News

3 August 2017

An anonymous workshop Daybook, 1851-1885


While considerable evidence, such as insurance records, bills (perhaps matched to surviving furniture), letters, rate books and, sometimes, personal accounts, exists for the activities of larger cabinet-making firms, day-to-day records for smaller, more general workshops are far scarcer. Thus, it is fortunate that the late Sir Francis Watson (1907-92) found and preserved the Daybook, now in our possession.

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12 July 2017

Circle of George Bullock: a Regency sarcophagus-form strong box?

Although, for now, the precise origins of this remarkable and perhaps unique masterpiece remain unknown, it is clearly an exceptional work by a talented designer and maker, and was surely commissioned for the grandest of interiors.  Since this seemingly unique object came to light at auction (Christie's, New York, 15 April 2005, lot 125), mystery has surrounded its purpose and authorship.

Measuring 91 x 103 x 71 cm and weighing no less than 182 kg, this massive and weighty sarcophagus-form, lidded c...

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21 June 2017

Pair of chairs for Walter Morrison (1836-1921): a new discovery


Walter Morrison, the ninth (of eleven) children born to James Morrison (1789-1857) and his wife Mary (1795-1887) was just twenty-one when his father died leaving him £300,000 (a fortune that today would be the equivalent of £28m) and the Malham Estate in Yorkshire.  While he never needed to work, he inherited the Morrison habit of public service, first sitting as a radical reforming Member of Parlaiment from 1863-74; acting as treasurer to the Palestine Exploration Fund for 54 years, and performing ...

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29 March 2017

Expertise and enthusiasm: present and future appreciation of the decorative arts

For many years now, there has been a perception that so-called 'traditional areas' under the umbrella of the 'decorative arts' have fallen from favour.  But what does this mean?  Is this a reference to the market, or to public appreciation?  Surely it is the case that that those who pack National Trust houses each year; who travel far and wide to visit museums and churches, and who book tickets for exhibitions such as 'Jerusalem 1000-1400 Every People Under Heaven' (Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sep...

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6 March 2017

TEFAF, Maastricht, 2017: still the best


We spent an enjoyable weekend unpacking a truck-full of crates, each revealing a piece of furniture, an object or a picture, soon to be placed or hung on our expanded Maastricht stand.  Thanks as ever to Aston Spinks (see below) and Nicky Aubury, the stand was set and lit by Monday morning.

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