Friday, 9 October 2009

Maritime Dining Rooms-A Disaster for Liverpools Culture.

I now have the biggest public display of Liverpool pottery in the city.My window contains more examples of our treasured and historic links with our historic 18th and 19th century potteries than the Liverpool Museums with nine pieces of Herculaneum pottery (1794-1840). researched for decades by members of the Northern Ceramics Society and other interested individuals. has caused outrage amongst cultured people who understand how the threads of Maritime past need to be kept alive and on view so the next generation can understand them.What an outrageous act of cultural barbarism by Liverpool's Museum Marauder, Dr David “Fuzzy Felt” Fleming to put our history into permanent storage, and we all know what that means, shoved away out of public view until we forget about it. Museums are supposed to uncover things not bury them again. And its all done with the Daily Museum the Oldham Echo as PR working for the museums smoothing it all away from the public.Last nights paper contains a full page on how wonderful it is to eat there. In the space that used to hold artifacts, treasured possessions, our past.What Dawn Collinson failed to mention is that in order to facilitate the cafe the collection of our Maritime History have been stuffed away.Despite years of painstaking research by the North West Ceramics Society and previous directors and curators with one swipe our past is consigned to be hidden away in boxes.Not a mention of that in the revue only how wonderful it all was.I advised David Bartlett and Mark Thomas, Alastair Machray at the Trinity "Smoking" Mirrors Group, and all I can about this Maritime Disaster as it unfolded.Are they worried, no, not in the slightest. All they are interested in doing is reporting on another restaurant being opened. Do they understand post Capital of Culture, no, not really. No wonder we are in such a bad state with our heritage being looked after by morons who cant understand anything other than the level of what is told them by people who don't care.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Minton Floor goes on show at St Georges Hall

ONE of Liverpool’s hidden treasures is on display to the public for the next two weeks after the huge success of a previous viewing.
The Minton Tile mosaic masterpiece, at St George’s Hall, is normally hidden beneath wooden flooring.
But yesterday the covering was temporarily removed to allow the Great Hall’s ornate tiles to be revealed in all their glory.
It is the second time this year the floor tiles have gone on public display, after the success of a previous viewing in February. They are usually only revealed once a year.
The floor consists of 30,000 hand crafted tiles, many depicting the world famous Liver Bird along with Neptune, sea nymphs, dolphins and tridents. More than 15,000 people visited the hall when they were unveiled earlier this year. Cllr Tina Gould, who has special responsibility for the Hall and was recently appointed as a trustee, said: “When we last unveiled the floor, the response was huge.
“It makes sense to open it up to the public once again and give anyone who missed it another chance to see this amazing display of craftsmanship. The Hall and its Minton tiles really are one of Britain’s finest Victorian wonders.”
The tiles were first revealed in April 2007 after the completion of a 10-year, £23m restoration of the Grade I-listed Hall.
More than 167,000 people visited St George’s Hall last year, making it one of the city’s top six heritage attractions.The ornate floor was first laid in 1852, at a cost of £3,000. It was designed by Alfred Stevens, the 34-year-old son of a Blandford house decorator.
The mosaic was originally covered in the 1860s to provide a more hardwearing surface for dancing.
The tiles will be on display until August 23, and can be viewed from 11am with the last admission at 4.30pm every day.
There is an admission charge of £1 for adults, with free entry for children. At 2pm each day, there will be a talk on the history of St George’s Hall by experts in the Reid Room, admission by donation.
There are also evening tours available, with admission limited to 25 people. The tours take place every day from 5pm (except Sunday) and cost £5 per head. To book an evening tour call (0151) 225 6909.
Entrance to the venue is from the Heritage Centre on St John’s Lane.

Monday, 10 August 2009

A Sign of the Times

Largest antiques wholesaler in the US closes

July saw the final sale to liquidate the enormous inventory that constituted Merritt’s Antiques.
The Douglassville business had been in operation since 1938 and was an established fixture in the Pennsylvania antiques marketplace and well known to European dealers as the largest antiques wholesaler in the United States.
Marty Merritt, 63, went on his first antiques-buying tour to Europe with his mother Mary in 1963, when he was 17. At the peak of trading he would visit the docks in Philadelphia several times a week to pick up containers and recalls passing through Checkpoint Charlie on early buying trips to East Germany.
The sagging economy, the age of the owners and the decline of antiques wholesaling led to the decision to liquidate a massive stock at auction. The Merritt Clock Shop, the largest clock parts business in the US, remains open.

Sotheby’s revenues halved

Second quarter results for Sotheby’s in 2009 show operating revenues down almost half to $167.3m on the first three months of the year thanks largely to the decline in auction totals.
Increased commission rates have helped soften the blow, as has a reduction in losses brought about by guarantees and a 30 per cent fall-off in costs. The result is a net profit of $12.2m, compared to $95.3m for the first quarter.
Looking at the whole of the first six months of 2009, operating revenues fell by just over a half on the second half of 2008 to $221.7m. Meanwhile, the $82.9m profit for the last six months of last year turned into a $22.3m loss from January to June 2009.
Sellers also appear to have adjusted to losing the cushion of guarantees and to curbing their expectations when it comes to reserves and sale prices.
It is hard to tell when the market will pick up again.

Monday, 3 August 2009

St Georges Hall Antique Fair is not Fair with the Trade.

It would be nice to promote a local antique fair in such a monumental building as St Georges Hall in Liverpool. I had been there on the opening event in 2008 declaring on the local radio how good it was for Liverpool in the overhyped European Capital of Culture year. The event spilled over into the wings of the main hall. Not any more.
It looks like the fair is on its slippery slope to oblivion or so the word on the stalls say. The stallholders have been told the organisers are getting messed around by the city council. Hmmm.
It looks likely to me that this antique fair now has a limited lifespan.
Why do the organisers of antique fairs not understand that the long established custom of assisting the trade with free entrance (with a card)in to a fair is something that loses them money. It helps generate trade for the stallholders early in the morning making it easy for them to re-book.
£2.50 for the trade entrance what is the point? Several trade that I know, who spend, walked away from the overzealous organisers of this, what is now a poor excuse for a antique fair, rather than pay. We dont like being held to ransom by the trade I was told by the organiser. Bye Bye.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Collector’s family seeks home for Barnsley designs
13 July 2009
Antiques Trade Gazzette

The 40-piece collection, which covers more than 50 years of Edward Barnsley’s working life and designs, was originally created by a London architect and has been further expanded by his son.
The majority of the pieces were made or designed by Barnsley between the 1930s and the 1960s, with a few pieces designed or made by Peter Waals’ workshop in the 1930s.
The family are now seeking a new home for the collection on permanent loan.
“It is an unusual situation,” said Mr Weller. “The owner is very keen that the collection finds a home where people can appreciate the craftsmanship and supreme skill of those men who produced such wonderful furniture. It is a genuine opportunity for someone who may wish to open their house to the public to have on loan an exceptional collection of Arts and Crafts furniture.”
The collection includes the last pieces to be designed by Edward Barnsley himself before he died in 1987 aged 87: a desk and filing cabinet, together with a matching coffee table.
In 60 years, Barnsley’s workshop made approximately 7000 pieces of furniture, of which at least 1500 were individual designs. He received the CBE in 1945 for his contribution to quality of design and craftsmanship.
The Edward Barnsley Educational Trust was set up in 1980 and the Edward Barnsley Workshop at Froxfield flourishes under James Ryan today.
Contact: 01403 713587.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Herculaneum Pottery held by Liverpool Museums to be put in Permenant Storage

Monday, 29 June 2009

David Fleming Srikes Again, will someone put him out of our misery.
This is no storm in a teacup. It is another peice of our culture at stake.
3000 members of The Northern Ceramics Society are up in arms at the proposals to put the collection of Liverpool Pottery, currently, in the Maritime Museum at the Albert Dock in permanent storage.
Yes ....permanent storage we all know what that means. Worse still it is to make way for…. a café, yes a café, this is another misguided attempt to rob us Liverpudlian's of our heritage and blame us for the slave trade by the Fuzzy Felt knob at NML Dr David Fleming. people have said that I have been a bit hard on David "Fuzzy Felt" Fleming to which I am of the opinion that I have not been hard enough, he is a walking disaster a nightmare a public relations car crash. I forgot more about Liverepools Culture last week than he will ever know. This man is single-handedly destroying my culture and turning Liverpool museums into something that resembles the "Wacky Warehouse" where kids run around all over the place with ice cream, screaming and shouting. The sort of place you don’t want to go to anymore. Sudley used to be great he ruined that. It is now called Sadly Art Gallery locally.I attended an excellent study day a decade ago about Liverpool pottery and this was linked in to the permanent exhibition in the Walker, which was the history of Liverpool Pottery.This was then moved out of the Walker and watered down to all those pots with ships on, and was sent to the Maritime Museum, that was bad enough but now to ditch this, is a absolute outrageous act of uneducated nonsense by someone who it has been said should not be running my museums because he is a dimwit. Yes a dimwit without education in the finer things in life, this little tin pot dictator understands is bums on seats.Cant someone put him out of our misery he is a carpet-bagging networker, a disaster wanting to make us all pay for the slave trade when it was nothing to do with me.The NCS were instrumental in bringing to the fore our heritage. Volunteers who have a passion for what they do, educated collectors, whose advise has been sought in building up the collections.Painstaking attention to detail, out on digs in all weathers, in their own time finding the original sites where kilns were, showing us our own heritage, our Georgian heritage, working with the museums under the previous director. And now the tin-pot Fleming does them in with a stroke of his pen, just like he did with the Friends of Liverpool Museums. How can you do this how can a stupid act of getting rid of something as important as our local pottery be replaced by chairs for a café. He hasn’t got a clue.The public bequeathed this whole collection and the public servants need to understand that they work for us not for themselves.“We can’t trust this guy” one elderly gentleman said talking about Fleming.A client of mine, a avid Liverpool collector said to me “He is a b*st*rd” such is the depth of ill feeling towards him.
Someone need to carry the coffe can for this, there is already five times the amount of Liverpool Pottery in storage as is on display at present. Huge collections are on display in some of the top American museums and we wont have any.Along with Herculaneum whose factory was at Herculaneum Dock there was Gilbody, Pennington, Richard Chaffers and Co, Philip Christian and more. I want to know about this stuff it’s my history…. this nutter running my museums has to go he is a disaster.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Wedgewood Museum rescue

For a few desperate months earlier this year, it looked as if the revamped £10 million Wedgwood Museum in Stoke-on-Trent was destined to become Britain’s most expensive memorial plaque.
The collapse of Waterford Wedgwood, the pottery manufacturer whose 250-year history it chronicles, hit visitor numbers hard and turned what should have been a thriving industrial site around the museum into a ghost factory. But now the business has been given a lifeline and the spirit of hope was boosted last night when the museum won the Art Fund Prize for museums and galleries — at £100,000, the most lucrative prize in the business.
Wedgewood Museum rescued amid a reccession.
read on

Friday, 17 April 2009

Lillies BBC production.

This is a picture taken from the set of Lillies, the acclaimed BBC production.

I was asked to do some room sets by the BBC and this is the Artemis house in the series. I originaly had a brilliant mirror for the fireplace but it picked up a reflect.

This was a house in Falkner Square in Liverpool 8.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

A letter to the Times from Henry Sandon

From The Times
April 4, 2009
Preserve antiquarians
Chancellor not doing enough to help British antique and fine art dealers maximise their global appeal

Sir, Last year many antique and fine art dealers were forced to close their premises as a direct result of high rent and business rate increases, at a faster rate than in previous recessions. While the Chancellor’s rethink on the previously tabled increase in business rates shows some sensitivity to the needs of businesses, it does not do enough to help this often overlooked sector.
In 2007 the UK’s antiques and art industry generated revenue of £4 billion. Global revenue from the art and antiques market was £40 billion in 2007, the UK’s contribution therefore represented 10 per cent of the global market share. In 2008, however, there was a significant fall to £2.75 billion. While other sectors are receiving help from the Government, the antiques industry — which is partly reliant on the housing market — does not. Even the recent VAT reduction does not help us.
The antiques industry creates jobs in tourism, shipping, transport and conservation. At a local level, antique shops provide an important draw to country towns, helping other local shops and businesses. Every closure leaves a gap in provincial streetscapes. On an ecological level, the antiques industry encourages the re-use of old and beautiful things, reducing landfill and new-goods consumption.
With sterling at its lowest for some considerable time, UK products are once again attractive to overseas buyers. With some marketing support from the Government, we could be using this opportunity to reach the world market for antiques.
Iain Michael Brunt
Ledsham, Leeds
Henry Sandon

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Sirens Calling- A Della Robbia Pottery Charger

One of the reasons for me to go to the Williamson Art Gallery on the Wirral to look at the Della Robbia was to see how one of my acquisitions fares.
I think it may be correct to say that I think this is the best example of Della Robbia I have seen. Designed by Cassandra Annie Walker it is of a design I have not seen before. Purchased in France it is of two Sirens luring a ship of sailors onto the rocky outcrop. An Art Nouveau take on the mythical tale. The colours are fantastic. I felt as if it was coming home when it was found in France the lady asked me if I knew what it was as she hadn't been able to sell it as it is unknown in France. Oh yes I said as I clutched it when paid for.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Williamson Art Gallery-Della Robbia Collection

Williamson Art Gallery Birkenhead.
Went to see a textile exhibition Sunday last of Lee fabric and textile manufacturers who were based in Birkenhead. They sold Fortuny clth and clothes in thier New York and London showrooms and there was the most wonderful Fortuny dress on display as part of the exhibition.

Of course we had to have a look at the wonderful permenant Della Robbia exhibition.
It is well worth a visit.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Sometimes You Never Know

Has a doorway into Liverpool’s past been found in Paris?
Oct 21 2008 by Laura Sharpe, Liverpool Daily Post
Wayne Colquhoun, outside his antique shop in India Buldings, with one of the pieces of glass he says is from the Philharmonic Hall
A MERSEYSIDE antiques dealer has returned from his travels with what he believes is a piece of Liverpool history.
Wayne Colquhoun, who owns an Antiques and Fine Art shop in the city, says he has uncovered original panels of glass that once sat in the Philharmonic Hall.
Mr Colquhoun discovered the 6ft pieces of etched glass in a market in Paris.
The glass bears the signature of Hector Whistler, who designed it under the supervision of eminent Philharmonic Hall architect Herbert Rowse.
Mr Colquhoun said: “It was 5.45am and I had bought a vase and a statue and then I got that shiver down the back of my neck that makes me twitch.
“Out of the back of a lorry a piece of etched glass about 6ft high was being passed down and I was there on it right away. For a moment I couldn’t talk, because there in the glare of my torch was a plate of glass, acid etched with a cubist design of a clarinet.
“Now I play clarinet, so that’s a find, but there was something a bit more to this. I recognised the design and I was thrown geog- raphically when I questioned myself.
“Is this a piece of glass from the entrance doors of the Philharmonic hall?”
With the questions of how it arrived for sale in France in the back of his mind, the stall holder then drove him back to his depot.
Mr Colquhoun said: “Twenty-minutes later I arrived and there were several stacks of glass, one with the sign that gave me the confidence to know that these were glass from the Phil.”
He then went on to barter with an American couple who wanted to buy the glass, before making the 2,000 mile trip back to Liverpool.
He now hopes a Liverpool museum might buy the glass to exhibit as a piece of Liverpool’s art deco heritage.
Mr Colquhoun added: “Herbert Rowse, who designed India buildings and the Philharmonic hall, also designed Pilkington’s head office and there is a good possibility they were originally made there.
“The original Phil burnt down in 1933 and I believe these panels were put into the new building in 1939.
“From what I can find out, the panels were removed in the 1990s refurbishment and replicated with toughened safety glass.
“ I feel like I have saved them and they may have been lost to America and for that I feel proud.”
Mr Colquhoun said he will keep the piece with the saxophone for his own collection and is considering donating a piece to National Museums Liverpool.
A spokesman for the Philharmonic said it was difficult to authenticate the glass as no members of staff who over-saw the refurbishment are still working at the hall.