Enlightened Princesses

Enlightened Princesses: Caroline, Augusta, Charlotte and the Shaping of the Modern World, Kensington Palace, until November 2017

Queen Caroline of Ansbach, Joseph Highmore c.1735,
Royal Collection Trust c Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

This fascinating exhibition has come to Kensington Palace from the Yale Center for British Art where it understandably attracted so much interest while there. It considers the part played by three German Protestant princesses at the court of the Hanoverian Kings who ruled 18th century Britain. A legacy that can still be seen in today’s monarchy.

Enlightened Princesses – Installation view
(c) Historic Royal Palaces

The three princesses concerned are Caroline, consort of George II; her daughter-in-law Augusta, who was married to Frederick Prince of Wales and Charlotte (Augusta’s daughter-in-law), consort of George III. In many senses they were the right women in the right place as Britain was embracing the ideas of the Enlightenment and the princesses’ intelligence and curiosity combined with their exalted status allowed them to foster and support the new ideas.

Queen Charlotte, Johann Joseph Zoffany 1771,
Royal Collection Trust c Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

Scientists, authors and even musicians such as Handel were all drawn to their drawing rooms. They encouraged medical advances such as inoculation and were involved in the establishment of London’s Foundling Hospital. Plants and wildlife were another interest that all three shared and Kew Gardens is part of that legacy. They also supported British trade and manufacturing.

Enlightened Princesses – Installation view
(c) Historic Royal Palaces

The exhibition succeeds in bringing both their private and public world to life.  The Yale Center for British Art’s director Amy Meyers sums it up: “Caroline, Augusta, and Charlotte had sweeping intellectual, social, cultural, and political interests, which helped to shape the courts in which they lived, and encouraged the era’s greatest philosophers, scientists, artists, and architects to develop important ideas that would guide ensuing generations”.

The Flying Squirrel, Plate T-77, Mark Catesby
c The Royal Board of Trustees of Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

www.hrp.org.uk

Christening robe made for future George IV, ivory silk satin c. 1760
(c) Historic Royal Palaces

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

Treasure Houses: The homes of the Dukes of Buccleuch and Queensberry

 

BOUGHTON

The House, its People and its Collections

By Richard, Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry

Photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg

Published by Caique Publishing Ltd
ISBN 978 0 9565948 5 3 
£17.95 / $21.80 / 81.41 TL 

 

 

 

BOWHILL

The House, its People and its Paintings

Introduced by Richard, Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry

Edited by John Montagu Douglas Scott

Photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg

Published by Caique Publishing Ltd
ISBN 978 0 9565948 2 2
£12.95 / $15.73 / 58.73 TL
 

 

DRUMLANRIG

The Castle, its People and its Paintings

By Richard, Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry

Photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg

Published by Caique Publishing Ltd
ISBN 978 0 9565948 4 6
£10.95 / $13.30 / 49.66 TL
Paperback, 96 pages, Second Edition
 

These three guidebooks are much more than just that as they provide a fascinating introduction to the houses and collections of the incumbent Dukes.  You will encounter Rembrandt, Canaletto, Van Dyck and El Greco, as well as family portraits by Gainsborough, Reynolds and Ramsay, There are miniatures, French and English furniture, Sèvres made for Louis XV, items commemorating Sir Walter Scott and the Duke of Monmouth, silver and a huge variety of textiles and rugs. It is an extensive and engaging collection in three very different houses, two, Bowhill and Drumlanrig, are in Scotland and then Boughton in England which the late John Cornforth once described as ‘the English Versailles’.

These books are of serious appeal to anyone interested in the fine and decorative arts, architecture and historic interiors.

http://www.bowhillhouse.co.uk

http://www.boughtonhouse.co.uk

http://www.drumlanrigcastle.co.uk

http://www.caiquepublishing.com

 

THE 2017 BADA FAIR

BADA 2017, Duke of York Square, King’s Road, London SW3, 15th — 21st March 2017

Joseph Walsh (b. 1979)
Lilium I – A Unique Sculptural Form
2014
Olive Ash
325 x 215 x 74 cm
Courtesy Peter Petrou © Peter Petrou

From the moment you arrive at the BADA Fair you know that you have come to a place which will inspire and tempt you to buy pieces for your home or collection – things which you can live with and enjoy and understand why you acquired them.

An Irish George III white statuary marble and brocatelle marble chimneypiece of Neo-classical design,
Attributed to George Hill and Arthur Darley.
Courtesy of Mallett

The noted firm of Mallett’s are exhibiting there for the first time and as always provide an interesting selection to choose from.

A lantern in parcel-gilt bronze in the Gothic style.
Courtesy of Mallett

It’s hard to believe that this is the twenty-fifth BADA Fair and one feature that has always drawn interest and appreciation is the Loan Exhibition and this year’s is no exception. Entitled Samuel Prout: A Grand Tour in Watercolour it celebrates the life and work of Samuel Prout (1783-1852) from his simple beginnings to achieving the status of being ‘Painter in Water-Colours in Ordinary’ to both King George IV and Queen Victoria. His highly detailed works revealed the cities and towns of Europe to his wealthy compatriots who were once again able to do a ‘Grand Tour’ following the defeat of Napoleon. One can quite understand why his views of Venice are so popular. The exhibition has some thirty works drawn from both private and public collections and has been organised by John Spink of John Spink Fine Watercolours.

Samuel Prout (1783–1852)
Ducal Palace, Venice
Circa 1828
Watercolour with scratching out
69.8 x 101.2 cm
Courtesy John Spink © John Spink

 

www.badafair.com

The Palais Rose recalled

Boni de Castellane & Anna Gould, La Mémoire Du Palais Rose, Christie’s Paris, 9 avenue Matignon, 75008 Paris, 7th March 2017

GRAND SALON, Diane de Castellane’s apartment rue d’Andigné, Paris ©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

GRAND SALON, Diane de Castellane’s apartment rue d’Andigné, Paris
©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

This sale takes us back into the Belle Époque where Boniface de Castellane, known as Boni, was one of the more famous dandies of the time and regarded as a tastemaker.  In 1895 he married the American railway heiress Anna Gould and her substantial dowry allowed them the following year to start building the Grand Trianon inspired Palais Rose which was completed in 1902.  It became a major centre in Parisian social life where Kings, Queens and aristocracy were received. The house was sumptuously furnished with old master paintings and drawings, furniture and porcelain of the best quality.

LOT 19 NÉCESSAIRE DE BUREAU ART DÉCO « JARDIN JAPONAIS », PAR CARTIER Estimation : €1.000.000-1.500.000 AN ART DECO 'JARDIN JAPONAIS' DESK SET, BY CARTIER Mouvement no. 2968872 ©Christie’s Images Ltd, 2017

LOT 19
NÉCESSAIRE DE BUREAU ART DÉCO « JARDIN JAPONAIS », PAR CARTIER
Estimation : €1.000.000-1.500.000
AN ART DECO ‘JARDIN JAPONAIS’ DESK SET, BY CARTIER
Mouvement no. 2968872
©Christie’s Images Ltd, 2017

However this idyll was not long-lived for in early 1906 Anna filed for divorce with Boni’s extravagances and expenditure being a major cause. Some of their collections were disposed of after the divorce and more after Anna’s death in 1961.  Anna however did leave a mixture of wonderful things to her grand-daughter Diane de Castellane and she lived surrounded by these elegant pieces, including the group of Boulle furniture which so evocatively recalls the interiors, sadly not photographed for posterity, with the exception of the staircase and a fireplace of the Palais Rose.  The building was demolished in 1969 but its large Salon des Arts decorated with marble carvings celebrating the arts by Jean-Paul Aubé are remembered in the four tinted plaster preparatory studies which hung in the dining room of Diane de Castellane’s apartment.

SALLE À MANGER, Diane de Castellane’s apartment rue d’Andigné, Paris ©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

SALLE À MANGER, Diane de Castellane’s apartment rue d’Andigné, Paris
©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

I think you will agree with me that the photographs of the apartment show what a beautiful place it was, filled with great treasures and giving us a fascinating glimpse into a world gone by.

BIBLIOTHÈQUE, Diane de Castellane’s apartment rue d’Andigné, Paris ©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

BIBLIOTHÈQUE, Diane de Castellane’s apartment rue d’Andigné, Paris
©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

 

LOT 74 JEAN-HONORÉ FRAGONARD (GRASSE 1732-1806 PARIS) L’heureux ménage huile sur toile, circulaire Diam.: 34,2 cm. (12.3/4 in.) Estimation : €500.000-700.000 J.-H. FRAGONARD, THE HAPPY HOUSEHOLD, OIL ON CANVAS, CIRCULAR ©Christie’s Images Ltd, 2017

LOT 74
JEAN-HONORÉ FRAGONARD (GRASSE 1732-1806 PARIS)
L’heureux ménage
huile sur toile, circulaire
Diam.: 34,2 cm. (12.3/4 in.)
Estimation : €500.000-700.000
J.-H. FRAGONARD, THE HAPPY HOUSEHOLD, OIL ON CANVAS, CIRCULAR
©Christie’s Images Ltd, 2017

 

SALLE À MANGER, Diane de Castellane’s apartment rue d’Andigné, Paris ©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

SALLE À MANGER, Diane de Castellane’s apartment rue d’Andigné, Paris
©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GRAND SALON, Diane de Castellane’s apartment rue d’Andigné, Paris ©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

GRAND SALON, Diane de Castellane’s apartment rue d’Andigné, Paris
©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

 

LOT 52 PAIRE DE "VASES" EN PORCELAINE TENDRE DE SEVRES DU XVIIIe SIECLE, A MONTURES EN BRONZE DORE CIRCA 1770, MARQUE EN CREUX P Hauteur totale: 44 cm. (17.3/8 in.) Estimation : €80.000-120.000 Provenance: Boni de Castellane et Anna Gould, Palais Rose, Paris A PAIR OF 18TH CENTURY SEVRES PORCELAIN "VASES", WITH ORMOLU MOUNTS ©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

LOT 52
PAIRE DE “VASES” EN PORCELAINE TENDRE DE SEVRES DU XVIIIe SIECLE, A MONTURES EN BRONZE DORE
CIRCA 1770, MARQUE EN CREUX P
Hauteur totale: 44 cm. (17.3/8 in.)
Estimation : €80.000-120.000
Provenance: Boni de Castellane et Anna Gould, Palais Rose, Paris
A PAIR OF 18TH CENTURY SEVRES PORCELAIN “VASES”, WITH ORMOLU MOUNTS
©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

 

LOT 142 PAIRE DE MEUBLES À HAUTEUR D’APPUI DU DÉBUT DE L’ÉPOQUE LOUIS XVI ESTAMPILLE DE JEAN-LOUIS-FAIZELOT DELORME, VERS 1770-1780, RÉEMPLOYANT DES ÉLÉMENTS DE MARQUETERIE D’ÉPOQUE LOUIS XIV Estimation: €1.000.000-1.500.000 Provenance: Boni de Castellane et Anna Gould, Palais Rose, Paris. A PAIR OF LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED TORTOISESHELL AND COPPER BOULLE MARQUETRY AND EBONY MEUBLES-A-HAUTEUR-D’APPUI STAMPED BY JEAN-LOUIS-FAIZELOT DELORME, CIRCA 1770-1780, REUSING SOME LOUIS XIV MARQUETRY ELEMENTS ©Christie’s Images Ltd, 2017

LOT 142
PAIRE DE MEUBLES À HAUTEUR D’APPUI
DU DÉBUT DE L’ÉPOQUE LOUIS XVI
ESTAMPILLE DE JEAN-LOUIS-FAIZELOT DELORME, VERS 1770-1780, RÉEMPLOYANT DES ÉLÉMENTS DE MARQUETERIE D’ÉPOQUE LOUIS XIV
Estimation: €1.000.000-1.500.000
Provenance: Boni de Castellane et Anna Gould, Palais Rose, Paris.
A PAIR OF LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED TORTOISESHELL AND COPPER BOULLE MARQUETRY AND EBONY MEUBLES-A-HAUTEUR-D’APPUI STAMPED BY JEAN-LOUIS-FAIZELOT DELORME, CIRCA 1770-1780, REUSING SOME LOUIS XIV MARQUETRY ELEMENTS
©Christie’s Images Ltd, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.christies.com

Emma Revisited!

Emma Hamilton: Seduction and Celebrity (REVISITED), National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London SE 10, until 17th April 2017

'Emma as the spinstress' by George Romney, 1784-85 ® Kenwood, English Heritage

‘Emma as the spinstress’ by George Romney, 1784-85
® Kenwood, English Heritage

I know that I only wrote about this exhibition on January 6th but I so, so liked it that I returned to see it again the other weekend AND I enjoyed it even more. Obviously I must be a bit of an Emma Hamilton “groupie” – and I make no apologies for it!

The exhibition provides not only a close-up view of one of history’s great love affairs but also gives an insight into the times that Hamilton and Nelson lived in.  It’s an engrossing journey into the past and I count myself fortunate that I have been able to immerse myself into this fascinating story twice.

'Britannia crowning the Bust of our late Hero Lord Nelson', 1805 by Thomas Baxter ® National Maritime Museum, London

‘Britannia crowning the Bust of our late Hero Lord Nelson’, 1805 by Thomas Baxter
® National Maritime Museum, London

Please, please don’t miss this show because it will no doubt be a long time before such an exhibition on this scale will be put on.

 

 

http://www.rmg.co.uk/emmahamilton

BOOK REVIEW: Emma Hamilton Seduction & Celebrity

Emma Hamilton

Seduction & Celebrity

(In association with the Royal Museums Greenwich)

Edited by Quintin Colville with Kate Williams
ISBN 9780500252208
 £29.95

emma-hamilton-jacket

It would have been totally wrong for me to have mentioned this beautifully illustrated book when I reviewed the marvellous exhibition ‘Emma Hamilton Seduction & Celebrity’ at the National Maritime Museum (6th January, 2017) since this book is equally as enjoyable and while complementing the exhibition it very definitely stands alone too.  It takes us into the world of Emma Hamilton (1765–1815) and reassesses her life and role and shows her cultural and social achievements.  I have always thought that if Emma could have gained the confidence and friendship of Naples’s Queen Maria Carolina, daughter of Maria Theresa, then there was obviously something more substantial than being just a temptress about her.

The contributors which also include Vic Gatrell, Hannah Greig, Jason Kelly, Margarette Lincoln, Christine Riding and Gillian Russell bring a fresh understanding of a woman who not only captured the heart of a great naval hero but has beguiled us ever since.

Porcelain lovers will also be interested to see the series of pictures of Emma’s beloved Merton Place done by Thomas Baxter who is also well known for the decoration of porcelain.

 

www.thamesandhudson.com