News

17 June 2019

Kelmscott Manor: Past, Present and Future

Kelmscott

Nearly five years ago, the Society of Antiquaries of London organised a small fund-raining auction to kick-start an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund to secure the future of Kelmscott Manor, William Morris’s ‘heaven on earth’. Last November, the Society…

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6 June 2019

Masterpiece, London, 27 June-3 July 2019

It is with pleasure that we are, once again, exhibiting at Masterpiece, London. The elegant architecture of Sir Christopher Wren’s late seventeenth-century Royal Hospital forms an appropriate backdrop for a fair that brings a rich and varied display of works…

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20 April 2019

Pair of chairs for Walter Morrison (1836-1921): a new discovery

Walter Morrison, the ninth (of eleven) children born to James Morrison (1789-1857) and his wife Mary (1795-1887) was just twenty-one when his father died leaving him £300,000 (a fortune that today would be the equivalent of £28m) and the Malham…

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11 March 2019

TEFAF, Maastricht, 2019: a full two-day installation

We have been flattered and delighted by the response of our colleagues to this year’s presentation.  But none of this would have been possible with out our team: K-Pak for transport and Nicky Aubury and colleagues for creating a more…

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16 January 2019

English Arts & Crafts design at the Winter Show

During the day on Tuesday, the team made light work of turning tool boxes, lighting tracks and crates containing furniture and works of art into an elegantly decorated black box.  One day, perhaps, I’ll arrive on a stand believing that…

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8 December 2018

As 2018 draws to a close…

Benin bronze at British Museum

Benin bronze on display at the British Museum [Credit: Son of Groucho/Flickr] On the big global issues, 2018 is drawing to an uncomfortable close.  And on undoubtedly more parochial matters, of cultural significance, the zeitgeist seems to be driving us…

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30 September 2018

PAD London, 1-7 October 2018

Blairman PAD London Sept 2018

London is the next stop for the the international art market circus, with big tops for PAD in Berkeley Square, and for Frieze Masters and Frieze in Regent’s Park.  As ever, October in London is the place to be. Our…

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25 June 2018

Masterpiece, London, 2018

Masterpiece 2018 setting-up

However well we plan in advance, it is always daunting to arrive in a half-built hall, surrounded by machinery, pots of paint and lengths of uncut timber, all of which need to be negotiated by precious works of art.  As…

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25 March 2018

The Elephant in the Room: Ivory and the Art World

Queen Mother Pendant Mask

Queen Mother Pendant Mask, Nigeria (Benin), Edo peoples, 16th century. Metropolitan Museum of Art, gift of Nelson D. Rockefeller, 1972.   On 22 March, the Courtauld Institute, London hosted a debate on how we should consider historic works of art…

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6 March 2018

TEFAF, Maastricht (2018): all set

Blairman at TEFAF 2018

Our shippers, stand builders and lighting specialists have overcome the hazards of late winter weather to help us to create, we hope you will agree, another beautiful display in our familiar corner of the MECC. The backdrop to our stand…

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27 January 2018

‘Works of art and ivory: what are the issues?’, Curator: The Museum Journal 61 (1), January 2018

Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna Attempts formally to remove bona fide antique ivory from the raging debate on the preservation of the African elephant, threatened by poaching and illicit trade, rumble on confusingly.  In the United States of America the ban on imports…

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17 January 2018

Winter Antiques Show: we got there in the end

Winter Antiques Show 2018

It seems that no Winter Antiques Show is complete without the intervention of weather-related issues.  Perhaps the clue is in the timing: winter.  This year, our sea container was diverted to Virginia and only docked in New York on the…

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9 January 2018

China announces ‘total ban’ on ivory, or does it?

Eighteenth-century Anglo-Indian furniture at the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.   Since the turn of the year, the British press and conservation groups have been justifiably applauding China’s ‘total ban’ on the trade in ivory.  The stringent Chinese onslaught on their…

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22 December 2017

Yesterday in Parliament: ivory

  In one of the final debates in the House of Lords before the Christmas recess, peers discussed the impact of the ivory trade on an elephant population under siege.  Lord Carrington of Fulham (no relation of the former Foreign…

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16 November 2017

A pen (and paint brush) made by William Morris

In 2012, when the Brandon-Jones collection was acquired by the Nation through the Acceptance in Lieu scheme, Red House in Bexleyheath (designed by Philip Webb for William Morris) was allocated several personal items that had belonged to Morris’s close associate…

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1 October 2017

PAD London, 4-8 October 2017

Thanks to some careful planning, and expert technical assistance from Aston Spinks (logistics) and Nicky Aubury (lighting), the set up for PAD 2017 was completed speedily, and with remarkable ease. By 8 am Berkeley Square was lined with trucks grabbing…

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