Design Sale at Sotheby's

This November Sotheby’s has an exciting and refreshing sale; Design. Their Design sale has an incredible collection on sale from influent 20th and 21st century designers. There is also a specially curated collection that charts the history of lighting design from the 1920s to the present day.

While it was hard to chose just a few, here is a selection of the pieces that were truly eye catching.

Among the wonderful lighting pieces on display was this piece by London based Dutch designer Tord Boontje. He is widely known for his famous Garland light that was a sell-out Habitat high street piece. As well as his belief in low-cost luxury and design, Tord wants to stress that modernism doesn’t always mean minimalism. His work blends traditional methods and design with contemporary technology to create sensory pieces. The ‘Ivy Shadow’ Chandelier on sale at Sotheby’s is made from laser cut aluminium and brass, then hand-painted in a ‘forest white’ finish. The details of this light has a beautiful fairytale like quality, while its pale colour and laser cut precision maintain a contemporary elegance.

Another ceiling light that caught our attention was this piece by Pierre Chareau called ‘La Fleur’. It was made in 1924 from alabaster, patinated iron and nickelled metal. French architect and designer Chateau is credited for building the first hour win France using steel and glass; the Maison de Verre in Paris. He favoured strict lines and pure design, two focuses he carried throughout his architectural work and lighting and furniture design. The geometry of his ceiling light design is beautifully balanced by the softness of the white alabaster.

Alongside some extraordinary lighting designs are also a wonderful selection of ceramics. We’ve written about Lucie Rie’s work before, her Japanese inspired ceramics are stunningly sophisticated and their subtle colouring really compliments a simple and modern interior. The bowl below is porcelain with a manganese glaze and inlay.

This rug made from hand flat-woven wool by Barbro Nilssen also caught our eye. Swedish designer Nilssen was inspired by nature, the sea and folk art for most of her designs. For past projects we have taken inspiration from rugs for a colour scheme. If you see an item like this that really appeals to you, think about using its colours and hues to inform the colours of your furnishings. Taking a subtle colour scheme like this rug below can help to create a harmonious balance in your interior.

Collections Sale at Sotheby's

We love the items in this month’s Collections auction at Sotheby’s. It’s a real eclectic mix of antique, classic, unique and collectable items. We wanted to share with you a selection of the items that really stood out for us.

This exquisite piece instantly caught eye, it is a rare Vincennes group of Venus and Adonis (c.1750-52). L’Heure du Berger is represented by the reclining female figure in loose drapery, with a male youth balanced and twisting towards her. There is a real sense of elegance to this piece, aided by the white colouring. A smaller piece like this is easy to display and can add beautifully to an existing collection.

Estimate: £12,000-18,000

While we enjoy sourcing all types of items for our clients, we love finding precious artworks. A unique and sensitive work of art can make a big impact in your home. This work by old master Rembrandt instantly stood out to us. The etching, made in 1630, shows the bust of a man wearing a high cap, and the model is thought to be Rembrandt’s father.

Estimate: £800-1,200

The Italian 18th Century work below is a charming depiction of the temple of Clitumnus, near Spoleto. It has been drawn in pen and brown ink with a grey wash over traces of black chalk. Its limited colouring makes it versatile, and although it would perfectly suit a classic interior, it could bring character and charm to a contemporary living space.

Estimate: £800-1,200

These George III carved gilt wood and gesso wall lights (pair) from the late 18th Century are truly exquisite. Both elegant and grand, they are typically characteristic of the neo-classical taste of late 18th Century England. They feature the typical classical urn, ram’s head and bell-flower garlands.

Estimate: £4,000-6,000

This walnut dining table (c. 1970) is a real centre piece. Its simple design is both bold and elegant and it sits on six hexagonal shaped steel legs. This table comes from the collection of British filmmaker, Bryan Forbes, best known for directing ‘The Stepford Wives’.

Estimate: £3,000-5,000

The Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair - Autumn 2015

As you might have noticed from our recent blog posts, we’ve been going to every antiques and art fair this summer in London.  This week we had a lovely time this week visiting The Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair in Battersea, their 30th fair. Here are a few of our favourite pieces.

We’ve featured items from Hugh Leuchars before, he specialises in 18th Century continental furniture, particularly French furniture, so we always seem to find a piece that catches our eye.  We like the charm of his pieces, while they follow classic styles they often feature playful elements like the pieces below. 

Shane Meredith’s display was also full of intriguing and beautiful pieces of English and Continental furniture. We particularly liked this late 18th Century commode made from yew and walnut woods.

We were pleased to see Dominic Everest and his collection of stunning Ziegler carpets. Dominic set up his business at the age of 22 and has continued to make a name for himself, supplying carpets to iconic British estates. The Ziegler carpet, below right, from 1880 has a beautiful colour scheme, combining reds and greens. As well as artworks, we have also used carpets as inspiration for an interiors colour scheme. If a centrepiece like this really catches your eye, its colours and patterning can act as a starting point when deciding colours, textures and decoration for an interior design project.


Masterpiece London 2015 // Part II

Masterpiece is one of our favourite fairs, its quality of exhibitors and variety of displays really is unrivalled. In our last blog post we showcased the exquisite pieces of jewellery and furniture that caught our eye at Masterpiece Fair 2015 in London. This time, we wanted to show you the beautiful works of art that shone our for us at the fair.

We are often asked by first time buyers for advice on starting a collection and Masterpiece Fair is our top suggestion. This year's fair features over 150 exhibitors showcasing items that span across 4,000 years. The exhibitors level of expertise is also invaluable and with such eclecticism it really is the perfect fair to find a piece that works for you. 

We always keep an eye out for artworks that could really help compliment an interior. We source artworks and furniture not only as part of a project but also as a one-off for clients so we're always keen to seek out new pieces on the market. If an artwork really captures your attention you can even use it's colouring as a starting point for your colour scheme, or use it to suit an existing palette to really help tie in your interior's colour scheme.

We are frequently drawn to paintings by Ivon Hitchens, so were drawn to Christopher Kingzett's stand who had several on display. Their tonality and semi-abstract nature can so perfectly compliment either a new or existing colour scheme, adding character and charm without dominating the space.

As well as an impressive array of paintings, there were some exquisite sculptural works on display, particularly at Sladmore Gallery and Sladmore Contemporary. Mark Coreth had a selection of bronze sculptures on display at Sladmore Contemporary, with smaller pieces on sale that would be perfectly versatile to display at home. He is inspired by his time spent in Kenya and the animals that he grew up sharing land with. His quick modelling technique aims to capture the animal's movement, and we like the way his fingerprints and modelling marks remain on each work.

Philip Mould & Company also had a selection of spectacular works of art, as usual. They focus on British art and the Old Masters, both of which are a real passion of ours. They had several works by Welsh painter Augustus John. As well as being a painter, John was a draughtsman and etcher and is known for his portraiture work. For a brief period he worked in a post-impressionist style, which remained influential to his style although returning to a more classical approach. It is his beautiful and elegant sense of light and colour that appeals to us. He often sticks to a relatively close hued colour palette which means, if chosen well, his paintings can provide a harmony with an interior's existing colour scheme.

Art Antiques London 2015 Fair

We had a lovely time this week visiting Art Antiques London 2015 fair in the stunning surroundings of Kensington Gardens. The fair sits near the site of the Great Exhibition of 1851 so the location is steeped in creative history! On display were some spectacular pieces from artworks, ceramics and jewelry to rare books, textiles and furniture. We loved the variety and eclecticism of the exhibits as well as the insightful lecture programme with experts travelling to share their knowledge.

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As always though, we were drawn to some very specific pieces – here’s a selection of our favourite pieces from the fair.

We were really struck by this unique piece on display at Christopher Buck Antiques. This French walnut shell-shaped stool (c.1860) most likely served as a stool for a harp of cello. The piece is highly unusual and features a beautifully carved shell shaped seat on a triple leg cariole stand.

We are always looking out for artworks that can be incorporated into our clients interiors. The Canon Gallery had a delightful display of modern British, European and Victorian paintings and we loved this red chalk and pencil drawing by Sir Edward Burne-Jones. The drawing stood out for us as it is a study for Andromeda, a popular female subject for Burne-Jones, which features in many of his sketches in the Tate’s collection.

Another art dealer that we are always keen to follow is Anthony Hepworth Fine Art, so we headed straight for their display. They always have a fantastic display of British artworks that can really contribute and help enliven a colour scheme. We often like some of their more abstract pieces that evoke space and light with their harmonious use of colour. This piece by Colin Bishop (below left) for example could really play into an interior with blue, grey and green hues. This work by renowned British artist Graham Sutherland (below right) takes a more figurative approach and could beautifully contribute to both a subdued interior and modern collection. They also had some beautiful works by Ivon Hitchens, a personal favourite of ours for his subtle tonality and colours.

Brian Haughton Gallery always has some fine 18th and 19th English and continental ceramics, so we instantly spotted this dessert plate at their display. Unsurprisingly this Hans Sloane Botanical dessert plate is extremely rare. It is of the Red Anchor period and is charmingly painted with a fruiting fig, branches, leaves, butterflies and insects. This characterful piece would add a real charm if displayed in a classic interior.

 

Clerkenwell Design Week 2015 Showrooms

As well as the myriad of pop-up design stands and exhibits at Clerkenwell Design Week 2015, Clerkenwell is known for its impressive array of design showrooms. We visited a few of our favourites that were open during CDW.

West One Bathrooms always intrigues us for their display of both classic and often surprising bathroom designs. One of the ranges that caught our eye was the Vir Stil collection (below left) for Kallista designed by New York designer Laura Kirar. Kirar’s collection was inspired by different design periods including Danish Modern and traditional Japanese forms. From these inspirations she’s created an elegant collection that retains a classic sense of refinement together with subtle modern touches and materials. The console top comes in Calacatta Borghini marble with finishes in bronze, chrome or nickel. 

We also took a look at bulthaup’s showroom, which never fails to impress for its focus on perfect design and innovative kitchen solutions combined with a real sensitivity for the existing architecture of a building. We really liked the bulthaup b2 kitchen workshop (below) which really is designed to be functional and spatially economical.

We were also intrigued to see their arrangements of vintage tools and furnishings. In line with the young designers from our previous blog post, bulthaup also seems to be harking back and drawing influence from classic and older design sources.

Havwoods certainly went for a standout display method, their collection of exquisite wood floors was showcased atop an old fashioned Routemaster bus. Havwoods flooring can really transform a room, their exquisite quality and range of finishes would suit both a classic and modern interior.

Clerkenwell Design Week 2015

Clerkenwell Design Week was a truly inspirational festival, a real celebration of craft and design. CDW2015 showcased both established and emerging designers and companies. There was a really refreshing variety of work, but what we were most struck by was the shared sense of nostalgia. There seemed to be a focus on looking back to historic design movements for inspiration as well as keeping craft alive.

We spoke to the designers and craftsmen at TedWood about their work. Started by Ted Jeffries, TedWood uses sustainably grown British hardwoods for their contemporary wooden furniture, which is not only stunningly designed but holds a family value and history. They'd brought their working bench from their studio in Sussex to exhibit alongside pieces of furniture and lighting, having been passed down from Ted's grandfather and father who both used it. It's exciting to meet young designers who really are keeping this traditional craft going, but reworking it with their own contemporary designs. The leather shades on the lights (below right) were made by Ted's mother, a true family collaboration.

This Robin Day chair (below left) caught our eye as soon as we walked in. Day undoubtedly transformed British design and high street furniture, his 'Polyprop' stacking chairs has become one of the best selling chairs of all time. It was his postwar modernist furniture though that has been so influential to contemporary design as he developed low-cost but sensitively designed items.

His influence was evident in Stellar Works 'Utility' range (below right) which centres on this idea of function and efficiency. Their return to industrial design is counterbalanced by their use of soft leather and smooth woods.

Stellar Works Laval desk (below left) is a collaboration between French furniture maker Laval and Danish design studio OeO. The collection aims to merge a sense of French elegance and simplicity with a more modern need for comfort and utility.

Tomas Alonso’s Offset Table (below right) designed for Maxdesign responds to the need for flexibility in modern working home offices. The table can be broken down and customized for varying lighting, cable and size requirements. Alonso describes it as ‘a place to eat, a place to work and a place to meet all at the same table’.

It was great to meet the team at James UK as we really value their emphasis on British craft. All of their furniture is made in the UK by a team of skilled carpenters and upholsterers. The Norton Cove sofa (below left) is a larger take on the typical armchair.

Furniture brand H were inspired by a belt-making loom found in Oaxaca, Mexico for their Loom chair (below right). They've been collaborating with a textile designer whose colour choices perfectly balance with the hardwood frame.

Thonet's iconic range has been updated to suit contemporary interiors. Their display focussed on their design history showing the evolution of Thonet’s curved wooden designs to Marcel Breuer’s curved tubular steel designs.

The Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair 2015

As well as incorporating existing collections to your interior, Devas Designs also specialises in sourcing and buying new items for clients. We source works of art, furniture and paintings that work for your space and tie in with your existing pieces helping you to create timeless and unique interiors.

We're lucky enough to have access to events and special previews of art exhibitions and auctions. The longstanding relationships we have with dealers who notify us of recent acquisitions means that we are able to view items items before most and respond quickly to dealer recommendations.

Last week we attended The Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair in Battersea Park. On display were some real statement pieces from the 17th Century to 20th Century including furniture, lighting, mirrors and silver. Take a look at some of our favourite pieces from the fair.

This stunning light (below left) from The Trading Room really was a standout centrepiece and caught our attention as soon as we arrived. As always, Hilary Batstone's display featured elegant and chic pieces including both furniture and decorative items. The French Verdigris wall sconces (below right) had a timeless elegance that would suit both a modern and traditional interior.

Magus Antiques had a charming display with pieces sourced from across Europe. We particularly liked the white painted French cabinet (below left) which comes as a pair, their purity and elegance gives them versatility. Another French pair caught our eye - these painted fauteuil chairs (below right) from Brownrigg. They have been recently upholstered in neutral fabric and together with their traditional style have a sense of classic gracefulness

Again French glamour captured our attention! This French mid 20th Century side Table (below left) on display from James Worrall looks elegant as a standalone piece. This magnificent shell encrusted table obviously caught our eye as we have a similar piece at Devas Designs' head office - take a look at our blog post here to see our own shell adorned table top.