The sale at Lyon & Turnbull on June 28 is named ‘Hints on Household Taste: Paul Reeves’ after the 1868 book by Charles Eastlake (1833-1906) of the same title. The ‘self-help’ guide is regarded as one of the most influential design books of the Victorian age.
Reeves, who has worked as a clothing designer, interior decorator and antiques dealer, has collected, bought and sold 19th and early 20th century furniture, objects, lighting and textiles for much of his career.
From Aestheticism to Secessionism, pieces from all of the influential avant garde design movements of the period are represented in this sale and the auction catalogue features anecdotes from Eastlake’s seminal book.
Eastlake aimed "to encourage a discrimination between good and bad design" and concluded: "Almost everything which is produced by the labour of his hand and head is sure to be good and beautiful."
Reeves has always shown confidence in mixing different periods and styles in his interiors and he urges others to do the same. He said: “Don’t rely on the professionals. Be brave enough to make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to mix things you like from different periods and in different styles and it will be successful.”
Borrowing words from Charles Eastlake, L&T and Reeves hope “that a few familiar hints on what may be called ‘household taste' will not be unacceptable” to the readers of the auction catalogue and bidders at the sale.
Watch Paul Reeves talk about his collection and the auction.