picture from @masterpiecelondon
Summer in London means Masterpiece, one of the landmark events in London’s collecting calendar, which opened last Thursday to the public. As a huge devotee of antiques and art fairs, A-Gent of Style was eager to witness this year’s edition, now in its 7th year, and attended the decorator preview on Wednesday, his enthusiasm hugely enhanced in the last few weeks by the daily build-up on Instagram (where else). Rating Masterpiece as one of his highlights of the London art fair circuit, A-Gent of Style was wowed this year once again by the sheer brilliance and diversity of the elegantly curated vignettes showcasing objets of the highest calibre.
The stellar international fair brings together yet again this year more than 150 leading exhibitors, old friends and newcomers from around the world to showcase a superb selection of museum-quality art, antiques, jewellery, furniture and design. Masterpiece attracts avid collectors, connoisseurs and enthusiasts across a wide range of cross-collecting categories and has established itself as notable highlight of the annual art fair calendar. Set in the magnificent South Grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, Masterpiece takes place over seven days until July 6.
Nazy Vassegh, CEO of Masterpiece Fair, with Lynn Chadwick’s Howling Beast (picture from @nazyvassegh)
The mastermind of this masterpiece, Nazy Vassegh, the glamourous and brilliant CEO of Masterpiece (don’t miss her fabulous outfits on Instagram!), says; “’For 2016 Masterpiece promises to be more exciting than ever. 154 specialist galleries from around the world are bringing treasures from the past 5,000 of art history. For collectors, curators and the curious alike Masterpiece is now firmly established as a highlight of the summer arts season.”
Galerie Willy Huybrechts
A-Gent of Style made some great discoveries this year and was delighted to see some his most cherished antiques dealers exhibiting for the first time especially Galerie Willy Huybrechts with their show-stopping stand
Despite the Brexit and the fall of the pound, exhibitors are remaining optimistic and the fair is showing no sign of abatement as visitors are flocking in. This year’s fair is probably the best so far so make sure you don’t miss it!
Below a ‘small’ selection of outstanding objets and vignettes.
Siena from the Hills, 1953 by Paul Feiler at Godson & Coles
Chevron mirror by Line Vautrin at Jean-David Botella
Egyptian chairs by Marc du Plantier at Dutko Gallery
Le Rythme by Tamara de Lempicka at Kunstberatung, Zurich
Liquid Glacial Chair, 2015 by Zaha Hadid
The new Eden collection by Lalique at Steinway & Sons
Revelation, 2014 by El Anatsui
White Straw, 2016 by Francesca Pasquale at Tornabuoni Art
Abstrakter Kopf: Licht I, 1929 by Alexej von Jawlensky
Galerie Chenel, Paris
Boucheron Art Deco Lapis Lazuli & coral desk clock at Symbolic & Chase
Punch me Harder by Yoshitomo Nara at Whitestone Gallery Tokyo/Hong Kong
Bronze by Agostino Bonalumi at Cortesi Gallery
Desk by Jacques Adnet, 1950 at Roberta Basta, Milan
Anglo-Indian armchair, c.1800-1810 at A.Mohtashemi, London
30th Anniversary Jewellery Box at Linley, London
Zaha Hadid Commemorative Salon
Six-fold screen representing the Map of the World, Edo Period, mid 19th Century at Paolo Antonacci, Rome
Concerto Spaziale, 1962 by Lucio Fontana at Repetto Gallery, London
Galerie Marcilhac, Paris
Mallett, London, New York
Egyptian painted wood sarcophagus fragment middle Kingdom, 12th Dynasty 1980-1801 BC at Rupert Wace Ancient Art
Steinway & Sons
Godson & Coles
Untitled (superficie) by Enrico Castellani at M&L Fine Art
Geoffrey Diner gallery
Stars Above, Stars Below, 1962 by Avinash Chandra at DAG Modern, Delhi, Mumbai, New York
Roberta Basta, Milan
Tre Tempi, 1971 Fausto Melotti at Mazzoleni
Robilant + Voena, London, Milan, St Moritz
Ariadne Galleries, New York, London
Gallery Anne Autegarten
David Gill gallery, London
Girih chest at Linley, London
Green and Blue, 1971 by William Scott at Offer Waterman
Untitled, 1942 by Arthur Dove at Collisart, LLC New York
Lalannes at Jean-David Botella
The World of Interiors
– Photographs by A-Gent of Style unless stated –
When you think there isn’t any more room for yet another home decorating business in this saturated market, enters the Original Cushion Cº. This new, exciting venture will come as a relief and possibly a godsend to most decorators in search of a quick fix to an ongoing conundrum.
The Original Cushion Cº is an online selling platform that offers a collection of fine, limited edition, designer cushions upholstered in exquisite fabrics by browsing one-off cushions by collection, size and material.
Founder Erik Karlsen has a life-long passion for fabric and design. He first made his name in design as the founder of Jane Churchill Ltd, the fabric and wallpaper brand, now a part of Colefax and Fowler, and has established himself as a fine and refined decorator over the years. Some of you might remember his exquisite country home featured in July 2011 in House & Garden.
Borne out of Erik’s frustration to be unable to find beautiful fine cushions to finish a room (or in A-Gent of Style‘s case being unable to order a small amount of fabric for one small cushion because the minimum order is greater than the quantity required or the shipping costs are higher than the actual fabric), it is no surprise that Erik, coupled with his extensive contacts in the textiles industry, started the Original Cushion. His cushions are beautiful, luxuriously padded cushions made in a studio in Suffolk and created out of the most beautiful designs, colours and fabrics (some of you will immediately recognise some iconic Fortuny designs) as well as the finest duck feather and down.
To make things even more glamourous and special, each cushion comes beautifully packaged in a gift box, wrapped in tissue paper and tied with ribbon, and can be dispatched in the UK within a few days or internationally.
There is also a useful section on the site that allows you to select your favourite cushions into a scrapbook where you can change their size, position and colour background, and another section that shows how to plump a cushion. A simple but invaluable tip. Tried and tested by A-Gent of Style. So never commit the cardinal sin to beat your cushion! Or call its founder a fluffer.
– Imagery by Original Cushion Co –
Fresh from the enthralling whirlwind of events surrounding this January instalment of the Paris Déco Off – for which A-Gent of Style was a jury member – and all its peripheral launches, openings and bashes, A-Gent of Style will particularly remember the private event last week of the jaw-dropping Pierre Frey exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs as well as the Museum’s own tribute to 400 years of its own archive wallpapers. If you missed out on all the fun last week, A-Gent of Style would urge any wall hanging enthusiast to jump on a Eurostar this spring even for the day.
The first major tribute ever paid to this major figure in interior decoration, Tissus Inspirés takes us chronologically through eighty years of creation, highlighting the skills and knowledge defining the Pierre Frey spirit and vision. The presentation of fabrics and wallpapers is complemented by works from the museum’s permanent collections and creations by contemporary artists brought together specially for the occasion and showing the considerable impact that Pierre Frey has made on current artistic practices. Celebrating this unique company’s history and identity, this exhibition takes visitors behind the scenes of a furnishing fabrics and wallpaper publishing house to reveal its sources of inspiration and production methods.
This exhibition features the finest creations produced by Maison Pierre Frey since 1935. In the Study Gallery’s six rooms, it brings together some two hundred works from the creator’s collection illustrating the eclecticism and artistic collaborations that have characterized its history. Born in 1903, Pierre Frey started out in the furnishing fabrics world at the age of seventeen as a cutter for Maison Burger. He later became director of Maison Lauer, where he met the designer Jean Chatanay, with whom he created their own company. In 1937, he bought his partner’s shares in the firm and founded Maison Pierre Frey at 47 rue des Petits-Champs, where the company’s registered office still is today. The production values he established have remained unchanged thanks to his three grandchildren and his son, Patrick Frey, in charge of the company since 1975.
The first room shows the stages and techniques involved in creating and producing a textile and the fabric publisher’s profession. Every Pierre Frey creation is a close collaboration between designer, weaver and printer, all of whose commitment is vital in achieving the company’s high quality standards. From the sketch to the finished product, the wealth of patterns, colours and materials of the pieces on display explore the creator’s stylistic identity. In the next rooms emblematic Pierre Frey textiles and wallpapers are presented alongside works from the Musée des Arts décoratifs. Their association emphasises the historical and artistic contexts in which they were created and evokes the tastes and tendencies of former times.
This historic approach to Pierre Frey’s work is revisited by a contemporary vision emphasising its modernity and topicality: four capsule collections by contemporary designers paying tribute to Pierre Frey. In the space covering the period from 1935 to 1959, Julien Colombier has created a printed fabric whose vivid colours react differently to ultraviolet light, creating a changing perception of the material in function of the lighting. In counterpoint to Pierre Frey creations from 1960-1979, Benjamin Graindorge’s wallpaper explores the problems of visual perception using the pixel as basic unit in spirit of the Op Art artists of the early 1970s. Marcel Wanders revisits Pierre Frey productions from 1980 to 1999 by reinterpreting the ever-present theme of the flower, and Nao Tamura, reflecting on Pierre Frey fabrics from 2000 to 2015, draws on her own universe to create a Jaquard Loom fabric, produced by the Pierre Frey factory in northern France, in which nature is omnipresent. The exhibition ends with a homage to Pierre Frey by seven artists of different nationalities working in different fields. They were asked to reflect on key Pierre Frey concepts: colour, ink, history, texture, pattern and the rustling of the fabric. Julien Salaud, Peter Gentenaar, Michelle Taylor-Dorset, Paule Riché, Kumi Yamashita, Memo Akten and Label Dalbin pay tribute to and metamorphose Maison Pierre Frey’s creative combination of tradition and modernity and project it into the future.
And one floor up from the Pierre Frey exhibition, you will find the museum’s tantalising collection of wallpapers covering four centuries.
Revealing the wealth of the Wallpaper Department’s exceptional collection, Faire le Mur features three hundred emblematic pieces selected from the reserve collection of more than 400,000 items. The exhibition juxtaposes and compares wallpapers from different periods and origins to illustrate the broad range of styles and skills in use from the 18th century to the present day. It shows wallpaper’s major role in the history of the decorative arts, whilst highlighting some of the jewels of the largest wallpaper collection in the world.
A couple of weeks ago, when Xavier Brunswick, 20th C Design specialist at Christie’s, London, approached A-Gent of Style to partake in another collaboration with the illustrious auction house, he felt extremely flattered. When it appeared he was to be involved in the online sale of Line Vautrin’s work, he felt a great sense of excitement – A-Gent of Style has been a great admirer of the “Poetess of Metal” for a long time, which he featured on a few occasions on this blog. When Christie’s offered to do a photo shoot with A-Gent‘s favourite picks from the sale at the latest residential projects he had designed in London, he had to pinch himself to believe it. Ensued an unforgettable and fun day of touching (and playing with) Line Vautrin’s creations, styling the shoot (and a lot of posing) and being interviewed for his favourite picks.
Featuring jewellery, compacts, boxes and mirrors, from 1943 to the late 1960s, with estimates ranging from £200 to £8,000, this online-only auction showcases Line Vautrin (1913-1997)’s mastery to work different materials, let it be bronze, talosel resin or mirror fragments. A handpicked selection from the collection of Helene Theodoropoulos forms the core of this sale. Madame Theodoropoulos was Head of Sales and owner of the boutique that Line Vautrin, “Poetess of Metal”, opened at the passage Sumika, when she moved from Paris to Casablanca in 1949. These works (lots 13 to 39) were given to her directly by the designer and have been in the family ever since. The mix and the variety of the use of materials and the careful use of poetry, charades, wit and humour will take you to the luminous, the timeless world of Line Vautrin, the quintessence of Parisian chic.
Christie’s would like to thank Marie-Laure Bonnaud Vautrin for her help with the cataloguing of these lots.
You can see the live online auction here
Full feature on Christie’s website here
A-GENT of STYLE’s FAVOURITE PICKS:
PHOTO SHOOT (INTERIOR DESIGN by FABRICE BANA):
A-Gent of Style would like to thank Xavier Brunswich and his photographer for this great opportunity, and also his client for letting them do the photo shoot at home.
© Christie’s Images Limited 2015
and A-Gent of Style
Last month, A-Gent of Style was flattered to be approached by Christie’s to curate and style a space from the catalogue of their November Interiors sales. Being given carte blanche, the task was to scour amongst some 700 objets from their 128-page catalogue and select 25-odd pieces to create a vignette by styling an empty room at their South Kensington showroom two weeks ago before the auction on 17-18 November 2015. An enthralling challenge A-Gent of Style was eager to rise to.
– Below is the vignette A-Gent of Style created with an eclectic mix of objets and a juxtaposition of styles –
– A-GENT of STYLE’S SELECTED OBJETS & AUCTION RESULTS –
A SPANISH STAINED GLASS AND METAL HALL LANTERN
IN ISLAMIC TASTE, CIRCA 1940
Sold for: £2,750
Madeline Rachel Wells, R.B.A. (exh. 1909-1940)
Labours of the vine
Sold for: £6,250
A LOUIS XVI GREY-PAINTED DAY-BED
LATE 18TH CENTURY
A PAIR OF MODULAR OCCASIONAL TABLES
LATE 20TH CENTURY
Sold for: £1,500
A LINO SABATTINI (B.1925) SILVER PLATED ‘STAIRS’ TEA/COFFEE SET
MARK OF SABATTINI, SIGNED WITH DESIGNERS FACSIMILE SIGNATURE,
Sold for: £2,000
A fine Heriz carpet
Sold for: £1,625
A CRISTAL ARTE LARGE MIRROR CONSOLE
2ND HALF 20TH CENTURY
Sold for: £2,375
A PAIR OF CONTINENTAL PORCELAIN BOTTLE VASES
19TH CENTURY, POSSIBLY SAMSON, FRANCE
A FRENCH BRASS-MOUNTED MAHOGANY BOUILLOTTE TABLE
OF LOUIS XVI STYLE, CIRCA 1910
Sold for: £313
A PAIR OF IMPERIAL YELLOW GLAZE VASE TABLE LAMPS
LATE 20TH CENTURY
Sold for: £3,000
A LARGE PAIR OF BEVELLED GLASS OBELISKS
Sold for: £1,625
AN ARTS AND CRAFTS OVAL COPPER MIRROR POSSIBLY RETAILED BY LIBERTY & CO
Sold for: £1,250
A FRENCH BRASS DRINKS TROLLEY
Sold for: £1,000
A GROUP OF CONTINENTAL FACETED AND GILT GLASS
LATE 18TH CENTURY, MOSTLY BOHEMIAN
MAX INGRAND (1908-1969) FOR FONTANA ARTE
FLOOR LAMP, MODEL 1819, CIRCA 1958
– BEHIND THE SCENE & THE MAKING-OFF –
A-Gent of Style would particularly like to thank Katy Richards, Communications Officers, Christie’s South Kensington, for inviting A-Gent of Style to partake in this fantastic project and for orchestrating the whole project so brilliantly. Many thanks also to my wonderful assistant for the day Katie Carder for being so patient and gracious at all times, the great photographers at Carol Sachs as well as the handlers and the rest of Christie’s wonderful team who helped make this memorable day such a success.
Special thanks to my sponsors for their loans: Lalique for the green Languedoc vase, Miller Harris for their candles, Robert Kime for the cushions and Tissus d’Hélène for the wool and cashmere throws.
– CHRISTIE’S DAILY FULL FEATURE –
You can view the full article and A-Gent of Style‘s interview on Christie’s Daily by clicking here, and also discover the different vignettes created by three fellow interiors bloggers.
Photographs by Carol Sachs
© Christie’s Images Limited 2015
and A-Gent of Style