Pair of Vases, Imperial Porcelain Manufactory, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1895August Karl Spiess (1817-1904)
At a first glance you would think that these splendid classical vases with their Ancient Roman military attributes were celebrating some famous battle or victory but no they celebrate technology.
The shield on the trophies below the handles bears the lightning bolt logo of the Russian Radio Telegraphy Company, known as “Spark Telegraph” since the vases mark the invention of wireless telegraph transmission, an important moment in the history of broadcasting.
The State Hermitage Museum holds the original drawing for this pair of vases.
North Eastern India, Pala Period, 11th or 12th Century
Measurements: 30 ¼” (77 cm) High; 35 ½” (90 cm) High with Base; 14”(36 cm) Wide; 5” (13 cm) Deep
The black basalt stele has a carved figure of Vishnu standing in samapadasana, holding a lotus, mace chakra and conch. The figure is dressed in a short striated dhoti and adorned with various necklaces, and bracelets. His face has a bow-shaped mouth and elongated eyes, and he wears a tall conical headdress.
The Pala dynasty ruled Bihar and Bengal between the 8th and 12th centuries.
Willem van de Velde the Elder (1611-1693) An English two-decker lying-to at sea in a moderate breeze, with boats pulling towards her oil, pen and ink, and wash en grisaille, canvas, 22 x 25 in. (56.2 x 63.5 cm.) signed and indistinctly dated 169(?)
From the quality of this very rare and re-discovered penschilderij (‘pen painting’) you can see why works by this seventeenth-century Dutch artist are eagerly sought after. It is not surprising that it was named Painting of the Year at the Fair.
This exceptional pair of Chinoiserie Display Cabinets is firmly attributed to the Royal cabinet makers Vile and Cobb but what is not yet known is who commissioned them.
Given their detailed design it would indicate that it was a very wealthy patron. The exotic woods used – purple padouk and yellow manchineel – may have been chosen to compliment the decorative scheme of a particular Georgian interior. Research is ongoing.
Masterpiece London in association with Thomas Dane Gallery present: Phillip King an exhibition of outdoor sculpture in Ranelagh Gardens, Chelsea.
Phillip King: 26th June – until end of August
(Masterpiece London: 26 June – 2 July, 2014)
British Sculptor Phillip King is eighty this year and this significant birthday is being celebrated with this free outdoor exhibition over the summer as well as the solo exhibition at Thomas Dane Gallery which runs until 26th July.
The outdoor exhibition opens with Masterpiece London and will include works from the 1960s to the present day such as ‘Genghis Khan’, 1963/2014 and the previously unseen 8m high ‘High Sky and Bling’, 2013 illustrated here.
MASTERPIECE LONDON 2014, 26th June- 2nd July, South Grounds, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, London SW3
As these pictures from the 2013 event suggest this really is a great Fair which shows over three thousand years worth of art in varying disciplines and offers visitors the opportunity to buy from over one hundred and fifty galleries specially selected from around the world. All items are vetted by 26 committees of independent specialist and experts. I shall share some of the delightful objects on view with you over the coming days.
The sculptor Nic Fiddian-Green (whose works can be seen at Marble Arch and Ascot racecourse) will be creating a sculpture on the stand of Sladmore Contemporary whilst watchmakers Jaeger-LeCoultre are running free public watch-making and enamelling classes (to book: email@example.com).
I really highly recommend a visit to this fair which is the heart of the Summer Art Season here in London and is definitely a pleasure not to be missed.