30 July 2015

Antiques Roadshow: Balmoral Castle

Today's Antiques Roadshow will be a special one - it will be filmed at Balmoral, the Royal Family's most private residence. For over 150 years this castle has been home to royal traditions of picnics, stag hunting and kilts.

Balmoral, c.1890–1900

A large estate house in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, it became a royal residency in the Autumn of 1852, when Prince Albert formally took possession, the price being £32,000. In her journals Queen Victoria described Balmoral as "my dear paradise in the Highlands".

Along with Sandringham House in Norfolk, ownership of Balmoral was inherited by Edward VIII on his accession in 1936.

Edward VII relaxing at Balmoral Castle, c1907-1908
The lodge has been in the news periodically since 2005, because Queen Elizabeth often spends the first few days of her summer holiday in the lodge. Will she make a guest appearance on the Antiques Roadshow?

At Grays, we came across a few antiques that wouldn't look out of place in the Scottish home of the Royal Family....

'A Water Party', Oil on canvas, John James Chalon (1778-1854). Signed and dated lower right 1836. Offered by Horton London

Solid sterling silver ornate candlesticks, offered by AMS Antiques

Red and gold bohemian centrepiece with a portrait of a lady. c1870-1880, offered by Mousa Antiques
Victorian Scottish Banded Agate Bracelet, offered by Nayabelle

Edwardian urn vases, offered by Past and Present

19th Century Scottish solid silver 3 piece decorative tea set, Glasgow c.1894, offered by Pushkin Antiques Ltd

24 July 2015

The Antiques for Everyone Summer Fair

The Antiques for Everyone Summer Fair is the largest antiques, interiors and collectables fair outside of London, it is held three times a year at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. Running from the 23rd until the 26th of July the fair hosts 200 dealers selling a vast array of objects including furniture, 20th century art, jewellery, silver, ceramics and glass to name a few. All pieces are vetted by a leading team of experts like Antiques Roadshow's Judith Miller and Will Farmer, who will also be hosting a number of talks and events throughout the duration of the fair.

A few of our dealers are exhibiting at Antiques for Everyone - you will find Sheldon Shapiro, Saul Greenstein and DB Gems. So if you are unable to make it to the Birmingham fair, you can visit our dealers at Grays all year round. 

Victorian pearl locket & chain, available from Sheldon Shapiro

Large aquamarine & diamond cocktail ring, available from DB Gems

1950s Heart shape mabe pearl & diamond pendant, available from Sheldon Shapiro
Fine Art Deco Egyptian revival pyramid ruby and diamond geometric ring, available from DB Gems
Victorian snake ring, available from S.Greenstein
Ruby diamond ring, available from S.Greenstein

Meissen Encrusted Paperweight Surmounted with a Pug Dog, c.1870 available from Serhat Ahmet

1918 Silver sugar sifter by James Deakin & Sons, available from Past & Present

17 July 2015

The Magic of Perfume Bottles

Would you agree with Christian Dior that, “a woman’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting?” You might think that this is a rather exaggerated statement, but some believe in the magical powers of perfumes; their ability to evoke memories and to stimulate senses. Such precious liquids required special vessels to match their extraordinary effects. 

Until 1900 perfume was sold in ordinary glass vials from a chemist where you would have it refilled with your chosen fragrance.  The elaborate perfume containers desired by some had to be purchased separately at a much higher cost.  It was Francoise Coty, a Parisian perfume maker who, in the 1900s, launched the commercial perfume bottle that we have today. Inspired by Rene Lalique and his famous glass creations, Coty commissioned Lalique to design attractive labels for his perfume and later the bottles themselves.  This proved a great success in changing the face of the perfume business forever. 

The most exquisite period of perfume bottle design was the 1920s and 1930s. At that time there were 400 manufactures of glass perfume bottles in France. Today there are only three.  The early bottles had hand made stoppers which were hand-ground into the bottle. Each fit was unique, so numbers were engraved on stopper and bottle in order that they could be matched up after filling. This was a very costly process until about the 1970s when plastic stoppers were introduced. This is a viable way to date a bottle. 

Perfume bottles are an excellent choice for those looking to begin a collection. Their style, age, rarity and condition play an important part. They are small to house and are a great choice for any budget.  

Here is a hand picked selection of perfume bottles from Grays’ dealers:

Cour-joie by Nina Ricci, 1946. Glass bottle designed by Rene Lalique.
Offered by Linda Bee

Rare perfume bottle by Schiaparelli. Offered by Linda Bee 
Mitsouko by Guerlain.The bottle reflects oriental influences.
Offered by Linda Bee

Miss Balmain Paris. A miniature perfume bottle. Offered by Gillian Horsup

Red bakelite vintage  perfume container. Offered by Gillian Horsup

Art Deco celluloid perfume container. Offered by Gillian Horsup

Silver overlay glass perfume bottle, USA c.1900. Offered by Evonne Antiques

Pair of glass perfume bottles with silver tops, Birmingham 1897.
Offered by Evonne Antiques

Webb glass perfume bottle silver mounted, London 1889.
Offered by Jack Podlewski

Silver mounted perfume bottle by William Comyns, London 1894.
Offered by Jack Podlewski
Porcelain hand painted egg scent bottle by Sampson Mordan, London 1887.
Offered by AMS Antiques

Silver and pink enamel atomiser with cut crystal bottle, USA c.1920.
Offered by AMS Antiques

Green glass perfume bottle silver mounted by Edward Spencer for The Artificers' Guild, London c.1900. Offered by Van Den Bosch

Silver perfume bottle with enamel lid by Omar Ramsden & Alwyn Carr, 1905.
Offered by Van Den Bosch

2 July 2015

Masterpiece London

Masterpiece London is the leading annual international cross-collecting fair for art, antiques and design; showcasing works that span over 3,000 years of art history, from antiquity to the present day. This year the fair ran from 25th June to 1st July at its usual home; The Royal Hospital, Chelsea. The glitterati and lovers of all things refined descended on the fair to find highly covetable items, such as a rare Andy Warhol or vintage Van Cleef & Arpels to add to their collection. 

If you didn't make it to this year's Masterpiece London, do not fret. Grays has a sublime mélange of aesthetically pleasing objects you will find all year round. Here's a delightful selection of our dealers' stock:

Pair of Kuba Chairs, offered by Kamba Gallery
Amedeo Gennarelli (1891-1966), Italian school terracotta bust, offered by Patrick Boyd-Carpenter
150 gram French rank bracelet, circa 1940s, offered by Anthea AG Antiques

Graham Sutherland (1903-1980) Rock Study II, offered by Horton London
Cartier tiger eye ring offered by MOIRA
Mexican casket c1660-80, wood, mother of pearl and tortoise shell with silver mounts, offered by P & R Szuhay
South Arabian Bronze 3rd Century BC, offered by Antique Choices

Painting by Charles Sekano, Woman With Hat, offered by Kamba Gallery

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...