The Rise of African Modern & Contemporary Art

An African 'Ife' style bronze head, probably from Nigeria. Part of a collection of tribal art from across the African continent available at Tabunov Antiques   This spring,  Bonhams African Modern & Contemporary Art department declared that they have seen 'an explosion of interest in modern and contemporary art from Africa' (1) . Their statement is backed up by evidence of higher than ever prices reached at auction for the specialism, notably at the recent Marceau Rivière Collection of African Art at Sotheby’s Paris (18-19 June 19). A rare Baule mask from the Ivory Coast hit the headlines after realising a hammer price of 4 million Euros (£3.75m), but there were several big hitters in the 250 lot sale. The highest prices were reached by items originating from the Ivory Coast, as these are the most extensively documented by the art historian Rivière.  However, pieces from across the continent and its diaspora performed strongly across the board. Masks, stat

Mayfair Art Weekend 2019

Mayfair is the art capital of London, and we’re proud to be one of over 150 galleries and auction houses established within this historic district. From the 28 th -30 th of June our neighbourhood will host the Mayfair Art Weekend, a series of exhibitions, events and happenings taking place across the area.  It’s a chance to to see Mayfair at it’s very best. This year the programme includes exhibitions of old masters and contemporary performance art, and will host expert speakers, established and emerging artists at a series of private views, evening receptions and in-store events.  What we love most about this weekend is that the organisers are committed year on year to providing events which are free and open to all, so there’s no reason not to cram full your itinerary. Keep up with the latest at the official website , and see which happenings take your fancy. There will be workshops and classes for those of you that want a hands-on experience, and plenty of sp

How to Shop Antique For a Sustainable Future

Shop for fabulous fully restored antique jewellery at Diem   Year on year, global consumption rises whilst our anxieties over just what we are doing to our planet continue to grow. Think-pieces on how to live sustainably, shock studies on consumer impact to the environment and daily reminders from politicians and activists on our carbon footprint swirl around us. Sometimes it can be totally overwhelming, and it's hard not to feel helpless! But that's where #SustainableShopping comes in - Whilst we do admit to a bias (!) shopping for antique rather than high street items not only helps stem the tide of growing consumerism and the devastating impact it can have on global geography and developing communities, it also helps to foster a different mindset. Considering investing in antiques helps you to appreciate the craftsmanship of previous eras, and to treasure the time and artistry that went in to producing these beautiful items. And it's not just their original

Diane Harby: Love and Antique Lace

Exquisite antique lace, period embroidery and linen, coats, veils, scarfs and stoles are all part of Diane Harby 's internationally recognised collection... Something Old...A Model in Antique Lace Her busy store is visited by designers and couturiers, art and fashion students, collectors, traders and of course -brides to be! Antique lace and linen is an incomparable material for luxury clothes and interiors that brings real history and craftsmanship to any design. We went to her shop on the lower ground floor to find out more... Diane please tell us how did you come into such a particular and specialised area in the antiques trade? I have now been trading for as long as I can remember. But it didn’t start this way. Early on in my career, I was a buyer for a big London store. I worked in the corner of Woodstock Street, and I used to collect Art Deco pieces, clothing as well as ceramics. I managed to create a little corner in the shop where I exhibited m

Tabunov Antiques: 'If you do inherit a Faberge - well then it is difficult not to like it!'

Alexander Tabunov of Tabunov Antiques been trading at Grays since 2015. He specializes in Russian art and antiques, Faberge pieces, icons, bronzes, enamel, silver and porcelain. We have come to his shop to find out more about him and his incredible collection of unique objects... Alexander Tabunov in his shop: Unit 124, Lower Ground, Grays Alexander, please tell us about how did it all start for you? I started as a market trader in St. James’ selling Soviet memorabilia, but then I moved into antiques like porcelain figures, bronze statues, and silver enamel. I changed direction when the market slowed down in Russia and I received an order to buy a painting from Belarus. My boss at work wanted a Social Realism painting depicting workers, especially miners. I had no idea how to go about it. But, casually walking down the street, when I was back in Minsk for holidays, I met a painter whose father was a member of the Artists’ Union of the USSR. He took me to his personal

Something Wicked: How the Imagery of Macbeth Shaped Our Halloween Traditions

What better way to prepare for the seasonal festival of Halloween than to revisit Shakespeare's darkest tragedy: we take a look at the enduring imagery of Macbeth ... 19th Century Watercolour by George Cattermole 1800-1868. "Macbeth." Halloween (also known as 'All Hallows Eve') is a yearly festival on the 31st of October, the eve of All Hallows' Day. The Gaelic Pagans  held the yearly festival to be a time when the walls between our world and the next became thin and porous, allowing spirits to pass through. These pagan traditions were particularly strong in Ireland and Scotland : which may have been one of the reasons William Shakespeare chose to set his darkest supernatural tragedy Macbeth ( 1604) in the Scottish Isles. The sense of a 'curse' or evil energy attached to the prose and performance of Macbeth has led to the infamous tradition that bad luck will befall those who speak it's name aloud. Actors in the theatre are ins

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