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.  


19 January 2016

The Winter Antiques Show 2016

The year is barely three weeks old, but here we all are, back in New York for the Winter Antiques Show.  This long running fair, established in 1955, supports the East Side House Settlement, which was itself founded in 1891.  This community-based  organization in the South Bronx works with schools, community centres and others to bring quality education and training to approximately 10,000 individuals each year.


6 January 2016

Philip Blairman: some early memories, in his own words

Since 2013, Mark Westgarth, based at the University of Leeds, has been investigating 'Antique Dealers: the British Antiques Trade in the 20th Century'.  This project grew out of his earlier work that culminated in A Biographical Dictionary of Nineteenth Century Antique and Curiosity Dealers, published by the Regional Furniture History Society in 2009.


19 November 2015

A Thomas Hope chandelier identified

Lost works of art are sometimes hidden in plain sight.  

Such is the case with a magnificent chandelier that undoubtedly once hung at Thomas Hope's Duchess Street mansion in London, and later at his country house the Deepedene, Dorking, Surrey.  Having not been seen since it was photographed in 1899 by Country Life, this remarkable example of Regency design has recently been identified hanging anonymously in the lobby of a building in New Orleans, now leased to a bank.


3 November 2015

A pair of chairs after a design by Thomas Hope (1769-1831)

The seemingly simple form of this pair of Regency 'tub' chairs exemplifies Thomas Hope's timeless genius as a designer.  Their apparently effortless curved backs seem redolent, for example, of the 1920s 'art deco' seat furniture by designers such as Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann (1879-1933).