Art and antiques news from 2003

In 2003 the Antique Collectors' Club annual index showed house price gains outstripping antique furniture for the first time in 34 years - a sign of things to come as prices brown furniture began to fall.

In the same year Leslie Hindman reopened her eponymous auction house in Chicago - six years after selling her business to Sotheby’s - and Antiques Trade Gazette was voted Special Interest Newspaper of the Year at the Newspaper Awards.

Gothic at the V&A

09 October 2003

It is now 15 years since the Royal Academy mounted their landmark exhibition, The Age of Chivalry, covering the arts in Plantagenet England from 1200-1400. This week the Victoria and Albert Museum launches its chronological successor – Gothic: Art For England, covering the later medieval period from 1400-1547.

The Max factor

09 October 2003

HAVING run antique furniture businesses in Hampshire and the Midlands, Max Salisbury upped sticks two years ago to make his fortune in North Carolina. Looking at events in America over the past two years his timing could not have been worse, but now he has successfully established a business at 1102 North Main Street, High Point (Tel: +1 336 883 1494) where he displays his speciality – expertly re-upholstered 19th century English furniture in “natural and uncluttered” room settings.

The turn of the tables

09 October 2003

According to Themes & Variations, the West London dealers in 20th century decorative arts and contemporary design, for the past three decades minimalism has developed alongside a taste for baroque extravagance, but without converging.

Schotten gunning for the country set

09 October 2003

WHEN it comes to the traditional English country house nothing is more redolent of the look of the Victorian and Edwardian periods than the old tack and gun rooms of the country lodge, replete with saddles, whips, boots and mounted trophies such as perch and stag.

Pot-bellied tooled leather and brass creel

09 October 2003

Leading the sale of vintage fishing tackle and related items held by Angling Auctions at the Chiswick Town Hall on September 27 was this pot-bellied tooled leather and brass creel made by the Yorkshire saddlers Atkinson c.1780.

Garden collection grows

09 October 2003

It might not look much, but the humble unglazed earthenware vessel, pictured right, is believed to be the earliest form of watering pot made in Britain. It’s also the precursor to the metal watering can that did not adopt its recognisable shape until the 17th century.

Made for Manhattan

09 October 2003

The fair with the best chance of giving New York and the trade a much-needed lift: I REMEMBER clearly two years ago in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in Manhattan one of the most severe tests for the international trade was the cancellation of London organisers Brian and Anna Haughton’s International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show, America’s top antiques fair.

Slow but sure, Chelsea runs true to form

09 October 2003

ONE never associates the Chelsea Antiques Fair with thronged aisles and a rush of business, but after more than half a century it must be doing a lot right and the 97th staging from September 17 to 22 at the Old Town Hall in the King’s Road, SW3, did not disappoint most of the 35 exhibitors.

Bound to sell, a catalogue winner

09 October 2003

ONE of the best-known figures at quality fairs, Marlborough, Wiltshire period furniture specialist William Cook has just published his third catalogue, and I must say it is as good an example of its type as I have seen all year. Not only is it superbly produced with excellent illustrations, but Billy Cook’s long captions are an informative and enjoyable read.

Another Turner who proved himself the master of light and shade…

09 October 2003

September was football time for two of the London rooms, Sotheby’s Olympia (20/10% buyer’s premium) fielded a 437-lot sale on September 11 and Christie’s South Kensington (17.5/10% buyer’s premium), who followed on two weeks later with their 302-lot offering on September 23.

Northern exposure

09 October 2003

CHIPPING Norton, Oxfordshire dealers Jane and Keith Riley, who trade as Key Antiques at 11 Horsefair, go back to their roots for their contribution to the Cotswolds Antique Dealers’ Association’s series of selling exhibitions.

Chaucer makes way for Marlowe

09 October 2003

What a novel idea Kent dealer Neville Pundole has come up with for his current exhibition at the Neville Pundole Gallery, The Friary, Canterbury.

Arley promises some monkey business…

09 October 2003

CHESHIRE remains a favoured county for fair organisers and Somerset-based Cooper Antiques Fairs are no exception, their premier event in the north being The Cheshire County Antiques Fair, held three times a year at Arley Hall, near Knutsford.

Blass this house…

09 October 2003

Bill Blass was a catwalk king, now his furnishings are set to wow the crowds: Designer Bill Blass, whose elegant outfits have been a favourite amongst the well dressed for decades, came fairly late to serious antique buying, but once the well known fashion icon started collecting in the 1970s, he made up for lost time.

There is Encoignure in a foreign field…

09 October 2003

Encoignure, Thomas Kerr’s long-established King’s Road shop, with its decorative Continental look, is a well-known call for British and overseas decorators on the hunt for a stylish something for their customers.

Harrogate – a rethink on the cards?

09 October 2003

WITH an exhibitor list well down on last year, Essex organiser Robert Bailey’s 53rd Northern Antiques Fair at Harrogate from September 17 to 21 did not enjoy a vintage staging, with a number of exhibitors expressing disappointment at the attendance and general level of business.

Brooke steps up pressure over database

06 October 2003

BRITISH Art Market Federation president Lord Brooke is stepping up pressure on the Government to fund a workable database of stolen art. His latest call for Whitehall to support the art and antiques trade in preventing dealings in stolen objects came during the second reading of the Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Bill in the House of Lords.

New LAPADA fair venues at Claridge’s and Cheltenham

06 October 2003

Association to work with Bailey Fairs: LAPADA fairs are to continue both in London and the provinces but with new venues and new organisers, it has been announced. From next year for their London showcase the UK’s largest antiques association move into Mayfair and from April 14 to 18 launch The Claridge’s LAPADA Art and Antiques Fair at the exclusive Claridge’s Hotel in Brook Street, W1.

New development targets dealers’ hearts and pockets

06 October 2003

A NEW antiques and design warehouse in West London is offering what it believes to be a unique business-to-business opportunity for the trade with the minimum possible risk.


A real corker! Harvey's Wine Museum Sale

04 October 2003

FOR Harvey's read Bristol Cream, but there is far more to this celebrated brand than the nation’s best known sherry.