23 September 2016

Ceramics in the City

Ceramics in the City at the Geffrye Museum is a popular three-day selling event which attracts potters, collectors, design and craft enthusiasts and museum visitors from across London and the UK. The annual celebration will run until 25 September, bringing together the work of 55 potters from across the UK in a riot of colour, style, texture and technique. Now in its 14th year, the show is also part of the annual London Design Festival.

At Grays we have a beautiful selection of ceramics, here's our current top picks...

Pair of fine quality 19th century Meissen cache pots, offered by K&M Antiques

19th century Japanese Satsuma vase by Unzan, 22.5cms circa 1880, offered by K&M Antiques

Meissen Cup and Saucer with a Panel of the Penitent Magdalene, c.1850, offered by Serhat Ahmet 

Meissen Large Vase with Pink Rose Bouquets, c.1890 - 1900, offered by Serhat Ahmet

Coalport Pair of Vases with Scenes of The Grampians, c.1885, offered by Serhat Ahmet

15 September 2016

Astronomy Photographer of the Year

For this year’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year Award you can expect to see outstanding feats of astrophotography. The winners will be declared today, 15 September, and a free exhibition of the winning pictures will be displayed at the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Astronomy Centre from 17 September.

The images are created by dozens of professional and amateur photographers competing in numerous categories including ‘Planets, Comets and Asteroids,’ ‘Stars and Nebulae,’ ‘Galaxies’ and ‘Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year’ for under-16s. This year the competition received a record number of over 4,500 entries from both passionate amateurs and skilled photographers from over 80 countries.

Ascent of Angels, Brad Goldpaint
The photographic subject isn't just limited to our own planet. Photographers have also captured pictures from across our solar system and the universe. From visible storms across the face of Jupiter, to the glowing heart of a supernova and the starburst galaxy of M82 based some 12 million light years away from our planet.

To celebrate this exhibition, we have found a selection of wonderful space inspired objects available at Grays.

Astronomy book. 950, available from Al Khatib Antiques

Brass sun and moon face necklace, inspired by vintage Joseff of Hollywood jewellery, available from Arabella Bianco

Butler and Wilson, gold plated "man in the moon" brooch with diamante trim, available from Unicorn

Star hair pin in cut steel together with two Victorian brooches, available from Gillian Horsup

Very rare Bronze Age gold sun disc, c. 2500 - 1200 BC, available from Ancient-Jewellery

A stunning Victorian diamond Crescent shaped Brooch. c1870, available from Robin Haydock

8 September 2016

Totally Thames

The Totally Thames festival is an annual celebration of the River Thames. It is a month-long party running from September 1 to September 30 and is full of arts festivals, community events, regattas, river races, foreshore archaeology and environmental activities.

The River Thames

Being the longest river in England, the Thames has 45 locks and over 25 species of fish and is the only river in Europe to have a national trail follow its entire length. The River Thames travels over 210 miles through the heart of England, right into the centre of London and eventually, out into the North Sea.

The river's position has put it at the centre of many historical events, which has lead it to be referred to as 'liquid history' by John Burns. Some of the earliest written references to the Thames (Latin: Tamesis) occur in Julius Caesar's account of his second expedition to Britain in 54 BC.

There is also evidence of human habitation living off the river dating back as far as the Neolithic times, together with a number of Bronze Age sites and artefacts discovered along the banks of the river, including settlements at Lechlade, Cookham and Sunbury-on-Thames.

Even here at Grays a vein of the River Thames can be seen - the hidden Thames tributary, the famous River Tyburn. It rises at Shepherds Well in Hampstead and flows through Regents Park and the West End, and reaches the Thames via the basement of Grays Mews.

Below we display some Thames inspired objects to celebrate the occasion.
Roman billon tetradrachm coin of Emperor Trajan Decius, 2nd century AD, avaliable from Eastern Satrapy

Gold painted rare Vienna bronze otter with a fish in its mouth, circa 1890-1900, avaliable from Mariad Antiques

Anglo Saxon period silver gilt wedding ring, knotted bezel, c. 6th - 7th century AD, avaliable from Ancient-Jewellery

A collection of bronze mallard ducks, circa 1890-1900, avaliable from Mariad Antiques

Large silver anchor pendant and silver chain. avaliable from The Antique Jewellery Company
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