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

The 2017 Summer Olympia Art & Antiques Fair

The Art & Antiques Fair Olympia, Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, London W14, 26th June – 2nd July 2017

Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill who will be speaking at The Art & Antiques Fair on ‘Incorporating Antiques in Design’ on Thursday 29 June at 12.30-13.30.

This is this fair’s forty-fifth year and as ever potentially offers much to its visitors. There is no doubt that change is inevitable and that emphasis and focus changes as one generation of collectors is succeeded by another. Styles of living change and what may have been our ideal does not necessarily resonate with our children and grandchildren.

It is therefore probably a sound idea to launch an Interior Design Talk Series at this year’s fair. The speakers include Henrietta Spencer Churchill, Douglas Mackie, Christopher Vane Percy, April Russel, Emma Burns from Sibyl Colefax and John Fowler, Susie Rumbold and Caroline de Cabarrus from Hotspur Design and the wide-ranging topics covered include Incorporating Antiques in Design and how to Decorate your House in a Day.

The fair’s director Mary Claire Boyd said, ‘We are excited about our new Interior Design Talk Series. There is a strong demand for advice from experts on how to incorporate art and antiques into interiors and previous designer talks have been very well attended. We are taking it to the next level this year by hosting top designers throughout the run of the fair.’ Perfect for inspiration to go out into the fair afterwards and buy!

It is also interesting to note that the number of picture dealers attending this year’s fair will be double that of last year’s. This increase is made up by new and some returning former exhibitors. The Chicago-based show, Sculptural Objects Functional Art and Design Fair (SOFA) who first showed three-dimensional contemporary art and design last year also returns.

Galerie Boccara
Sonia Delaunay.
Serpent Noir’, wool tapestry,151 x 308cm

As these changes evolve over the Fairs I wish this Olympia Fair a fair wind in its voyage to different waters.

http://www.olympia-art-antiques.com

Hetty Feather

I am grateful to John Kirkwood for visiting and writing about this exhibition:

 

Picturing Hetty Feather, The Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London WC1, until 3rd September 2017

Emma Brownlow, The Foundling Restored to its Mother, 1858
©Coram in the care of The Foundling Museum,
featuring illustration of Hetty Feather © Nick Sharratt


Fans of  Jacqueline Wilson’s character Hetty Feather will love this exhibition featuring as it does many costumes and artefacts from the  television series  based on the popular and successful books displayed in the Foundling Museum  the actual location of  the stories where you can experience a little of what  Hetty’s  life would have been like.

Girls in the London Foundling Hospital schoolroom, early 20th
century,
courtesy Coram in the care of The Foundling Museum

foundlingmuseum.org.uk

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

‘Madonnas and Miracles’

‘Madonnas and Miracles: The Holy Home in Renaissance Italy’, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, until 4th June 2017

The Christ Child, Italy, Camerino, c.1484–90 – during installation.
The silk velvet is Velluto Venezia by Rubelli.
Courtesy of Helen Edwards PR

This is a fascinating exhibition which reveals through both the fine and decorative arts a glimpse of life in Renaissance Italy.  Combining treasures from the museum’s own collections with those loaned from Europe, the US and Israel we see how important religion and devotion were in a world that we may often think as secular.

 

The Christ Child, Italy, Camerino, c.1484–90.
Photo: Nuns of Santa Chiara, Camerino.

Some of the works were to come from the Marche area of Italy which was affected by earthquakes last October and while it is has not been possible for some objects to be brought over as a result of it I am delighted to share images of this 15th century polychrome decorated wooden doll of the Christ Child with you because to me its survival is a miracle of some sort. It has not only survived through the centuries but also last year’s earthquake which reduced the Franciscan nunnery where it is kept to rubble.

 

The Christ Child, Italy, Camerino, c.1484–90 – during installation.
Courtesy of Helen Edwards PR

Images of the Madonna were an important feature in Italian homes in the Renaissance and her role as a mother was copied by many women who owned such dolls.  One other exhibit that particularly struck me was the set of knives whose blades are decorated with the notes and words for a four-part grace and nearby is a recording of it by members of the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge.

The Viadana family prays to St Nicholas to save them from an earthquake, Italy, Le Marche, 16th century.
Tolentino, Museo di San Nicola.

The three groups of ex-voto paintings were way of giving thanks at shrines for what was deemed to be a miracle by the people or family concerned and I thought this one depicting a family praying for protection from an earthquake especially appropriate.

It is in its own special way a great exhibition.

 

http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/

http://www.rubelli.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