14 July 2015

Sybella Bullock (1805-1850): her prize medal of 1825 re-discovered

  Sybella Bullock was a daughter of the entrepreneur and showman William Bullock (1773-1849), and the niece of the sculptor, designer and cabinet maker George Bullock (1782/83-1818). Such little information as is known of Sybella Bullock’s life can be gleaned…

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3 July 2015

News from London

As July begins, it finally feels like summer.  The art market is entering its end-of-season phase, but here in London, at least, things will remain active for several more weeks. In what a modernist architect perceptively described to me as…

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22 June 2015

Masterpiece 2015: the lure of luxury in London

Masterpiece looks set, once again, to achieve its ambition of presenting a luscious array of luxurious objects to lighten the chill of a London summer.  The weekend saw a building site being transformed into a glamorous shop window for works…

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2 June 2015

Furniture and Works of Art, 2015: now online

In the middle of last week we received a pallet-load of cartons containing the latest edition of our annual publication  Furniture and Works of Art; it is ‘sage green’ this year, for those who always refer to these by the…

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26 May 2015

Summer in London: our new catalogue, and Masterpiece

As June approaches, the traditional art market in London will once again be centre stage. We are about to send out the 2015 edition of our annual catalogue Furniture and Works of Art. This year we include a cup and…

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15 May 2015

Instagram: eye-catching thoughts on the move

In circumstances that are beyond ridiculous, I recently lost my BlackBerry somewhere between New York and Chicago.  So, following years of lobbying by Clive Wilson (responsible for this website) I have been persuaded to move on to an iPhone.  I…

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21 April 2015

Ivory: no closer to an outbreak of common sense in the US?

Mirror Back, French (possibly Paris), 1350-75.  Metropolitan Museum of Art There are still no signs of a pragmatic dialogue on the impact of Director’s Order 210 (February 2014) breaking out in the public arena. The fact that there are ‘sides’…

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18 April 2015

‘Some Silver by John Hardman & Co for Charles Lygon Cocks’: a new discovery

In 1996, the Decorative Arts Society Journal (20) published Martin Levy, ‘Some Silver by John Hardman & Co for Charles Lygon Cocks’ (pp. 1-10).  The article discusses silver supplied to various members of the Cocks family, and in depth a…

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9 March 2015

A weekend in Maastricht: preparing for TEFAF 2015

We left London in a somewhat relaxed mood, after breakfast at the incomparable Little Bread Pedlar, but then our Eurotunnel crossing was delayed.  Some two hours later than scheduled, however, we arrived in the MECC to find that the indefatigable…

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15 March 2015

TEFAF, 2015: we are on our way

Creating stands for art fairs never loses its appeal.  Each March, by the time ‘Maastricht’ comes around, we will have spent the previous twelve months or more gathering together a group of fresh objects that we can present in a…

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5 February 2015

Ivory: a ray of sunshine from Alaska

A bipartisan bill was introduced into the House of Representatives yesterday to protect lawful ivory possession. ‘… the legislation, the African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possesion Act of 2015, would effectively end the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s unilateral…

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1 February 2015

News from New York: WAS was a wow!

The Winter Antiques Show (WAS) drew to a close on Sunday evening.  The fair has been a huge pleasure: well organised, well attended, and active.  The atmosphere between the exhibitors is collegial, with constant conversation and laughter.  Business was done…

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20 January 2015

The Winter Antiques Show: a warm welcome to New York

Sunday was one of those New York days when to be out on the streets was to be soaked to the skin.  It just rained and rained.  Still, having enjoyed a couple of rewarding hours at the Blind Pig, it…

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12 December 2014

A Gordon Russell ‘Writing Desk’, 1925

Although the popular view prevails that English Arts & Crafts period design derives from the vernacular tradition, the story has, in fact, always been more nuanced.  Stephen Baker, in a perceptive article ‘Gimson’s Cotswold Furniture and its London Origins’ (Apollo, January…

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29 November 2014

Ivory: the debate on the USA’s ban continues, but with inadequate progress

It is nearly ten months since President Obama’s executive order heralded a de facto ban in the USA on the import of works of art made of, or containing ivory.  Now, in some administrative and political circles, it is increasingly understood that the applauded effort to stamp out the trade in tusks from the endangered African elephant has had an unfair and unintended impact on the commercial movement of historic works of art.

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17 November 2014

The Destruction of the Country House: a symposium at the V&A, forty years on

With the latest twist in the fate of Wentworth Woodhouse (above) on everyone’s mind, the lecture theatre at the Victoria and Albert Museum was packed on Saturday for a symposium, organized by ‘SAVE Britain’s Heritage’ and the V&A, to commemorate…

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