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

12 April 2018

Last Chance: Egypt Uncovered - Belzoni and the Tomb of Pharaoh Seti I at Sir John Soane's Museum

The sarcophagus (a box-like funeral receptacle for a corpse) of Pharaoh Seti I is the most treasured object within the Sir John Soane’s Museum’s collection in the Sepulchral Chamber, and, according to exhibition curator Joanna Tinworth, “one of the most important objects ever found in Egypt”. 

To coincide with the 200th anniversary of the discovery of the tomb of Pharaoh Seti I by circus strongman-turned-Egyptologist, Giovanni Battista Belzoni (1778–1823), the Soane presents an exhibition about its journey to the museum and its discoverer.

Jan Adam Kruseman, Portrait of Giovanni Belzoni, “the Great Belzoni,” 1824

Seti I’s strong military experience played a major role during his 13 year reign (BC 1291-1278) and is considered by Egyptologists the greatest pharaoh of the New Kingdom. The craftsmanship of his sarcophagus, elaborately carved in white alabaster, took even Belzoni aback, ‘being such as we had no idea it could exist’. 

It was purchased by John Soane in 1824 and became the centrepiece of his collection around which ‘sarcophagus parties’ were held for London’s elite. Guests were invited to view the sarcophagus in the evening lit by lamplight, and illuminated from within. The design of the lighting was supervised by Soane himself, contrasting light and shadow to create an atmosphere thick with romance and melancholy.

Sarcophagus of King Seti 1, discovered by Belzoni in 1817

With the emergence of important ancient tombs from the nineteenth century onwards, an "Egyptian revival" was born, making Egyptian motifs and imagery all the rage. It was reignited again when King Tutankhamun's tomb was discovered in 1922, when its influence could be seen in architecture and fashion. 

At Grays we have a wonderful selection of Egyptian revival jewellery from this period, here's just a small example of what our dealers have on offer.. 

Egyptian revival necklace, offered by Gillian Horsup Vintage Jewellery

Egyptian revival necklace, offered by Gillian Horsup Vintage Jewellery

Egyptian revival necklace, offered by Gillian Horsup Vintage Jewellery

Egyptian revival necklace, offered by Tings Jewellery Box

Egyptian revival locket, offered by Tings Jewellery Box


Vintage Egyptian revival bangle, available from Arabella Bianco

Egypt Uncovered: Belzoni and the Tomb of Pharaoh Seti I will run until April 14.

6 April 2018

The London Coffee Festival 2018

The London Coffee Festival, held at Old Truman Brewery, 12-15 April

Calling all coffee lovers! Next week The London Coffee Festival comes to the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane for a celebration of London’s vibrant coffee scene.

From the 12th to 15th April the venue will host the UK’s largest coffee and artisanal food event, featuring gourmet beans, speciality tea, fine food and demonstrations from the world’s best baristas, as well as live music and workshops.

Learn to create masterpieces in Latte Art Live, or let your hair down at the ‘Espresso Martini Party’ where you can indulge in Bailey’s own ‘flat white martinis’. 

Hosted by Allegra Events, The London Coffee Festival began in London seven years ago, and has grown year on year. When the organisers were asked why exactly they decided to bring this unique festival to London they replied: ‘London was becoming the most relevant and exciting city on the world coffee map, it was obvious what had to happen... A party had to be thrown’.

If you do decide to join the party, and come away laden with fine roasted grounds and speciality teas, why not stop by Grays for sensational serveware?

From 18th century Turkish coffee cups to Art Nouveau biscuit barrels, we’ve handpicked some of our most unique pieces to help you serve in style..


Austrian porcelain coffee cup with saucer and plate, 20th century. Available at Mousa Antiques

A selection of Oriental coffee servers. From left to right : Japanese 17th century, Chinese 18th century, Chinese 18th century, all available at Anita Gray


Russian solid silver 'Plique-a-jour' enamel spoon set, c.1900. Available at Pushkin Antiques

Turkish Kutahya province coffee cups, 18th century. Available at Pyramid Antiques

Iraqi silver niello milk jug, 20th century. Available at IQ Antiques

Art Nouveau biscuit barrell and Arts and Crafts sugar caster,19th century. Available at Van Den Bosch



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