The Prince Regent’s Christmas

A Regency Christmas, Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire SL4, until 5th January 2016.

This year the Castle’s State Apartments have been decorated in a manner that evokes how the Prince Regent (later George IV) would have celebrated his Christmas there in the early-19th century.

The Crimson Drawing Room Royal Collection Trust/ © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015

The Crimson Drawing Room
Royal Collection Trust/ © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015

While there are impressive Nordmann Fir Christmas trees in the Crimson Drawing Room and St George’s Hall – do look closely at the latter as its decorations reflect that this is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo – it is the State Dining Room which has the major wow factor.  The table is set with pieces from the silver-gilt Grand Service which is still used today at State banquets.  It was made for the Prince Regent by the royal goldsmiths Rundell, Bridge & Rundell and there are some four-thousand pieces in all.

The Octagon Dining Room Royal Collection Trust/ © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015

The Octagon Dining Room
Royal Collection Trust/ © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015

The Prince Regent’s mother Queen Charlotte (wife of George III) is recalled in the Octagon Dining Room which is decorated with yew.  The yew tree was the first tree to be used as a Christmas tree in England and an 1819 memoir of the Queen tells us that ‘in the middle of the room stood an immense tub with a yew-tree placed in it, from the branches of which hung bunches of sweetmeats, almonds, and raisins, fruits and toys, most tastefully arranged, and the whole illuminated by small wax candles’. There is also a small display of gifts exchanged by Queen Charlotte and her family.

Table display in the State Dining Room Royal Collection Trust/ © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015

Table display in the State Dining Room
Royal Collection Trust/ © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015

http://www.royalcollection.org.uk

A Touch of Gothic

Laura Ford at Strawberry Hill, Strawberry Hill House, 268 Waldegrave Road, Twickenham TW1 4ST

Laura Ford,  Days of Judgement (Cats I-VII).  ©Laura Ford /Gautier Deblonde

Laura Ford,
Days of Judgement (Cats I-VII).
©Laura Ford /Gautier Deblonde

I must admit I have always been drawn to Strawberry Hill and Horace Walpole and so the double pleasure of seeing his country villa and this special exhibition of works by Laura Ford was too much to resist.

Laura Ford, Glory Glory.  © Laura Ford / Gautier Deblonde

Laura Ford,
Glory Glory.
© Laura Ford / Gautier Deblonde

Strawberry Hill is one of the earliest examples of Gothic revival in this country and the series of whimsical spaces within the villas are ideal for Ford’s sculptures which are sometimes humorous and sometimes slightly sinister in appearance.

Laura Ford, Armour Boys.  © Laura Ford / Gautier Deblonde

Laura Ford,
Armour Boys.
© Laura Ford / Gautier Deblonde

The latter, of course, reflects perfectly Walpole’s 1765 novel The Castle of Otranto which is regarded as the first gothic novel – a genre that remains popular to this day as the recent British Library exhibition showed. Indeed on your tour of the house you will see the room where Walpole first dreamt of the story. This is a very special exhibition, perfectly suited for the house.

Laura Ford, Waldegrave Poodles. © Laura Ford / Gautier Deblonde

Laura Ford,
Waldegrave Poodles.
© Laura Ford / Gautier Deblonde

Thanks are due to Lord and Lady Cholmondeley, Houghton Hall; the New Art Centre, Roche Court; Lakeland Arts and Arts Council England for their support. Next year the exhibition can be seen at Blackwell Arts and Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria from 19 March – 4 September 2016.

 

Laura Ford, Weeping Girl III & II.  © Laura Ford / GautierDeblonde

Laura Ford,
Weeping Girl III & II.
© Laura Ford / GautierDeblonde

http://www.strawberryhillhouse.org.uk

www.sculpture.uk.com

MASTERPIECE LONDON 2015 OPENS TOMORROW

MASTERPIECE LONDON 2015, South Grounds, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, London SW3, 25th June – 1st July 2015

 

Outside On the Red Carpet Masterpiece 2014.  Photo credit Rory Lindsay

Outside On the Red Carpet Masterpiece 2014.
Photo credit Rory Lindsay

There is little doubt that Masterpiece London is a very special fair with objects spanning over 4, 000 years being shown by some 150 galleries. It is a magnet for both collectors and museums round the world and a place to see some outstanding treasures.

As its Chief Executive Nazy Vassegh explains, “The 8 days when Masterpiece takes place is the epicentre of the art season in London. After just five years Masterpiece is now firmly regarded as both a leading international art fair and a welcome addition to the summer season in London. We are particularly delighted by the exhibitors and partners that will join us for the 2015 edition.”

I do hope that many of you will be able to visit this exciting Fair and over the coming days I shall share some of the objects you may find there.

Interior shot of Masterpiece 2014

Interior shot of Masterpiece 2014

 

 Open to the public:

Thursday 25 June & Friday 26 June, 11.00–21.00

Saturday 27 June & Sunday 28 June, 11.00–19.00

Monday 29 June 11.00–21.00

Tuesday 30 June 11.00–18.00 (Followed by The Art Gala at Masterpiece in aid of the NSPCC from 19.00)

Wednesday 1 July, 11.00–21.00

 

2015 Ticket Prices:

 

General Admission Full Access: £42 per person (unlimited entry into the Fair on all Public Days between 25 June and 1 July)

General Admission: £25 per person (single day access)

Student Concession Ticket: £18 per person (with valid student ID)

Under 18s: Free

Phillip King sculpture at Masterpiece 2014.  Photo credit Rory Lindsay photography

Phillip King sculpture at Masterpiece 2014.
Photo credit Rory Lindsay photography

 

http://www.masterpiecefair.com.

Curiosities

EVERY OBJECT TELLS A STORY, 33 Fitzroy Square, London W1, until 26 June 2015

Gandhara Schist Head of the Buddha Afghanistan, 3rd Century AD Size: 36cm high

Gandhara Schist Head of the Buddha
Afghanistan, 3rd Century AD
Size: 36cm high

The independent dealer, Oliver Hoare, who specialises in Islamic Art, has put together a fascinating selling exhibition of more than two hundred and fifty pieces drawn from around the world over a time span of five thousand years. Their common denominator is that they are of interest historically and often have an interesting provenance.

Anthology of Poetry Probably Herat, Afghanistan, early 16th century AD Size: 22.5 x 15cm Lacquer binding, circa 16th century AD

Anthology of Poetry
Probably Herat, Afghanistan, early 16th century AD
Size: 22.5 x 15cm
Lacquer binding, circa 16th century AD

They range from a rare surviving Dodo bone to the 13th Dalai Lama’s Double Bass, via a 14th century Alchemist’s mortar, a 16th century anthology of poetry owned by Mughal Emperors and a very rare Eskimo’s baby blanket. A true pot-pourri of objects and pictures that will intrigue and delight visitors although some may find part of the collection of scrimshaw a bit explicit!

13th Dalai Lama’s Double Bass Lhasa, Tibet, 1920s Size: instrument 170 x 56cm

13th Dalai Lama’s Double Bass
Lhasa, Tibet, 1920s
Size: instrument 170 x 56cm

It is best summed up by Oliver Hoare: “The point of the exhibition, as its title announces, is to celebrate the fascinating and often peculiar stories attached to works of art. The criterion for what is presented has little to do with the value of objects and therefore it differs from the more conventional ‘Cabinets of Curiosities’. Nor does it necessarily reflect the current canon of what is seen as beautiful or culturally significant, although there are significant and beautiful works of art by anyone’s standards. The objects will be displayed like a private collection in the magnificent Robert Adam rooms at 33 Fitzroy Square, once home to the Omega Workshop. The catalogue is, hopefully, the work of a storyteller’s art, and I hope that anyone with an interest in history, art, or a good and unusual story, will come to visit and explore the exhibition”.

Bronze skeleton of a dodo Cast in 2000 Size: 70cm high Pangolin Editions

Bronze skeleton of a dodo
Cast in 2000
Size: 70cm high
Pangolin Editions

http://www.everyobjecttellsastory.com

BOOK REVIEW: Private Houses of France

Private Houses of France
Living with History
Christiane de Nicolay-Mazery
Photography by Francis Hammond

Private Houses of France cover

HC w/jacket
296 pages
370 colour illustrations
ISBN: 978-2-08-020164-5
£55

If, like me, you are fascinated by other peoples’ homes and their style then this is most definitely a book for you. Whether Renaissance or 19th century the interiors and architecture depicted within the book’s pages will inspire and delight both the serious and the amateur decorator and collector.

The Château de Condé, in the Picardy region, had the privilege of welcoming the most cultivated spirits of its time. It stands as a beguiling witness to the effervescent spirit of eighteenth-century France and the bucolic charms of Watteau’s fêtes galantes. © Francis Hammond

The Château de Condé, in the Picardy region, had the privilege of welcoming the most cultivated spirits of its time. It stands as a beguiling witness to the effervescent spirit of eighteenth-century France and the bucolic charms of Watteau’s fêtes galantes. © Francis Hammond

Some of the interiors are no longer extant which adds a sense of both nostalgia but also gratitude that they are recorded here and thus live on to be enjoyed. It is an intimate view of a special world and time.

This superlative André-Charles Boulle secretaire in the Salon des Muses, decorated by Le Sueur, is one of only three known examples; one used to be at Knole House, childhood home of Vita Sackville-West, and the other is now in Buckingham Palace. © Christina Vervitsioti-Missoffe

This superlative André-Charles Boulle secretaire in the Salon des Muses, decorated by Le Sueur, is one of only three known examples; one used to be at Knole House, childhood home of Vita Sackville-West, and the other is now in Buckingham Palace. © Christina Vervitsioti-Missoffe

Burrell at Bonhams

‘Burrell at Bonhams – An exhibition of masterpieces from the Burrell Collection, Glasgow’, Bonhams, 101 New Bond Street, London W1, 15th December 2014 – 9th January, 2015.

Ceremonial Oak Bedhead made for the marriage of King Henry VIII and Anne of Cleeves (1539)

Ceremonial Oak Bedhead made for the marriage of King Henry VIII and Anne of Cleeves (1539)

It comes as a surprise to think that it was in 1983 that the Burrell Collection opened in its specially designed building in Pollok Country Park and now is in need of a major refurbishment and redisplay.

Stained glass panel Prophet Jeremiah  - France (place of manufacture)  - 13th century coloured glass

Stained glass panel Prophet Jeremiah – France (place of manufacture) – 13th century coloured glass

The collection, which took Sir William Burrell some eighty years to create, has over nine thousand objects (antiquities, objects, tapestries and paintings) in it and ranks highly among the world’s great personal collections. When Sir William and his wife gave the collection to the City of Glasgow in 1944 he specified that items were not to be loaned for exhibition overseas, since as a shipping magnate he was aware of the possibility of damage in transit. It therefore took a bill approved by the Scottish Parliament in January of this year to allow for the first international tour, of which this exhibition is the prelude.

Wine ewer China; Jingdezhen (place of manufacture) Ming Dynasty – 15th Century

Wine ewer China; Jingdezhen (place of manufacture)
Ming Dynasty – 15th Century

There are forty-five star items on show, including a 1632 Rembrandt self-portrait, Cezanne’s Chateau of Medan, and the bed head of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves, dated 1539, whose decoration includes erotic scenes. Other outstanding pieces are the falconry set of James IV and a Korean Celadon tea bowl. I can only recommend this show to you and suggest that you make an effort to see these wonderful items.

The Beach at Trouville; the Empress Eugenie Boudin, Eugène Louis (1824 - 1898; French)

The Beach at Trouville; the Empress Eugenie
Boudin, Eugène Louis (1824 – 1898; French)

Opening times:
15 December 2014 to 9 January 2015, 9.00am-5.30pm
(Closed weekends and from 24 December – 4 January)
Admission is free.
#BurrellatBonhams

Fluted plate armour Germany; South Germany; Nuremberg; possibly (place of manufacture) circa 1515

Fluted plate armour Germany; South Germany; Nuremberg; possibly (place of manufacture) circa 1515

http://www.bonhams.com
http://www.museumsgalleriesscotland.org.uk/…/burrell-collection

Enamelled copper dish. Made in Venice; Italy; 15th century

Enamelled copper dish. Made in Venice; Italy; 15th century

Ming: 50 years that changed China

Ming: 50 years that changed China, The Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery, British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1, until 4th January 2014

ortrait of Yang Hong (1381-1451). Ming dynasty, Jingtai reign, ca. 1451. Ink and color on silk. H x W (painting): 220.8 x 127.5 cm (86 15/16 x 50 3/16 in) Credit line: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.: Purchase-- Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and partial gift of Richard G. Pritzlaff, S1991.77

Portrait of Yang Hong (1381-1451). Ming dynasty, Jingtai reign, ca. 1451. Ink and
color on silk. H x W (painting): 220.8 x 127.5 cm (86 15/16 x 50 3/16 in)
Credit line: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.: Purchase–
Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and partial gift of Richard G. Pritzlaff, S1991.77

This exhibition tells the story of the fifty years (1400-1450) when China became a global super power. Admiral Zheng was responsible for sending treasure ships to South East Asia, Africa and the Middle East which resulted in trade and growing diplomatic ties. At home things changed politically with power becoming centralised rather than devolved as bureaucrats took over from military leaders. Even the Emperor’s role changed from that of an autocrat to one of iconic status. China’s borders became established and Beijing became the Imperial capital, with the Emperor building the Forbidden City.

Head ornament. Gold. About 1400–50. Nanjing or Beijing. © Trustees of the British Museum

Head ornament. Gold. About 1400–50. Nanjing or Beijing. © Trustees of the British Museum

The emphasis of this exhibition is on the cultural and social changes happening at this time concentrating not only on the Imperial Courts of the four Emperors who reigned during this period but also on three regional princely tombs East (Sichuan), Southwest (Shandong) and Central China (Hubei) and the objects found within. This really is a superb exhibition on all levels and you should visit before it closes.

Porcelain bottle with underglaze cobalt blue decoration. Yongle era, 1403- 1424. Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province. Height 33.50 cm; diameter 18.60 cm. Sir Percival David Collection. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Porcelain bottle with underglaze cobalt blue decoration. Yongle era, 1403-
1424. Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province. Height 33.50 cm; diameter 18.60 cm. Sir Percival David
Collection. © The Trustees of the British Museum

A last thought and that is the late 1490s painting of the Adoration of the Three Magi by Andrea Mantegna which is included in this show. Why you may ask? Well the oldest of the Magi who offers gold coins to the Infant Christ, holds a tiny blue-and-white porcelain bowl or cup. A reminder that a small number of Chinese ceramics are known to have been in Europe in the 15th century and slightly earlier although it would be the 16th century before they became more common.

Sword and scabbard with inscription. Iron, gold, silver, wood and leather. Yongle era about 1420, Beijing. © Royal Armouries

Sword and scabbard with inscription. Iron, gold, silver, wood and leather.
Yongle era about 1420, Beijing. © Royal Armouries

http://www.britishmuseum.org

Anonymous, ‘Tribute giraffe with attendant’. Hanging scroll, ink and colours on silk. Dated 1414. Philadelphia Museum of Art, donated by John T. Dorrance. Image courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Anonymous, ‘Tribute giraffe with attendant’. Hanging scroll, ink and
colours on silk. Dated 1414. Philadelphia Museum of Art, donated by John T. Dorrance. Image
courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

Many thanks to Errol Manners FSA for his advice

The Winter Olympia Fair

The 24th Winter Art & Antiques Fair, Olympia National, Olympia Exhibition Centre, Olympia Way, London, W14, 3rd– 9th November 2014

Olympia - bar shot (Winter 2013)

Olympia – bar shot (Winter 2013)

This popular fair once again runs alongside Asian Art in London week. Visitors will find an array of over thirty thousand items in thirty-two disciplines, including fossils.

 A Luiz Ferreira (1909-1994) silver mounted conch shell. Porto assay mark (1938-1984), Venâncio Pereira Lda. (1976) maker's mark and Luiz Ferreira mark.  J M Baptista

 A Luiz Ferreira (1909-1994) silver mounted conch shell. Porto assay mark (1938-1984),
Venâncio Pereira Lda. (1976) maker’s mark and Luiz Ferreira mark.
J M Baptista

Mary Clare Boyd, the Fair’s Director, says, ‘be prepared for a truly eclectic mix of pieces for sale, beyond what you might imagine an antique fair could sell. There are fashion drawings, 1950s Cartier earrings, Asprey Cocktail shakers, Warhol prints, Lalique glass, 18th century oak dressers, enormous chrome binoculars and 17th century marriage portraits. It is a wonderful source of one-off Christmas presents at different prices and the experience is one of pre-Christmas luxury and sparkle with a host of experts on hand to learn from’.

A pair of late Victorian Walnut Armchairs, circa 1890. Holly Johnson

A pair of late Victorian Walnut Armchairs, circa 1890.
Holly Johnson

There is also a programme of talks and events.

A set of 12 cups and saucers by Minton, c1870.  Philip Carrol

A set of 12 cups and saucers by Minton, c1870.
Philip Carrol

http://www.olympia- antiques.com

George III Silver Tea Caddy.   Mary Cook Antiques Ltd

George III Silver Tea Caddy.
Mary Cook Antiques Ltd

John Heseltine ( 20th Cent. British) "Holiday in Venice" Original design work for book jacket. Acrylic paint on artist board. John Robertson

John Heseltine ( 20th Cent. British)
“Holiday in Venice”
Original design work for book jacket. Acrylic paint on artist board.
John Robertson

Laticinnio glass carafe and glass, c1860. Mark J West

Laticinnio glass carafe and glass, c1860.
Mark J West

Japanese silver cockerel and hen on a gold lacquer base, signed Hidetomo, Meiji Period (1868-1912). Laura Bordignon Antiques

Japanese silver cockerel and hen on a gold lacquer base, signed Hidetomo, Meiji Period (1868-1912).
Laura Bordignon Antiques

 

 

 

elizabeth gage® & kallos gallery

elizabeth gage® & kallos gallery – Exhibition of jewellery and antiquities, Kallos Gallery, 14-16 Davies Street, London W1, until 26th September

Kallos Gallery: A bronze horse votive of the geometric era (750-730BC). Price on application An 18ct yellow gold necklace with 9 oval cabochon peridots, with an ancient bronze Zeus.  Price on application Credit: 'Ka​llos Gallery and Alex Brenner'

Kallos Gallery: A bronze horse votive of the geometric era (750-730BC). Price on application
An 18ct yellow gold necklace with 9 oval cabochon peridots, with an ancient bronze Zeus. Price on application
Credit: ‘Ka​llos Gallery and Alex Brenner’

Combine the jewellery of the highly regarded jewellery designer Elizabeth Gage with the remarkable ancient Greek antiquities in Baron Lorne Thyssen-Bornemisza’s recently opened Kallos Gallery and you have what can only be described as truly classic elegance.

Kallos Gallery - Elizabeth Gage's talk on 23rd September Credit: 'Ka​llos Gallery and Alex Brenner'.

Kallos Gallery – Elizabeth Gage’s talk on 23rd September
Credit: ‘Ka​llos Gallery and Alex Brenner’.

In her book The Unconventional Gage Miss Gage writes ‘Coins have always had a fascination for me because of their historical association. I became fascinated by Alexander the Great after using coins bearing his head many times in my jewellery. When I pick up an ancient coin I am aware that I am touching a piece that has been handled by people many hundreds of years ago,’

It is particularly appropriate that some pieces are being shown with ancient Greek coins in this exhibition which so succinctly combines ancient and modern in such an engaging way.

Kallos Gallery: A bronze horse votive of the geometric era (750-730BC). Price on application A 'regardant beast' motif on a disc brooch found in East Anglia, on a necklace with bronzites.  Price on application​ Credit: 'Ka​llos Gallery and Alex Brenner'

Kallos Gallery: A bronze horse votive of the geometric era (750-730BC). Price on application
A ‘regardant beast’ motif on a disc brooch found in East Anglia, on a necklace with bronzites. Price on application​
Credit: ‘Ka​llos Gallery and Alex Brenner’

kallosgallery.com
http://www.elizabeth-gage.com

Tribal Art London

Tribal Art London, The Mall Galleries, London SW1 from 10th-13th September 2014.

The UK’s only specialist top-flight tribal art event re-launches this year as the Tribal Art London fair with a new home at The Mall Galleries, London SW1.

Yoruba Egungun Mask from Nigeria.  £12,000. Michael Backman Gallery

Yoruba Egungun Mask from Nigeria.
£12,000.
Michael Backman Gallery

Known previously as Tribal Perspectives this leading event re-launches itself as Tribal Art London at a new Central London venue. The larger size of the new home means that a wider variety of art and artefacts can be shown, including for the first time ethnographic photography and contemporary art.

Carved ivory figure, 19th Century,  Loango people, Congo. £4,500 Adam Prout

Carved ivory figure, 19th Century,
Loango people, Congo.
£4,500
Adam Prout

Ceremonial shield. Kikuyu tribe, Kenya.  £17,000 Provenance: Collection of Rolf de Mare (Sweden). Clive Loveless and Bryan Reeves/Tribal Gathering

Ceremonial shield. Kikuyu tribe, Kenya.
£17,000
Provenance: Collection of Rolf de Mare (Sweden).
Clive Loveless and Bryan Reeves/Tribal Gathering

The exhibitors, drawn from the UK, Europe and Australia, are leading experts in their field. As organiser Bryan Reeves says: “The early works exhibited by dealers at Tribal Art London are all original period items made for intentional use, many of them museum-quality. There is a great deal of later work on the market today, made not for use in the tribe but to serve the consumer demands of a tourist trade. Our exhibitors source historic items, often with provenance, collected in the late 19th and first half of the 20th centuries by explorers, scientists and missionaries who would have lived alongside or known the peoples for whom these objects held great significance.”

Artist: Kiboko Title: In all the wrong places Medium: Mixed media on canvas, 2012 76x51cm £6700.00 Kamba Fine Art

Artist: Kiboko
Title: In all the wrong places
Medium: Mixed media on canvas, 2012
76x51cm
£6700.00
Kamba Fine Art

Opening Times:
Weds 10 September 6.30pm-9.30pm
Thurs 11 Sept 10am- 7pm
Friday 12 Sept 10am-7pm
Saturday 13 Sept 10am-6pm

BIOMA ANCESTOR FIGURE c. 1900 Papuan Gulf, Papua New Guinea Ochre and kaolin on carved wood 53.6 cm height  £5,750  Kapil Jariwala

BIOMA ANCESTOR FIGURE
c. 1900
Papuan Gulf, Papua New Guinea
Ochre and kaolin on carved wood
53.6 cm height
£5,750
Kapil Jariwala

http://www.tribalartlondon.com