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 significant collector of old master paintings.
Alfred is notable for his patronage of some of the greatest manufacturers active during the second half of the nineteenth century, including the cabinet-makers Jackson & Graham, Fourdinois and Grohé; the metalworker Placido Zuloaga; the enamel artist Charles Lepec, and the glass-maker Philipe-Joseph Brocard (see right).
The architecture of Chicago itself was, as ever, a pleasure. This fabulous city has a well-planned skyline, made up of an array of elegant and striking twentieth-century buildings (see above).
Now back in London, our forthcoming catalogue, Furniture and Works of Art, is currently being printed and should be mailed before the end of the month. This year’s edition ranges from a remarkable and seemingly unique Directoire armchair to a 1930s plywood dining chair, designed by Marcel Breuer (see below). Should you not be on our mailing list and would like to receive this publication, please go to the Contact page and click the button under ‘Newsletter’.
From 30 June (preview 29 June) until 5 July, we are exhibiting at Masterpiece, held in the grounds of The Royal Hospital Chelsea. We plan to exhibit some pieces from our catalogue, together with some more recently acquired items. If you happen to be in London, we hope to welcome you on stand D.20.