‘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

Hal Messel

Hal Messel, Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, 89-91 Pimlico Road London SW1, 3rd – 6th May 2017

Hal Messel putting the finishing touches to a candelabra
in his workshop.

It makes perfect sense that this wonderful interior design firm should host an exhibition of the distinctive works of silversmith Hal Messel as they are well-known for commissioning one-offs and bespoke designs in their long, distinguished history.  It is also a great way to celebrate London Craft Week.

A set of sterling silver and cast glass shell salt cellars.

Hal Messel, great-nephew of the celebrated stage and film designer Oliver Messel, turned from painting to silver. He was trained by Asprey silversmith Steve Wager and also by Jocelyn Burton. His love of traditional methods and great skill has led to numerous commissions on both sides of the Atlantic, including a piece presented to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. As well as finished pieces there will also be a display of Messel’s sketches, photographs of his Gloucestershire studio and works-in-progress.

Sterling silver coral and shell encrusted candelabra.

 

http://www.sibylcolefax.com

Hal Messel’s works are available through whttp://www.halmessel.com and www.whiteworksgroup.co.uk.

www.londoncraftweek.com

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

BOOK REVIEW: On the Fringe

On the Fringe

A Life in Decorating

By Imogen Taylor

Pimpernel Press
9781910258774
£50.00

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This is a page-turner combination of autobiography and the author’s long and distinguished career at Colefax and Fowler. She was a fitting heir to both Nancy Lancaster and John Fowler’s decorating vision.  She started at the firm in 1949 and when John Fowler retired in 1971 he handed his clients, including HM The Queen, over to her. She was until her retirement (1999) the firm’s principal decorator alongside Tom Parr.

With clients in the Middle East, America and the United Kingdom we see through her work how the Colefax & Fowler country house style evolved to reflect the current day but throughout it all she never lost her ‘perfect taste’.

One meets famous clients such as the Windsors, Dolly Rothschild, Harry Hyams and John Aspinall as well as fellow colleagues, including a young Duchess of Cornwall.  We also learn about the techniques used in creating these highly liveable-in interiors including the legendary ‘twelve different whites’.

I was interested to read that the late celebrated violinist Iona Brown was a friend as I too had known her when I was briefly at the Academy of St Martin-in-the Fields. I was fortunate enough to meet Imogen Taylor recently at the Hatchards’ Christmas Evening and congratulated her on this delightful book that greatly adds to the history of Colefax and Fowler and the continuing story of interior decoration in this country.

http://www.pimpernelpress.com

BOOK REVIEW: CECIL BEATON AT HOME: AN INTERIOR LIFE

CECIL BEATON AT HOME: AN INTERIOR LIFE

By Andrew Ginger, Foreword by Hugo Vickers

Rizzoli New York
PRICE: £50.00
ISBN: 978-0-8478-4877-5
: © Cecil Beaton at Home: An Interior Life by Andrew Ginger, Rizzoli New York, 2016

: © Cecil Beaton at Home: An Interior Life by Andrew Ginger, Rizzoli New York, 2016

 

I was fortunate enough to meet the author Andrew Ginger at the two exhibitions he curated around the theme of ‘Cecil Beaton At Home’ at Salisbury Museum and Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler in 2014. They were excellent shows and it was remarkable to see objects and paintings from Beaton’s homes.

View of the dining room, Ashcombe 1935. The curtains were of an orange-and-yellow striped silk © The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s

View of the dining room, Ashcombe 1935. The curtains were of an orange-and-yellow striped silk
© The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s

Now thanks to Andrew’s continued enthusiasm and dedication to the fascinating subject of Cecil Beaton in his own homes we have this hugely enjoyable and well-researched book which is copiously illustrated bringing the houses, Beaton, his friends and loves to life.

The drawing room at 8 Pelham Place, 1962. Combining two rooms into one created a single salon of 31’ 1” by 15’ 2” © The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s

The drawing room at 8 Pelham Place, 1962. Combining two rooms into one created a single salon of 31’ 1” by 15’ 2”
© The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s

The name Cecil Beaton is well-known to many for he was multi-talented – a celebrated photographer, costume and set designer, playwright and designer of fabrics – but he was also as this book amply proves a good interior decorator creating beautiful, striking rooms, whether in his homes or the New York hotel suites he decorated and was allowed to stay in at a discounted rate.

 

The and Winter Garden at Reddish House, painted left-handed by Cecil after his stroke, 1979 photograph by James McMillan, (copyright for CB artwork to National Portrait Gallery, London)

The and Winter Garden at Reddish House, painted left-handed by Cecil after his stroke, 1979
photograph by James McMillan, (copyright for CB artwork to National Portrait Gallery, London)

The book rightly focuses on Beaton’s two Wiltshire homes – Ashcombe House and Reddish House – with their remarkable and sometimes eccentric interiors which I would so loved to have seen but thanks to this book I at least can enjoy them, especially that beautiful Edwardian-influenced drawing room at Reddish.

The drawing room at Reddish House, painted by Cecil Beaton, Christmas 1955 photograph by James McMillan, collection of Stiles Tuttle Colwill

The drawing room at Reddish House, painted by Cecil Beaton, Christmas 1955
photograph by James McMillan, collection of Stiles Tuttle Colwill

There have been many marvellous books on Cecil Beaton but to me this book is the best as I believe people’s homes reveal them and Beaton certainly comes to life through the pages of this book. Wonderful!

The last portrait of Cecil, looking through his last fashion spread for Vogue in the library at Reddish House, September 4, 1979 copyright Lee Higham, Assistant, 1979

The last portrait of Cecil, looking through his last fashion spread for Vogue in the library at Reddish House, September 4, 1979
copyright Lee Higham, Assistant, 1979

www.rizzoliusa.com

Room Portraits by Jeremiah Goodman

Jeremiah – Inspired Interiors, Room Portraits by Jeremiah Goodman, Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, 39 Brook Street, London W1, until 5th December 2016

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To me this is the perfect subject for the last exhibition that Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler will host in the famous Yellow Room, so beloved by Nancy Lancaster, before they finally move out completely to Pimlico Road and Fulham Road. It has been curated by Dean Rhys Morgan.

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The American artist Jeremiah Goodman (b. 1922) is renowned for his evocative pictures of interiors. After studying at the Franklin School of Professional Art he became a successful advertising illustrator with his work appearing in magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and Interior Design Magazine. It will come as no surprise that his work attracted the interest of architects, industrial and interior designers.

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Goodman was always interested in creating portraits of interiors but a meeting with the renowned actor Sir John Gielgud in 1948 changed things.  Jeremiah sums it up: ‘Before I met him I painted interiors for my own pleasure, but he invited me to England, where I went in 1949, and began to introduce me to his friends. It was all very Brideshead Revisited and I found myself in the company of people like Cecil Beaton, John Fowler and Ivor Novello. I was invited to stay in glorious country houses.’ Since then he has been creating portraits of rooms from the homes of the rich and famous.

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His distinctive informal style – often using transparent watercolour and opaque gouache on illustration board – perfectly captures details on textiles and the patterns of light in these exquisite rooms. These room portraits are the perfect finale for the Yellow Room and I seriously encourage you to see them.

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www.jeremiahgoodman.com

www.sibylcolefax.com

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Inspired!

Brook Street: An Artist’s Eye, A selling exhibition in association with Adrian Sassoon, Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, 39 Brook Street, London W1, 7th October – 27th October 2015

Hitomi Hosono Large Cherry Blossom Bowl, 2013 Moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain with interior of dancing sprigs H.21.5 Dia.26cm (H.8 1 / 2 Dia.10 1 / 4in)

Hitomi Hosono
Large Cherry Blossom Bowl, 2013
Moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain with interior of
dancing sprigs
H.21.5 Dia.26cm (H.8 1 / 2 Dia.10 1 / 4in)

Combine the showroom interiors and fabrics of Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler with the vision of the Japanese-born ceramicist Hitomi Hosono and the result is perfection.  One can easily understand why her works are in museum collections, including the British Museum and the V&A.

Hitomi Hosono A Large Orange Coral Bowl, 2014 Moulded, carved and hand-built coloured porcelain H.15.5 Dia.34cm (H.6 1 / 8 Dia.13 3 / 8in)

Hitomi Hosono
A Large Orange Coral Bowl, 2014
Moulded, carved and hand-built coloured porcelain
H.15.5 Dia.34cm (H.6 1 / 8 Dia.13 3 / 8in)

She says of this exhibition: “I enjoyed time spent in the Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler town house. The sumptuous interiors populated by an incredibly diverse collection of antiques and works of art were fascinating. I found myself drawn particularly towards objects with a history of trade and the Far East. In this magnificent English house a sense of cross-cultural spirit has flourished. One Colefax and Fowler fabric pattern which caught my eye featured beautiful roses and pansies, which appeared to be moving as if blown by a gentle summer breeze. The softness and delicacy of rose petals is something that I wish to communicate in my own work and has led me to explore new forms and ways of aligning sweeping porcelain petal elements along a curve, emanating from multiple dense centres.”

Hitomi Hosono Large Grape Bowl, 2015 Moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain with yellow gold leaf interior H.23.5 Dia.25.5cm (H.9 1 / 4 Dia.10in)

Hitomi Hosono
Large Grape Bowl, 2015
Moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain with yellow gold
leaf interior
H.23.5 Dia.25.5cm (H.9 1 / 4 Dia.10in)

Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler’s design director, Philip Hooper commented: “Hitomi’s work represents all I admire in contemporary ceramics. The craftsmanship, patience, vision and technical skill involved in creating these fragile pieces is almost beyond comprehension. I am thrilled that she has found so much inspiration in 39 Brook Street and that it has been a catalyst in helping her to create many new pieces that will be on show for the first time”.

Hitomi Hosono A Pale Peach Cherry Blossom Box, Dancing Top, 2015 Moulded, carved and hand-built coloured porcelain with red gold leaf interior H.20 Dia.14.5cm (H.7 7 / 8 Dia.5 3 / 4in)

Hitomi Hosono
A Pale Peach Cherry Blossom Box, Dancing Top, 2015
Moulded, carved and hand-built coloured porcelain with red
gold leaf interior
H.20 Dia.14.5cm (H.7 7 / 8 Dia.5 3 / 4in)

I think that many people will agree with these sentiments and find this a sublime show

 

http://www.sibylcolefax.com.

http://www.adriansassoon.com