BOOK REVIEW: Wartski – The First 150 Years

Wartski – The First 150 Years

Geoffrey Munn

Antique Collectors’ Club (ACC), £65/ US $125

 Wartski Prelims_Della Grid

This is the story of the internationally known firm from its start in North Wales to its present day incarnation in London’s Mayfair.  It is a remarkable tale adorned with marvellous precious objects, including, of course, works by Fabergé.  Their clientele is wide ranging from crowned heads, writers, stars of stage and screen to notable collectors such as Malcolm Forbes and Marjorie Merriweather Post.

'Apparitions', a gold and enamel brooch by Vever, c 1900

‘Apparitions’, a gold and enamel brooch by Vever, c 1900

It is a vibrant firm which continues to not only sell the past but also encourages contemporary jewellery designers and goldsmiths.  This is a well-illustrated book with images of both the wonderful pieces that have passed through their hands and their glittering array of clients and thus it also becomes a social history.

A Fabergé Aquamarine and diamond brooch bought by Nicholas II for his wife Alix of Hesse three months before their wedding.

A Fabergé Aquamarine and diamond brooch bought by Nicholas II for his wife Alix of Hesse three months before their wedding.

The author is Wartski’s Managing Director, Geoffrey Munn, who will be a familiar face to many of you from his appearances on the BBC Antiques Road Show. He is to be congratulated on this history of the firm and I really don’t think there could be a more fitting way to celebrate Wartski’s first 150 years.

A gold pendant in the form of a Bacchante. Attributed to Castellani or Giancinto Mellilo, c 1870

A gold pendant in the form of a Bacchante. Attributed to Castellani or Giancinto Mellilo, c 1870

 

An Emerald and diamond set Tiara by Evrard & Frédéric Bapst , Originally part of the French Crown Jewels

An Emerald and diamond set Tiara by Evrard & Frédéric Bapst , Originally part of the French Crown Jewels

 

An oval banded onyx cameo of Cupid and Psyche by Tomasso Saulini (1793-1864)

An oval banded onyx cameo of Cupid and Psyche by Tomasso Saulini (1793-1864)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third Imperial Egg by Carl Fabergé. Recently rediscovered and exhibited at Wartski in 2014

Third Imperial Egg by Carl Fabergé. Recently rediscovered and exhibited at Wartski in 2014

 

 

http://www.antique-collecting.co.uk/antique-collectors-club-books/

wartski.com

Winter Olympia 2015

Winter Olympia Art & Antiques Fair, Olympia Exhibition Centre, London W14, 2nd-8th November 2015

László Lukácsi: Jewel fan, layered sheet glass and mirrors, glued, polished and acid etched, 2014; 25 x 13 cm. Prisma Gallery

László Lukácsi: Jewel fan,
layered sheet glass and mirrors, glued, polished and acid etched, 2014; 25 x 13 cm.
Prisma Gallery

This year’s fair opens slightly ahead of Asian Art in London but there is still some overlap.  The fair’s events programme is quite lively with a variety of talks (some of which are in conjunction with the V&A) including among the subjects Art Deco travel, historic wallpapers, Chinese sculpture, Pre-Raphaelite Drawings and the BBC Roadshow expert Alastair Dickenson will show how to identify the authenticity of a piece of silver.  In addition the art consultant Vanessa Curry will conduct highlight tours round the fair. As always all objects are vetted by experts before the fair so you can buy with confidence.  Good hunting!

Silver plated teapot with ebony handle, designed by Dr Christopher Dresser for James Dixon & Son, Sheffield. c1880. James Strang

Silver plated teapot with ebony handle, designed by Dr Christopher Dresser for James Dixon & Son, Sheffield. c1880.
James Strang

http://www.olympia-antiques.com

Burmantofts Persian pottery gourd vase designed by Leonard King, c1885, British. James Miles

Burmantofts Persian pottery gourd vase designed by Leonard King, c1885, British.
James Miles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A pair of Art Deco cloud back armchairs. Jerone Markies

A pair of Art Deco cloud back armchairs.
Jerone Markies

 

La Bievre près du Paris by MAXIMILIEN LUCE (1858 - 1941) Oil on canvas, signed and painted c.1890. Frame size: 22 x 25in / 57 x 64cm. Willow Gallery

La Bievre près du Paris by MAXIMILIEN LUCE (1858 – 1941)
Oil on canvas, signed and painted c.1890. Frame size: 22 x 25in / 57 x 64cm.
Willow Gallery

 

A Regency Celestrial Globe by Cary,London, 1820. Hansord

A Regency Celestrial Globe by Cary,London, 1820.
Hansord

 

1970's ring by Paul Flato Anthea AG Antiques

1970’s ring by Paul Flato
Anthea AG Antiques

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aquarium table cigarette lighter by Alfred Dunhill, C 1950. Hampton Antiques

Aquarium table cigarette lighter by Alfred Dunhill, C 1950.
Hampton Antiques

 

London Art Week

London Art Week 2015, 3rd – 10th July 2015

Nicolas Spheyman (before 1751) A Rough-Legged Buzzard Oil on Canvas Signed, Inscribed and Dated: "BUZE . DE. LAPONIE. 1735. Spayeman . 1735" 28 9/16 x 23 1/4 inches, 72.5 x 59 cm Provenance: Private Collection, France Rafael Valls

Nicolas Spheyman (before 1751)
A Rough-Legged Buzzard
Oil on Canvas
Signed, Inscribed and Dated: “BUZE . DE. LAPONIE. 1735. Spayeman . 1735”
28 9/16 x 23 1/4 inches, 72.5 x 59 cm
Provenance: Private Collection, France
Rafael Valls

This very special celebration of art in Mayfair and St James’s is in its third year and attracts people from around the world. Last year more than forty international museums sent representatives to visit the many treasures – paintings, drawings, sculpture and works of art – on view. As the selection of images here shows this year promises to be as good if not better.

Charles Jervas 1675 – 1739  Charles I (1600 – 1649) in armour, Painted circa 1738,  Oil on canvas, 95 x 57 inches, 241 x 145 cm  The Weiss Gallery

Charles Jervas 1675 – 1739
Charles I (1600 – 1649) in armour, Painted circa 1738,
Oil on canvas, 95 x 57 inches, 241 x 145 cm
The Weiss Gallery

The Crown Estate, who own about half of St James’s, are sponsoring the event. Their Head of the St James’s Portfolio, James Cooksey said: “The Crown Estate is delighted to support this important event in London’s art calendar which unites the art galleries of Mayfair and St. James’s, and helps to promote the extraordinary range of knowledge, expertise and heritage on offer in the art market’s historic home.”

1) Vase, First to Second Dynasty, 296-2750 BC, 45.5 cm H. 2) Crystalline Jar, Early Dynastic Period, Second to Third Dynasty, circa 3050-2686 BC, 34.9 cm H. 3) Alabastron, Late Period, twenty-sixth to thirtieth dynasty, circa 664-343 BC, 44 cm H. Egypt Ariadne Galleries

1) Vase, First to Second Dynasty, 296-2750 BC, 45.5 cm H. 2) Crystalline Jar, Early Dynastic Period, Second to Third Dynasty, circa 3050-2686 BC, 34.9 cm H. 3) Alabastron, Late Period, twenty-sixth to thirtieth dynasty, circa 664-343 BC, 44 cm H. Egypt
Ariadne Galleries

Here is a list of participating galleries:

Didier Aaron Ltd / Agnew’s / Aktis Gallery / Ariadne Galleries / Charles Beddington Ltd. / Katrin Bellinger at Colnaghi / C.G. Boerner LLC (New York) / Bonhams / Brun Fine Art / Christie’s / Coll & Cortés Fine Arts / Colnaghi / Ben Elwes Fine Art / Sam Fogg / Fondantico di Tiziana Sassoli (Bologna) / Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch / Deborah Gage (Works of Art) Ltd / Richard Green / Martyn Gregory / Johnny Van Haeften Ltd / Fergus Hall / Florian Härb / Hill-Stone Inc. (New York) / Martin Hirschboeck (Berlin) / Daniel Katz Gallery / Lampronti Gallery / Lowell Libson Ltd / James Mackinnon / Maison d’Art (Monaco) / Moretti Fine Art Ltd / Philip Mould & Company / Mullany Haute Epoque Fine Art / Maurizio Nobile (Bologna, Paris) / Stephen Ongpin Fine Art / Benjamin Proust Fine Art Ltd / Crispian Riley-Smith Fine Arts Ltd / Galerie Sismann (Paris) / Sotheby’s / Sphinx Fine Art / Stair Sainty Gallery and Robilant + Voena / Stoppenbach & Delestre Ltd / Tomasso Brothers Fine Art / Trinity Fine Art Ltd, Carlo Orsi (Milan) and Walter Padovani (Milan) / Rafael Valls Ltd / Rupert Wace Ancient Art / The Weiss Gallery 

Holy Family with the Infant Saint John the Baptist,  by Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, known as Il Sodoma.  Coll and Cortes

Holy Family with the Infant Saint John the Baptist,
by Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, known as Il Sodoma.
Coll and Cortes

 

Study for a Triton playing the Harp by Adolf Hiremy Hirschl.   Florian Harb

Study for a Triton playing the Harp by Adolf Hiremy Hirschl.
Florian Harb

Drapery Study for a Seated Figure by Cesare Magni.   Martin Hirschboeck

Drapery Study for a Seated Figure by Cesare Magni.
Martin Hirschboeck

Lucretia.  Attributed to Philippe Bertrand, circa 1704.  Galerie Sismann

Lucretia.
Attributed to Philippe Bertrand, circa 1704.
Galerie Sismann

 

Claude Joseph Vernet (French, 1714 - 1789) Noon, Return from Fishing, c1750-1, 98 x 137cm Ben Elwes Fine Art

Claude Joseph Vernet (French, 1714 – 1789) Noon, Return from Fishing, c1750-1, 98 x 137cm
Ben Elwes Fine Art

 

JONATHAN KENWORTHY (b. 1943) SEATED SILVERBACK, 2007 BRONZE, 1 of 9 39.4 cm (15 ½ in.) high, including base 18.4 cm (7 ¼ in.) wide, including base Tomasso Brothers Fine Art

JONATHAN KENWORTHY (b. 1943)
SEATED SILVERBACK, 2007
BRONZE, 1 of 9
39.4 cm (15 ½ in.) high, including base
18.4 cm (7 ¼ in.) wide, including base
Tomasso Brothers Fine Art

 

 

www.londonartweek.co.uk

MASTERPIECE LONDON 2015: Precious Metals

Imperial Presentation Cases by Carl Faberge.  St Petersburg, c1910.  Wartski, London

Imperial Presentation Cases by Carl Faberge.
St Petersburg, c1910.
Wartski, London

 

Ballerina Clip, in white gold with round diamonds, one rose-cut diamond, pink gold and round rubies. 2015. Van Cleef & Arpels

Ballerina Clip, in white gold with round diamonds, one rose-cut diamond, pink gold and round rubies. 2015. Van Cleef & Arpels

 

 

A VICTORIAN PARCEL-GILT SILVER NINE-PIECE TABLE GARNITURE MARK OF ELKINGTON & CO., BIRMINGHAM1878/79 Koopman Rare Art

A VICTORIAN PARCEL-GILT SILVER NINE-PIECE TABLE GARNITURE
MARK OF ELKINGTON & CO., BIRMINGHAM1878/79
Koopman Rare Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.masterpiecefair.com

http://www.wartski.com

http://www.vancleefarpels.com

http://www.koopmanrareart.com

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 ON THE HEATH

Affordable Art Fair, Hampstead Heath, London NW3, 11th– 14th June 2015

 “Studies in Pollution #7 The Thames (The City series)” by Ed Thompson.  Digital c-type photographic print. 101 x 76cm. Edition of 12.  Eyestorm Gallery

“Studies in Pollution #7 The Thames (The City series)” by Ed Thompson.
Digital c-type photographic print. 101 x 76cm. Edition of 12.
Eyestorm Gallery

The NW3 edition of this perennially popular Fair is upon us and I shall leave it to the Fair’s Director, Romy Westwood to sum up its appeal: “The Hampstead fair, in its beautiful heath surroundings, offers a stylish summer’s day out.”

“The Start” by Dan Rawlings.  Hand cut vintage wood saws 88 x 47 x 4cm.  £2,0Curious Duke Gallery.

“The Start” by Dan Rawlings.
Hand cut vintage wood saws 88 x 47 x 4cm.
£2,0Curious Duke Gallery.

“Art fairs provide an eclectic mix of genres and artists that you can browse to find the perfect artwork to kick-start or expand your collection. Chatting with the gallerists will help you learn about the art and discover more about the story behind the piece. You’ll also be able to see some up and coming talent and be exposed to styles which you may not have come across or considered previously.”

'Only the heart will know the planet's secrets' (2013) by Anoma  Mixed media, 29.5 x 36 inches framed  The Noble Sage

‘Only the heart will know the planet’s secrets’ (2013) by Anoma
Mixed media, 29.5 x 36 inches framed
The Noble Sage

There are new galleries exhibiting for the first time too.

“Grannies Annual Hyacinths” by Emma Dunbar.  Mixed media 76 x 76cm.  Cornwall Contemporary.

“Grannies Annual Hyacinths” by Emma Dunbar.
Mixed media 76 x 76cm.
Cornwall Contemporary.

www.affordableartfair.co.uk

“Ego” by Julie Needham.  Mixed media on board 122 x 76cm.  Woodbine Contemporary Arts.

“Ego” by Julie Needham.
Mixed media on board 122 x 76cm.
Woodbine Contemporary Arts.

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

A European Private Collection

From Roentgen to Fabergé: A European Private Collection, Christie’s, King Street, London, 20th May 2015

CREDIT: CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2015

CREDIT: CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2015

There can be little doubt that Monsieur de C, who formed this remarkable collection over more than three decades is a man of great taste and connoisseurship. He focused on the 18th century with particular interest in the furniture of Abraham and David Roentgen, the celebrated Neuwied- based cabinetmakers. While the father’s furniture forms reflected rococo shapes David’s pure lines and veneers were superb examples of neoclassical taste and it is no surprise that Catherine the Great and Louis XVI were among his patrons.

CREDIT: CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2015

CREDIT: CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2015

The collection is rich in other treasures of German craftsmanship, including an exceptional pair of Berlin gilt-bronze wall-lights, circa 1745 made for the Goldene Gallerie at Schloss Charlottenburg (estimate: £50,000-80,000), and 17th and 18th century Augsburg silver, including figures and a pair of silver tureens from the Perm Service made for Catherine the Great. Meissen is also represented well, including a group of pieces with Augsburg Hausmaleri decoration. Another ceramic delight in the auction is a Chinese mid-18th century porcelain serving dish decorated with the arms of Frederick the Great which comes from a service that is believed to have been presented to him (£6,000 – 10,000).

CREDIT: CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2015

CREDIT: CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2015

A further area of interest lay in the creations of Fabergé and others in Imperial Russia and there is a fine selection of pieces as can be seen here and also a beautiful silver and silver-gilt table service (estimate:£40,000-60,000). The silver and porcelain (there is a Russian Imperial service too) were used by Monsieur de C when he entertained in the treasure-filled enfilade of rooms of his home. I fully expect that there will be fierce competition to acquire these treasures on the day.

CREDIT: CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2015

CREDIT: CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2015

http://www.christies.com

CREDIT: CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2015

CREDIT: CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2015

Curiosities

EVERY OBJECT TELLS A STORY, 33 Fitzroy Square, London W1, until 26 June 2015

Gandhara Schist Head of the Buddha Afghanistan, 3rd Century AD Size: 36cm high

Gandhara Schist Head of the Buddha
Afghanistan, 3rd Century AD
Size: 36cm high

The independent dealer, Oliver Hoare, who specialises in Islamic Art, has put together a fascinating selling exhibition of more than two hundred and fifty pieces drawn from around the world over a time span of five thousand years. Their common denominator is that they are of interest historically and often have an interesting provenance.

Anthology of Poetry Probably Herat, Afghanistan, early 16th century AD Size: 22.5 x 15cm Lacquer binding, circa 16th century AD

Anthology of Poetry
Probably Herat, Afghanistan, early 16th century AD
Size: 22.5 x 15cm
Lacquer binding, circa 16th century AD

They range from a rare surviving Dodo bone to the 13th Dalai Lama’s Double Bass, via a 14th century Alchemist’s mortar, a 16th century anthology of poetry owned by Mughal Emperors and a very rare Eskimo’s baby blanket. A true pot-pourri of objects and pictures that will intrigue and delight visitors although some may find part of the collection of scrimshaw a bit explicit!

13th Dalai Lama’s Double Bass Lhasa, Tibet, 1920s Size: instrument 170 x 56cm

13th Dalai Lama’s Double Bass
Lhasa, Tibet, 1920s
Size: instrument 170 x 56cm

It is best summed up by Oliver Hoare: “The point of the exhibition, as its title announces, is to celebrate the fascinating and often peculiar stories attached to works of art. The criterion for what is presented has little to do with the value of objects and therefore it differs from the more conventional ‘Cabinets of Curiosities’. Nor does it necessarily reflect the current canon of what is seen as beautiful or culturally significant, although there are significant and beautiful works of art by anyone’s standards. The objects will be displayed like a private collection in the magnificent Robert Adam rooms at 33 Fitzroy Square, once home to the Omega Workshop. The catalogue is, hopefully, the work of a storyteller’s art, and I hope that anyone with an interest in history, art, or a good and unusual story, will come to visit and explore the exhibition”.

Bronze skeleton of a dodo Cast in 2000 Size: 70cm high Pangolin Editions

Bronze skeleton of a dodo
Cast in 2000
Size: 70cm high
Pangolin Editions

http://www.everyobjecttellsastory.com

Affordable Art Fair

Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Park, London SW11, 12th-15th March 2015

Lizzie Riches ‘Sweet Anticipation’ oil on canvas, 35 x 30 cms Courtesy of Portal Painters

Lizzie Riches
‘Sweet Anticipation’
oil on canvas,
35 x 30 cms
Courtesy of Portal Painters

There is a constant freshness to this fair that brings both aficionados and newcomers through its portals. It provides a wide choice of paintings, sculpture, ceramics, drawings and prints that will complement your lifestyle be it contemporary or traditional. As the fair’s director Luci Noel says “Browse the vast variety of art on offer to discover what resonates with you, art should be an emotional experience – buy what you love and what you want to live with today and every day.”

Nicola Rose Sand Bank Oil and sand on canvas 50 x 50 cm Courtesy of FOSSFINEART

Nicola Rose
Sand Bank
Oil and sand on canvas
50 x 50 cm
Courtesy of FOSS FINE ART

 

 

http://www.affordableartfair.co.uk