Sublime Gardens

 

Painting Paradise: The Art of the Garden, The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London SW1, until11th October 2015

Marco Ricci, A View of the Cascade, Bushy Park Water Gardens, c.1715. Royal Collection Trust / copyright Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

Marco Ricci, A View of the Cascade, Bushy Park Water Gardens, c.1715.
Royal Collection Trust / copyright Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

This is a great exhibition which celebrates the idea of the garden through paintings, drawings, books and the decorative arts from the 16th to the early 20th century.

Mir 'Ali Sir Nava'l, Seven Couples in a Garden, c. 1510. Royal Collection Trust / copyright Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

Mir ‘Ali Sir Nava’l, Seven Couples in a Garden, c. 1510.
Royal Collection Trust / copyright Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

We see a Persian garden depicted in an Islamic manuscript, the gardens of Versailles and Hampton Court, Kew, Windsor and Osborne House. Works by Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, Jan Brueghel the Elder as well as late 19th and early 20th century watercolours and a Fantin-Latour painting.

Jan Brueghel the Elder, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, 1615. Royal Collection Trust / copyright Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

Jan Brueghel the Elder, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, 1615.
Royal Collection Trust / copyright Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

There is a wonderful selection of floral decoration on Bow, Chelsea, Meissen and Sèvres porcelains, textiles, furniture, silver, fans and jewellery, including pieces commissioned by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria and of course works by Carl Fabergé.

Workshop of Carl Faberge, Bleeding Heart, c.1900. Royal Collection Trust / copyright Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

Workshop of Carl Faberge, Bleeding Heart, c.1900.
Royal Collection Trust / copyright Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

This engaging exhibition appeals to most tastes as it reveals the garden as a place of beauty, a place for research and science, a place to relax and enjoy and a place to wonder at the glories of nature.

Thomas Tompion, one of a pair of sundials, 17th century. Royal Collection Trust / copyright Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

Thomas Tompion, one of a pair of sundials, 17th century.
Royal Collection Trust / copyright Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

http://www.royalcollection.org.uk

 

MASTERPIECE LONDON 2015 OPENS TOMORROW

MASTERPIECE LONDON 2015, South Grounds, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, London SW3, 25th June – 1st July 2015

 

Outside On the Red Carpet Masterpiece 2014.  Photo credit Rory Lindsay

Outside On the Red Carpet Masterpiece 2014.
Photo credit Rory Lindsay

There is little doubt that Masterpiece London is a very special fair with objects spanning over 4, 000 years being shown by some 150 galleries. It is a magnet for both collectors and museums round the world and a place to see some outstanding treasures.

As its Chief Executive Nazy Vassegh explains, “The 8 days when Masterpiece takes place is the epicentre of the art season in London. After just five years Masterpiece is now firmly regarded as both a leading international art fair and a welcome addition to the summer season in London. We are particularly delighted by the exhibitors and partners that will join us for the 2015 edition.”

I do hope that many of you will be able to visit this exciting Fair and over the coming days I shall share some of the objects you may find there.

Interior shot of Masterpiece 2014

Interior shot of Masterpiece 2014

 

 Open to the public:

Thursday 25 June & Friday 26 June, 11.00–21.00

Saturday 27 June & Sunday 28 June, 11.00–19.00

Monday 29 June 11.00–21.00

Tuesday 30 June 11.00–18.00 (Followed by The Art Gala at Masterpiece in aid of the NSPCC from 19.00)

Wednesday 1 July, 11.00–21.00

 

2015 Ticket Prices:

 

General Admission Full Access: £42 per person (unlimited entry into the Fair on all Public Days between 25 June and 1 July)

General Admission: £25 per person (single day access)

Student Concession Ticket: £18 per person (with valid student ID)

Under 18s: Free

Phillip King sculpture at Masterpiece 2014.  Photo credit Rory Lindsay photography

Phillip King sculpture at Masterpiece 2014.
Photo credit Rory Lindsay photography

 

http://www.masterpiecefair.com.

Art Antiques London 2015

Art Antiques London, Albert Memorial West Lawn, Kensington Gardens, London SW7, (Opposite the Royal Albert Hall), 12th June – 18th, June, 2015

The queue outside Art Antiques London, 2014

The queue outside Art Antiques London, 2014

This is now the sixth edition of a deservedly popular fair which offers a wide range of art and antiques, including many of museum quality and which draws collectors from around the world.

'Landscape with trees’  Alfred Wallis 1855 – 1942 Oil on board with nails Anthony Hepworth

‘Landscape with trees’
Alfred Wallis 1855 – 1942
Oil on board with nails
Anthony Hepworth

The Fair has a well-established academic programme which as well as important lectures includes this year Study Days for The Silver Society, The English Ceramics Circle and The Jewellery Historians.

James W. Buel and Verdi Giuseppe, 10 Vols. The Great Operas with numerous illustrations. Exquisitely bound in full morocco, folios, with original boxes, each volume comes with an extra suite of plates (3 hand-coloured). Limited to 50 sets. 1899  Imperial Fine Books

James W. Buel and Verdi Giuseppe, 10 Vols. The Great Operas with numerous illustrations. Exquisitely bound in full morocco, folios, with original boxes, each volume comes with an extra suite of plates (3 hand-coloured). Limited to 50 sets. 1899
Imperial Fine Books

Many will agree with what Anna Somers Cocks said in The Art Newspaper (20 June 2013) “like the Old Master drawings fair in Paris, but unlike most other fairs today,… is an encounter between people who really want to talk art and handle objects knowledgeably.”

A good rummer, the bucket bowl engraved with a mail coach and four horses, the reverse with initials GB Height 16.2 cms c.1820-30, English Glass Delomosne & Son Ltd.

A good rummer, the bucket bowl engraved with a mail coach and four horses, the reverse with initials GB
Height 16.2 cms
c.1820-30, English
Glass
Delomosne & Son Ltd.

 

White porcelain animal figures from Vincennes, Saint-Cloud and Vienna, 18th century Christophe Perles

White porcelain animal figures from Vincennes, Saint-Cloud and Vienna, 18th century
Christophe Perles

Japanese silver kodansu decorated with ho-o birds among paulownia trees,  signed Ginsei Hattori, Meiji Period.  The mythical phoenix in Japan is a symbol of justice and fidelity. Laura Bordignon

Japanese silver kodansu decorated with ho-o birds among paulownia trees,
signed Ginsei Hattori, Meiji Period.
The mythical phoenix in Japan is a symbol of justice and fidelity.
Laura Bordignon

 

 

Set of six chairs,  Sri Lanka, Colombo, second half 18th century. Coromandel wood and later upholstery.  Height: 101 cm, width: 52.5 cm, depth: 46.5 cm.  Provenance: Dutch private collection.  Roell Fine Art

Set of six chairs,
Sri Lanka, Colombo, second half 18th century. Coromandel wood and later upholstery.
Height: 101 cm, width: 52.5 cm, depth: 46.5 cm.
Provenance: Dutch private collection.
Roell Fine Art

 

Famille rose figural group of a dancing couple, modelled after the Meissen original, the gentleman wearing a yellow hat, white-ruff collar, blue waist jacket incised with scrolls and red breeches, the lady with a red waist coat similarly incised and long flowing skirt with purple flowers, all on a shaped naturalistic form base, modelled and moulded with relief flowers. 5 ⅝ ins, 14.3 cm high Qianlong, circa 1752. Marchant

Famille rose figural group of a dancing couple, modelled after the Meissen original, the gentleman wearing a yellow hat, white-ruff collar, blue waist jacket incised with scrolls and red breeches, the lady with a red waist coat similarly incised and long flowing skirt with purple flowers, all on a shaped naturalistic form base, modelled and moulded with relief flowers.
5 ⅝ ins, 14.3 cm high
Qianlong, circa 1752.
Marchant

 

A batik sarung from the studio of Catherina Van Oosterom in Banyumas, Java. During the mid 19th century a new type of batik was invented by a small group of Indo-European women, working traditionally with natural dyes and molten wax applied to cotton by means of a pen (canting). This genre is known as the Indische school and combines both Asian and Western design elements.  Jonathan Hope

A batik sarung from the studio of Catherina Van Oosterom in Banyumas, Java. During the mid 19th century a new type of batik was invented by a small group of Indo-European women, working traditionally with natural dyes and molten wax applied to cotton by means of a pen (canting). This genre is known as the Indische school and combines both Asian and Western design elements.
Jonathan Hope

 

 

 

http://www.haughton.com

Early Meissen Porcelain

Visitors to San Francisco really should visit this:

 

A Princely Pursuit: The Malcolm D. Gutter Collection of Early Meissen Porcelain, Glass Gallery 9B, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Legion of Honor, 100 34th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94121, until 3rd January 2016

Fragments of a bottle-gourd vase, ca. 1726–1730 Meissen porcelain manufactory.  Bequest of Malcolm D. Gutter

Fragments of a bottle-gourd vase, ca. 1726–1730
Meissen porcelain manufactory.
Bequest of Malcolm D. Gutter

Malcolm Gutter has been collecting porcelain over several decades and has built up an important collection, with a particular focus on Meissen. Among the pieces on show are early experimental wares and eighteen items from the collection of Augustus II (“the Strong”), Elector of Saxony and King of Poland who established the factory. He commissioned Meissen, decorated in the style of Japanese and Chinese porcelain which he also avidly collected for his Japanisches Palais in Dresden and both German and Asian wares are to be found in this exhibition.

Baluster vase, ca. 1722–1723  Meissen Porcelain Manufactory. Painting attributed to Caspar Ripp (1681–1726) Bequest of Malcolm D. Gutter

Baluster vase, ca. 1722–1723
Meissen Porcelain Manufactory. Painting attributed to Caspar Ripp (1681–1726)
Bequest of Malcolm D. Gutter

While some may think it is more than generous to loan your porcelain for an exhibition such as this it is in fact a “rehearsal” as Malcolm Gutter has promised the collection to the Museum. He is a very gifted and generous collector.

Beaker vase, ca. 1726–1730  Meissen porcelain manufactory Painting attributed to J.E. Stadler (1701–1741)  Marked with AR (“Augustus Rex”) Bequest of Malcolm D. Gutter

Beaker vase, ca. 1726–1730
Meissen porcelain manufactory
Painting attributed to J.E. Stadler (1701–1741)
Marked with AR (“Augustus Rex”)
Bequest of Malcolm D. Gutter

http://www.famsf.org

The Duchess – Update

The Library, West Horsley Place

The Library, West Horsley Place

The Sotheby’s London auction of Property & Precious Objects from the Estate of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe had a pre-sale estimate of £1.6 – £2.3 million but after two days of keen bidding it realised a total of £3,701,654. When this is added to the amount raised by the Duchess’s jewels when auctioned earlier this month it comes to a grand total of £8,861,939. The total pre-sale estimate was £2.6 – £4 million.

Mary Crewe-Milnes before her marriage to the Duke of Roxburghe, age 19, wearing the Cartier diamond ring (Lot 662) which sold for  £167,000 (est. £8,000-12,000)

Mary Crewe-Milnes before her marriage to the Duke of Roxburghe, age 19, wearing the Cartier diamond ring which sold for £167,000 (est. £8,000-12,000)

The Duchess’s heir Bamber Gascoigne commented: “I’m delighted with the results of Sotheby’s sales results which exceeded expectations, both in London and Geneva. While it has been poignant to see the extraordinary array of my aunt’s possessions go, it has been heartening to see the enthusiasm with which they were received – both prior to the sale and played out in the sale room. Importantly we are now able to start the process of restoring West Horsley Place to secure its future.”

This silver-plated breakfast-in-bed tray sold for nearly 60 times over its pre-sale  high estimate ((£200-300) by to selling for £17,500. That’s auctions for you!

This silver-plated breakfast-in-bed tray sold for nearly 60 times over its pre-sale
high estimate (£200-300) by selling for £17,500. That’s auctions for you!

http://www.sothebys.com

The Duchess – I

The Duchess – Property & Precious Objects from the Estate of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe, Sotheby’s, 34-35 New Bond Street, London W1, 27th – 28th May 2015

A View of West Horsley Place

A View of West Horsley Place

This is a remarkable sale in that it reveals a way of life that has now vanished. The story is told through the seven hundred lots that make up this auction. Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe (1915-2014) was born into one of the great families; her father was Marquess of Crewe and her mother was Peggy Primrose, who was the daughter of the Earl of Rosebery, a British Prime Minister, and his heiress wife Hannah de Rothschild.

A View of the Drawing Room.   This elegant room had not been used for about fifty years and workmen were needed to prise open the shutters which had warped.

A View of the Drawing Room.
This elegant room had not been used for about fifty years and workmen were needed to prise open the shutters which had warped.

Mary Roxburghe, who was named for her godmother Queen Mary and whose husband George V was her godfather, was brought up in the glittering social world of her parents. Their London house was Crewe House in Curzon Street and they also had Crewe Hall in Cheshire. She became engaged to the Duke of Roxburghe at the age of 19, a fact celebrated by a ball at Crewe House and attended by the King and Queen at which the Crewe china and glass, featured in this sale, was used. The 1935 wedding was deemed worthy of being screened in cinemas across the land. The Duke and Duchess travelled extensively – some of the Duchess’s Cartier luggage is in the sale – and she spent part of World War II in the Middle East to be close to the Duke.

A View of the Morning Room, showing a table setting, the Axminster Carpet (Lot 51) and a male servant's livery.

A View of the Morning Room, showing a table setting, the Axminster Carpet (Lot 51) and a male servant’s livery.

However after the war one day as she was sitting at breakfast with the Duke the butler presented her, on a silver salver (naturally), with her divorce papers. After a rather fraught period a settlement was reached and Mary Roxburghe then divided her time between her apartment in London and her parents country home West Horsley Place. The Crewe’s had bought the house in the 1930s after disposing of their other properties following the death of their son and heir. The house contains a melange of items from these other houses, although larger family pictures had also been sold and so when Mary inherited the house in 1973 it became a repository for her things too.

The Duchess's Bedroom, with a silver-plated breakfast-in-bed tray by Asprey & Co Ltd (£200-£300) on the bed.

The Duchess’s Bedroom, with a silver-plated breakfast-in-bed tray by Asprey & Co Ltd (£200-£300) on the bed.

What a great selection there is; footmen’s livery, Coronation robes, paintings, furniture, silver, porcelain, jewellery and Objects of Vertu. All combine to be an integral part of a fascinating story that combines social and historical threads into a whole and tells the story of Mary Roxburghe’s life.

http://www.sothebys.com

 

In the following second blog I will include a comment from Bamber Gascoigne, the Duchess’s heir, who is selling these items to help secure the future of this house and show a small selection of items on offer.

BOOK REVIEW: Turquerie

Turquerie: An Eighteenth-Century European Fantasy

Haydn Williams

Turquerie

ISBN 9780500252062
Hardback
240pp
£39.95

The Seraglio, an over-door from madame de Pompadour’s music room at the château de Bellevue, by Jean-Baptiste-Marie Pierre, c. 1755, oil on canvas © Pałac w Jabłonnie, Jabłonna, photo Hubert Macioch

The Seraglio, an over-door from madame de Pompadour’s music room at the château de Bellevue, by Jean-Baptiste-Marie Pierre, c. 1755, oil on canvas
© Pałac w Jabłonnie, Jabłonna, photo Hubert Macioch

It is a delightful book which reveals how by the eighteenth century Europe’s long- established fear of the Turk had been replaced with a fascination for things deemed to have an Ottoman influence. Indeed I remember reading elsewhere that the Prince de Ligne had musicians who wore Turkish costumes.

Figures of a young sultan and sultana, Höchst manufactory, models by Johann Peter Melchior, c. 1770, hard-paste porcelain, c. 1770 © Christie’s Images, London/Scala, Florence

Figures of a young sultan and sultana, Höchst manufactory, models by Johann Peter Melchior, c. 1770, hard-paste porcelain, c. 1770
© Christie’s Images, London/Scala, Florence

This beautifully illustrated and researched book celebrates the buildings interiors, gardens, furniture, paintings and variety of objects that were created for Royal and noble patrons in detail. The final chapter looks at how the interest in things Turkish continued into the nineteenth century. Haydn Williams deserves our thanks for producing this really enjoyable book

Salon turc of Queen Maria Carolina of Naples and Sicily, Villa Favorita, Palermo, early 19th century Photo courtesy Dario di Vincenzo

Salon turc of Queen Maria Carolina of Naples and Sicily, Villa Favorita, Palermo, early 19th century
Photo courtesy Dario di Vincenzo