News

27 May 2016

Ivory: what is the latest?


According to the entirely justified headline to an online article in Apollo, 'Antique ivory poses no threat to elephant conservation: in fact, it needs protection itself' (see here).

We all love elephants, and who brought up on Jean de Brunhoff's Babar (below) would not?

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17 May 2016

Summer is coming, so we are told ...

Just back from Chicago, where I was kindly invited to speak to the Antiquarians at the Art Institute of Chicago, on 'Alfred Morrison (1821-97): an overlooked patron and collector of decorative arts'.  This remarkable maecenas lived in Carlton House Terrace, London and at Fonthill House, Witshire (where he, so-to-speak, breathed the air that once gave life to another fabulously rich and well-informed collector, William Beckford).  Alfred also followed in the footsteps of his father James, himself a sign...

19 April 2016

William Shakespeare: a table incorporating part of his mulberry tree

23 April 2016 marks the four hundredth anniversary of William Shakespeare's death.

Shakespeare (1564-1616) is revered as the greatest figure in English literature.  Although long admired, it was not until the Great Shakespeare Jubilee arranged in 1769 by the actor David Garrick (1717-79) that the 'Shakespeare industry' really caught fire.

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7 March 2016

Local authority budget pressure threatening Lancaster's Gillows collection at the Judges' Lodgings


Time is rapidly running out to find a solution for the Judges' Lodgings Museum in Lancaster, and its renowned collection of furniture by Gillows, the 'Northern Powerhouse' cabinet-maker. Against the brutal background of cuts to local authority budgets, Lancashire County Council needs to find ways to maintain statutory services.  Sadly, but inevitably, saving are being made at the expense of 'soft targets' such as museums.

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3 February 2016

News from New York: that was the WAS that was ...

A long stay on the East Coast for the Winter Antiques Show began with a day in Washington.  It seems that fatigue is casting a shadow over many of the groups involved in the battle to retain the free movement of works of art made of or containing ivory.  Certainly loans between museums appear more viable, but for the rest, it is going to a very long and depressing struggle. I need hardly say that I believe passionately that we should fight on against this thoughtless ban.  

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