21 October 2011

With Halloween coming up, and the current tribal and gothic fashion trends beckoning it in, embrace your dark side this autumn at Grays with the strange and the terrifying.
Of course most of us know of various versions of the origins of Halloween. It is commonly thought that it rose out of the amalgamation of the Roman and Celtic holidays Pomona (Roman celebration devoted to the Goddess of the same name), Parentalia (Roman festival of the dead), and the famous Celtic celebration Samhain. All of these holidays focused more on the celebration of life and harvest, versus the current connotations.
Agate, Lapis and Diamond Maple Leaf Brooch, Austrian, 1930's. Price on enquiry, Michael Longmore, Grays stand 378-379.

Medieval English Angel, Carved wood circa. 1500. Patrick Boyd-Carpenter, Grays Stand 127.

It only gained its name in the late 17th century, but steadily gained popularity.  And slowly but surely its mystical roots were exchanged for more frightful histories, as the 18th and 19th centuries saw a strong distancing from belief in the supernatural and more trust in the scientific.  However, this time of year saw the resurrection of belief in divination, ghosts, monsters and the occult. 
Theodore Von Holst's (1810-1844) frontispiece to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1831).
Red Dragon Jug, late 19th century.  Cekay, Grays Showcase FS005 and V027.

Famous 19th century Gothic writers popularized the holiday through their horror novels such as Shelly’s Frankenstein, and Stokers Dracula.  The rise of Orientalism also spurred more interest in the supernatural and occult. 

Cat Brooch, Ting's Jewelery, Grays Stand C22.
Hand painted Litho of Al Hirchfield's Alfred Hitchcock - father of cinema horror himself.  R.G. Grahame, Grays Stand 129-130.

Now that you’ve been schooled in what the holiday is all about, come get decked out in our dealers most 
terrifying pieces.
Scorpion Brooch.  Time Antiques, Grays Showcase P03.

AFrench Victorian Jet Pendant Necklace, £175. Allison Massey, Grays  Showcase MG032 and MG033

Become queen of the night.  Jean Muir 1960's Moire dress.  Vintage Modes, Grays.

Mice, Beware! Linda Bee, Gray Stand L20.

18 October 2011

Art Antiques Auctions launches Chinese and early European ceramics auction in Mayfair

Art Antiques Auctions launches on the 7th November with its inaugural specialist ceramics auction to coincide with Asian Week in London. Located in The Music Room in Mayfair, Art Antiques Auctions will be one of the first independent auction houses that charges no vendor commission.
A Chinese Blue and White Shallow Dish.

The auction will include rare and important Chinese porcelain, oriental ceramics and early European pieces.  The sale features a diverse collection of 17th and early 18th century Chinese and Japanese ceramics from co-founder Anthony Lovett’s impressive personal collection, which he has accumulated over 25 years of collecting.  Highlights include a strong offering of Kangxi Blue and White and Famille Verte porcelain and a number of high quality Japanese Kakiemon and Arita wares.

A Japanese Arita Kakiemon Teapot and Cover

The sale will also contain carefully selected items from other sources. For example an early Ming guan from a collector in Gloucestershire, a late but interesting iron brush pot made for the Tibetan market comes from a London collector, there is a finely cast English silver teapot in the Chinese style dated to 1815 and many other desirable items.

An English Cast Silver Teapot

The three directors have a combined experience of dealing with and cataloguing early Chinese and other ceramics of over 80 years. Each has an avid interest in antique ceramics and works of art inspired by the Orient that goes back decades. With this extensive experience the auction house aims to provide an exceptional and comprehensive service.  

A Chinese Wucai Baluster Vase and Cover

Set in the Music Room, the sale could not be better placed. Minutes from Bond Street, the venue provides easy access for visitors and collectors who are in London for Asian Week. Not by accident the Music Room is situated above Grays Antiques, home to some of London's finest antique dealers, including many who deal in Chinese and Asian art.

First auction 7th November 2011, 12noon.
The Music Room, 26 South Molton Lane, Mayfair.W1K 5AB

7 October 2011

Vote for Grays!

To celebrate National Antiques Week this year (14th-21st November) BBC Homes & Antiques and Antiques News & Fairs have teamed up to discover Britain's best antique shops.

The public have been invited to vote for their favourite antique and vintage shopping destinations in five different categories:

1. Best Antique Shop

2. Best Antique Centre

3. Best Specialist Dealer

4. Best Mid-Century/Vintage Shop

5. Best Auction House

Grays needs your help! Please take a few minutes to vote for us to win Britains Best Antique Centre. You can also vote for individual shops at Grays for the other categories.

By nominating you can also win some amazing prizes for yourself! 10 fantastic prizes are up for grabs including an overnight stay in The Royal Crescent Hotel, hundreds of pounds worth of LAPADA and BADA vouchers, Miller's Antique Guides and more! Click here for details.

The winner of each category will be annouced at the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair on the 12th March 2012 by Kirsty Allsop.

Voting ends onthe 30th November so please take a couple of minutes and vote for Grays!

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