BOOK REVIEW: Henri Samuel

Henri Samuel: Master of the French Interior

Written by Emily Evans Eerdmans, Foreword by Jacques Grange and Eva Samuel

Rizzoli

 ISBN: 978-0-8478-6186-6

 £57.95

HenriSamuel_cover

For someone who described himself as “a twentieth-century eclectic” Henri Samuel’s skill at historic design was truly remarkable. It was an innate skill since his interiors are not readily identifiable because they seamlessly blend the lifestyle, art and antiques of the very wealthy clients who used him, such as the Rothschilds, the Wrightsmans and the Gutfreunds. He learnt his craft with Jansen and Alavoine before setting up on his own when aged sixty-six.

We see the interiors he created for his clients on both sides of the Atlantic and remarkably they look as inviting and usable today as when first created.  He achieved this by acknowledging that however marvellous his clients’ collections may be they were in rooms that were meant to be lived in and so personal items and the occasional modern touch were subtly incorporated into the overall scheme. This is a book which has been long overdue because Henri Samuel certainly deserves to be in the Pantheon of the great interior designers.

 

 

https://www.rizzoliusa.com/

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

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