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Luxury Design: Handbags, Design Silver & Objects, 16th October, will feature a unique and exciting selection of Artbags by the artist Debra Franses Bean


Ode to Warhol II, DFB: my homage...featuring a plethora of kitsch signs and signifiers from Warhol’s oeuvre

Debra describes Artbag as a window into her soul and whilst studying at Central St. Martins School of Art that the idea for these first materialised. She took a beautiful handbag from a top couture house and adapted it into a silicone mould for casting. Her first bag in resin was named Catch and featured a goldfish inside a tank of water and mounted on a plinth.

Debra’s first Artbags were highly autobiographical and through these Debra visualised her feelings about various areas of her life. This focus has shifted over time, however, Debra acknowledges that every piece is a distillation of who she has met, where she has been and what she has seen in the world. She says…’all interactions leave a trace in me which inspire my work’.

Butterfly Blues, DFB:...a dichotomy between the freedom to fly and the brevity of life

Each Artbag has a title, ranging from a single punchy word through to thought-provoking statements which brand and define the work.

The creation of an Artbag has been likened to mummification in a slick and chic resin coffin. Objects are selected to ensure that they won’t break or melt in the casting process. The silicone mould of the handbag is in two parts and an initial layer of objects is laid out in each half. Liquid resin is poured in, in layers, with a day in between for each layer to cure and with further objects added to build up the layers. The completed handbag is put into a pressure chamber where any last bits of air are removed. This is the most delicate stage of the process as bubbles can be created in the resin. Once cured the handbag stays in the mould for several days and when removed it is sanded down, polished to a high sheen and lacquered.

The Emoji Bag, DFB: these icons...used by both adults and children, add humour to our lives

Artbags will be on exhibition at Kent House, Knightsbridge, London SW7 1BX in the days leading up to the auction.



Simon Green, Early Oak Furniture specialist at The Pedestal, talks with us about the market, how he started in the business and what to look out for when making a purchase.

His next selection of Early Oak will be offered in Fine Interiors including Silver on 20th November at Moor Park Mansion, Hertfordshire


The Pedestal: You pioneered and developed specialist sales of Early Oak, in the early 1990s, tell us a bit about this market and why oak was so prevalent as a material for furniture and other objects?

Simon: Oak furniture certainly enjoyed a boom period during the 1990s. It was the era of the distinct catalogue for every specialist area and Christie’s created a new category devoted to Oak & Country Furniture together with associated treen, sculpture, objects and Folk art the year after I joined South Ken. Everybody thought oak belonged in the provinces, but the concept was a success for London and there were auctions three times a year.

Oak furniture is after all plentiful, surviving in vast numbers from the 17th and early 18th centuries, although in smaller numbers pre-1600, but often more interesting. It works for furnishing early properties (naturally), smaller cottage interiors and for city homes, for serious collectors and those simply furnishing, as well as sitting very comfortably alongside 20thc art and the minimalist setting (picture a fine 17th century chest below a Kyffin Williams painting, for example). Collectors may choose to buy items with a distinct regional flavour (eg Yorkshire or Gloucestershire) or have a collecting theme. The variety is enormous and personal preference plays a big part, some will like busy, carved decoration, others more restrained adornment, with or without marquetry, well-patinated, simple lines.

After the year 2000 the market levelled out and today, like many areas of the decorative arts, it tends to be a bit polarised between the ordinary furniture and the best with a wide price differential. Some items seem to be such good value, for example the ubiquitous dresser, regularly hitting five figure sums back in the 90s, whilst today they are much more subdued and even inexpensive. But the unusual and quirky still hold their appeal and a 17th century marriage chest (named and dated) last year jumped into five figures at The Pedestal sale, see below.

A Charles I oak marriage chest, the centre panel inscribed and dated; sold for £19,840, November 2017 

Some of the pieces from this area were created as early as 1500, how is it that they have survived for so long?

I think it is fair to say that the oak tree is generally held in high regard, a symbol of strength. Oak furniture stands the test of time as it is tough and durable. It is also generally very resistant to woodworm which is important. In the 17th and 18th centuries it was the timber of choice for ship-building and house building and the domestic furniture market, used plentifully by provincial cabinet-makers and joiners. British oak was plentiful but oak was also imported from Europe. It was usually referred to as wainscot, was more expensive and was used extensively in panelling.

Much oak is rich in tannin (tannic acid) which over time corrodes any ironwork, including nails, hence the stain found around hinges and locks, particularly if the furniture has been in damp conditions.  

Tell us how you got into the auction world and what attracted you to furniture as a specialist area?

Although I started my career in the mid 1980s in a completely different department at Phillips Son & Neale in London, I soon realised I wanted to join the Furniture department. Apart from being very practical, the sheer volume and variety of both English and Continental furniture on the London market at the time was phenomenal and I was fascinated by all the different styles, timbers and surfaces. I became a saleroom porter for a year (best way to learn) and then a junior cataloguer. I joined Christie’s South Ken in 1992. I knew very quickly that furniture of the 17th century held a particular interest for me.

A fine George III cherry comb-back Windsor armchair, circa 1760, Thames Valley; sold for £3,720, April 2018

How easy it is to recognise woods and other than oak, and what are your favourites?

Knowing your timbers well comes with time and the experience of handling many items each year. Sometime you can still be stumped. Oak can, at times, resemble chestnut or even ash, but knowing a little about the biological properties of woods and how it behaves can be very helpful. Elm and yew are two other favourite timbers of mine. Elm has strong figuring and you will be familiar with it as the preferred choice for Windsor chair seats.

Yew, especially a burr, can be so attractively knotty, tightly-grained and uneven and can have a wonderful patina. Again, used in the best Windsor chairs, or for smaller objects, but occasionally as a table top when it can positively glow.



Michael Prevezer is our new silver specialist at The Pedestal. His first auction, Luxury Design: Handbags, Design Silver & Objects takes place on 16th October. Michael takes a few minutes to talk about this fascinating collecting category with us


The Pedestal: When did your interest in silver begin, were there family connections to the trade, or silver collections in your family?

Michael: My interest was piqued by chance. I started out as a porter at Philips, initially working with carpets and furniture. Unfortunately, I was allergic to carpets so I had to re-locate to the silver department. Here I handled around 250 pieces a week, so I saw a tremendous amount of silver in a short space of time. I enjoyed the historical component in silver. Many of the dealer clients shared their knowledge with me, one in particular, Michael Wellby, delighted in talking about various mis-catalogued items he had picked up at less diligent auction houses. Early on I was also mentored by one of the senior specialists at Phillips who was particularly interested in continental silver. I really did build my expertise on the job.

It is such a broad collecting area, what particularly appeals to you, and from what era?  

Small silver in a wide variety of styles attracts me, for example, snuff boxes, which are highly personal and invariably come with a fascinating story.

Continental silver also intrigues me as there is always an element of detective work around determining where to research the mark. If one can identify the style of the piece then this is first step in sourcing the mark.

You've handled some rare, world class items in the course of your career, tell us about one of your stand-out pieces?

One of the rarest pieces to pass through my hands was a 17th century silver bowl which was brought into me at Phillips as it had not been previously successfully identified by any other auction house. I immediately recognised the bull's head emblem it bore as the badge of Moldavia, one of the components of modern day Romania. I sent photos of the cyrillic initials on the bowl to a professor at the School of Slavonic Studies who specialised in Romanian history and he was able to identify these as a voivoda or prince of Moldavia from a book plate that they held there, thus establishing a fascinating provenance; we went on to sell this piece very successfully in Geneva.

English, Continental, American silver - we tend to categorise silver into these regions, why is that and what distinguishes each of these?

English silver is regarded as having the best and most comprehensive hallmarking system, whereas other countries don’t tend to use the same combination of symbols, namely marks for purity, maker, date and assay office. The English silver mark tells us a great deal about the piece in question.

With the exception of Paris, the Netherlands and Sweden, the date tends not to be marked in Continental and American silver, and pieces often only bear the maker’s mark. For example, I was asked to value a tazza which had been dismissed as an Irish provincial piece, as it was English in style. However, the maker’s mark helped me to identify it as 18thc. and from America.

Thinking about specific makers and workshops in terms of their design, whose aesthetic and output do you particularly admire?

I very much like mixed metals. Tiffany and Gorham both copied the Japanese technique of applying copper and gold to silver objects. Pieces by both makers are rare and not often seen at auction, and this of course adds to the attraction.

Also, pieces from the early 18th century by Huguenot makers working in England. Of these Paul de Lamerie is perhaps the best known. George Wickes is another maker from this era and a contemporary of Lamerie, (although not a Huguenot); he is considered by many to be as significant.

Silver teapot by Pierre Platel (b. Lille 1664)

One of the leading Huguenot goldsmiths working in London in the early 18thc.

And, Omar Ramsden & Alwyn Carr, who worked together from 1898 in Chelsea. They favoured old designs, such as the romantic medieval revival style with hammered surfaces, and brought them up to date in the context of the Arts and Crafts movement with contemporary, inventive twists.

For the novice collector, where is a good place to start for their first purchase?

I would suggest spoons - having been made over the course of many centuries they cover a huge number of different marks and truly tell the history of silver. There are thousands available, so there is a lot of choice and, of course, you can use them too.

What drew you to working at The Pedestal?

I was impressed by The Pedestal’s unique business model, as well as the enthusiasm and professionalism of the founders. They produce a beautiful catalogue for every auction, equal if not better than those from the larger auction houses, and they have great respect for expertise. I admire and appreciate these qualities and am delighted to have joined the team.

What can we expect to see in these forthcoming auctions?

At Moor Park we’ll be offering traditional silver from the 16thc to the 20th century, which will appeal across the board to all silver collectors.

Our first London auction this October will feature design and contemporary pieces with lifestyle and luxury in mind, the Continental piece showing below features in the auction.


A Continental silver lozenge-shaped  clock, aneroid barometer, centigrade thermometer, fahrenheit thermometer and compass, early 20th century, stamped 'CH.HOUR FRANCE STERLING'

At The Pedestal we adore silver, for everyday use and to dress an interior or a smart dining table - how can we engineer a silver revival?

I would suggest presenting silver in an unexpected setting, for example traditional pieces with contemporary furniture and art. This presents silver’s design and form and allows it to shine in a minimalist environment.

If you could own just one item of silver, what would that be?

It would have to be a mixed metal jug by Tiffany, with its appealing elegant design, aesthetic and craftsmanship.  



Four stacked layers of handblown Murano glass sit atop a square metal base in these striking table lamps by the Italian designer Carlo Nason. One lamp bears the triangular printed paper label: A.V. Mazzega Murano, Italy and each lamp measures 16cm wide, 16cm deep and 18cm high.

Carlo Nason was born into a family of expert glassmakers in 1935. His father, Vincenzo, was a director at the firm of NasonMoretti (founded in 1923) and from an early age Carlo received traning in the art of glassblowing, learning about the properties of the material as well as the techniques used in glass molding and decoration. His first pieces date from 1959 and these include mold-blown vases, examples of which are now held in the Corning Museum of Glass, New York.

Nason favoured clean geometric forms and from the 1960s distanced himself from the output of the family firm, which tended towards decorative, ornate objects. He focused on the design of modern glass lighting and his innovative pieces caught the attention of Mazzega, the Murano-based glass lighting manufacturer. Nason worked in partnership with Mazzega from 1965 until 1980 creating many extremely refined lighting fittings.

Carlo Nason’s creations have been exhibited in numerous art and design museums and galleries in Paris, Milan and New York.

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Charlotte joins The Pedestal this month. Her inaugural auction, Luxury Design: Handbags, Design Silver & Objects, on 16th October, will be held at Kent House, Knightsbridge, London.


The Pedestal: You grew up surrounded by antiques from the family business, how did this inform and develop your interest in fine objects?

Charlotte: I was introduced to high end luxury goods at a young age and I was always fascinated with the origin and provenance of specialty pieces. This exposure to antiques gave me an appreciation of craftsmanship and bespoke items.

You studied at The London College of Fashion which must have been fascinating, did you ever think you might pursue a career in couture or clothing design?

My degree was in PR and although I have always been interested in fashion design and particularly accessory design it was always the promotion and business side of high end fashion that attracted me.

What drew you to become a specialist in luxury accessories and handbags?

I have always been interested in what constitutes a luxury brand. I am attracted to the high level of craftsmanship and being a lover of both fashion and fine antiques I found an irresistible crossover in luxury accessories.

What was it that attracted you to working at The Pedestal?

The Pedestal is taking the traditional auction and turning it into a modern brand. With a strong focus on location, photography and promotion there is a fashion-based approach to a well known and loved format which greatly appeals to me.

Do you think it is important to be offering handbags at this level in London?

As one of the fashion capitals of the world London must offer handbags at this level!

Re-sale in Italy, for example, has been a huge phenomenon for many years and with the buzz around the modern high level internet re-sale sites London must keep up with this trend.

Which fashion brands are of particular interest to you, and why?

Chanel, Hermès, Goyard, Louis Vuitton.

These brands have an attention to detail that’s unrivalled in the industry. They create internationally renowned works of art and maintain standards in manufacture that other brands can’t touch.

You have your own vintage Chanel and Hermès collections, how long have you been collecting and tell us about a few of your favourite pieces?

I have been collecting for around 10 years and my favourites include:

The Black Ardennes Birkin from the 1990s – the holy grail of handbags!

Various 1980s Chanel flap bags & shoulder bags – the quality of workmanship is incredible, and they look even better with age. Utterly timeless and never out of style.

1990s Louis Vuitton luggage and holdalls – the monogram canvas is extremely hard wearing and they can be used on all of my long work trips. Perfect for the ‘plane and sturdy enough for work.

Are your clients collectors or private individuals just looking for one investment piece – or a combination of both?

I have a wide range! Some don't know that they want a specific piece until they see it and others have highly specific wish lists.

What should buyers look out for when making a vintage handbag purchase? How important is condition?

Condition is everything. After authentication which must be carried out by an expert anyone looking to make an investment must look for the absolute best condition they can obtain.

From an investment angle, I consistently recommend buyers to look out for limited editions, interesting and bright colours and, of course, perfect condition.

How important is it to get the right kind of advice in the market?


The fakers are everywhere, it’s so important to talk to experts in the field and not to buy anything unless you are 100% certain that it’s an authentic piece.

In your view, is this a rising market?

Without a doubt, the past 5 years has seen a shift into luxury re-sale in the UK. It is certainly going from strength to strength. The UK market continues to grow, following a trend that has seen some handbags from the top brands outperform hedge funds in previous years.

We are very excited to see your first auction at The Pedestal, do you have any highlights you can share with us?

I am so excited about my first auction at The Pedestal!

I am hoping to offer our clients a range of the very best from all the classic and favourite brands, including possibly a very rare ‘Royal’ treat from Louis Vuitton and some Chanel show stoppers. The sale will also focus on condition, quality and collectability.

I am looking forward to curating a great selection.



The Pedestal is delighted to announce several developments for the business taking place in the coming weeks.

From its inception the founders have been committed to the idea of the ‘pop up auction’ which allows The Pedestal to operate from the most appropriate venue for the category. Whilst Moor Park will remain as the venue for the two auctions annually of Fine Furniture & Objects, including Early Oak and Carpets, The Pedestal recognises the importance of a London presence for both existing and new clients and has sourced a central London base at 55 Prince’s Gate, Exhibition Road, SW7, showing left. This famous location is extremely accessible and counts the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum as near neighbours. The new space will provide the venue for valuations, events and client meetings by appointment.

It was inevitable that in time The Pedestal would look to increase its auction offering. This Summer we welcome two specialists, Charlotte Rogers and Michael Prevezer, and new auction categories to The Pedestal: their inaugural auction, Luxury Design:  Handbags, Design Silver & Objects, takes place in central London on 16th October, at Kent House, Knightsbridge. The auction will feature gorgeous, covetable designer handbags and luxury accessories from the world’s top brands, namely Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Dior and Chanel, amongst many others. Showing below: Constance handbag by Hermès.

Design silver by renowned makers Georg Jensen, Baccarat, Tiffany, Asprey and Dunhill will also be offered in this new auction format. This dynamic and fresh market has seen extraordinary growth and interest in recent years and these auctions will appeal to a wide and diverse group of clients.

The new venue, Kent House, dates from the Victorian era and is the second so-called house to occupy the site. The current house was owned until 1960 by Sir Saxton and Lady Noble (grand-daughter of the engineer, Sir Isambard Kingdom Brunel) and from 1940 was used as wartime offices. It has recently undergone a comprehensive restoration plan which has captured the spirit of the original design and recreated its classical elegance. Showing below: exterior of Kent House, Knightsbridge.

Michael Prevezer also brings Fine Silver to the auctions at Moor Park, and as with the other items in these auctions, English and Continental Silver will be photographed and exhibited in the historic and beautifully decorated rooms of the Mansion.

Together Charlotte and Michael bring a wealth of experience to The Pedestal and we look forward to working with them. Read about Charlotte and Michael here.

Additional specialist areas are planned for The Pedestal and further announcements will be made in due course.



Sally Stratton and Guy Savill talk with Antiques and The Arts weekly - the US published guide to the international arts and auctions market.

Read the article here



This fine bronze study of a bloodhound by Pavel Petrovich Troubetzkoy (1866-1938) features in our April auction. Bearing medium brown patination, the dog sits on a shaped rectangular base signed Paolo Troubetzkoy.

Troubetzkoy was the son of a Russian diplomat, Pyotr Petrovich Troubetzkoy, who from 1865 was based in Florence where he was responsible for the supervision of the Russian church there. Whilst in Florence he met Ada Winans, an American lyric singer, who would eventually become his second wife and with whom he had three sons, one of whom was Pavel Petrovich.

Pavel was self taught as an artist however he was tutored in sculpture by Giuseppe Grandi, the Italian sculptor known for replicating the luministic effects seen in paintings in his works. Pavel’s own output would be associated with impressionism given his ability to capture sketchy and fluid movements in bronze.

Troubetzkoy is renowned for his portaits in bronze of the rich and famous of Belle Époque society however his love of animals is equally well known and documented. Troubetzkoy’s fellow vegetarian, George Bernard Shaw, noted that he was ‘…a gigantic and terrifying humanitarian who can do anything with an animal except eat it’. Whilst the daughter of Leo Tolstoy, Alexandra, recalled that Troubetzkoy’s studio in St Petersburg was akin to a zoo, with ‘…a bear, a fox, a horse, and a vegetarian wolf’.


Troubetzkoy’s sculptures don’t often appear at auction and this sensitive work charmingly captures his bond with animals. Our April sale hound could be the very same dog in his work Friends (1901), above, which is to be found in the collection of The State Russian Museum, St Petersburg.

For the full catalogue entry visit: Lot 270, Troubetzkoy's bronze of a dog



From the forthcoming April auction this fine mid Victorian satinwood, tulipwood, harewood and parcel gilt marquetry side cabinet is attributed to the renowned firm of Wright and Mansfield. It bears gilt bronze mounts and green Wedgwood Jasperware medallions and relates closely to the celebrated cabinet by Wright and Mansfield held in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A Museum No. 548-1868) which was shown at the 1867 Paris Exposition Universelle where it was awarded a gold medal. With its overtly neo-classical style and Robert Adam inspired decoration the V&A Wright and Mansfield cabinet features the same stylised strapwork outer-banding to the doors, the same neo-classical hanging lamps in the marquetry, the use of diamond shaped Wedgwood Jasperware panels, the same central Wedgwood Jasperware panel depicting frolicking putti and the presence of the winged figure who in the V&A cabinet appears in an oval panel in the lower part of the piece.

Wright and Mansfield was founded in the middle years of the 19th century by Alfred Wright, a successful cabinet maker and Thomas Mansfield, a decorator. Their work received much attention at the International Exhibitions of the era and the company was one of the most noted exponents of Revival furniture in the second half of the 19th century. On the closure of the business in 1886 the magazine The Cabinet Maker & Art Furnisher called to mind ‘the renowned eighteenth century cabinet makers… the best forms of Chippendale, Hepplewhite and particularly Sheraton’ who had ‘been made to live again under the renovating influence of these able manufacturers’.

By the time of the Paris Exposition in 1867 Wright and Mansfield were well aware of the marketing opportunities afforded by such exhibitions and they presented the satinwood and marquetry cabinet inset with blue and white Wedgwood plaques. It was the only piece of furniture at the Exposition to win a gold medal. The V&A Museum bought the piece, at a reduced price, to assist in teaching and it stood in contrast with the darker furniture favoured at the time. The cabinet was credited with illustrating ‘English art in every respect’ and its Wedgwood plaques are recognised to have popularised their use in furniture design of the time.

Although of extremely high quality the cabinet is not stamped by the firm as was commonplace in the middle years of the 19th century for items of furniture that were direct commissions for clients, whereas pieces destined to be retailed in showrooms often did bear manufacturers’ stamps or labels.

This superb cabinet undoubtedly resides with the best pieces of 19th century Revival Furniture.

For the full catalogue entry visit: Lot 210, a fine mid Victorian marquetry side cabinet



Arguably the pinnacle of Windsor chair design, but now quite rare, Gothic Windsors were made as elegant fashionable items of seat furniture in the first half and on into the second half of the 18th century. The style owes much to the Gothic revival during the second quarter of the 18th century which is epitomised in the house at Strawberry Hill that Horace Walpole (1717-1797) purchased and transformed into a cottage with arched Gothic tracery windows. Gothic Windsors characteristically have a top bow made in two parts which are ingeniously joined to form the pointed arch, although the typical hoop-back Windsor chair is very occasionally found with the Gothic splats too.  Gothic splat chairs, made in London and the Thames Valley, were considered to be the 'best' Windsor seating furniture since no examples have been recorded made in anything other than prized yew wood. The shaped seats in elm and the turned back legs would typically be ash or cherry.



Basil and Nellie Ionides were amongst the most celebrated of British collectors and The Pedestal will be offering a fine George III marquetry commode from their collection at Moor Park Mansion on 21 November. The Hon. Mrs Nellie Ionides (1883-1962), the daughter of Sir Marcus Samuel, 1st Viscount Bearsted, used her personal fortune along with the design advice of her husband, the architect and designer Basil Ionides to put together revered collections in several fields, from 18th century English and Regency furniture to Chinese ceramics. The focal point of the collecting was their home Buxted Park in Sussex where the commode being offered at the Pedestal was once part of the furnishings of the Saloon. The commode can be linked to a group of furnishings attributable to Mayhew and Ince, its sophisticated restrained neo-classicism which was made fully popular by the publication of James and Robert Adam’s Works in Architecture (1773) allowed the firm to remain at the vanguard of fashionable furniture producers. Buxted Park was devastated by a fire in 1940 and Mrs Ionides had tragically moved much of her collection from her London home in Berkeley Square to Buxted to avoid the dangers of war-time London only to lose many important objects including two major works by Zoffany. Basil Ionides oversaw the rebuilding of Buxted and the couple added more to their collection of even greater quality. Buxted was described as a ‘reincarnated phoenix’ by Christopher Hussey in 1950 when he visited the house for Country Life (Vol. CVIII). Although the contents were dispersed at the time of Mrs Ionides death in 1962, bequests were made to the V&A Museum, The British Museum and The Royal Pavillion in Brighton amongst other institutions. Numerous items from the collection have appeared on the international art market in the intervening decades and have helped cement Nellie Ionides’ reputation as one of the 20th centuries most revered and educated collectors. The Ionides commode was amongst the items retained by her family after her death and has been consigned to The Pedestal by her descendants.



The 21st November 2017 auction at Moor Park Mansion includes The Pedestal’s first designated section of Early Oak, Country Furniture and associated Objects. Whether it is the depth of colour and centuries of patination on a piece from the 17th century or the versatility of oak when it comes to blending into a more contemporary styled interior, this remains a very popular area of collecting for buyers. The Pedestal is delighted to welcome Simon Green, formerly the Head of Furniture at Christie’s South Kensington and a well regarded specialist in this area, to oversee this department and to build on the success of the ‘Masters & Makers’ sales he previously developed. Consignments include a array of furnishings from coffers and chests, credence and refectory tables, to country and Windsor chairs and ranging from the late 16th century through to country pieces from the 19th century. Objects consigned include early carvings, lighting and boxes. This section should serve to compliment the strong offering of early walnut and japanned furniture which have been a notable element of the The Pedestal’s previous auctions at Moor Park and are once again a notable highlight of this upcoming sale.



If you are looking for something cultural to do over the summer months why not visit the V&A museum which is free and easy to access? Not only can you take in the new exhibition Plywood:Material of the Modern World featuring Alvar Aalto, Marcel Breuer and Charles and Ray Eames; but go and look around the fantastic permanent exhibitions displaying traditional period furniture in The Dr Susan Weber Gallery and Europe 1600-1815. If you only have a small window of time but want an intense visual hit view The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries which houses a beautiful array of objects encompassing gold, silver, gold boxes, painted enamels, pietre dure and micromosaics amassed by the late art collector Sir Arthur Gilbert (1913-2001).

Talking of micromosaics I recently had the pleasure of attending a fascinating conference at the V&A Museum on the rarely discussed subject of Micro and Other Mosaics. Chaired by Dr Tessa Murdoch, the Deputy Keeper of Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics & Glass the day brought together international speakers from the Institute de France, The Bavarian Department of Museums, The State Hermitage Museum, The Corning Museum of Glass and the Vatican Workshop alongside contributions from King’s College, London and the University of Sussex.

Starting with the early Roman period of mosaic making and moving to the glorious vibrancy of the Byzantine period I was drawn to mosaics from Renaissance Venice produced by Francesco Zuccato, the Biannchini family and Bartolomeo Bozza. Later in the morning the method of production known as the filament technique was discussed in detail by Paolo di Buono of the Vatican Workshop. First mentioned in 1744 and perfected by Giacomo Rafaeilli (1743-1836) in the latter part of the 18th century, this technique is still used today for creating and restoring works. A lecture on the wonderful collection of micromosaics which can be found in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg followed, which included works by the Rafaeilli family, Luigi Moglia (c.1813-1878) and Michaelangelo Barberi (1787-1867) who produced stunning table tops during the early part of the 19th century.

Inspired by the seminar I took a small personal tour of The Gilbert Collection, which following its departure from Somerset House is now located at the V&A, where micromosaic plaques, boxes, table tops and jewellery by many of these makers alongside pieces by Antonio Testa, Tommaso Calandrelli, Antonio Aguatti and Antonio Salviati can be permanently viewed:




The Pedestal’s second auction of Fine Furniture & Objects was held at Moor Park Mansion on 14 March. We were delighted to see so many clients attending the view soaking up the Mansion’s incredible interiors as well as the lots being offered for auction. The auction saw some strong prices and competition for early furniture with the front cover lot, a handsome William and Mary kingwood oyster veneered cabinet on stand attributed to the London cabinet-maker Thomas Pistor (lot 27) being contested to £34,720 (including BP). This price was matched by the charming black japanned and gilt chinoiserie decorated bureau cabinet (lot 31) battled over by both UK and international bidders. From the later periods of furniture production interest was wide ranging, with smaller 19th century pieces performing well and a variety of different styles and sizes of mirrors proving to be in demand. We are already consigning for the 21 November Moor Park auction which once again will include a broad range of items from 17th-20th centuries. Please get in touch if you are interested in consigning to this auction which will close for entries at the end of September.



We are delighted that Moor Park Mansion will once again plays host to The Pedestal’s auction of Fine Furniture & Objects. Our first sale of 2017 takes place on 14 March and will make full use of Moor Park’s splendid interiors to showcase Fine English and European furniture by a number of important makers and representing various key styles from across the centuries. Highlights from the March sale include a splendid kingwood oyster veneered cabinet on chest attributed to Thomas Pistor (lot 27, estimate £20,000-30,000) which forms part of an identifiable group of cabinet furniture. Amongst the wide ranging objects included in the auction is a charming rare early 19th century jewel casket or table cabinet unusually in coquilla nut (lot 188, estimate £5000-7000). The European furniture also includes an 18th century North Italian commode from the collection of Sir Roger Fray Ormrod PC, originating from the Veneto region and veneered in the highly unusual carrubo or carob wood (lot 185 - estimate £3000-5000). Other European consignments include 18th and 19th century French, Swedish and Dutch pieces. Estimates range from £500 upwards and encompass items from the 17th-20th centuries.





Sally Stratton of The Pedestal in conversation with Antique Collecting's Trade Talks

Read the article here




Guy Savill of The Pedestal in discussion with Apollo, the international art magazine

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The Pedestal’s first sale of the year will be held at Moor Park Mansion in Hertfordshire on 14th March 2017. Consignments already include some interesting early pieces, furniture by Gillows as well as seating furniture by the now much sought-after Howard & Sons. Our valuers are now consigning for this sale which will close for entries at the end of January. If would like to discuss any potential consignments please do not hesitate to get in touch.



Amongst the unusual objects that have been consigned to The Pedestal’s inaugural auction are an unusual Gibraltar stone model of a lighthouse (lot 97) commemorating a visit to Gibraltar by the dowager Queen Adelaide in 1838. A very stylish addition to the sale is the beautiful bronze head of Kwa Nin (Chinese Lady of Peace) by the Estonian sculptor Dora Gordine (lot 153) dating to the early 1930s. Gordine was a very well known figure on the international sculpture scene during the middle years of the 20th century and her former studio, Dorich House, on the borders of Richmond Park is now a museum showcasing her sculpture. The sale also includes a variety of selected boxes, miniature furniture, clocks and European sculpture.



The inaugural sale of The Pedestal reflects an interesting and eclectic mix of furniture from the 17th - 20th centuries. The early period is particularly well represented with items decorated in a variety of different mediums, from  carefully selected figured walnut and oyster veneers to marquetry work and japanning. Highlights including a George I green japanned kneehole desk in the manner of John Belchier (lot 22) retaining an unusually high degree of its original decoration and an impressive walnut bureau cabinet  in the manner of Coxed and Woster with a sophisticated fitted interior (lot 19). The sale also features European pieces including high quality late 19th century cabinet work by or attributed to Francois Linke (lot 152) and Mercier Freres (lot 135) as well as a large and dramatic ‘Black Forest’ carved hall stand modelled as bears around a tree stump probably originating from the workshops of either Louis Meichtry, or Walter Linder in the town of  Brienz in Switzerland (lot 155).