The Régence period in France, not to be confused with Regency in England a hundred years later, saw the beginnings of much lighter and more frivolous designs in furniture with the death of Louis XIV in 1715. His successor Louis XV was too young to become king, so his uncle Philip, Duke of Orleans was appointed as regent. This short period of French history or Régence saw a reaction against the heavy Versailles style of Louis XIV which resulted in a radical change in the furniture style that was to spread across Europe. (more…)
For the purists in antique furniture collectors and enthusiasts, although sideboards from the 1970′s may not be considered hugely collectable yet in antiques terms, painting them is rather like returning to the 1960′s and its penchant for painting everything that was fussy and Victorian white. The result of this was the next forty years were spent stripping everything back to the original pine or mahogany and losing all those patinas in the process. Admittedly some of the Victorian pine furniture was already painted, but if left alone, would have taken on that shabby chic that many are so fond of now.
BBC2’s Cracking Antiques (more…)
Thieves that steal famous artworks are immediately disadvantaged, according to Mark Hughes, Crime Correspondent of The Independent. He was reporting on the recent £86m robbery from the Paris Museum of Modern Art. He said that the fame of artworks prevented thieves from passing items through the trade. Usually the thief had a buyer with an agreed price in mind, often only 10% of its real value. Roy Ramm, a former member of the Metropolitan Police, added that thieves are immediately disadvantaged when they steal famous artworks to order because if the buyer doesn’t want to pay the agreed price, then there isn’t much the thief can do about it. Also, stealing famous items to order tends to involve plenty of middle men which also help to distance the buyer from the thief so it is comparatively easy for the buyer to add continued pressure on the thief to get the deal they want, otherwise the thief will be left with an item that cannot be sold.
For the thief, it is virtually impossible for famous stolen paintings to go through the trade anyway where these pieces are listed on the Art Loss Register. This register has a 300,000 item database and when artworks (more…)
Antiques expert Judith Miller, writing in the Daily Telegraph recently, has lined up her own list of where the general public can find quality antiques. The necessary knowledge and advice required for investments and speaking to specialist antiques dealers also comes high on her list.
Antiques dealers can be found in most towns and cities throughout Britain and usually come under the heading of general or specialist dealers. General dealers tend to locate their stock predominately through house clearances and may have some knowledge of the items they sell. However, the specialist dealer makes it their business to know a lot about antiques and, contrary to popular belief, sells quality antiques within most people’s price range. Specialist dealers will always heavily research each antique they buy and know exactly what an item is worth, plus its provenance or history. So those of us wishing to buy an antique for investment purposes should (more…)
Nothing will bring more focus and attention to an area than a blockbuster movie being filmed in its locality. With the latest version of Robin Hood, starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, being filmed in Pembrokeshire, the whole world is set to get a real eyeful of the stunning Pembrokeshire coastline in south west Wales. A month before Robin Hood, Harry Potter was also being filmed there, so it would seem that the media focus on the area is set to continue.
The locality has a wealth of castles and beaches, plus any number of quality hotels and cafes for both tourists and film crews alike coming to the area. One café, near Bosherston, has already won the heart of Russell Crowe with their freshly brewed loose tea, iced sponges and scones.
New boutique hotels such as The Grove are also attracting famous visitors such as Ridley Scott and Cate Blanchett. The hotel was originally an 18th century mansion which has been restored to its former glory. The chef who used to work with Raymond Blanc serves locally caught and sourced ingredients in the panelled dining room, and the bedrooms all have (more…)
It might surprise you to know that the concept of keeping up with the Joneses is not a relatively new phenomenon. One-upmanship can be linked back to ancient African tribes where the chief sat on a stool not necessarily for comfort, but so that he could be ‘one up’ or a foot above everyone else.
In Britain the stool was more for the common man rather than the local chief. It became more elaborate as a 12th century Gothic piece of furniture, the term ‘Gothic’ originally attributable to the Goths. The two ends were connected by a stretcher and the whole thing was wedged together. Eventually the end supports were replaced with four turned legs.
The original Gothic antique chair in Britain was very grand and more like a throne. In the great hall, where everything in those days was communal, there would be no more than three chairs; one for the lord, his lady and perhaps a spare for any (more…)
Eric Knowles, a BBC Antiques Roadshow resident expert was back in his childhood haunt of Burnley recently during filming of the new BBC antiques programme Antiques Master. Eric informed the Lancashire Telegraph that he had actually grown up near to where they were filming the programme in the Grade I listed Towneley Hall.
There has been some criticism recently by (more…)
China in the 1960s, under its leader Mao Zedong, sought to culturally obliterate old forms of thinking which resulted in many valuable antiques being destroyed, and anyone who collected artefacts at the time was considered to be an enemy of the state.
According to an article by Michael Bristow for BBC News, Zhang Lifan saw much of his father’s collection of porcelain and antique furniture either taken away or destroyed by the Red Guards who commandeered their courtyard house. The Guards broke up and used priceless Qing and Ming dynasty antique furniture for firewood.
Things are different now. The Cultural Revolution came to an end in 1976 and China now looks to its past. Some of the old fortifications are being restored in many cities across China in a bid to attract tourists. Temples are being (more…)
Large amounts of Taiwanese antique furniture would have been lost had it not been for the foresight of Liu Bang-xian. When Taiwan was being extensively rebuilt in the 1970s, many old buildings were demolished to make way for new building programmes. Lui, who was working as a cement worker during that time, saw many examples of beautiful antique furniture discarded along with other architectural debris, the old being replaced with new. He decided to claim these beautiful old pieces of furniture as salvage and take them home.
As his collection grew, Lui branched into the antiques business and through trading, his knowledge expanded. He would travel throughout Taiwan collecting anything that took his eye. Lui had also stored some of his growing antique collection in his (more…)
An article published on the 16th May in The Daily Telegraph by Jonathan Wynne-Jones, their Media Correspondent, suggests that the antiques trade is complaining that programmes such as Cash in the Attic and even the Antiques Roadshow tend to overly focus on an item’s value rather than the artefact itself.
The appreciation for the item, rather than its resale value however, could smack rather of elitism, particularly where most people are feeling the pinch financially at the moment. The trade seem worried that antiques generally are going to be reduced to some sort of media side show through the growing number of antiques focused shows on television at present. They suggest that a greater focus should be on the cultural history of an item rather than its value.
The trade perhaps has conveniently forgotten that many top of the range antiques are (more…)