BOOK REVIEW: Duveen Brothers And the Market for Decorative Arts, 1880–1940

Duveen Brothers And the Market for Decorative Arts, 1880–1940

Charlotte Vignon

UK£44.95 / US$59.95
Hardback ISBN 978-1-911282-34-1
D Giles Limited in association with The Frick Collection, New York, 2019

 

Duveen.jpg

 

The name of Duveen is well-known in the annals of the American trait of collecting European art treasures in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Their story has previously been related in various volumes written by others, some of whom were family members or involved with the company. Understandably paintings predominated in these previous works but wonderfully at last the decorative arts get their well-deserved centre stage spot.

 

French 18th century furniture, tapestries, Sèvres and Chinese porcelains and medieval and Renaissance works of art were among the items sold to the eager, wealthy American collectors. Relating the story from the firm’s point of view Charlotte Vignon looks at the pricing of the objects and the Duveen’s run-ins with the US tax authorities in which Duveen succeeded and was able to continue to enhance the lives and homes of collectors such as J P Morgan, John D Rockefeller Jnr, Marjorie Merriweather Post, Anna Thomson Dodge and Henry Clay Frick. Thanks to the firm’s records and archives held at the Getty Research Institute, one gets a good understanding of how Duveen functioned in New York, London and Paris and obtained such beautiful treasures at a time when the owners of English and European family collections were selling parts of their heritage for financial reasons. The importance of the house of Duveen was reflected in 1937 when they loaned tapestries to decorate an annexe at Westminster Abbey for the Coronation of King George VI.

 

It’s a remarkable story of connoisseurship and reveals to present day visitors to American museums and collections how these remarkable objects came to be there. Perfect!

 

 

 

gilesltd.com

Lost Treasures of Strawberry Hill: Masterpieces from Horace Walpole’s Collection, Strawberry Hill, 268 Waldegrave Road, Twickenham TW1 4ST, until 24th February, 2019

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Anonymous artist, Staircase at Strawberry Hill, Ink wash with watercolour. Courtesy of The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University

The 2010 exhibition ‘Horace Walpole and Strawberry Hill’ at the V&A was a wonderful celebration of the house, the collection and the collector so now imagine just quite how special this new exhibition is. You can feel the house responding to having over one hundred and fifty of its treasures within its walls once more with some in their original position.

From the early 18th century Chinese tub in which Walpole’s cat Selima drowned accidentally to a clock that had belonged to Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn, it is a veritable pot-pourri of objects and pictures that fascinate and show the breadth of Walpole’s interests, many reflecting the historic style of the building.

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Paul Sandby (1731 – 1809) ‘Strawberry Hill chiefly taken in the year 1769 by Mr. Sandby’, c. 1769. Drawing Watercolour on laid paper with wash-line Courtesy of The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University.

Son of Sir Robert Walpole (Britain’s first Prime Minister), Horace created this first Gothick building with the help of friends. It was his summer home until he died in 1797 and eventually in 1842 there was a twenty-four day sale of its contents. Now YOU can see some of these original contents, back home until February of next year, in both the private rooms and the State rooms. By 1797 there were some four thousand pieces plus coins, drawings and prints in the collection

I am deliberately not illustrating any of the objects on show because I think it is so, so important that, if you can, you should see them in situ and thus hopefully get a sense of both Horace and his remarkable creation. I implore you to do so! You will regret it if you don’t. The stuff of dreams.

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John Carter, The Tribune at Strawberry Hill, c. 1789. Courtesy of The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University.

 

Open 7 days a week

Monday – Friday: 12-6pm (Late opening until 10pm on Fridays)

Saturday – Sunday: 11am -6pm 

Final entry one hour before closing

Private guided tours available 10am-11am and 6pm, Monday to Friday

Public guided tours available 10am Saturday & Sunday

 

 

www.strawberryhillhouse.org.uk/losttreasures

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.

hurst

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

Masterpiece London 2017 – Les Enluminures

Les Enluminures at Masterpiece London 2017, until 5th July 2017

THE “SOISSONS MISSAL”
Northeastern France (Diocese of Soissons), c. 1250-75 With 1 full-page miniature and 22 large historiated
initials by Vincent Master (active Northeast France, c.1260-90)
In Latin, illuminated manuscript on parchment
334 x 220 mm.

This firm’s specialises, under the leadership of Sandra Hindman, in manuscripts, miniatures, rings and jewellery from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. They have garnered a colourful and rich selection of important acquisitions as these images show and one can totally understand why they number major institutions among their clients.

ROMAN OPEN-WORK HOOP “UTERE FELIX”
Roman Empire, 3rd century
Gold Weight 21.8 gr.; circumference 63.84 mm.; US size 10 5/8; UK size V

 

Histoire Ancienne jusqu’à César and Fait des Romains
In French, illuminated manuscript on parchment
With 78 miniatures by the Master of the Coronation of
Charles VI and a collaborator
France, Paris, c. 1370-80

www.lesenluminures.com

www.masterpiecefair.com

Masterpiece London 2017 – Introduction

Masterpiece London 2017, South Grounds, The Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London SW3, 29th June – 5th July 2017

MASTERPIECE PRESENTS
Iván Navarro
Impenetrable Room
2017
Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery

Since its inception this fair has grown into one of the most must-visit events of the art and antiques year. Some thirty-seven thousand visitors last year! It attracts museum directors and private collectors from all over the world to see the artworks shown by a hundred and fifty international dealers. The artworks range from antiquity to the present time. The Royal Bank of Canada is once again the principal sponsor

This year the new MASTERPIECE PRESENTS will reveal a large-scale dedicated exhibition space at the entrance which has been transformed by a special artwork – Impenetrable Room, 2017. Created by the Chilean artist Iván Navarro it has been commissioned by the New York-based Paul Kasmin Gallery who are new exhibitors.

Over the coming days I look forward to sharing blogs on some of the leading dealers taking part.

www.masterpiecefair.com

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

FRIEZE MASTERS 2016

Frieze Masters, The Regent’s Park, London NW1 4HA, (the north-east corner of The Regent’s Park, near the London Zoo), 6th-9th October 2016

Prahlad Bubbar Ltd. Ladies celebrate Holi on a Pleasure Pavilion Leaf from an album made for Antoine Polier Attributed to Mihr Chand, with calligraphy by Hafiz Nur Ullah Lucknow, India, c. 1775-1780 Opaque watercolour and gold on paper Folio 45.5 x 62 cm; Painting 29 x 42.5 cm

Prahlad Bubbar Ltd.
Ladies celebrate Holi on a Pleasure Pavilion
Leaf from an album made for Antoine Polier
Attributed to Mihr Chand, with calligraphy by Hafiz Nur Ullah
Lucknow, India, c. 1775-1780
Opaque watercolour and gold on paper
Folio 45.5 x 62 cm; Painting 29 x 42.5 cm

 

The well-known architect Annabelle Selldorf has designed the structure for this the fifth edition of Frieze Masters and it will play host to one hundred and thirty-three leading historical and modern galleries from around the world.

BLAIN|SOUTHERN LONDON Lynn Chadwick, The Stranger, 1954, Courtesy The Estate of Lynn Chadwick and Blain|Southern, Photo: Matthew Hollow

BLAIN|SOUTHERN LONDON
Lynn Chadwick, The Stranger, 1954,
Courtesy The Estate of Lynn Chadwick and Blain|Southern,
Photo: Matthew Hollow

 

As Frieze’s Director Victoria Siddall commented: ‘The quality and breadth of work in Frieze Masters keeps it fresh and exciting each year. I am looking forward to seeing even more antiquities dealers in the fair, as well as Indian art, alongside the best Old Masters and 20th-century work. Curators play an important role in this fair as well as in our contemporary fairs, and this year we welcome Tim Marlow (Director of Artistic Programmes, Royal Academy, London) who is co-curating Frieze Masters Talks, and Toby Kamps of the Menil Collection in Houston who is presenting his first edition of Spotlight.

 Once again we will see galleries from different fields collaborate on ground-breaking presentations, as the fair continues to offer new models for looking at and collecting art.’

 

 

 

Daniel Crouch Rare Books Benjamin Read, View in the Colosseum Regents Park London, Summer Fashions for 1836. London, 1836. Image courtesy of Daniel Crouch Rare Books.

Daniel Crouch Rare Books
Benjamin Read,
View in the Colosseum Regents Park London, Summer Fashions for 1836. London, 1836.
Image courtesy of Daniel Crouch Rare Books.

 

Luxembourg & Dayan Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008), Untitled (mud painting), 1953-1992 Courtesy Luxembourg & Dayan

Luxembourg & Dayan
Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008),
Untitled (mud painting), 1953-1992
Courtesy Luxembourg & Dayan

 

Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books AG Beauchamp-Corbet Hours, manuscript on vellum, illuminated by the Milemete workshop, mainly by the De Bois Master. England, London, dated 1328 image courtesy of Dr. Jorn Gunther Rare Books

Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books AG
Beauchamp-Corbet Hours, manuscript on vellum, illuminated by the Milemete workshop, mainly by the De Bois Master. England, London, dated 1328
image courtesy of Dr. Jorn Gunther Rare Books

 

Mayor Gallery Ad Dekkers Relief met drie circkels 1967 Polyester, paint Ø 180 x 3 cm Ø 70 7/8 x 1 1/8 in

Mayor Gallery
Ad Dekkers
Relief met drie circkels 1967
Polyester, paint Ø 180 x 3 cm Ø 70 7/8 x 1 1/8 in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waddington Custot Manolo Millares, Ínsula, 1967, mixed media on burlap. Courtesy Waddington Custot

Waddington Custot
Manolo Millares, Ínsula, 1967,
mixed media on burlap.
Courtesy Waddington Custot

 

Kallos Gallery Archaic Cretan Bronze Helmet, circa 650-620 BC. Credit Steve Wakeham & Kallos Gallery

Kallos Gallery
Archaic Cretan Bronze Helmet, circa 650-620 BC.
Credit Steve Wakeham & Kallos Gallery

 

Bernard Jacobson Gallery Robert Motherwell (1915-1991) Untitled (New England Elegy No.5) 1967 Oil on canvas 296.6 x 355.6 cms (116 3/4 x 140 ins) RM12608

Bernard Jacobson Gallery
Robert Motherwell (1915-1991)
Untitled (New England Elegy No.5)
1967
Oil on canvas
296.6 x 355.6 cms (116 3/4 x 140 ins)
RM12608

 

 

frieze.com/fairs/frieze-masters