Fancy a Bargain?

George III period mahogany framed elbow chair, the three upper splats to the back, well carved arms with fine reeding over shaped and turned uprights with block toes, c. 1790 Height34.00 inch(86.4 cm) Width24.00 inch(61.0 cm) Depth25.00 inch(63.5 cm)

George III period mahogany framed elbow chair, the three upper splats to the back, well carved arms with fine reeding over shaped and turned uprights with block toes, c. 1790
Height34.00 inch(86.4 cm)
Width24.00 inch(61.0 cm)
Depth25.00 inch(63.5 cm)

The noted antique dealers Windsor House Antiques have found a novel way of marking sixty years of trading. They have launched House Bargains on their new website.  There you will find some wonderful pieces, including chandeliers, mirrors and cushions listed at substantial discounts.  Well worth a peek!

An exceptionally finely figured burr amboyna Gueridon of wonderful colour and patina and with original inset marble top. Second quarter of the 19th century, c. 1840 Height 30.00 inch (76.2 cm) Width 27.00 inch (68.6 cm) Depth 27.00 inch (68.6 cm)

An exceptionally finely figured burr amboyna Gueridon of wonderful colour and patina and with original inset marble top. Second quarter of the 19th century, c. 1840
Height 30.00 inch (76.2 cm)
Width 27.00 inch (68.6 cm)
Depth 27.00 inch (68.6 cm)

www.windsorhouseantiques.co.uk

This January two fairs, one venue:

The Winter Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair, Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London SW11, 24th-29th January 2017  

Pair of Louis XV Painted Bergere Armchairs - Adam Calvert Bentley

Pair of Louis XV Painted Bergere Armchairs – Adam Calvert Bentley

While I am sure that many of you will already know about this exciting regular event I always feel that it is worth reminding you that it is on.  It is a magnet for homemakers, antique collectors and, of course, interior decorators. It is the sort of fair where you find the absolutely perfect thing – which you didn’t realise you wanted until you see it.  Happy purchasing!

 

Wax Seal Tea Caddy - Adam Calvert Bentley

Wax Seal Tea Caddy – Adam Calvert Bentley

http://www.decorativefair.com

 

London Antique Rug & Textile Art Fair, Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London SW11, 24th -29th January 2017 

19th Century Kurdish rug from Sauj Bolaq, Kurdistan Brian Macdonald

19th Century Kurdish rug from Sauj Bolaq, Kurdistan
Brian Macdonald

In this welcome move the LARTA Fair moves to the mezzanine floor at Battersea Evolution and makes the perfect combination with the Decorative Fair downstairs.  Visitors will find a good range of collectable decorative rugs, carpets, tapestries, suzanis and embroideries and other textiles. Now that it will be a bigger event than usual there will also be some contemporary designs and a variety of tribal, Islamic and Asian artefacts, including jewellery as well. Don’t forget that the best pieces can be seen online in a ‘virtual fair’ which becomes live when the fair opens.

An early 1800’s Epigonation (in Greek meaning “over the knee”) vestment, worked in silver gilt on a red velvet ground. Marilyn Garrow

An early 1800’s Epigonation (in Greek meaning “over the knee”) vestment, worked in silver gilt on a red velvet ground.
Marilyn Garrow

http://www.larta.net

 

Alfies at the Autumn Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair

The Autumn Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair, Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London SW11, 27th September-2nd October 2016

1930s Art Deco occasional table offered by Travers Antiques

1930s Art Deco occasional table offered by Travers Antiques

Those fans of the series Poldark and Victoria on television will no doubt find antiques and furnishings to achieve a similar period look at home while those who favour Scandinavian style will find inspiration in the special exhibition Scandi Days & Nordic Nights.

Brass drinks cart offered by Matt Mitchell

Brass drinks cart offered by Matt Mitchell

Special visitors to this edition of the Fair are a group of dealer’s from the well-known Alfies Antique Market in Church Street, London NW8.  Alfies are celebrating a well-deserved fortieth anniversary this year and this special Alfies Marylebone Stand on the Fair’s mezzanine floor is part of the celebrations.  I sincerely hope that they will become a regular feature.

Brass lamp offered by Travers Antiques

Brass lamp offered by Travers Antiques

 

 

 

 

 

Among the Alfies dealers taking part are:
The Moderns
Tin Tin Collectables Luggage
Thirteen Interiors
Duncan Clarke
Steven Lazarus
Diplomat Treasures International
Mark Eaton
Louise Verber
Travers Antiques
Matt Mitchell London

 

www.decorativefair.com

http://www.alfiesantiques.com

Glass end table offered by Louise Verber

Glass end table offered by Louise Verber

Three Cs – ‘Capability’, Coventry, Croome

‘Expect the Unexpected’, Croome Court, near High Green, Worcester, Worcestershire, WR8 9DW

The south front of the house seen across the lake at Croome Court Credit: Andrew Butler

The south front of the house seen across the lake at Croome Court
Credit: Andrew Butler

What a lovely co-incidence that in this ‘Capability’ Brown’s 300th Anniversary year I am fortunate enough to be able to write about Croome Court which as well as being Brown’s first major commission was a complete project due to the fact that he was asked in 1751 by the 6th Earl of Coventry to create a house and estate that would be the dernier cri.  The photographs show the resulting building and landscape. Although the outside design and some of the interiors are Brown’s work the Earl later commissioned Robert Adam to design some of the rooms – the Long Gallery, the Library and Tapestry Room.

The Original tapestry Room Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Original tapestry Room
Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Tapestry Room, now in the Metropolitan Museum in New York, featured a specially commissioned set of Gobelins tapestries and seat covers. Coventry was one of the great 18th century English collectors of Vincennes and Sèvres porcelains and he asked Adam to design a tripod stand to hold a Sevres jug and basin whose colours reflected those of the room.

Artist Will Datson with ‘Chair Play’ and two of the original chairs Credit: Jack Nelson

Artist Will Datson with ‘Chair Play’ and two of the original chairs
Credit: Jack Nelson

In1948 the family disposed of the house and many of its contents were sold by auction and thus nowadays only about twenty percent of the collection remains.  There are plans to bring these pieces back to the house later this year. The National Trust bought the park in 1996 and started on its restoration and in 2007 the house was purchased by the Croome Heritage Trust and they have granted a long lease to the National Trust.

‘Chair Play’ in the Entrance Hall Credit: Jack Nelson

‘Chair Play’ in the Entrance Hall
Credit: Jack Nelson

Contemporary art installations have been placed in the house to evoke the idea of ‘expect the unexpected’ but are inspired by and use pieces that were originally in the house. Upon entering the building one sees the artist Will Datson’s original take on the idea of hall chairs through his 2.5 metre high installation. He says of it “It was my task to display the original hall chairs in a new way. We all see chairs every day, and usually ignore them, so I’ve attempted to create something out-of-the-ordinary, dramatic and playful, that’s hard to ignore.”

The ‘Golden Box’ in the Dining Room at Croome Credit: Jack Nelson

The ‘Golden Box’ in the Dining Room at Croome
Credit: Jack Nelson

In the dining room, whose plasterwork was painted by members of the Hare Krishna Movement who used the house as their headquarters (1979-84), visitors are confronted by a 2 metre high golden box which contains beautiful examples of Meissen, Worcester and Sèvres porcelains from Croome’s remarkable collection which have been installed by the noted artist Bouke de Vries to form a dazzling ceramics treasury. He simply sums it up saying “It’s been extraordinary to work on this project with the amazing team at Croome”.

Artist Bouke de Vries making the final finishing touches to the ‘Golden Box’ Credit: Jack Nelson

Artist Bouke de Vries making the final finishing touches to the ‘Golden Box’
Credit: Jack Nelson

In the Lord’s Dressing Room you will discover two 18th century Adam-style commodes made for the house by the celebrated firm of Mayhew & Ince who also supplied the seat furniture for the Tapestry Room.  It is worth remembering that the 6th Earl also bought French furniture for Croome in Paris from A la Couronne d’Or, the shop of the renowned marchand-mercier Simon-Philippe Poirier. There is also a portrait of Barbara St John, the Earl’s second wife.

Beautifully crafted 18th century Adamesque commodes with the portrait of Barbara St John in the background. Credit: Jack Nelson

Beautifully crafted 18th century Adamesque commodes with the portrait of Barbara St John in the background.
Credit: Jack Nelson

While Croome’s Tapestry Room is now bare of its glorious contents it inspired the idea of bringing Grayson Perry’s tapestries ‘The Vanity of Small Differences’ to Croome (until 11th September 2016). The six large-scale works, inspired by Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress, tell the story of Tim Rakewell and many of the people and things depicted reflect events that Perry encountered in his life. A 1994 earthenware vase by Perry, entitled Spirit Jar is also on show.

Visitors looking at the Grayson Perry Tapestries Credit: Peter Young

Visitors looking at the Grayson Perry Tapestries
Credit: Peter Young

‘Capability’ Brown and the Earl had become friends and thirty years after he started his transformation at Croome he still visited there and indeed Croome was described as his ‘first and most favourite child’.

Visitors looking at the Grayson Perry Tapestries Credit: Peter Young

Visitors looking at the Grayson Perry Tapestries
Credit: Peter Young

In 1783 Brown died while on his way home from dining with the Earl at his London residence. The Earl had a monument erected in Brown’s memory and it bears the inscription:

To the Memory of Lancelot Brown

Who by the powers of his inimitable and creative genius formed this garden scene out of a morass.

The Coade stone monument to Lancalot "Capability" Brown by the lake at Croome Court.The memorial was erected in 1797 following the death of Brown in 1783.

The Coade stone monument to Lancalot “Capability” Brown by the lake at Croome Court.The memorial was erected in 1797 following the death of Brown in 1783.

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/croome

Inside the Golden Box is an amazing collection of porcelain Credit: Jack Nelson

Inside the Golden Box is an amazing collection of porcelain
Credit: Jack Nelson

For those of you interested in learning more about the 6th Earls collection Sèvres I recommend:

THE SIXTH EARL OF COVENTRY’S PURCHASES OF SÈVRES PORCELAIN IN PARIS AND LONDON IN THE 1760s by Rosalind Savill in the French Porcelain Society Journal, Volume V 2015

A further display of porcelain in the Dining Room Credit: Peter Young

A further display of porcelain in the Dining Room
Credit: Peter Young

 

Grayson Perry (b. 1960), The Upper Class at Bay, 2012 Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London and British Council. Gift of the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery with the support of Channel 4 Television, the Art Fund and Sfumato Foundation with additional support from Alix Partners.

Grayson Perry (b. 1960), The Upper Class at Bay, 2012 Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London and British Council. Gift of the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery with the support of Channel 4 Television, the Art Fund and Sfumato Foundation with additional support from Alix Partners.

 

Croome Court Credit: David Norton

Croome Court
Credit: David Norton

Sir Edward Heath – at home

Sir Edward Heath – at home in Salisbury

Arundells - Entrance Front

Arundells – Entrance Front

Standing in the wonderful environs of Salisbury’s Cathedral Close is Arundells a beautiful house of Georgian appearance which in part dates back to the mid-thirteenth century.  It was from 1985 to 2005 the home of the former politician and Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath and although he had a long political career the house is very much a personal home which reflects all facets of his life. It is important to remember as you go round it that it remains very much as it was when he lived there.

The Entrance Hall

The Entrance Hall

Immediately on arrival at the entrance hall you get the welcoming flavour of the house and an idea of how the strands of his interests are skilfully woven together. This he achieved with the help of the designer Derek Frost. Many of the paintings in the hall reflect his love of sailing through depictions and models of the five Morning Cloud yachts he sailed and interspersed among them are Napoleonic prisoner-of-war ship models made from bone and rigged with fine strands of hair.  The maritime-inspired combined clock and barometer was a gift from President Nixon.  There are also drawings by Sickert and Augustus and Gwen John.

Sir Edward seated at the piano in the Drawing Room

Sir Edward seated at the piano in the Drawing Room

A photograph of a young Sir Edward with Augustus John and Dorelia can be seen in the adjoining drawing room which is dominated by a Steinway grand piano which Sir Edward played and upon which are photographs of politicians and world leaders.  Among the many artworks in the room are paintings by L S Lowry, Ken Howard RA, Derek Hill and a painting of Heath’s home town ‘Broadstairs’ by Sir Robert Ponsonby-Staples which was a gift from Sir John Betjeman, given as Sir Edward had so often admired it when visiting Betjeman. Two pieces of sculpture one of Sir Winston and Lady Churchill by Oscar Nemon and a bust of Sir Edward by Martin Jennings are worthy of inspection as are the carved Chinese pieces on the mantelpiece and to its right the display of blue and white porcelain including a large pair of bottle vases which were a gift from Chairman Mao.

Portocarrero ‘Girl in a Fantastic Costume Cuba’

Portocarrero
‘Girl in a Fantastic Costume Cuba’

Pictures in the corridor towards the dining room and library include two paintings by Sir Winston Churchill which he gave to Heath.  There is also a fine group of etchings by William Wyllie, two Singer Sargent’s and a painting by the Cuban artist Portocarrero which was a gift from Fidel Castro.

The Dining Room

The Dining Room

The dining room is hung with pictures by John Piper, including two Sir Edward commissioned himself.  The table is set for lunch which was one of his favourite ways of entertaining – roast lamb followed by Stilton cheese, halibut and lemon pudding were among his favourites as were Brussels sprouts – and from the place cards on view when I was there one gets an idea of the wide range of people he invited which included Princess Margaret, Sting and Sir Harold Wilson.  Dame Maggie Smith, Terry Wogan and Yehudi Menuhin are among other well-known guests. There is also a large group of ceramic pieces on display including Tang pottery, Sevres, Chelsea and Worcester porcelain as well as some Copenhagen Flora Danica.

A view of some of the ceramics in the Dining Room

A view of some of the ceramics in the Dining Room

The Library overlooking the garden contains the high wing-back chair Sir Edward favoured and it was where he would entertain and chat to colleagues and friends from all political parties and walks of life. The walls are adorned with 18th and 19th century Japanese prints which perfectly suit the room. One of the major achievements of his political life was a growing rapport between the UK and China which is also reflected throughout the house but he also obviously had an interest in their arts and culture which is particularly apparent in the panels of specially commissioned wallpaper on the staircase which relates the popular Chinese legend of the Monkey King. They were a house-warming present from two of his former Private Secretaries.

The Library

The Library

Upstairs is Sir Edward’s study which was his private sanctum and where he worked at a Georgian writing desk which had previously belonged to David Lloyd-George. Heath’s army career is also recalled in another room with uniforms and other memorabilia on show from when he was with the Royal Artillery during the War and later on with the Honourable Artillery Company. His Garter Banner hangs on an upstairs corridor wall.

The Study

The Study

Downstairs just beyond the stair hall is a short corridor which is hung with political cartoons by leading cartoonists such as Giles, Jak, Low and Trog, many of which feature Sir Edward.  He enjoyed sharing them with his visitors although sometimes I imagine it may have been a wry chuckle.

Emmwood ©The Daily Mail

Emmwood
©The Daily Mail

Outside the beautiful garden, an intriguing combination of open spaces and secluded areas, is very much as created for Sir Edward.  It stretches down to the confluence of the Rivers Nadder and Avon and reveals a wonderful view across to the meadows. In one corner is the restored bow of Morning Cloud III which was sunk by a freak wave in September 1974, and whose two crew members Nigel Cummings and Christopher Chadd (Sir Edward’s godson) tragically lost their lives.

The view from the end of the garden

The view from the end of the garden

At the front of the house with its view into the Close and of the Cathedral is an exhibition space in a building which used to house Sir Edward’s archive.  At present (until mid-August) there is a display focusing on ‘World Leaders of the 1970s: A Decade of Turmoil’ which features President Nixon, Leonard Brezhnev, Chairman Mao Zedong, Willy Brandt, Indira Gandhi, President Pompidou, Kakuei Tanaka, Pierre Trudeau and Henry Kissinger.  Interestingly enough the latter will be giving a lecture in London in October as part of a series of celebrations organised by the Sir Edward Heath Charitable Foundation to celebrate the centenary of Sir Edward’s birth (9th July, 2016). The following exhibition which runs until May 2017 is ‘Heath at 100: A Political Life in Cartoons’ which promises to be a fascinating way of remembering the major events of his time in politics.

Tang Dynasty Horse

Tang Dynasty Horse

My visit made a lasting impression and I would readily accept an offer to live there just as it is, because it’s a happy house of taste, comfort and history.  I can quite understand why Sir Edward fell in love with it at first sight and for us visitors today it is extremely fortunate that he was able to acquire the lease in 1992 and that he formed a charitable trust which allows us to share in the delights of Arundells and to remember Sir Edward, the man.

Sir Edward in the garden. The spire of Salisbury Cathedral can be seen in the background.

Sir Edward in the garden. The spire of Salisbury Cathedral can be seen in the background.

http://www.arundells.org

Hiroshi Yoshida The Inland Sea Series

Hiroshi Yoshida
The Inland Sea Series

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