19 May 2018

Wedding Days

In the week leading up the Royal Wedding - with fever pitch at an all time high, especially surrounding Megan's wedding dress - we thought we would take a trip down memory lane and have a look at the beautiful brides captured on their wedding days throughout history...

Queen Elizabeth II. wed Prince Philip in November 1947. Hton Archive/Getty. Image courtesy of Southern Living

Jackie Kennedy wed John.F.Kennedy in September 1953. Bachrach/Getty. Image courtesy of  Southern Living

Elizabeth Taylor wed Conrad 'Nicky' Hilton in May 1950. Frank Worth courtesy of Capital Art/Getty. Image courtesy of Southern Living

Grace Kelly wed Monaco's Prince Rainier in April 1956. 3777/Gamma Rapho via Getty. Image courtesy of Southern Living

Kate Middleton wed Prince William, Duke of Cambridge in April 2011. Anwear Hussein/Wire Image/Getty. Image courtesy of Southern Living

If you need inspiration for a wedding gift for the upcoming season, then why not visit us here at Grays  where you will see a spectacular display of beautiful items waiting to be discovered.

Beautiful set of 12 German silver beakers, c1900. Available from Evonne Antiques
John Paul Cooper silver mounted shagreen box. The catch is in the form of a rose, with J.P Monogram stamp. c1917. Available from Van Den Bosch

Victorian, silver plated very unusual shape biscuit box, c1879. Available from AMS Antiques

Below image showing the inside of the biscuit Box.

Beautiful silver Art Nouveau picture frame, c1900. Mauser N 'F G' Co  New York. Available from Evonne Antiques

An Arts and Crafts silver tray with liqueur glasses. Charles Robert Ashbee. Markers guild Handcraft Limited, London 1901. Available from Van Den Bosch
1905 Birmingham, jewellery box. In the style of a furniture piece. Available from AMS Antiques

Inside the above jewellery box.

Beautiful top quality silver biscuit box, Sheffield 1939 J.Dixon. Available from Evonne Antiques

Tortoiseshell with silver mounts hand blotter, Birmingham 1924. Available from Evonne Antiques

H.E.Landon - an Arts and Crafts silver bowl. The lid insert turquoise, Maker's mark Chester 1934. Available from Van Den Bosch

Tortoiseshell with silver mounts tea caddy, London 1902. Available from Evonne Antiques

Hammered effect silver cigar/cigarette box, London 1905. Available from Evonne Antiques

Side and interior view of the above box.

Beautiful silver Art Nouveau bud vase, Edinburgh 1903. H.Matthews. Available from Evonne Antiques
Silver and tortoiseshell jewellery box, London 1913. Available from Evonne Antiques

The above photo showing the interior of the tortoiseshell jewellery box.

4 May 2018

Birthstone of May: Emerald

Emerald is a captivating gemstone, and makes a striking and elegant choice for an engagement ring, and if you were born in May it's the ideal gemstone to be gifted. The word emerald is derived from the Greek smaragdos via Old French esmeralde. Its meaning is simply green gemstone. It is such a unique jewel that a special cut was developed just for it: the emerald cut. 

So if jewellery is a present for you, here are some splendid emerald ideas:

Victorian serpent ring set with emerald, offered by Wimpole

Art Deco emerald diamond pearl pendant, offered by Emmy Abe

Emerald and diamond 3 stone ring on a platinum setting, offered by Persis

Pair of Edwardian 18kt gold diamond emerald dragon cufflinks, c1900, offered by Nigel Norman

19th century emerald and gold carved half hoop c1880, offered by Wimpole

Vintage emerald and diamond cluster ring, c1925, offered by Robin Haydock

27 April 2018

Robert Frank Exhibition at Hamiltons Gallery, London

'Parade Hoboken' New Jersey 1955. from 'The Americans' by Robert Frank/ Image courtesy of  Lens Culture

Hamiltons Gallery in London is currently exhibiting Robert Frank's photographs until the 11th May, 2018. The exhibition will focus on a selection of exceptional and rarely seen Robert Frank prints, including pictures from Frank's influential visit to a coal-mining village in Wales, 1953. They appear alongside a selection of prints from his temporary stays in London, Paris and America, taken during the 1950s and early '60s. Frank's pursuit of a new form of expressionism through poetic, narrative photography is a common motif, as seen throughout the exhibition.

The photographer is considered one of the most influential figures in the history of the art form and, in fact, it was Jack Kerouac who first defined Frank as a genius. It was during the 1960s that Frank found fame, through his ground breaking book 'The Americans'.  The series offers a significant insight into America's cultural and social conditions during the era. Many critics responded with mixed reviews, due to its new approach to capturing society. However, it did not take long for his work to be taken seriously and still continues to be an important part of 20th century art history.

London 1951 by Robert Frank. Image courtesy of Hamiltons Gallery

Robert Frank. Valuing The Image Over The Object - The New York Times. Robert Frank, Welsh Miners, 1953. Image courtesy of Pinterest

'Trolly'- New Orleans 1955. From 'The Americans' by Robert Frank. Image courtesy of Lens Culture Lens Culture

Contact Sheet from 'The Americans' 1955. Printed 1970s © Robert Frank, courtesy Pace/Macgill Gallery, New York. License this image. Image courtesy of The Tate
Tesuque. N,M., 1955, Printed 1978, by Robert Frank. Image courtesy of Hamiltons Gallery

If after the exhibition, you are feeling inspired by the past, then why not head to Grays where you will see an electric mix of items waiting to be discovered. Here are some of our favourite pieces this week..

1950s/1960s 18 Carat bracelet. Over 38 Carat Platinum Aquamarine Stones with 2.1 Carats of Diamonds. Available from Diem

A Large Silver Circa 1960s Ring Set Piece with Natural Aquamarine . Available from Spectrum

 1950s/1960s, Silver Bangle with hinge design. Available from Westminster Group

A very 1960s Design Ring. 0.25 of a diamond, with 15 Carat White Gold. Available from Alexandra Engagement Rings

1950s Blue Fabric Bag. Available from Linda Bee

Circa 1960s 18 Carat Gold Concave Brooch. 7 Carats of Diamonds.  Available from Diem

Circa 1960s, Silver Moonstone Ring. Available from Westminster Group
Circa 1950s/1960s Bracelet, with 14 Carat Swiss Gold.  22.1 Grams, 2 Carats of Diamonds. Available from Diem

1950s/1960s Graphics inscribed 'Evening in Paris' Perfume, Soap and Bath Salts in Box . (Note the inside of the box is illustrated in the photo below.)  Available from Linda Bee

1950s/1960s Graphics inscribed  'Evening in Paris' Perfume, Soap and Bath Salts in Box. Available from Linda Bee

20 April 2018

National Tea Day: Antique Teaware from Grays

Calling all tea lovers! It's National Tea Day this coming Saturday 21 - Sunday 22 April. The annual festival celebrates all things tea: from the leafy drink itself, to tea snacks and accompaniments and teaware. Apparently Brits drink 165 million cups of the drink per day!

For those of you who would like to celebrate, the festival itself takes place at Chiswick House & Gardens and tickets are only £10 or £25 for a Family Pass. If you would prefer to use the event as an excuse to treat yourself, here is our selection of antique teaware from Grays:
20th Century Tea Pot and Milk Jug, Part of a Set. Available from Eau de Nil
20th Century Tea Cup, Part of a Set. Available from Eau de Nil

20th Century Tea Saucer, Part of a Set. Available from Eau de Nil

One of a Pair of Meissen Harlequin Tea Bowls. Made for the Turkish Market. Painted with Indianische Blumen. c.1773-74. Available from Serhat Ahmet Antiques

One of a Pair of Meissen Harlequin Tea Bowls. Made for the Turkish Market. Painted with Indianische Blumen. c.1773-74. Available from Serhat Ahmet Antiques

19th Century Meissen Part Service Comprising of Tea Pot & Cover, Large Milk Jug & Sugar Bowl & 3 Cups & Saucers. Painted with Floral Bouquets. Circa 1870. Available from K & M Antiques

5 Piece Silver Miniature Tea Set, London 1972. Available from Hallmark Antiques

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