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.