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

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

 

An update: Sir Edward Heath – at home

An update: Sir Edward Heath – at home, until 1st November 2017

The view from Sir Edward’s bedroom window

Further to my post on Sir Edward’s home in Salisbury on 28th July 2016 I thought you may well be interested to know that Sir Edward’s bedroom – now used as a meeting room – is open to the public for the first time but retains its original contents. The artworks include watercolours by Thomas Bush Hardy, Peter Greenham and a gouache attributed to Giacomo Guardi. There are also pieces of Biedermeier furniture and a small occasional table which is thought to have been made by Sir Edward’s father. As I said last year this is great place to visit.

Biedermeier secretaire cabinet

 

A small mahogany occasional table possibly made by Sir Edward’s father.

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.arundells.org/

Stunning objects!

Gilded Interiors: French Masterpieces of Gilt Bronze, The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, W1, until 30th July 2017

F292: Perfume Burner,
Pierre Gouthière, 1774 – 1775, detail.
© The Wallace Collection

We probably all have a vision of what an 18th century French interior may look like – white and gold panelling, commodes, chairs, sumptuous fabrics, tapestries or paintings, and gilded objects such as clocks or candelabra. The latter are probably the items we pay least attention too but you most certainly won’t after visiting this SUPERB exhibition.

F269: Mantel clock,
Jean-Baptiste Lepaute, 1781, detail.
© The Wallace Collection

We are able to study these objects closely and see the great attention to detail and the exquisite chasing and gilding techniques used. Two of the items on show belonged to Marie Antoinette. The comte d’Artois, the duc d’Aumont and the Prince Regent are other important patrons and clients from the 18th century whom you will discover. Only one of the wondrous pieces does not come from the Wallace Collection and that is a pair of firedogs bought by the future George IV.  They are included because they are the same model as a pair owned by the 4th Marquess of Hertford in his Paris home*.

F131: Candelabrum,
Possibly François Rémond, France, 1783 – 1786
© The Wallace Collection

These gilded wonders, which were such an important and integral part of the homes of the great and wealthy 18th century patrons, are the creation of artists such as Pierre Gouthière, François Rémond and Claude Pition and are important examples of 18th century French taste and stunning works of art in their own right.

F164: Candlestick,
Claude-Jean Pitoin, 1781, detail.
© The Wallace Collection

The exhibition is curated by Dr Helen Jacobsen, Senior Curator and Curator of French Eighteenth-century Decorative Arts at the Wallace Collection who has also written a book on this aspect of the Collection which I shall return to later.  She has also borrowed 18th century drawings from the Bibliothèque Municipale in Besançon which are by the noted architect and designer of interiors Pierre-Adrien Pâris and they reveal how Ancient Rome was a source of inspiration while others show how that inspiration was enacted upon.

F317: Table,
attributed to François Rémond, 1785 – 1787, detail.
© The Wallace Collection

I have now visited the exhibition three times but will return again and again because each time you see new details and appreciate even more the perfection of 18th century French decorative arts.

F258: Mantel clock, The Avignon Clock,
Pierre Gouthière, France, 1771
© The Wallace Collection

 

* This was not part of Sir Richard Wallace’s bequest and they are now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

 

http://www.wallacecollection.org

‘A Cut Above’

Pat Albeck – ‘A CUT ABOVE’, Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, 89-91 Pimlico Road London SW1, 22nd – 27th May 2017

What better way could there be for Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler to celebrate Chelsea Flower Show Week in their Pimlico Road showrooms than with this display of paper flower collages by Pat Albeck. Well-known for her textile designs she has created these works using   “a really sharp pair of nail scissors” and Italian coloured fine art paper to create these botanical studies. I am sure some of you will be reminded of pietra dura panels through the colour palette she uses.

www.sibylcolefax.com

At home in Belgrave Square

The Ballyedmond Collection, Sotheby’s London, 34-35 New Bond Street, London W1, 23rd and 24th May 2017

A large Louis XV-style gilt and patinated bronze mantel clock (est. £12,000-18,000) A pair of George IV gilt-bronze seven-light candelabra (est. £1,500-2,000)
http://www.sothebys,com

Lord Ballyedmond (1944-2014) came from a humble Irish background but became a pharmaceutical entrepreneur (Norbrook Group) and a politician both north and south of the border. His great success gained him recognition from the United States Government.

The Dining Room at Belgrave Square
http://www.sothebys,com

The contents of his London home in Belgrave Square reveal his deep love for art and antiques. The house transported his guests into a world that recalled Georgian and Regency days with a fin-de-siècle sense of lavish hospitality.  His guests were greeted by paintings, furniture, porcelain and copious amounts of silver. Dinners were his forte and much enjoyed by host and guests alike.

The Drawing Room at Belgrave Square
http://www.sothebys,com

Sotheby’s UK Chairman, Harry Dalmeny sums it up: “This collection is typically extraordinary; typical for an extraordinary man who accepted no boundaries in business, politics, art and friendship. Belgrave Square was where his ambition as a collector reached its zenith; this was the seat for a salon, where politicians and potentates from all sides of everything would find a home together at the dinner table.

http://www.sothebys .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