CABINETS OF CURIOSITY
Three hundreds years after Thomas Chippendale was born, two of the cabinetmaker’s admirers—LORD SNOWDON and SIMON PHILLIPS—met to discuss his legacy. Article featured in Vanity Fair On Art 2018 Edition.
300 Years Since Thomas Chippendale Was Born
Thomas Chippendale’s designs will be displayed in an exhibition this June to commemorate the tercentenary of his birth.
Collectors' Focus Chippendale
Chippendale’s peerless designs have become synonymous with English furniture, but with only around 600 pieces traceable to his workshop, the market is small and competition fierce. Above all else, collectors should look for a firm attribution.
Chinese New Year ushers in the Year of the Dog
Check out these five dog-related antiques and artworks
TEFAF returns for a second Fall in New York
TEFAF returns for a second Fall in New York
IN THE PRESS
Made in circa 1765, our mahogany writing table almost certainly by William Vile is featured in Country Life this month.
In devilish detail
There's never a dull day at Ronald Phillip's antique restoration workshop. Camilla Apcar discovers a concealed studio brimming with expertise and fine furniture.
Simon Phillips discusses his 'treasured heirloom' in Country Life
Winter in New York
Two of London's top furniture dealers will have exceptionally fine offerings for visitors to the New York Winter Antiques Show, which has its preview at the Park Avenue Armory on January 19 and runs to the 29th.
Born in the USA
With TEFAF at the helm, this year’s autumn fair at New York’s Armory is larger and offers more treasures than ever
9 Rarities Appearing at a New York Art Fair's Debut
Say “Maastricht” to anyone in a certain precinct of the art world and they will know you are talking about TEFAF Maastricht, the grande dame of art fairs, specializing in extremely high-end art and antiques. Now comes TEFAF New York, anew fair scheduled to appear twice a year at the Park Avenue Armory, in the fall and the spring, and repeat that museum-quality level.
New Kid on the Block
Established furniture dealership Ronald Phillips will exhibit at the inaugural TEFAF fair in New York. Owner Simon Phillips tells Frances Allitt why he is optimistic about the US market.
Made in c1750, these Cantonese enamelled sconces were created for the king of Portugal - flamboyant symbols of the court's love of the Orient, Chiense in style, European in form, and full of references to both Eastern and Western culture, they tell an enigmatic tale of cross-continental taste and trade in the 18th century.
Ronald Phillips at Masterpiece 2016
Fair Play. The capital is at the centre of the global antiques and fine art world this month – auction houses hold their major bi-annual sales, museums unveil their blockbuster exhibitions and it is the eve of London Art Week. It is also the month when all three major London fairs open. Antique Collecting goes behind the scenes
Mayfair Times - June 2016
Masterpiece - The Collectors.
Seven years and going strong, Masterpiece is proving a hit with collectors and visitors alike, but what is the demographic of this very “British fair with an international accent”? Lorna Davies finds out
Spring in their step at NY Masters
Though the dealers who will exhibit at the third and final instalment of Spring Masters New York face uncertainty in their fair calendars, ATG spoke to two London dealers who are looking forward to the event thanks to their strong relationship with the American market and the fair’s unusual design.
Good as Gold
Antiques icon Ronald Phillips on Bruton Street is the last dealer in the area. So is this a blessing or a curse? Owner Simon Phillips fills Mayfair Times in and tells them why he’ll never leave Mayfair.
RONALD PHILLIPS AT THE INTERNATIONAL SHOW
Simon Phillips talks us through some of his favourite pieces that will be displayed on the company’s stand at The International Show in New York. The booth of over 30 lots presents a wealth of opportunities for international collectors and interior designers and the rich and varied array of items will suit many tastes.
The Park Avenue Armory at 67th Street, New York
23rd -29th October 2015
RONALD PHILLIPS AT SPRING MASTERS NEW YORK
The second edition of Spring Masters New York was held at the historic Park Avenue Armory. Helmed by Michael Plummer and Jeff Rabin of Artvest Partners, Spring Masters presented a selection of art and design from antiquity through the 21st century in a contemporary context, marking a significant evolution of the fair model . According to Plummer, “The scene in New York in May had become rather sleepy and was not living up to the standard of more innovative fair events that had developed in London, Paris, Miami, Basel and Maastricht. In terms of the spring fair calendar, New York had fallen behind, until Frieze appeared. But Frieze only served the most contemporary sector of the market, which left a wide opening for Spring Masters.”
Thus the fair included a wide range of historical periods, design and decorative arts, and a booth- kind of like a model living room- created by Jamie Drake and Drake Design Associates, whose clients have included Madonna. The hexagonal, honeycomb booth layout was designed by the architect Rafael Vinoly. According to Simon Phillips “The hexagonal layout makes it more difficult to design, but its less boring and much more interesting.” Plummer adds, “While it makes great sense to combine art and design from different periods, it also brings with it the challenge of getting it to fit together in a cohesive way in a residential environment. A designer is the best resource to help with this challenge.”
This year’s nonprofit booth, Project Art, provides art classes to elementary schoolchildren affected by budget cuts to art education. Funding their project- a modest $20 buys a paintbrush that will hang on the booth’s wall- could help nurture the next generation of artists.
The NSPCC Joins Masterpiece London As The 2015 Charity Partner
Masterpiece London, the leading international cross-collecting fair for art, antiques and design, returns to The Royal Hospital Chelsea in 2015. Running from 25 June – 1 July, the Fair has become a must-attend event at the heart of the capital’s busy summer art and auction season. Offering for sale museum-quality works with superb provenance and over 150 leading galleries worldwide, Masterpiece provides a huge opportunity to buy the best pieces available across multiple disciplines in the current market. Significant additions to this year’s fair include, London’s renowned fine art gallery Richard Green (UK), Parisian decorative arts dealer, Kraemer Gallery (France), Van Cleef & Arpels (France) and Nilufar (Italy).
An illustration of play therapy, pioneered by the NSPCC. Child is a model. Image credit Tom Hull.
Masterpiece London is delighted to announce its partnership with the UK’s leading children’s charity, the NSPCC, ahead of this year’s Masterpiece Fair. The NSPCC is leading the fight against child abuse in the UK. The Art Gala will be held on Tuesday 30th June, a glamorous evening including a silent auction, live entertainment, champagne and canapés. Tickets are available at £100 per person –please visit www.masterpiecefair.com to purchase your ticket now. Since 2010, the charity party held during Masterpiece London has raised more than £2.6 million for good causes.
TEFAF Maastricht will be taking place from 13th-22nd March, presenting 275 of the world's leading galleries from 20 countries, the fair is an event not to be missed by collectors and museum representatives. TEFAF Maastricht is a continuously evolving showcase for the best works of art currently on the market. In addition to the traditional areas of Old Master Paintings and antique Works of Art, you can see and buy at TEFAF Maastricht a wide variety of Classical Modern and Contemporary Art, Photographs, as well as Jewellery, 20th Century Design and Works on Paper.
Our Regency convex mirror will be displayed on Koopman Rare Art London's Stand at TEFAF. The mirror retains it's original plate and is of a wonderful design surmounted by a finely carved eagle with acanthus leaf carved sides.
TEFAF is now perhaps the most businesslike of the major international fairs, a reputation due in part to the eponymous art market report it publishes annually. Commissioned from Clare McAndrew of the research firm Arts Economics, the TEFAF Report is one of the industry's most comprehensive pieces of market research, from contemporary art to antiques.
Below are some key findings from the 2015 report:
- The global art market reached a total of over €51 billion in 2014, an increase of 7 percent over 2013, and the highest level ever recorded.
- The distribution of sales by value in the global art market was dominated by the three major art markets: the US (39 percent); China (22 percent); and the UK (also 22 percent).
- Approximately 1,530 lots were sold at auction for over €1 million in 2014 (this includes 96 lots for more than €10 million), up nearly 17 percent from 2013.
- The dealer sector (including dealer and gallery sales and private sales within the art trade) was estimated to account for around 52 percent of the global art and antiques market by value, or some €26.4 billion in 2014.
- In 2014 Postwar and contemporary art was the largest sector of the fine art market, representing 48 percent of all fine art sales by value. Auction sales of Postwar and contemporary art reached €5.9 billion, up 19 percent on 2013 and the highest total ever recorded.
- The US was the key center worldwide for sales of Postwar and contemporary art with a share of 46 percent of the market by value.
- Sales of Modern art were the second largest, accounting for 28 percent of the global fine art auction market with auction sales of €3.3 billion.
- In 2014, there were 180 major art fairs with an international element, covering fine and decorative art. The top 22 fairs generated visitors in excess of 1 million.
- Sales made at fairs accounted for a reported 40 percent of all dealer sales in 2014 or an estimated €9.8 billion (the second largest sales channel after in-gallery transactions).
- In 2014, sales of art online were estimated conservatively to have reached €3.3 billion, or around six percent of global art and antiques sales by value.
- The middle market has been the focal point for online selling with the majority of sales taking place between about $1,000 and $50,000.
- Art fairs were again the second largest item of expenditure at €2.3 billion or 19 percent of the total despite only being incurred by dealers.
Apollo Magazine - Dealer’s Choice: Simon Phillips
The art market is full of personalities, but dealers and gallerists often operate behind the scenes. In this regular series, Apollo asks art dealers to introduce themselves and their businesses. We spoke to Simon Phillips, of Ronald Phillips Ltd.
THE INTERNATIONAL FINE ART AND ANTIQUES SHOW 2014
The International Fine Art and Antiques show opened its doors last night, bringing together more than 65 dealers from around the world at the Park Avenue Armory. In spectacularly designed booths, dealers present an array of paintings, sculptures, rugs, ceramics, timepieces, arms and armor, jewelry and furniture dating from thousands of years ago to the mid 20th century and deriving from a host of cultures and civilizations, from ancient Egypt to modern New York City. Going to the fair is like visiting a great, eccentric museum abounding in wonders and curiosities but organized according to no discernibly rational plan.
Founded in 1989, IFAAS was New York’s first expert-vetted antiques fair and continues to be a magnet for top-flight dealers and seen by American collectors as a whirlwind tour round Europe's most discriminating curiosity shops.
New booths this year include: Robbig Munich, one of the world’s leading dealers in Meissen porcelain; Véronique Bamps of Monaco specialising in 19th-century to 1950s jewellery; and Manhattan-based traders Ancient Art of the New World Inc – their stand-out piece being a Teotihuacan pale greenstone mask from Mexico, circa 300 to 600 AD.
The Park Avenue Armory
643 Park Avenue at 67th Street
Less is More
Traditional and metamorphic furniture plus the chair in which Emily Brontë died steal the show at Ronald Phillips’ attic sale.
Since taking the reins of his family's gallery, London antiques dealer Simon Phillips has expanded the inventory to include rare, impeccably sourced 18th and 19th century English wares, helped launch a glamorous art and antiques fair - this week's Masterpiece London - and cultivated a loyal following of sophisticated collectors.
Masterpiece London 2014
Masterpiece London 2014, has returned to the world’s capital of culture in June 2014 to celebrate its 5th anniversary. With 158 selected and internationally renowned galleries, visitors can see historic paintings, Renaissance sculpture, furniture by the prodigious makers jostling for attention with 21st century pieces; pictures by Warhol and Magritte, life-size horse sculptures by Nic Frddian-Green, breath taking jewels by Cartier and collections of medieval armour.
Masterpiece London is often compared to Maastricht, and this year strong sales and highest visitors rate to date have been reported. Collectors, curators and designers are drawn here for the astonishing diversity of material with over 7,000 visitors crossing the threshold of the stunning fair in the South Grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, an increase of over 17% on last year. Visitors are also free to attend lectures, talks and debates surrounding art and the art market, whilst the fair also features world-class restaurants including, Scott’s, Le Caprice and The Ivy.
The Masterpiece Marie Curie Party will take place on Monday 30th June, the second year that the charity has been the beneficiary. In 2013 the Midsummer Party, chaired by Heather Kerzner, raised a record of £840,000.00.
Highlights on the Ronald Phillips stand include,
A GEORGE III MAHOGANY DESK ARMCHAIR ATTRIBUTED TO THOMAS CHIPPENDALE TO THOMAS CHIPPENDALE
The Chippendale provenance for this chair is almost certain. It bears all the features of the top London maker and compares in design to the well documented suite of seat furniture at Dumfries House, Scotland. The unusually small size adds to the rarity and makes it the perfect desk chair. An unpublished drawing by Chippendale in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York relates in some detail to this chair and the suite at Dumfries. However there are slight variations to the drawn design. Chippendale always adapted his designs to suit the client and his work rarely follows a drawing in every little detail.
THE PERCIVAL D. GRIFFITHS OVERMANTEL MIRROR
An exceptionally rare and important late 17th century overmantel mirror by William German, having a central arched and bevelled mirror plate and shaped and bevelled side plates with cut decoration within a conformingly shaped band of facet bevelled border plates and framed by a moulded giltwood border with acanthus and flower head carving.
Note: The original backboards with chalk inscription 'W. German'
RONALD PHILLIPS MAKING ROOM AT CHRISTIE'S SOUTH KENSINGTON
Ronald Phillips are proud to announce ‘Making Room’ at Christie’s. Ronald Phillips have recently moved warehouse and are making room for new items in the warehouse and gallery. The sale will offer a selection of furniture and objets d’art of over 300 lots that embody Simon Phillips’ exceptional expertise. Highlights include a pair of Regency mahogany caned library bergeres, early 19th century (£10,000-£15,000), and a George II mahogany side table, circa 1750 (£8,000-£12,000), as well as a wide range of affordable, decorative and unrestored pieces.
2 July 2014, 10.30 am
28 June- 1 July
85 Old Brompton Road
London, SW7 3LD
RONALD PHILLIPS JOIN 1STDIBS
For those who appreciate the finest antiques, provenance is absolutely key. Nothing underscores the importance of a piece more than having both an important maker and an exceptional provenance. Ronald Phillips tends to focus on pieces that enjoy both, which is why 1stdibs serves as the perfect platform to display our pieces. Driven by a philosophy that incorporates the best of the best from around the world and a deep respect for the highest quality exhibits across an assortment of disciplines for the discerning art and antiques shoppers.Our clients are busy people, living and working on five continents and operating in countless time zones. Today, to do business in the most accessible way we have to use every piece of technology available to us. Our clients, wherever they are, want all the information on provenance, background and condition of each piece under consideration quickly in order to make an informed decision. It’s the modern way of doing business and we want to be as accessible as possible.Below are some highlights currently displayed on 1stdibs.
A GEORGE III WHITE PAINTED MIRROR , ENGLISH, CIRCA 1765 Read MoreA VICTORIAN MAHOGANY KIDNEY SHAPED DESK, BY GILLOWS OF LANCASTER, ENGLISH, CIRCA 1860 Read More
RONALD PHILLIPS AT SPRING MASTERS
Ronald Phillips are delighted to announce they will be exhibiting at Spring Masters at The Park Avenue Armory from May 1st – 4th. Under the new leadership of Artvest Partners, Spring Masters New York, formerly known as The Spring Show NYC, has been re-envisioned as an international art and design fair that reflects the breadth and scope of artistic creation from antiquity through the 20th century. Spring Masters features a design by architect Rafael Vinoly that reimagines the visual impact, layout and experience of the fair. Vinoly’s design includes hexagonal booths and floor plan; representing the most significant change in the Armory fair format in three decades. In addition to the new visual experience, Spring Masters remains committed to connoisseurship, curation and visitor engagement.Below are some highlights that will be exhibited on the Ronald Phillips stand.A GEORGE II PARCEL GILT MAHOGANY SIDE TABLE, English, circa 1730
KENWOOD HOUSE RESTORED
Over two hundred years since its colours and decoration disappeared from view, English Heritage has restored the library at Kenwood House in London to its original glory. One of the great rooms of 18th century Britain can now be enjoyed as its famous Scottish architect Robert Adam intended.
The Library or ‘Great Room’ at Kenwood House was built and decorated to Robert Adam designs between 1767 and 1770 as part of the Scottish architect’s remodelling of the entire villa for its owner, the Lord Chief Justice, William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield. As well as the library, three other Robert Adam designed rooms have been restored to their original glory and four other rooms have been redecorated in their 18th century style, and the repair of the house’s roof to protect not only the interiors but the internationally important collection of paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Turner and Gainsborough. This revelation is part of a major £5.95m repair and restoration programme at Kenwood House.
Items of furniture designed by Adam and integral to the overall scheme have been tracked down, brought back, and now stand again in their original places, including an original library window seat and two long stools in the antechamber.
Kenwood House, Hampstead Lane, London,NW3 7JR
MIRRORS: DECORATIVE TECHNIQUES
Painted looking-glass frames are now relatively uncommon, but that was not always the case. Many frames that are now gilded were originally painted, but once the paint had become dirty or worn, it was easier to gild than to repaint. Fortunately, it is sometimes possible to remove later gilding to reveal the original painted surface, and many of the colour schemes are startling in their freshness and colour.A GEORGE III WHITE PAINTED MIRROR
English, circa 1765
The advantage of gilding over painting was that it was more durable and less liable to discolour. Gold also has a reflective lustre that paint lacks, an important consideration when candles were the only source of light. Water gilding must be laid on a ground of gesso. Gesso is a mixture of powdered chalk/ bound with glue. It was painted on to the wood in several layers. The next stage was to apply a bole, which was a refined clay mixed with ‘glair’ (egg white and water) and a pigment, usually red, yellow or grey/blue. Most 18th century English gilding used a red or yellow bole. The bole’s primary function was as a ‘mordant’, to bind the gold leaf to its ground. Its secondary function was to enhance or modify the colour of the gold. Gold leaf was laid directly onto the polished bole, which had first to be wetted with cold water. Once laid and dry, the gold could either be left matt, or burnished with a ‘dog’s tooth’ agate stone mounted on a wooden handle. Where original gilding survives on old frames, the difference between burnished and unburnished parts is usually evident, giving life and variety to an otherwise uniform gold surface.
A GEORGE I GILTWOOD PIER GLASSEnglish, circa 1725
Silver leaf can be laid in the same way as gold. Like painted frames, silver frames were more common than is now apparent, because they were often gilded once they began to wear and tarnish.A WILLIAM III OVAL SILVERED GESSO MIRROR
English, circa 1695
MASTERPIECE LONDON ANNOUNCES PRINCIPAL SPONSOR
Masterpiece London has announced the signing of a principal sponsorship deal with RBC Wealth Management, one of the world’s top ten largest wealth managers.
Nazzy Vassegh, Masterpiece’s CEO said: “Masterpiece has strengthened its position as one of the world’s premier international art fairs during the past four years and now is the perfect time to assign a principal sponsor.”
Masterpiece London are busy planning their 2014 edition at which they will be celebrating their fifth anniversary. The fair will showcase the finest master works available, creating an unmissable opportunity for international collectors and connoisseurs. The fair will take place from 26thJune-2nd July 2014.
The Masterpiece Marie Curie Party will take place on Tuesday 1 July at 19.00. In 2013 the Midsummer Party, chaired by Heather Kerzner, raised a record of £840,000, beating Marie Curie’s target of £500,000 by a phenomenal amount.(Left to Right) Designer Paul Smith, Editor in Chief of American Vogue, Anna Wintour and HRH Princess Eugenie at Masterpiece
GIRANDOLES AT RONALD PHILLIPS
Towards the middle of the 18th century the term ‘girandole’ came into vogue. It derives from the Italian ‘girare’, to gyrate, and originally applied to a type of firework similar to the modern Catherine wheel. By 1740, ‘girandole’ was being used in England to describe decorative light fittings; the trade card of the brass founder John Giles (d.1742) cites ‘Wrot & plain Jerandoles’ among his stock-in-trade. Giles’s ‘Jerandoles’ were of cast brass, and presumably did not contain glass. Similarly, of eight designs for ‘Gerandoles’ in Thomas Chippendale’s Director, four included mirrored glass and four did not. Like sconces, the primary function of girandoles was to provide lighting. While it seems that ‘girandole’ could be simply a fashionable term for a sconce, it was also descriptive of the more ambitious frame designs of the rococo period.And while most were fairly modest in size, some were truly spectacular.From the middle of the 18th century the terms sconce and girandole were used indiscriminately to describe mirrors with lighting attached.A PAIR OF GEORGE III GILTWOOD GIRANDOLES
English, circa 1765
These girandoles have survived in beautiful original condition, and remarkably have even retained their original candle arms.A PAIR OF GEORGE II GESSO GIRANDOLESEnglish, circa 1740
RONALD PHILLIPS AT THE INTERNATIONAL FINE ART AND ANTIQUE DEALERS SHOW
Ronald Phillips will be exhibiting at The International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show from 25-31 October, renowned for its spectacular, elegant furnishings and remarkable array of museum-quality works of art for sale. Anyone interested in art and design should consider attending the show. It hones your eye, educates you about the marketplace and helps put things in perspective across the board; with furniture, paintings, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, glass, clocks, watches, arms and armour, books, jewellery, silver, antiquities and ethnographic art, indicative of some of the finest artefacts to be discovered on the market today. The exceptional and charming are commonplace, but not necessarily high-priced, priced from a few hundred dollars into millions. Significantly, the fair held the record for the highest priced item sold at a fair when a painting by Bernardo Bellotto sold for around $14m in the early 1990’s.
The Gala Preview Party supporting The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center on Thursday evening on October 19th is the sparkling charity event not to be missed. Last year’s Gala raised nearly $1 million dollars for the Society; a volunteer organization that develops and funds programmes to enhance patient care, support cancer research, and provide public education on the prevention, early detection, and treatment of cancer. Approximately 1200 guests attend the high-profile event which inaugurates the social season in New York.
This will be the 25th anniversary of the famed ‘International’ show at the Park Avenue Armory and London organisers Brian and Anna Haughton will pull out all the stops to make it a fair to remember.
We illustrate below several pieces that are destined for the Ronald Phillips booth in New York
A GEORGE II SABICU COMMODE ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN COBB, circa 1755
THE GLEMHAM HALL GAINSBOROUGH ARMCHAIRS, English circa 1755
A GEORGE III ITALIAN EXPORT WHITE STATUARY MARBLE CHIMNEYPIECE WITH ROSSO ANTICO RELIEF PLAQUES AND MICRO MOSAIC PANELS ATTRIBUTED TO LORENZO CARDELLI AND CESARE AGUATTI, Italian circa 1790
Commenting on the forthcoming fair Simon Phillips remarks: “These pieces were made by the very best English craftsmen of their generation, from the finest English materials for the grandest families in England. They are the best examples of their kind and this really will be a unique opportunity to see these beautiful objects.”
October 25th -31st 2013
The Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue at 67th Street, New York, NY 10065, USA.
DOWNTON ABBEY RETURNS
Downton Abbey, one of the most widely watched televisions shows in the world has returned to our screens this season. The programme is a historical drama about a fictional Yorkshire house named Downton Abbey and the lives of the family and their servants in the post-Edwardian era—with the great events in history having an effect on their lives and on the British social hierarchy.
Everything from the theatrical clothes of the actors to their characteristics and most significantly the antique furniture inherently depicts and echoes 20th century England. The antique furniture in all of the sets mostly belongs to Highclere Castle where the filming takes place. Each room of Highclere Castle holds extremely rare and charming antique furniture.
Parallels and similarities can be drawn to the styles and makers in the inventory of Ronald Phillips.The kingwood bureau in the Morning Room in Downton Abbey was made by the French cabinet maker Pierre Langlois. Ronald Phillips also holds an important and rare pair of mid 18th century Chippendale period rosewood and padouk ormolu mounted bombe commodes also attributed to Pierre Langlois.A PAIR OF GEORGE III ROSEWOOD AND PADOUK COMMODES ATTRIBUTED TO PIERRE LANGLOIS
The attribution to Pierre Langlois is firmly based on strong similarities to well-documented commodes by Langlois which share the same veneer patterns, overall shaped and distinctive ormolu mounts. This metalwork is attributed to Dominique Jean, who married Pierre Langlois' daughter.Not many of the antiques in Downton Abbey are English in style as the prosperous at this era imported much of their furniture from eminent European makers. The dining room however undoubtedly evokes and alludes to 19th century England with the shield back dining chairs, pedestal dining table and carved serving tables.
If you explore the dining room furniture category on this site you will find an array of pieces that will allow you to simulate the dining room in Downton Abbey.
A REGENCY CARVED MAHOGANY SIDE TABLE
THE CHATSWORTH CANDELABRUM
A GEORGE III MAHOGANY TWO PILLAR DINING TABLE
View Ronald Phillips Dining Room Furniture