SEPTEMBER This month
Dressing the Georgians at Buckingham Palace, Black British Fashion at Somerset House, Cliveden Literary Festival, and more
Style & Society: Dressing the Georgians
Until 8th October, The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace
Cliveden Literary Festival
30th Sept – 1st Oct, Cliveden House, Berkshire
The Missing Thread: Untold Stories of Black British Fashion
21st Sept – 7th Jan 2024, Somerset House, London
British Ceramics Biennial
23rd, Sept – 5th November, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Daniel Arsham: Relics in the Landscape
Until 17th March 2024, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield
STYLE & SHOPPING
Our monthly guide to DECORATIVE accessories, unique ANTIQUES and beautiful textiles that will add CHARACTER and colour to your home
Geometric pattern repeats that mimic traditional garden trellis or lattice work in a fresh variety of treatments
Steve and Louise Pike, owners of Lily Antiques in Cirencester, chat to Molly Malsom about their buying trips in Italy, the most popular pots in their shop, and the joy of a rare find
Diana writing desk
Unnecessary decorative details have been escheived by furniture designer and maker John Eadon in his quest for elegant minimalism, says Katie Pike
Chosen and reviewed by Katie Pike
Exquisite silver vessels grace the shelves of museums and beautiful homes around the world – and now they're attracting a new generation of collectors, discovers Rosanna Morris
‘I always like to get emotion in,’ says celebrated silversmith Ndidi Ekubia talking through the process of her distinctive works. Ndidi's richly textured, gleaming silver vessels ripple with life, her personality reflected in the undulating, rhythmic hammer marks. The smooth indentations of each strike she has made capture the essence of her character – strong but gentle – and call to mind waves, wind and plants. ‘Pattern in nature is the main thing for me.’
Speaking from Mauritius during a rare trip to mark her 50th birthday she talks about ‘getting’ back into the swing of things’. She's recently returned to her home ground, Manchester, with her two young’ children, and is looking’ to start making’ large vessels once again.
SETTING THE SCENES
Period-drama season is upon us, and as viewers are transported by the sumptuous costumes and award-winning performances, we sneak beyond the sets to discover the hectic realm of sourcing antique props for TV and film
The art of HOMEMAKING
Kathy Crisp and Russell Sherry have used their Sussex home to express their creativity, as well as their love of art and antiques, while staying true to the building's original features
IN THE STUDIO WITH KATHY CRISP
Working as a specialist conservation cleaner at Charleston is a constant source of inspiration for her business, says the designer and maker
Textile designer Zoe Davis and her husband James have transformed their Grade II-listed farmhouse with vibrant hues and vintage finds
The Davis family were living in a converted barn in East Sussex when they began to consider how they could make their lifestyle more sustainable. ‘It was a wonderful home for young kids, with a huge open-plan space for them to run wild in,’ says Zoe, who runs a textile business, Zobo Designs. ‘But we were keen for a project.
The first property that Zoe and her husband, James, looked at was a Grade II-listed, sixbedroom farmhouse with outbuildings a few miles away, near Ticehurst. The couple viewed a fair few other houses, but ended up coming back to the farmhouse. ‘It was more work than we had considered, but it just felt right,’ says Zoe.
Home from HOME
Angela and Dr Geoff Kemp's beautifully eclectic New Zealand villa has been reimagined as a corner of England with colour, pattern, antiques and a few treasures from home
Angela Kemp has a lifelong interest in history, historical buildings and historic artefacts. ‘I grew up in York, and the past was an integral part of growing up there. I've loved antiques all my life,’ she says.
It comes as no surprise that her home – an idyllic period villa with spectacular views, 70km from Auckland – feels very English. A celebration of maximalism, it's filled with antique and vintage furniture, bold patterned fabrics and wallpaper, chintzy florals, collections of beautiful china, eclectic lamps and oriental rugs. ‘It's full of anything not white,’ laughs Angela. ‘Our home is really the antithesis of the more popular, pared-back Kiwi decor – maximalist versus minimalist. It's our little corner of England: homely, cosy and loved.’
A Place of Many Parts
Nick and Zoe Bullen both work in television production and their home, furnished with inherited pieces and finds gathered on their travels, reflects their storytelling skills
Nick Bullen's house is furnished with beautiful antique furniture because his parents had no interest in it. ‘I grew up surrounded by bent chrome, smoked glass and plastic,’ he smiles, explaining that his parents commissioned a modern house in 1970, with an interior that could have come from the set of a 1960s Bond film. Although they had inherited lots of furniture via family connected to 19thcentury Liverpool business people, his parents placed it all in storage.
Some years later, when Nick and his three brothers wanted to furnish their new homes, they discovered a treasure trove of beautiful 18th- and 19th-century mahogany rosewood furniture and artefacts, including sets of Victorian dinner plates and large brass lamps.
ANTIQUES & COLLECTING
A preview of the FREDDIE MERCURY SALES at Sotheby's, collecting MONEY BOXES and SNUFF BOXES, plus eye-catching IKAT textiles
Reach for the stars
As the sale of the Freddie Mercury collection takes centre stage at Sotheby's London this August and September, Caroline Wheater unpacks the rocketing phenomenon of the celebrity auction, where bidders buy into the lives of the rich and famous
`I like to be surrounded by splendid things. I want to lead the Victorian life, surrounded by exquisite clutter,’ rockstar Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen, is quoted as saying. From the moment he acquired his home, Garden Lodge, in London's Kensington, he transformed it into a dazzling temple of arts and antiques connoisseurship that lasted over a decade, from 1980 until his untimely death in 1991. For Mercury, a trained artist, it was a place to relax with friends and he filled it with the paintings, antiques, decorative objects and oriental textiles that he adored. Many of these items were purchased at auction houses such as Sotheby's and Christie's, and a number of specialists remember him coming in for pre-sale viewings.
SALES OF THE CENTURY
A timeline of superstar sales at Bonhams, Christie's and Sotheby's that rocked the auction world
Forgotten female artists
Florence Evans tells us about her passion for bringing forgotten women artists to light, and the great joy in discovering hidden gems
The intricate dyeing technique of ikat has changed little since its nascence and the fabrics remain much admired, says Celia Rufey
Collecting snuff boxes
A habit once beloved by all tranches of society, snuff taking sparked a fashion for elaborately crafted boxes to house the tobacco, opening up a rich collecting field
Collecting Carrying snuff was once as commonplace as carrying a phone is today. But as author Kenneth Blakemore remarks in his history of snuff boxes, ‘The art of snuffing is all but unknown to us… all that remains of this once fashionable habit are the miniature boxes, intricately designed and coloured, which were once coveted by people from all walks of life – from royalty to peasants – throughout the world.’
Tobacco was first imported to Europe from the Americas in the 1500s. Smoked or snorted, it was touted as a medicinal cure for everything, from headaches to the plague. By the 1600s ‘snuffing’ – inhaling finely ground tobacco through the nose – had become a widespread social habit.
Through the nose? What to pay for a snuff box
ON THE ROCKS
Rockingham is used as a catch-all term for Rococo Revival wares, but the true pottery deserves credit for producing some of the most ambitious porcelain, says Willa Latham
Column If you are a porcelain collector, you will have seen the phrase ‘Rockingham style’: a lazy term often seen in auction houses or on eBay, used for teaware in early Victorian Rococo Revival style. This month, let's delve deeper into this elusive design and find out what lies behind it.
Our journey takes us to South Yorkshire where, among picturesque hills, the small Swinton Pottery had been making earthenware since the 1740s. In the less than two decades between 1826 and 1842, it would also make some of Britain's most celebrated porcelain.
Local brothers John and William Brameld ran a thriving business. When, in 1806, it faced financial trouble, the Bramelds sought assistance from their landlord, the immensely wealthy 2nd Earl Fitzwilliam of the grand Wentworth Estate.
We're familiar with Arts and Crafts wallpaper and fabrics, but the movement also gave rise to beautiful jewellery, including pieces created in solidarity with the Suffragettes by the likes of May Morris
Collecting To many, the name William Morris means little more than wallpaper. But Morris was not just a Victorian designer of flowery furnishings, he was a political radical, and a leading figure in the Arts and Crafts movement. Anthony Bernbaum, who runs the specialist gallery The Peartree Collection, takes up the story: ‘It's important to understand that early Arts and Crafts was a social and political movement and not just an aesthetic. It was a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, and all the shoddy products being mass-produced by machines. People like William Morris wanted to give the worker back control and a feeling of fulfilment, and to put the focus on quality.’
Caroline Wheater picks some standout lots from recent auctions, from colourful Val Saint Lambert glasses to a Kangxi-period dragon bowl
ASK AN EXPERT
Out team answers your valuation and restoration questions… if you have a query, email us at email@example.com
A review of THE TALBOT INN Mells, TRAVEL NEWS, six of the best CREATIVE COURSES, plus FAIRS & AUCTIONS
LOSTWITHIEL & THE FOWEY VALLEY
Lose yourself down the little country lanes of this tranquil corner of Cornwall, taking in the well-known antiques town of Lostwithiel and then along the River Fowey to the coast, says Rosanna Morris
Travel Although riverbanks, valleys, moors and woodland define the area of south-east Cornwall that lies either side of the River Fowey, traces of a more industrial past dot the landscape – from ruined castles and ancient bridges to old mines and historic estates.
The area's natural beauty and romance have long inspired artists and writers; something’ you can understand as you make your way along the tributaries and the main river from Lostwithiel to the town of Fowey and the sea.
Six of the best CREATIVE COURSES
From sketching to ceramics, discover a new skill on these inspiring courses, guided by the experts, but don't forget a spot of relaxation in between lessons, says Rhiannon Batten
We peek into the busy working life of Justin Roberts, jeivellery specialist at Olympia Auctions in London
All the fun of the fair!
Alice Roberton talks to Libs Leivis, antiques dealer, prolific fairgoer and founder of Domestic Science, which has three stores in the Cotsivolds
The Antiques Roadshow regular tells us about his earliest experiences in the trade…