The Love of Books!

The Library of the Late Hubert Dingwall, Dreweatts & Bloomsbury  Auctions, 16-17 Pall Mall, St James’s, London SW1Y 5LU, Thursday, 27th April 2017

Hubert Dingwall
(Images courtesy of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions)

I think it totally appropriate that the dedicated book collecting of Hubert Dingwall (1912 – 2001) should be celebrated in this inaugural auction at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auction’s new Pall Mall saleroom.

Lot 215 – Annie R. Rentoul, Elves and Fairies, edited by Grenby Outhwaite, first edition, Melbourne & Sydney, 1916, est. £600 – £800
(Images courtesy of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions)

An Oxford graduate Dingwall started collecting books in his early 20s often browsing the booksellers’ barrows in Charing Cross Road seeking out bargains (I wish they were still there). But as collectors often do he started going to more established dealers and later became a good client of the renowned firm Maggs Bros. Ltd.

Lot 69 – Cervantes Saavedra (Miguel de) El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha,1780, est. £10,000-15,000
(Images courtesy of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions)

There are more than fifteen hundred books in the auction and estimates range from £100 – £15,000. The books were housed in every room of his Wimbledon home – excepting the kitchen and bathroom – but including two especially fitted-out cellar rooms.

Lot 223 – Gregynog Press.-Aesop. The Fables of Esope, 1932, One of 25 specially bound copies, est. £2,000-3,000
(Images courtesy of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions)

Dingwall summed his approach up saying: “I have remained to a great extent an accumulator. I think this is because I derive pleasure from so many different aspects of books. It is my hope that [I] give those of you who have not been bitten by the bibliomania bug an inkling of what interest is inherent in books above and beyond the reading matter they contain”.

 

Now is your chance to prove him right!

Lot 198 – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, one of 500 deluxe copies signed by the illustrator, 12 tipped-in colour plates by Arthur Rackham, 1915. est. £800-£1,200
(Images courtesy of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions)

 

http://www.dreweatts.com

Glorious Years!

Glorious Years: French Calendars from Louis XIV to the Revolution, Waddesdon Manor, Waddesdon, Near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Wed-Sun – until 29th October 2017

P Thévenard, Almanac Titled ‘France thanks the sky for the Dauphin’s healthy recovery’, 1753.
Photo Mike Fear © National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

It is fortunate for later generations that Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild (1839-1898) not only collected 18th century French furniture and porcelain but also had an interest in social history of the period too, accumulating trade cards, lottery tickets and other ephemera such as the calendars that form the focus of this very special exhibition.

Almanac Titled ‘Conquest of the island of Grenada from the English’, 1780.
Photo Mike Fear © National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

The twenty-six calendars or as they were originally called ‘almanacs’ are having their public debut as they have not been exhibited before.  They are a strong reminder of the power of imagery as an educational and propaganda tool from the time of Louis XIV up until the French Revolution when the calendar and time were ‘re-invented’.

Philibert Louis Debucourt, Almanac Titled ‘Republican calendar’, 1794.
Photo Mike Fear © National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

The large single-sheet prints features scenes of victories, royal events and peace treaties while the smaller bound pocketbook versions – think the 18th century equivalent of the smartphone – could contain a variety of useful facts,  including lists of the royal households, postal service schedules, songs, poetry and some even had erasable pages for note-taking or recording gambling debts.

The Mother of Parliaments Annual Division of Revenue, A Print for The British Electorate by Adam Dant, 2017
(c) Adam Dant

Alongside these 18th century examples is a specially commissioned 21st century almanac created by the British artist Adam Dant.  Using the 18th century examples as an example, Dant has amusingly re-interpreted them by depicting modern British MPS and ministers. It may well indeed gain extra significance as a political snapshot of early 2017 given the forthcoming General Election.

www.waddesdon.org.uk

House of Illustration 2

Linda Kitson: Drawings and Projects, Quentin Blake Gallery at House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, London N1, until 30th April 2017

Argentinian pucaras at Stanley airstrip in 1982
credit Linda Kitson

It is completely appropriate that Quentin Blake should have curated this small display as he has been a friend of Linda Kitson since she first started as a student at the Royal College of Art some fifty years ago.

Linda was the first officially commissioned female war artist as her drawings of the 1982 Falklands War attest.  Other works recall the BBC’s 50th Anniversary and The Times when it was still in Fleet Street.  Her more recent iPad drawings capture the architecture of the City of London.

The Times in 1982
credit Linda Kitson

 

Open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm. Closed Mondays.

 

houseofillustration.org.uk

House of Illustration 1

Jo Brocklehurst: Nobodies and Somebodies, House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, London N1, until 14th May 2017

Untitled
credit Estate of Jo Brocklehurst

Jo (Josephine) Blanche Brocklehurst (1935 – 2006) was both an artist and a lecturer at Central Saint Martins fashion school and this exhibition proves exactly how talented she was. Brocklehurst depicted the subculture scene of the 70s through to the 90s drawing live whether in fetish clubs, punk squats – one was near her Hampstead studio – and the performance scene, in Berlin and New York as well as London. Some of her iconic punk images are in the V&A’s collection and her works inspired designers such as Thierry Mugler and Jean Paul Gaultier.

Die Eingeborene (The Natives) for Berliner Zeitung
credit Estate of Jo Brocklehurst

Many of the works are being shown for the first time and don’t miss the documentary film which features the show’s co-curator Isabelle Bricknall and the artist Howard Tangye. It is a show that should be seen in the flesh – so to speak – because it perfectly recaptures the spirit and place of its time.

Open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm. Closed Mondays.

 

houseofillustration.org.uk

Retreat and Rebellion

Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion, Two Temple Place, London WC2, until 23rd April 2017

Duncan Grant (1885 -1978) Bathers by the Pond,c1920-21 Oil on canvas, 49x 90cm, Pallant House Gallery (Hussey Bequest, Chichester District Council) © 1978 Estate of Duncan Grant, courtesy Henrietta Garnett / DACS 2016

Duncan Grant (1885 -1978)
Bathers by the Pond,c1920-21
Oil on canvas, 49x 90cm,
Pallant House Gallery (Hussey Bequest, Chichester District Council)
© 1978 Estate of Duncan Grant, courtesy Henrietta Garnett / DACS 2016

While to many of us the coast or countryside of Sussex appear idyllic places to live in the first half of the 20th century avant-garde artists and writers were drawn to live there.  Their communities were experimental whether artistically or domestically.

Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion 28th January –23rd April 2017 Two Temple Place, London WC2R 3BD All images courtesy of Two Temple Place and Rohan van Twest

Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion 28th January –23rd April 2017
Two Temple Place, London WC2R 3BD
All images courtesy of Two Temple Place and Rohan van Twest

At Charleston Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant not only painted but created interiors whose appeal lasts to the present day while at Ditchling Eric Gill and David Jones followed the arts and crafts tradition and at West Dean Edward James with Salvador Dali followed the Surrealist road (see my blog A Surreal Legacy, 07/12/2016).

David Jones (1895-1974) Madonna and Child in a Landscape, 1924 Oil on canvas, 61 x 61 cm, Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft © Trusteesof the David Jones estate. Image courtesy of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft

David Jones (1895-1974)
Madonna and Child in a Landscape, 1924
Oil on canvas, 61 x 61 cm,
Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft
© Trusteesof the David Jones estate. Image courtesy of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft

Add to this mix artists such as Edward Burra, Serge Chermayeff, Eric Ravilious, Henry Moore, John Piper, Lee Miller, Eileen Agar and Paul Nash and you will see how they individually reacted to their surroundings – some embracing and others more unsettled by them.

Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion 28th January –23rd April 2017 Two Temple Place, London WC2R 3BD All images courtesy of Two Temple Place and Rohan van Twest

Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion 28th January –23rd April 2017
Two Temple Place, London WC2R 3BD
All images courtesy of Two Temple Place and Rohan van Twest

The exhibition’s curator Dr Hope Wolfe summed it up saying: “The metropolis has long been assumed to be a catalyst for Modernism: a melting pot in which people from different places could meet, exchange ideas, and explore new ways of thinking and making. This exhibition asks what experimental artists, writers and makers of other kinds were doing in Sussex in the early twentieth century. For some, a rural retreat provided an opportunity for escape and alternative living. Enclaves were made of homes and communities, although works created in them are often suggestive of anxieties that accompanied attempts to break with convention. Others critiqued their new contexts, troubling the idea of Sussex as an idyll and sparking controversy with work created for local audiences. Comparing the lives and works of makers associated with different modernist movements, the exhibition illustrates how the regional setting both amplified their contrary energies and facilitated their attempts to live and represent the world differently. In turn, it shows how seemingly picturesque scenes were reimagined and transformed by the unsettled artist.”

 

 

Exhibition Opening Times: Monday, Thursday – Saturday: 10am – 4:30pm Wednesday Late: 10am – 9pm, Sunday: 11am – 4:30pm, Closed on Tuesday

www.twotempleplace.org

Battersea Spring

Affordable Art Fair – Battersea Spring, Battersea Evolution, London SW11, 9th – 12th March 2017

 

Peep Show II by Kevin Hendley. Oil on panel, 21 x 17cm. from Cameron Contemporary Art at the Affordable Art Fair Battersea.

Peep Show II by Kevin Hendley.
Oil on panel, 21 x 17cm.
from Cameron Contemporary Art at the Affordable Art Fair Battersea.

I am sure there is no need to tell you what a tempting mélange of artistic works in most disciplines awaits you at this Spring edition but I thought a gentle reminder may be welcome.

 

https://affordableartfair.com/fairs/battersea-spring

 

London – Adam Style

Robert Adam’s London, Sir John Soane’s Museum: 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2, until 11th March 2017

Adam office, drawing made for publication showing the Admiralty Screen, Whitehall, 1759

Adam office, drawing made for publication showing the Admiralty Screen, Whitehall, 1759

It is hard to believe that this is the first time that the work of Robert Adam (proposed and realised) in London has been focused on in a London museum. Whitehall’s Admiralty screen, Portland Place, the Adelphi, Lansdowne House, Buckingham House (now Palace), Kenwood and monuments in Westminster Abbey are among the projects on show.  The Museum has the largest collection of Adam’s surviving drawings.

Adam office, finished drawing showing a funerary monument to Major John André , Westminster Abbey, c.1780-82

Adam office, finished drawing showing a funerary monument to Major John André , Westminster Abbey, c.1780-82

As one contemplates these designs one is reminded how Adam designed complete, detailed schemes for his projects whether exteriors or interiors. I could not but wonder what he would make of these modern-day buildings with their huge expanses of glass which so clearly reveal the detritus of office or domestic living to passers-by and thus lose their aesthetic appeal.

Adam office, finished drawing showing a longitudinal section through the interior of an unexecuted scheme for Lloyds Coffee House, probably on Freeman's Court, Cornhill, c.1772

Adam office, finished drawing showing a longitudinal section through the interior of an unexecuted scheme for Lloyds Coffee House, probably on Freeman’s Court, Cornhill, c.1772

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm. Last entry 4:30pm

Adam office, design for door furniture for 31 Hill Street, c.1777-79

Adam office, design for door furniture for 31 Hill Street, c.1777-79

 

Adam office, design for an unexecuted urban palace for the Earl of Findlater on Portland Place, c.1771-73

Adam office, design for an unexecuted urban palace for the Earl of Findlater on Portland Place, c.1771-73

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.soane.org

The 2017 London Art Fair

London Art Fair, Business Design Centre, Islington, London N1, 18th-22nd January 2017

Deborah Azzopardi Love is the Answer..., 2016 Limited Edition Silk-Screen Print with Platinum Leaf 121 x 87 cm 47 5/8 x 34 1/4 in. Edition of 15 Courtesy, The Cynthia Corbett Gallery

Deborah Azzopardi
Love is the Answer…, 2016
Limited Edition Silk-Screen Print with Platinum Leaf
121 x 87 cm
47 5/8 x 34 1/4 in.
Edition of 15
Courtesy, The Cynthia Corbett Gallery

The London Art Fair – this the 29th – to me sets the scene for the year ahead and gives some indication of what we might expect the market to be like.  It has a wide remit covering art from the early 20th century to the present day and has one hundred and twenty nine participating galleries.  More than a fifth of these come from overseas.

EUAN UGLOW (1932-2000) Two Peaches, 1992 oil on board 7 x 9 7/8 inches Browse & Darby

EUAN UGLOW (1932-2000)
Two Peaches, 1992
oil on board
7 x 9 7/8 inches
Browse & Darby

There are talks, tours and performances aimed at all levels of collectors and there is also ‘Photo50’ which celebrates contemporary photography. This year’s Museum Partnership is with The Lightbox, Woking who are showing works from the Ingram Collection in a special exhibition entitled ‘Ten Years: A Century of Art’.

Paul Wright 'Summer Profile' Thompson's Gallery

Paul Wright
‘Summer Profile’
Thompson’s Gallery

 

Going to the Match signed by L.S. Lowry, 1972. Edition of 300 Image Size: 52.8 x 68.0cm. Available from www.peterharrington.co.uk

Going to the Match signed by L.S. Lowry, 1972.
Edition of 300
Image Size: 52.8 x 68.0cm.
Available from http://www.peterharrington.co.uk

 

Antoine-Louis Barye, French, (1796-1875) Walking Lion, 1836 Dimensions: Height 10 in 24 cm Length 16 in 40 cm Sladmore Gallery

Antoine-Louis Barye, French, (1796-1875)
Walking Lion, 1836
Dimensions:
Height 10 in 24 cm
Length 16 in 40 cm
Sladmore Gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sam Burford Top Films of the 20th Century Number 1, 2016 cropped Fiumano Projects

Sam Burford
Top Films of the 20th Century
Number 1, 2016 cropped
Fiumano Projects

 

Nitin Amin Selfhood Series (detail) 2006, 28 x 33 cm each, total width 272 cm, analogue photographs, edition of 12. courtesy Nunnery Gallery, copyright the artist

Nitin Amin
Selfhood Series (detail) 2006, 28 x 33 cm each, total width 272 cm, analogue photographs, edition of 12.
courtesy Nunnery Gallery, copyright the artist

 

Maria Friberg, Belonging II, 2010, pigment print, silicone mounted on aluminium, 58 x 80 cm Pi Artworks London

Maria Friberg,
Belonging II, 2010,
pigment print, silicone mounted on aluminium, 58 x 80 cm
Pi Artworks London

 

Iain Faulkner Paris Morning 2016 Oil on Canvas 91.5 x 91.5 cm (36 x 36 in) Pontone Gallery

Iain Faulkner
Paris Morning 2016
Oil on Canvas 91.5 x 91.5 cm (36 x 36 in)
Pontone Gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.londonartfair.co.uk

Queen Victoria in Paris

Queen Victoria in Paris: Watercolours from the Royal Collection, Compton Verney, Warwickshire, CV35 9HZ, until 11th December 2016

Antoine Léon Morel-Fatio (1810-71) Royal visit to Napoleon III: Queen Victoria landing at Boulogne, 18 August 1855 Watercolour © Royal Collection Trust 2016

Antoine Léon Morel-Fatio (1810-71)
Royal visit to Napoleon III: Queen Victoria landing at Boulogne, 18 August 1855
Watercolour
© Royal Collection Trust 2016

This special exhibition commemorates the State Visit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (with their two eldest children) to Paris in August 1855 and followed a State Visit to Windsor in April of that year by the Emperor Napoleon III and his consort the Empress Eugénie.  It was part of cementing the alliance between Britain and France in the Crimean War.  The forty-four watercolours, generously loaned by Her Majesty the Queen, depict the major events of the nine day visit from their arrival at Boulogne aboard the Royal Yacht onwards.

Eugène-Charles-François Guérard (1821-66) Royal visit to Napoleon III: Queen Victoria's entry into Paris, 18 August 1855 Watercolour © Royal Collection Trust 2016

Eugène-Charles-François Guérard (1821-66)
Royal visit to Napoleon III: Queen Victoria’s entry into Paris, 18 August 1855
Watercolour
© Royal Collection Trust 2016

The watercolours, half of which are being publicly shown for the first time, were either presented to or commissioned by Queen Victoria and became one of her ‘Souvenir Albums’ that recorded events in her marriage to Prince Albert.  I find them all of great interest but am specially drawn to those of her apartments in the Palais de Saint Cloud.

Jean-Baptiste-Fortuné De Fournier (1798-1864) Royal visit to Napoleon III: Queen Victoria's dressing-room at St Cloud Watercolour © Royal Collection Trust 2016

Jean-Baptiste-Fortuné De Fournier (1798-1864)
Royal visit to Napoleon III: Queen Victoria’s dressing-room at St Cloud
Watercolour
© Royal Collection Trust 2016

The significance of the Queen’s visit is summed up by Rosie Razzall, Curator of Prints and Drawings, Royal Collection Trust: “This was a pivotal period in British and French history. After centuries of enmity, France and Britain were never again to fight on opposing sides. A visiting head of state was not received with such popular fervour in France until the Kennedys in 1961, and has been unmatched since.

Max Berthelin (1811-77) Royal visit to Napoleon III: illuminations at the Hôtel de Ville, 23 August 1855 Watercolour © Royal Collection Trust 2016

Max Berthelin (1811-77)
Royal visit to Napoleon III: illuminations at the Hôtel de Ville, 23 August 1855
Watercolour
© Royal Collection Trust 2016

After Compton Verney this touring exhibition goes on to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter; The Wilson: Cheltenham Museum and Art Gallery; and the Bowes Museum, County Durham.

Eugène Louis Lami (1800-90) Royal visit to Napoleon III: the supper in the Salle de Spectacle, Versailles, 25 August 1855 Watercolour © Royal Collection Trust 2016

Eugène Louis Lami (1800-90)
Royal visit to Napoleon III: the supper in the Salle de Spectacle, Versailles, 25 August 1855
Watercolour
© Royal Collection Trust 2016

http://www.comptonverney.org.uk

The Flair of Fleur Cowles

Christie’s Interiors including Flair, The Fleur Cowles Collection

Wednesday 23 November 2016 at 6.00 pm

Christie’s South Kensington, 85 Old Brompton Road, London SW7

CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2016

CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2016

It is totally appropriate that the section of this Interiors sale devoted to the collection of Fleur Cowles should be a special stand-alone evening sale. What a lady! Publisher, journalist, author, artist, patron and fashionista.  She was a major part of society in both New York and London and included Cary Grant, the Windsors, the Reagans, Princess Grace, the Queen Mother, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Vivien Leigh among her friends. When I had the great delight of meeting her many years ago at exhibition of her work she was with the British actress Dulcie Gray.

CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2016

CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2016

Cowles and her fourth and last husband Thomas Montague-Meyer (they married in 1955 with Cary Grant as their best man) lived in two connecting ‘sets’ in London’s famed Albany, Piccadilly. The colourful interiors remained unchanged and so it is an exciting chance to acquire something which has real resonance and flair and reflects its owner.

CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2016

CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2016

Flair was the title of the short-lived but glamorous magazine that combined striking design and great editorial using cut-out covers and unfolding pages for illustrations.  Although popular, it was costly to produce and so only lasted for twelve issues. But it has been a source of inspiration to editors ever since and copies are still eagerly fought for.

CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2016

CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2016

Lot estimates range from between £500 and £30,000 and include a Picasso drawing, artworks by René Gruau and Frederico Pallavicini who worked with her at Flair.  Furniture, Dior hats, photographs and her own pictures all combine to make this sale a remarkable tribute and insight of her taste and life.  I know that I count myself lucky to have actually met her!

CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2016

CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2016

http://www.christies.com