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…

Read More...

7 November 2014

A tale of two cities: new galleries in Boston and New Orleans

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has just opened a magnificent new gallery celebrating the seventeenth-century European Kunstkammer.  Different in ambition, but equally thought-provoking, is a gallery at the New Orleans Museum of Art, examining the Western concept of Orientalism…

Read More...

13 October 2014

PAD: setting up, and ready to go

Berkeley Square is once again at its magnificent, European best.  Over the weekend dealers in ‘art and design’ good-naturedly negotiated the chaos that is an art fair under construction.  Sandwiches and semi-drinkable coffee from the outside world sustained us as…

Read More...

9 October 2014

Blairman’s in the 1930s and 1940s: exhibition catalogues from our archive

Philip Blairman (1896-1972), whom I remember well in his older age, remains an inspiration.  He had taste, curiosity and foresight.  It was my grandfather who saw our firm flourish in Harrogate and London, as well as, for a period, in…

Read More...

28 September 2014

PAD, London, 13-19 October 2014: Dr Christopher Dresser

Dr Christopher Dresser: a pioneer of modern design Writing in 1937, Nikolaus Pevsner (1902-83) noted that ‘While engaged in research on the origins of the Modern Movement quite by chance [he] came across the name and two isolated examples of…

Read More...

21 September 2014

Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg: Raubkunst?

main Museum Kunst Gewerbe

Looted art (raubkunst) has been a more evident feature on museums’ agendas, across the world, since an appropriate approach to art spoliated during the Nazi era (1933-45) was enshrined in the Washington Agreement (1998). In brief, museum directors concluded that…

Read More...

15 September 2014

Loss and memory: William Beckford’s Fonthill Abbey

The fitting climax to the consistently stimulating ‘Recovering Fonthill’ symposium and visits organised by Caroline Dakers (University of the Arts London, 12-13 September), was the haunting experience of standing on the ground beneath what was once the nearly three hundred foot…

Read More...

26 August 2014

The use of ivory in historic works of art: what does the public think?

There is simply no doubt that the public derides the slaughter of endangered species, specifically the African elephant.  What is equally certain is that there is no comparable, deeply felt outcry against works of art made of or using ivory. …

Read More...

8 August 2014

Antique ivory: the cup appears half full

Reading hourly of the human cost of events around the globe, it is sometimes hard to worry too much about ivory.  But in ‘our’ small world it is a significant issue, and one that we should continue to address.  Although throughout the States many are enjoying vacations, lobbying efforts in Washington and elsewhere continue unabated.

Read More...

21 July 2014

Furniture and Works of Art 2014: some new information about J.E. Knox

Most years, following the publication of Furniture and Works of Art, we receive valuable additional information about one or more of the objects included.  Such responses tend to get tucked away for future use.  But now, with our new website, the…

Read More...

16 July 2014

The Winter Antiques Show, New York: a new venture (for Blairman’s)

The 61st Winter Antiques Show, 23 January to 1 February 2015. Sometimes unanticipated circumstances lead to new thinking.  Since 1996 Blairman’s has enjoyed being a part of the excellent October International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show in New York,…

Read More...

27 June 2014

Glasgow School of Art: an appeal for books

It was, of course, fortunate that no one was hurt on 23 May, when a massive fire destroyed the library of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s iconic School of Art.  Over coming months there will be discussions over how to fund and…

Read More...

22 June 2014

Ivory: the latest developments are not a cause for optimism

A hearing of the Congressional Oversight Committee in Washington, scheduled for 26 June, will take evidence on the proposed (in reality de facto) ban in the United States on the commercial movement of antique cultural objects made of or containing…

Read More...

21 June 2014

Masterpiece, London: the calm, before the storm, before the fair…

June 21st is the longest day, and that certainly seemed to be what we were facing when we arrived to see our Masterpiece stand at 8 am this morning.  A dust-covered black hole, lit by a couple of unsympathetic spotlights…

Read More...

17 June 2014

A mysterious album of tile designs, inscribed on the cover ‘G. Edmund Street, Esq., R.A.’ and dated 1881

In March last year we acquired from the auctioneer Dominic Winter, but without additional provenance, a leather bound album of watercolour designs for tiles.  The album, which measures 34.2 x 34.5 cm, is inscribed on the cover ‘Patterns of /…

Read More...

8 June 2014

More on ivory: resisting the law of unintended consequences

There is evidence that, little by little, the Fish & Wildlife Service is coming to appreciate that those who study, display in museums, and collect works of art that happen to be made of (or incorporate) ivory are equally committed…

Read More...
Page 4 of 512345