 

 

http://www.olympia-art-antiques.com