Friday, 16 November 2012

Speke Airport-Art Deco Architecture In Liverpool

Speke Airport, Liverpool.

Written by Wayne Colquhoun

Opened on the 1st July 1933 by The Marquis of Londonderry, K.G Secretary of State for Air.
There were 100,000 visitors on that day watching the display in which 246 aircraft took part.
There was a landing competition whereby the pilot who got nearest to the landing mark with propellers stopped won.
It was referred to as the greatest air pageant of all time.
A number of airlines were operating regular services after the successful opening. Blackpool and West CoastAir Services commenced operations in 1933.
The first scheduled flight was Liverpool to Blackpool and the cost was 18/- which is 90p in today’s money.

The traffic built up steadily and it was found to be necessary to expand the facilities to meet this.
It was 1937 that the present tower was completed, the same year that Hanger no 1 came into operation.
In 1939 the Terminal building was completed. Just in time for the war and at this period additional metal hangers were installed along with other less rigid structures.

A.J.Cobham with Sir J. Burnet designed the Terminal.

The simple functional style of this building is what now makes it so interesting, with its central observation tower and its convex flanks all designed for functional use.
The way the airside elevation curves gently shows what a little extra work can mean to overall kindness on the eye.

In 1936 the 611-west Lancs squadron had moved to Speke. Military activity now outstripped civilian use.
During the war it became an important destination with its close proximity to the strategically placed port of Liverpool.
Many aircraft were flown in, dismantled and shipped as far afield as the Middle East.
The 60s saw great images of the Beatles landing at Speke after conquering the world with their music.
From the time that the new terminal opened …the building was well past its best but with listed status and the active encouragement of many individuals, campaigning to have it restored, work finally got underway and it is now a hotel.
A major reconstruction took place.
Sadly the original windows had to go. It was altered slightly, as this new use was requiring a functional modern space for the comfort of the hotel guests.

The outside is magnificent with a replica plane outside the main public entrance, which helps to conjure up the spirit of its age.

Unfortunatly the interior is a sad pastiche and may as well be a modern hotel with an authentic exterior.
The decoration and fittings do not seem to conjure up any of its original style except to those who do not really understand the period and style known as Art Deco.
There has also been a very sad plastic looking building erected within the grounds.
This is a café or a diner of some sort and this has spoilt the overall look of the site.
There are some wonderful details on the main gateposts and the downspouts are reproduced to the original design with airplane motifs. The hangers now take on contemporary uses such as a gym.
Another of the hangers has been used for the performing arts. The whole area has now made a dramatic transformation and a business estate is thought to be growing along with the expansion of the Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
The best views are taken from the back of the building, as it is right to assume that the main entrance was originally made with an entrance from the airside. It is easy to lose yourself just standing there. Imagining a long journey on a De-Haviland plane in the late 30s, then picking up you’re your leather luggage and heading off to the terminal for passport checks.
There are some of the best sunsets from the Mersey Estuary and it is the best time with the changing light to sit and think about all those glamorous 30s planes that would have taxi-ed down the runway is dusk.

©Copyright Wayne Colquhoun 2012

Friday, 9 November 2012

Julia Carter Preston Sgraffito Plate-Piece of the Week

Her Wheel Keeps On Turning.

I haven’t used it yet and it’s a bit old fashioned and cumbersome and I am used to using a Shimpo wheel but I will get around to setting it up and throwing pots on the wheel that Julia Carter Preston actually used.
It is nice to interact with her history by either owning some of Julia's work or as in my case using the actual tools that she used to create her sgraffito ware that she was famous for. Though she never exhibited at the V&A she was well known to the insular Liverpool crowd of art collectors.

Entering into her studio shortly after her sad death and taking out objects that were personally used by her has given me a detailed insight into her techniques and how she fired her pieces.
I actually don’t think I will try and emulate her works they are a little too feminine for my style but it is interesting relating backwards by seeing the glazes and oxides she used. I tend to want to create more classical shapes of which the job is still very much a work in progress but is coming along slowly but surely.

This groupment of objects left, just as she used them, gives you a real insight into how she arrived at her finished article, a little like looking at an equation for a mathematical answer. What good is the answer if you don’t know how it is arrived at?

Of course most of her clients who bought her work will have no concern about her use of lustre’s in any other way as a description but an inquisitive mind is always needed if you are to progress in any journey that involves building up a skill.

I only came across her occasionally at various openings and events and every time she extended an invitation to call in for tea and I never did, although I extended an invitation to Peter Elson who jumped in like a long lost friend and did an article about her treasure trove of artefact's antiques and mementos of a life in Liverpool  It is a shame he never took up the campaign to save Julia's Uncles The Herbert Tyson Smith studio in the Bluecoat when it was under threat. see previous post

With a reputation of the daughter of a father who was a rather good sculptor and medallist.
The Edward Carter Preston name can be seen in cartouche on the Bronze plaque, the death plaque from the First World War, that he designed, that was given to next of kin as a memory of the part played by so many brave soldiers who lost their lives in the name of  Britain and the cause of Freedom
We have yet to see a full exhibition of his work other than small accumulations on occasional show, but when we do we will be able to understand him more and know how his daughter had to grow up in an environment of creativity in a more gentler age.
She didn’t really need the money and she didn’t charge a lot but her reputation was slightly diminished by allowing herself to be pushed into an exhibition of work that was previously rejected.
Her gallery took the short-term commission and have irrevocably damaged her reputation in exhibiting later work that was inferior.
 It may have been her elderly status and the need to create that kept her going. But it seems the gallery pushed her to into selling seconds after her prices raced up after a mention by one of the pumpkins on the Antique Road show, who said she was one for the future.

I stood while a queue formed at a Private View at the Bluecoat Display Centre and there was actually a scrum to get in and the rush of red labels that were stuck to her work surprised me especially as they were some warped and badly decorated pieces flying off the shelves.
I stood with Julia while a woman ran around with a tile in her hand shouting, “I have got a rabbit, I have got a rabbit”

Julia turned to me and said “Stupid woman that is a Hare….it just shows you how much she knows”

That summed that particular exhibition up for me.

The undeserving who didn’t know what they were looking at were now her principal patrons of her work taking it out of the range of those people who actually enjoyed her for her skillful but laid back approach of which she leaves us a legacy of a body of work that will if exhibited correctly by the now trustees of her collection Hope University in Liverpool.

A lot of he work was to commission. For those who own a piece of her work, treasure it, she really did make it for you with a lot of skill and care that will see he name grow in the eyes of collectors both here in Liverpool and much further afield.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Art Deco Architecture In Liverpool-Littlewoods Building Edge Lane

The Littlewoods Pools Headquarters

Edge Hill, Liverpool

A fine example of Art Deco architecture and important in Liverpool’s history both to its commercial, and wartime efforts.

The building sits on a plateau on one of the highest points in Liverpool. Edge Hill.
It is not far from the city centre.

It is almost cathedralesque with its central clock tower flanked by two wings.
There is a glass roof to let in the daylight this combined with the full size windows must have been a pleasure to work in, especially in comparison to working conditions elsewhere at the time it was built. It still is today.
Its simple form and clean lines give it that ocean liner style which was so wonderfully fresh and new at the time of construction. This was as cool as you could get.
Its new and fresh style must have been commissioned to be symbolic of the company’s intentions. John Moore’s himself along with his brother Cecil will have given the go ahead to build.
The views of this glowing white art deco building striding Edge Hill are best taken from Botanic Park where its boldness can be appreciated. Because of the park restraining other development, it has held its character intact and not changed since construction.

How lucky to watch the sun swing around the pure white and simple lines against the green and plush parkland. Is this Liverpool or Miami?

It does not have the polychrome decoration like The Hoover building.

Its beauty is in its simplicity and clean lines and it’s setting.
It was commisioned by the wealthiest individual in the United Kingdom, who he started his business selling shoelaces in Dale St before forming his pools’ empire. He never abandoned the city of Liverpool and lived on the outskirts until his death.

This building is mentioned in Pevsners South Lancashire volume on pg. 220. Pevsner refers to Wavertree Park off Edge Lane, very large symmetrical building of Littlewoods.
All square but still classically committed.

Pevsner did not refer to that many, what we now call Art Deco buildings

This really is a truly a wonderful building and he had the foresight to see its beauty a long time before it was fashionable.

It is now rotting and in a perilous state after several failed attempts to restore it.


Friday, 2 November 2012

Herbert Tyson Smith Bronze-Piece of the Week

 I bought this bronze by Herbert Tyson Smith in an auction hundreds of miles away.
The Internet now dictates there is nothing local anymore.

But this really is a local artefact, and I had to have it, and paid a bit for it, but I must bring it home I thought..

It is a study of a Merman. Images of Mermen are all around this locality around Water Street and the town centre.

There is n almost identical depiction on the façade of Martins Bank Building across the road from my shop.
 It is signed in the bronze and sits on an exotic marble base.
It seems to my mind to be a limited casting; I would be surprised if there was more than one made. Herbert Tyson Smith had been very productive in the inter war years.

He was the man who created the bronze castings on the Cenotaph on the space directly in front of the entrance to St Georges Hall along with architect Lionel Buddon.

Look up at most stone carvings from that interwar period and there is a chance that they were done in his workshop.

There was a little bit of research to do but I can take my time I thought but shortly after me picking it up Terry McDonald a local sculptor who seems to have been around forever, dropped in the shop.

Of course he used to work for Tyson Smith so I showed him an image of the bronze.

” Oh yes I remember that....... I broke the full sized plaster model of that same piece up, after the war, It was going to be a fountain, there was no money around for it”

“Are you sure it’s the same one”

“Positive I was only a young bloke then but I remember it as if it was yesterday” he replied
pic; by Wayne Colquhoun; Terry McDonald at his workshop

I went around to Terry’s place and there you go, original pieces by Herbert Tyson Smith with the same themes and much more. His workshop was fascinating. 
Here he is pictured with a model for the huge bronze that he was commissioned for that was erected outside Liverpool Womens Hospital. 

pic; relief by Tyson Smith in Terry's workshop

I had been a member of the Liver Sketching Club at one time and I spent numerous Saturday mornings sitting by an easel drawing from life while Terry held court strutting around the circle of budding artists giving advice in a parental manner.

It was a bit too much for me and I refused his help but remembered the experience of the Saturdays spent in Seal Street with a group of older blokes who were dedicated to thier art.
Tyson Smith had his workshops at the Bluecoat and I made an application to have a separate listing within the English Heritage listing of his studio at the Bluecoat in School Lane.

Those English Heritics saw it a more fitting proposition to knock it down.

What a tourist attraction this would now make but instead  it is now a shop selling cheap Chinese imports that do nothing to evoke the history of that area.

He sculpted reliefs for "The Crown" a hotel and public house on the East Lancashire Road  that in an act o vadalism was knocked down last year by a bunch of morons and this was allowed by an even larger group of clowns the City Council.

He also did work out of the city this is a monument he erected in Accrington.
Son of a lithographic printer and engraver, Herbert Tyson Smith was Liverpool born and educated at Liverpool University.

He enrolled in evening classes at the college of art where he studies clay modelling, plaster casting and stone carving.

He also studies drawing under Augustus John at the "Art Sheds" and University School of Art where he met Charles Allen, head of sculpture.

He joined the Royal Engineers at the outbreak of war in 1914 and was stationed at Dymchurch, Kent.

Honorary degree at the University of Liverpool. 1948 (George) Herbert Tyson Smith, MA.

Honorary instructor in Craftsmanship at Liverpool University School of Architecture.

He exhibited at Walker Art Gallery and the Sandon Studios where he was a member of the Sandon Studios Society.
pic courtesy of Chambre Hardman archive Liverpool

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Lusitania Medal-Piece of the Week.

 It’s a small medal in a box that was struck nearly a hundred years ago.

Despite its size and at first glance, it is quite innocent looking,  this piece of history tells us fathoms about the era in which it was made and the tragedy that it represents.

I recently visited Cobh on the Irish coast near Cork, were passengers had once boarded the Titanic for its maiden voyage where there is a memorial to those that died on the Lusitania.

The medal was struck by the British "copied" from the original, that was made after the deplorable act of the sinking of The Lusitania on 7th May 1915 by a German U-Boat, killing 1,198 of the 1,959 people aboard, leaving 761 survivors.

It is said that it is an exact replica of the one that was struck by Karl Goetz for the Germans to commemorate the atrocity.
It was made in 1916 some time later than the original which was made privately in August 1915.
It was said that 500 German medals were struck and a limited circulation took place.

British copies were of die cast iron and were of poorer quality than the original. The original Goetz medals were sand-cast bronze. Belatedly realising his mistake, Goetz got the date wrong and the original German medal was dated ‘5 Mai’ Goetz quickly issued a corrected medal with the date of "7. Mai".

The Bavarian government suppressed the medal and ordered their confiscation in April 1917.
The original German medals can be identified from the English copies because the date is in German, the English version was altered to read 'May' rather than 'Mai'. After the war Goetz expressed his regret that his work had been the cause of increasing anti-German feelings.
One side of the medal showed the sinking of the Luitania laden with guns with the motto "KEINE BANNWARE!" ("NO CONTRABAND!"), the other side showed a skeleton selling tickets with the motto "Geschäft Über Alles" ("Business Above All").The replica medals were produced in an attractive case claiming to be an exact copy of the German medal, and were sold for a shilling apiece.

On the cases it was stated that the medals had been distributed in Germany "to commemorate the sinking of the Lusitania" and they came with a propaganda leaflet which strongly denounced the Germans and used the medal's incorrect date to claim that the sinking of the Lusitania was premeditated.
The head of the Lusitania Souvenir Medal Committee later estimated that 250,000 were sold, proceeds being given to the Red Cross and St. Dunstan's Blinded Soldiers and Sailors Hostel.

There had been an advertisement placed in an American paper warning of the risk to passengers travelling on Cunard Line.

U-Boats were the new threat to shipping.
U-20 sank the 6,000 ton steamer Candidate. It then failed to get off a shot at the 16,000 ton liner Arabic, because although she kept a straight course the liner was too fast, but then sank another 6,000 ton British cargo ship flying no flag, Centurion, all in the region of the Coningbeg light ship.
The specific mention of a submarine was dropped from the midnight broadcast on 6–7 May as news of the new sinking's had not yet reached the navy at Queenstown, and it was correctly assumed that there was no longer a submarine at Fastnet.
Captain Turner of Lusitania was given a warning message twice on the evening of 6 May, and took what he felt were prudent precautions.

There can be n excuse for this barbaric act in the early days of the First World War before new style Naval warfare, and the new U-Boat threat had been understoo.
But it is also a fact that Britain wanted America in the First World War and this unholy act is cited as one of the main reasons that America entered the war on the side of the Allies.
Churchill then Lord of the Admiralty knew of the threats to the Lusitania and it was said he was away playing golf, it has been rumoured he ignored the threats. 
Posters were also produced. It says a lot about the cruel nature at the time where both side splayed with propaganda that cost peoples lives.

The RMS Lusitania was funded by the British Government and had a contract that it could be commissioned by the Navy.

It was estimated that it took 16 minutes to sink 11 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale.

The contemporary investigations both in Britain and in the United States into the precise causes of the ship's loss were obstructed by the needs of wartime secrecy and a propaganda campaign to ensure all blame fell upon Germany.

The reason why we the British would strike a medal and distribute it, is, a sinister act itself.

Argument over whether the ship was a legitimate military target raged back and forth throughout the war as both sides made claims about the ship and whether it was a legitimate target.

At the time she was sunk, she was carrying a large quantity of rifle ammunition and other supplies necessary for war, as well as civilian passengers.
Several attempts have been made over the years since the sinking to dive to the wreck seeking information about exactly how the ship sank.
It was on its way to Liverpool and one of its bronze propellers is on display near Liverpoos Albert Dock.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Art Deco Panther-Piece of the Week

I love the way the French depicted animals in the inter war years, with their tradition of sculptors in the genre.
The noble beast lends itself to a stylised study and in the hands of a good sculptor it is amazing what can be done.
I have chosen a picture of one I currently have that is not too expensive, £300-400 would be a decent price to pay for such.
It is a spelter model, but the base is nice marble and the way it has been inlaid with sections of onyx just gives it a  little extra.
It has a bronze patina and this is everything when purchasing a spelter as a beautiful glow can hint that it is a bronze to most people.
Where do you go with the same equivalent in bronze well its going to set you back a thousand pounds and if it was by my favourite sculptor Rembrandt Bugatti, son of the furniture maker and brother of the car designer then you may be looking at half a million pounds.
This is a nice way to "buy in" to he at deco style. It may be said it is a touch on the masculine style but having sold scores of Art Deco Cats to ladies it seems that the beauty transcends the sexes.
 I don't know anyone could deny the beauty of a strident black leopard stalking its prey or just strident as in this pose.
Le Livre du Jungle that was published in France, or as we know it here Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.
This animalier style was championed at the Salons and was maybe the continuation of a tradition that Antoine Louis Barye came from in the 19th century.

 So you may wonder what a cartoon in the sixties with songs such as the Bear necessities and lyrics such as "I wanna be like you..u..u, dooby doo, dooby doo, have got to do with this sculpture.
Well its my opinion that it is because Le Livre Du Jungle was illustrated by Paul Jouve with his beautiful stylised and characterful depictions of the beasts that Kipling made come to life from his memories in India, and this helped to inspire a generation of artists and sculptors that helped form the vision that made the cartoon come alive. To another generation. It does not disredit Paul Jouve t know that his amazing illustrations of Mowgli  lit up the eyes of Walt Disney for sure.
How now we take it for granted, we know almost every creature that has ever existed, but in the 1920's  you may not know what a Lion or a Tiger looked like.
These exotic creatures were to mesmerise a generation with a novel such as Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan of the Jungle, (it seems like only yesterday, watching the Johnny Weissmuller and seeing the 1960s cartoon on the flics).

Today these artists and sculptors from a tradition of craftsmanship that could not be recreated today, leave an affordable and stylistic legacy to a almost forgotten era.

But in the twenties and thirties you could discover their magnificence only in a zoo, but a sculpture could then be purchased in a posh department store and be placed be pride of place on your mantelpiece..............just as you can today.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Eric Knowles Calls In For A Cuppa.

Its always nice to see Eric, he was in town for a Bonhams valuation day and he popped over for a cuppa. He was quite taken by the strident panther on a marble and onyx base that he is holding in the picture that was taken in my shop today. He always seems so genuinely interested in his stock in trade, the Art Deco period. We had a good natter about the job and where its going, with the new Internet age, and decided we both don't know. But it has opened a lot of new opportunities where a piece can be viewed all round the world within minutes of it being put on line.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Diana The Huntress by Lejan-Piece of the Week.

Sometimes the French craqelle glazed sculptures of the inter war years can be underrated.
This is an amazing piece of movement, it almost looks as if it has been designed in a wind tunnel.
LEJAN did some wonderful sculptures, and some not too good but there is a mystery surrounding the work of the sculptor who may have in fact been a group of sculptors which may go some way to explaining the inconsistency of the work.
I used this sculpture by LEJAN in a exhibition called The Age Of Jazz curated by Sue Lunt at the Walker Art Gallery, to which I was commissioned to put together a room setting.
The signature can be seen on several different craquelles sometimes signed JAN LE, JANLE and I have had a interesting black glazed Panther signed JEAN.
There was a sculpture and a Pate de Verre vase that went through a New York Christies sale in 1990 signed Walter Nancy Le Jan.
Almeric Walter (Sevres1859-1860) was a collaborator with Daum.
Some of the rare pieces have the mark Orchies or Moulin des Loups. There is also a theory that it may have been a woman and it is why the masculine style of some of the sculptures may not have suited being attributed to a lady but needed to be seen in a masculine manner. This piece is some 50cm long signed LEJAN looks as good from several different angles, and is pretty wonderful

Friday, 7 September 2012

Pair of Chairs by George Montague Ellwood-Piece Of The Week

 A pair of exceptional Arts & Crafts side chairs designed by George Montague Ellwood & made by J S Henry.
The single central back splat united by two lower cross stretchers which cleverly emulate the lower twin side stretchers & single side uprights which are united by a higher single cross stretcher with its roundel.
A single variation to this chair with copper inlay sold at Sotheby's London on 22nd Feb 2006, it made £5040 with the buyer's premium that chair was almost identical in form.
George Montague Ellwood (1875-1955) Artist, Designer & Interior Decorator was educated at Holloway Art School & later studied in Paris, Berlin, Dresden & Vienna & at Camden School of Art from 1916 to 1924. In 1897 he won the gold medal for his furniture designs at the National Competition, South Kensington. He was one of the founding members of the 'Guild of Art Craftsmen', comprising the likes of Onslow Whiting (metal & repousse' work) J Osmond (a carver), & Richard Garbe (sculptor).They held regular exhibitions of their works, situated at Camden Square, London.
Some of Ellwood's best work was between 1900-1905/6 when he was the head designer for J S Henry (John Sollie Henry, founded c1880) of Old Street, London.
Ellwood knew how to strengthen a piece of furniture yet retain a lightness of touch that is still surprising in its vision, today.
The simple addition of the upright that connects to an additional internal stretcher gives the chair an architectural strength, yet manages to give the chair an air of lightness.
All this extra work adding to the integral strength in such a way that he was able to create modernism in a Victorian age.
 Other designers such as C F A Voysey, W J Neatby, G Walton, W A S Benson, & E G Punnett whom also supplied designs for J S Henry were tryng hard to encapsulate the same vision.
J S Henry made furniture to their designs in oak, walnut, green stained sycamore & mahogany, often inlaid with fruitwood, pewter & copper depicting stylistic & organic designs. Ellwood's designs for J S Henry were exhibited at the 1900 Paris Exhibition & won a silver medal. He exhibited at a number of venues between 1899 & 1915, including four times at the Royal Academy. He also worked for Bath Cabinetmakers & the Bristol based firm of Trapnell & Gane. Later he traded as Ellwood & Sledmere at 53 Mortimer Street, London. & designed posters for the London Underground Group between 1912 & 1914 now displayed at The Transport Museum.
He became editor of Drawing & Design Journal & in later years continuing his life's work he wrote several books on drawing & design.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Daum Acid Etched Vase-Piece of the Week

Sometimes simplicity is key to good design and Daum were usually quite good at simple art deco designs combined with craftsmanship. This vase is 31cm high.
see glass section of my website;

Founded in 1878 by Jean Daum[1] (1825–1885).
His sons, Auguste Daum (1853–1909) and Antonin Daum (1864–1931), ran the company during Art Nouveau period.
During the Universal Exhibition of 1900 Daum was awarded a ‘Grand Prix’ medal. Daum glass became more elaborate, acid etching (by Jacques Gruber) was often combined with carving, enamelling and engraving on a single piece of glass to produce creative glass master-pieces.
Daum creations also feature applied glass elements, such as handles and ornamental motifs in naturalistic forms.
The Daum brothers were one of the major forces in the Art Nouveau movement, seriously rivalling Gallé, so much so that when Émile Gallé died in 1904 they became the leaders in the field of decorative glass.
In 1906 Daum revived pâte de verre (glass paste), an ancient Egyptian method of glass casting, developing the method so that by the 1930s Daum's window panels used pâte de verre for richness instead of leaded or painted glass.

Daum gradually moved into the Art Deco period. The creations in this new style are some of the best of its period. Glass became a tool with which to create good design and Daum began to use the skills learnt during the Art Nouveau time to move with the times.
On the art deco pieces they produced it can be seen how the craftsmen worked.
Bevels were arranged in cubist form, planes were cut deep into a crystallised or frosted  aspect, leaving parts of a pattern rough and other parts polished. Geometric patterns were arranged and motifs employed that were fresh and vibrant for the jazz age.
Always tactile to hold and feel. The differing textures were copied and imitated but very rarely equalled.
The Exposition International des Art Decoratif et Industrial held in Paris in 1925 gave them an opportunity to show their wares off to buyers all over the word and with the skill of its craftsman the Daum company had years of prosperity leaving us today with some of the finest examples of Art Deco.
They don't come cheap quality never does this one is over £500 but where can you find something with such sophistication for less.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Antique Road Trip-The BBC's David Harper Drops In.

I had just come back from a buying trip in France, my own antique road trip and the BBC dropped in again, to do some more filming. This time for The Antique Road Trip.
The format is pretty well recorded David buys a few bits from me that he then attempts to sell on at a local auction, which unfortunatly may be Cato Crane's, and hopefully make a profit.
 He is a dealer so of corse he will be as hard a negotiator as the rest of us are. I was as helpful as I coul be, but we seemed to get along well enough, I hope he makes a profit on the items he bought from me an goes on to win the challenge. Not sure when the programme will go out hopefully soon. My trip to France meant I ha a lot of new things in the shop and David was genuinly impressed by the shop. Have look by clicking on the link.

Thursday, 21 June 2012 Own this Domain

I had a person calling himself Errol Spence doing some Internet work for me, who took this domain classicartdeco from me without my permission. I do not relinquish ownership of it. He has been trying to sell it on without my permission

I was told he also went under the name of Errol George.
The letter below is self explanatory. Do not attempt to buy it
He took this domain from me registering it at an address  that did not exist 6a Denman Drive Liverpool L6 7UE.
He had registered it at an address that did not exist but had an address at 18h Denman Drive.  He seems connected with a company called Euromatech and Kuzmo.
He used to work in the internet cafe in London Road Liverpool.
There are a lot of people on Ebay who may wish to know his whereabouts.
 Don't let him do any work for you as you may regret it.


Antiques and Fine Art
11-13 Holts Arcade
India Buildings
Water Street

Tel: 0151 236 1282

The Managing Director

NameMedia, Inc.

BuyDomains Division

230 Third Avenue

Waltham, MA 02451


I write to inform you that I am the owner of the above website and that it has been directly taken from me by a Errol Spence A.K.A. Errol George.
I advise you that if you attempt to sell this domain this will be illegal.
I am the legal owner and have paperwork to prove it.

I am in contact with my solicitor and legal correspondence will follow.

Wayne Colquhoun

Monday, 11 June 2012

Herculaneum Ship Plate-Piece Of The Week

Liverpool Pottery at the Herculaneum factory in sight of the Mersey Estuary of course had to produce wares portraying ships. They are now quite rare as most of them are in American collections. They were popular at the time with the people who manned the ships and were made as late as 1830. A range of three masted and on occasions two masted vessels were often portrayed. The last ships plate I had was sold to a client whose girlfriend was doing a trip in a tall masted ship. She took part in the ceremony at the crossing of the equator and during that trip she circumnavigated the Cape off the African coast, a perilous journey still. This was a nice touch. I thought a modern take on the exact sentiment that would have seen the plate originally bought in 1805. They often had flags to suit customer preferences (British, American, Dutch and even Danish Flags).
Peter Hyland in his book Liverpool's Forgotten Glory says (pg 58) "Judging by the frequency in which these plates turn up today, they must have been extremely popular and treasured. It is not unusual to find a 'ship plate' which has been broken many years ago and carefully riveted together"       
This one in fact has some very old restoration to the rim. If an object could tell a story what would this plate say.
Has it been to America? And Back? What is the ship printed in the middle and who bought it, was it a sea captain or a sweetheart to give to her loved one when he risked his life on uncharted waters?
Maybe, I will never know for sure, but it really is a piece that sums up 18th century Liverpool, and not just local history but Maritime art. This is now 200 years old. It is a shame the people now running Liverpool museums don't think the same way about our forgotten glory.

The 'Ship Plates' are a treasure any collection of Liverpool Ceramics without one would be bare.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Lalique Coquilles Bowl-Piece of the Week

Lalique always did simple design well.
Here is a version of a bowl that is often overlooked by Lalique collectors because its not the rarest or the most expensive.
For that reason its a really good way to start off a collection.
Expect to pay a couple of hundred pounds for a small  frosted version and about £3-400 for an opalescent version. 

René Jules Lalique

René Jules Lalique was born in Ay, Marne, France on April 6, 1860, and died May 5, 1945.
He was a glass designer, renowned for his stunning creations of perfume
In 1882 he became a freelance designer for several top jewelry houses in Paris and four years later established his own jewelry workshop. By 1890, Lalique was recognized as one of France's foremost Art Nouveau jewelry designers; creating innovative pieces for Samuel Bing's new Paris shop, La Maison de l'Art Nouveau. He went on to be one of the most famous in his field, his name synonymous with creativity and quality.

In the 1920s he also became famous for his work in the Art Deco style. Among other things he was responsible for the walls of lighted glass and the elegant glass columns which filled the dining room and grand salon of the SS Normandie.

René Lalique is buried in Le Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France.

Recognised as one of the world's greatest glass makers and jewellery designers of the art Nouveau and art Deco periods, Rene Jules Lalique was an imaginative and creative artist in all his work. Lalique's early life was spent in many different types of artistic businesses, acting as apprentice and assistant. This heavily influenced the designs he used in his later life, including his emphasis on glass. He used the most modern and innovative manufacturing techniques and equipment available, allowing more than one glass piece to be made at a time while still looking hand made, which meant his quality jewellery was available to the general public.

Rene Jules Lalique's early life was spent learning the methods of design and art he would use in his later life. He was born on the 6th of April, 1860, in the town of Ay, France. At the age of two his family moved to a suburb of Paris due to his fathers work, but travelled to Ay for summer holidays. These trips to Ay influenced Lalique's later naturalistic glasswork. When he was twelve, he entered the Collège Turgot where he started drawing and sketching. With the death of his father two years later, Lalique began working as an apprentice to the goldsmith Louis Aucoq in Paris, and attending evening classes at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs. He worked here for two years and then moved to London to attend the Sydenham Art College for two years. At the Sydenham art college, his skills for graphic design were improved, and his naturalistic approach to art was further developed. When he returned from England, he worked as a freelance artist, designing pieces of jewellery for French jewellers. Following this, he opened a business in 1885, and designed and made his own jewellery and other glass pieces for the rest of his life.

Many things influenced Lalique's work, including the natural environment, and the art Nouveau and art Deco periods.. The summer holidays Lalique spent at Ay, in France, and the time he spent at the Sydenham college of Art in London, heavily influenced Lalique's naturalistic work. As a result, many of his jewellery pieces and vases showcase plants, flowers and flowing lines.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Arthur Dooley Bull-Piece of the Week.

 I used to think Arthur Dooley was a bad sculptor......that was until I saw this piece that I had to buy and strong it is.
I then wrote up his biography in simple form and in doing so I began to understand him more.
Born in Liverpool in 1929, Dooley worked as a welder on the Ark Royal.

He was working, tirelessly, around Liverpool, right up until his death in 1994. He was a boxer and once came to blows in the Everyman with Arthur Ballard an art teacher who had taught Stewart Sutcliffe.

He created numerous religious figures in polished bronze using unorthodox techniques and unusual interpretations. The Black Christ on Princes Avenue being one, that went down like a lead balloon.

He buttonholed Hesseltine after the Toxteth Riots and pleaded with him “Don’t let them knock down the Albert Dock”.

His first sculpture was made in an army prison in Egypt where he served a sentence for going AWOL. Conflicting reports, one saying he tried to join the PLO.

Upon his unceremonious return from the army, he joined a drawing class at the Whitechapel gallery in London.

He was then employed as a janitor. His job included clearing up after the sculptors and setting up materials, then he began to make his own work...using scraps of metal left over.

His lead cast piece of a crucified Jesus received a good response around the college. From these humble beginnings, in 1962 he exhibited at St Martins Gallery, a stones throw from the college where he had worked. Cast a bronze bull for London weekend’s south bank building. He met the great art critic Greenberg and made several appearances on the "Tonight" programme. I saw an interview he made with Bill Shankly. He dubbed the new Cathedral Paddy’s Wigwam. He was featured on This is Your Life.

When Henry Moore, overworked turned down the Stations of the Cross at the Benedictine Community of Ampleforth Monastery Dooley took up the commission.

Later he would say the shipyard was really my art school.

Deeply concerned about social problems of his day. He was a member of the communist party. He was always an outspoken and immensely religious letting the materials he worked with speak. His workshop 34-36 Seel Street is intact. It needs preserving.

He was a active member of the Liverpool Academy.
He campaigned to have the right for Liverpool artists to show their wares outside the Bluecoat. He is slowly being recognised as an important man active in town planning not afraid to have his say.

Remember Him.

His work has been going up at an amazing now seems he is trendy something he would have hated I think. It is now not being afforded by the people who deserve his work.
 I also think that some of those buying his work driving his prices up are more likely to be investors who would not know a good sculpture from a bad sculpture. It should not be that someone owns a Dooley, but do they have a good one, because there are many not so good ones out there.
His work can be confused with Brian(I am now a native American Indian) Burges and Sean Rice.
 If you study his work you can feel his influences.
His pupil Stephen Broadbent has mad a fortune churning out Dooley inspired works to undescerning patrons with more money than sense.

Friday, 4 May 2012

The Thonet Rocking Chair. Piece of the Week.

The Thonet Rocking Chair. Its hard to think this design has been around since 1862. No-one seems to know who designed it. It was probably one of the first flat packs of its day, made up of simple bentwood elements that can be easily transported.
This is the first one I have bought and is in excellent condition having been recovered probably in the 1960's. Its not as simple as the later Joseph Hoffman designs but it is simple to equate this method of construction with the way furniture was to be designed by all, with cost of production and ease of assembly in mind.
Mies Van Der Rohe owes a debt of gratitude to Thonet and their pioneering use of beech. Van Deh Rohe would employ the use of simple shapes and use he strength of steel to design cantilevered shapes.

Beech is a tight grained timber that allowed the steaming of the wood and the immediate bending into shapes, that must have astounded when first retailed.
Or maybe they were criticised taking away the skill of the cabinet makers art. But what is in no doubt is that it helped make furniture affordable for the mass market.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Eric Knowles Calls In To Film "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is".

As part of filming for the BBC2 programme 
"Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is" Eric Knowles called in to do some filming.
I have not seen Eric for some time, well since he did the opening speech for the "Age of Jazz" an exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery, that I was commissioned to construct a room setting for by Sue Lunt who curated it.
The programme goes out on Wednesday 18th April at 5.15 pm.
Here we are stopping for a chat during the brief period of the recent filming at my shop.
We were joking about the mileage we have to cover in this job, just to get the goods, then again to sell them.
I pulled his leg a bit about the velvet cushioned world of BBC's Antique Roadshow against the cut and thrust of reality. He has a sense of humour and it was all good fun. Hope I have not "Put my foot where my mouth is" It's a bit of fun and its right to take it in that spirit.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

e-petition Liverpool Waters. Protect Liverpools World Heritage Site from Liverpool Waters.

Protect Liverpools World Heritage Site from Liverpool Waters

Responsible department: Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Due to the threat to a Unesco World Heritage Site from the development known as Liverpool Waters it would be most appropriate if the government "called in" this application for scrutiny.
Unesco say:
Mission’s Conclusion and Recommendation
The mission concludes that if the proposed Liverpool Waters scheme as outlined during the mission would be implemented, the World Heritage property would be irreversibly damaged, due to a serious deterioration of its architectural and town-planning coherence, a serious loss of historical authenticity, and an important loss of cultural significance. It strongly recommends that the three principal stakeholders, being Liverpool City Council, Peel Holdings and English Heritage, reconvene around the table.

The government must not let Liverpool lose its WHS status for a speculative scheme that lacks the skill to create a 21st century city that respects its heritage assetts.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Suarez Scum-Ashamed to be a Liverpudlian

All my life I have supported Liverpool Football Club but they have allowed rascist scum to infiltrate its ranks.
The way the club has dealt with this affair of Suarez calling Evra a Negrita is an utter disgrace.
He was rightly banned for 8 matches but it seems that was not enough. The club supported him and for that reason the little rat thought he could get away with being a hero for not wishing to shake the hand of Mr Evra.
 He should be punished, and made to leave the club I dont want my city represented bt this sort of scum.

Daglish used to have the respect of a great number of people.
He has lost mine over the way he has dealt with this whole diabolical affair.
There comes a time when you have to get rid of clowns like Suarez.
And if the clown manager does not wake up to reality get rid of him too,

I have to agree with Sir Alex Fergusons's remarks and wish to add that while liars that wont own up to reality run the club Liverpool will forever be a little club and no amount of arguements with manchester United or its players will change that.