‘Designing the Future’

Giacomo Balla: Designing the Future, Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39a Canonbury Square, London N1, until 25th June 2017

Giacomo Balla
Iridescent Interpenetrations, 1913
Watercolour on paper, 24 x 18 cm
Courtesy The Biagiotti Cigna Foundation

This special show focuses on Giacomo Balla (1871-1958) a self-taught artist who was one of the founding figures of the Futurist movement but in 1937 moved away from its mainstream. The 116 works on show come from the Biagiotti Cigna Collection and give a full picture of Balla’s work which included furniture and clothing design

Giacomo Balla
Expansion of Spring, 1918
Oil on board, 45 x 55 cm
Courtesy The Biagiotti Cigna Foundation

 

Giacomo Balla
Lines of Force of an Enamelled Landscape, 1917-18
Oil and enamel on paper, 41 x 56 cm
Courtesy The Biagiotti Cigna Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.estorickcollection.com

‘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

A new exhibitor at The Spring Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair

The Spring Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair, Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London SW11, 4th – 9th April 2017

Alison Elliott
Tinker
Oil on gesso panel
5.91 x 4ins (15 x 10cm)
Courtesy of Jonathan Cooper
Copyright Alison Elliott

This edition is slightly earlier than usual and its special stand – The Morning Room Revisited – near the fair’s entrance updates the traditional idea of such rooms by transforming them into a space where the outside can be brought in or as a place of display for collections.

Rebecca Campbell
The Artist’s Muse
Oil on linen
35.2 x 45.75ins (89 x 116cm)
Courtesy of Jonathan Cooper
Copyright Rebecca Campbell

The highly successful gallery Jonathan Cooper makes its first appearance at the fair and I feel sure that visitors will find much of interest among its fine contemporary artworks.

 

www.decorativefair.com

http://www.jonathancooper.co.uk

A New Home!

Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, 89-91 Pimlico Road, London SW1

Copyright: Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler. Photographer: Simon Brown.

This celebrated firm is newly arrived in  Pimlico Road where whilst combining the traditions of Brook Street also allows their interior decorators a chance to display their skills in an entirely new way. There will be a mixture of antique and contemporary pieces, including artworks on display to catch the eye. Exciting times lie ahead!

Copyright: Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler. Photographer: Simon Brown.

 

Copyright: Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler. Photographer: Simon Brown.

 

Copyright: Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler. Photographer: Simon Brown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.sibylcolefax.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

The Giacometti of Hubert de Givenchy

The Giacometti of Hubert de Givenchy, Christie’s Paris, 9 avenue Matignon, 75008 Paris, 6th March 2017

 Hubert de Givenchy’s Manor at Le Jonchet ©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

Hubert de Givenchy’s Manor at Le Jonchet
©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

There are twenty-one pieces in this sale and they will be displayed in the week-long viewing prior to the sale in a manner that recalls the 1986 Diego Giacometti exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. A couple of the pieces are decorated with deer symbols which reflect that Hubert de Givenchy was named after the Patron Saint of hunters Saint-Hubert.

Diego Giacometti 1902-1985 Grande table console aux cerfs Bronze à patine vert antique et chêne cérusé / patinated bronze and cerused oak H 85 x L 230 x P 70 cm / 33½ x 90½ x 27½ in Estimation : €400.000-600.000

Diego Giacometti 1902-1985
Grande table console aux cerfs
Bronze à patine vert antique et chêne cérusé /
patinated bronze and cerused oak
H 85 x L 230 x P 70 cm / 33½ x 90½ x 27½ in
Estimation : €400.000-600.000

I think it is only right to let the iconic designer sum this important sale up: “It is thanks to Gustav Zumsteg, an important fabric creator in Zurich, whose company was called Abraham, that I met Diego Giacometti. During one of my visits to Zurich, he offered me a gueridon made by Diego for the Kronenhalle, the famous restaurant owned by his family. Fascinated by its pure aesthetic, I asked him if it was possible to meet the artist and he introduced him to me shortly afterwards. The relationship I had with Diego for nearly 20 years turned quickly into friendship. He was a very kind man, simple, welcoming, discreet, and a talented craftsman. He started to create some pieces for my first house at Jouy at the end of 1960, and then for the manor of Le Jonchet at the beginning of the 1970’s. With this sale, I want to pay a further tribute to him, an additional recognition which he does not need, but which shows how important he was to me.”

 Hubert de Givenchy’s Manor at Le Jonchet ©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

Hubert de Givenchy’s Manor at Le Jonchet
©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

 

 Hubert de Givenchy’s Manor at Le Jonchet ©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

Hubert de Givenchy’s Manor at Le Jonchet
©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

 

 Hubert de Givenchy’s Manor at Le Jonchet ©Christie’s Images, Ltd, 2017

Hubert de Givenchy’s Manor at Le Jonchet
©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

Fancy a Bargain?

George III period mahogany framed elbow chair, the three upper splats to the back, well carved arms with fine reeding over shaped and turned uprights with block toes, c. 1790 Height34.00 inch(86.4 cm) Width24.00 inch(61.0 cm) Depth25.00 inch(63.5 cm)

George III period mahogany framed elbow chair, the three upper splats to the back, well carved arms with fine reeding over shaped and turned uprights with block toes, c. 1790
Height34.00 inch(86.4 cm)
Width24.00 inch(61.0 cm)
Depth25.00 inch(63.5 cm)

The noted antique dealers Windsor House Antiques have found a novel way of marking sixty years of trading. They have launched House Bargains on their new website.  There you will find some wonderful pieces, including chandeliers, mirrors and cushions listed at substantial discounts.  Well worth a peek!

An exceptionally finely figured burr amboyna Gueridon of wonderful colour and patina and with original inset marble top. Second quarter of the 19th century, c. 1840 Height 30.00 inch (76.2 cm) Width 27.00 inch (68.6 cm) Depth 27.00 inch (68.6 cm)

An exceptionally finely figured burr amboyna Gueridon of wonderful colour and patina and with original inset marble top. Second quarter of the 19th century, c. 1840
Height 30.00 inch (76.2 cm)
Width 27.00 inch (68.6 cm)
Depth 27.00 inch (68.6 cm)

www.windsorhouseantiques.co.uk

Maarten Baas

Maarten Baas – ‘Run & Hide’, Carpenters Workshop Gallery, 4 Albemarle Street, london W1, until 3rd March 2017

Courtesy Carpenters Workshop Gallery

Courtesy Carpenters Workshop Gallery

This, the first solo exhibition in the gallery’s new spacious London premises, celebrates the work of the noted Dutch designer Maarten Baas.  It features pieces from four of his major design collections.

Carapace is an interpretation of the protective shells found on the backs of turtles and beetles while Smoke comprises pieces that are completely carbonized by blow torch.  There is a bronze version – marking the 10th anniversary – of his well-known Clay chairs and Grandfather clock from his Real Time series.

Courtesy Carpenters Workshop Gallery

Courtesy Carpenters Workshop Gallery

It is a striking celebration of his work and do not forget that there is a retrospective exhibition of his works at the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands, until 24th September, 2017

Courtesy Carpenters Workshop Gallery

Courtesy Carpenters Workshop Gallery

 

http://www.carpentersworkshopgallery.com

www.groningermuseum.nl/en