MASTERPIECE LONDON 2015



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Summer in London means Masterpiece, one of the landmark events in London’s collecting calendar, which opened yesterday 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 6th year, and attended the 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


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Masterpiece London, a true international, cross-collecting fair for art, brings together more than 150 leading exhibitors, old friends and newcomers (A-Gent of Style made once again some great discoveries, and was also delighted to see a few of his most cherished antiques dealers were exhibiting for the first time), from around the world to showcase a superb selection of museum-quality art, antiques, jewellery, furniture and design. The fair attracts avid collectors, connoisseurs and enthusiasts across a wide range of 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 1.

Nazy Vassegh, Chief Executive Masterpiece Fair, London

Nazy Vassegh, Chief Executive of Masterpiece Fair, London

 

The mastermind of this masterpiece, Nazy Vassegh, the delightful and brilliant Chief Executive of Masterpiece says, “The eight days when Masterpiece takes place is the epicenter of the art season in London. After just five years Masterpiece is now firmly regarded as both a leading international art fair and a welcome addition to the summer in London. We are particularly delighted by the exhibitors and partners that will join us for the 2015 edition.”


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As in previous years, the range of disciplines is vast, providing something of interest for every visitor. Each item is selected and individually vetted by a committee of independent experts and specialists before the fair begins, which guarantees quality and authenticity is of the highest order alongside fabulous bars and dining such as Scott’s, The Ivy and Le Caprice.

 In no particular order of preference (so don’t get jealous, fellas), A-Gent of Style presents today snapshots he took on Wednesday morning of some of the works that dazzled him. Visitors will no doubt relish the chance to acquire such rare pieces or simply enjoy temptation on a grand scale.


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– Photos by A-Gent of Style –





LALIQUE & CHRISTIE’S: a RARE SALE





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Today at 2pm, Christie’s South Kensington, London, presents an auction dedicated to the master glass-maker René Lalique. The sale will comprise 138 lots and offer an array of vases – in clear and frosted, opalescent, bold colours and subtle hues – alongside iconic lighting, table wares, scent bottles, clocks and car mascots. Estimates range from just £700 up to £120,000.

The calibre of this sale replete with jewel-like coloured works is a fitting tribute to the extraordinary vision and creativity of the master glass-maker René Lalique who continues to enthrall an international audience of discerning collectors nearly seven decades after his death.


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The Lalique brand is synonymous with both quality and artistry and demand for works by this important designer is testament to René Lalique’s legacy. Christie’s has been selling Lalique at auction since specialist Decorative Art & Design sales began in 1971 and has offered more Lalique at auction than any other auction house internationally.


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Joy McCall, an authority on Lalique and this sale’s specialist, kindly shared her expertise with A-Gent of Style and explained why this auction will be significant.

 

Joy McCall, Christie's Lalique specialist, at an event In May celebrating South Kensington's 40th anniversary, showing some rare and arresting pieces from the sale.

Joy McCall, Christie’s Lalique specialist, at an event In May celebrating South Kensington’s 40th anniversary, showing some rare and arresting pieces from the sale.

 

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This sale is dominated by colour vases, which remain perhaps the most sought after aspect of the market at present. There are a number of designs which we see clients collecting to form sets, for example the Formose vase (lots 130-137) is offered in 8 different colours and the Ronce vase (lots 94-98) in 5 colour versions. The sale also offers vases in rare colours, such as lot 44 in red, lot 46 in amber,  lot 47 in red, lot 98 in green and lot 114 in lime-green. It is not necessarily that the design is rare but that it appears in this colour which is remarkable.


Lot 44 A 'Perruches' Vase, No. 876 designed 1919 cased red 9 7/8 in. (25 cm.) high engraved R. Lalique France Estimate £20,000 - 30,000

Lot 44
A ‘Perruches’ Vase, No. 876
designed 1919
cased red
9 7/8 in. (25 cm.) high
engraved R. Lalique France
Estimate £20,000 – 30,000

 

Lot 46 A 'Courlis' Vase, No. 1085 designed 1931 amber 6 ¾ in. (17.2 cm.) high stencilled R. LALIQUE FRANCE Estimate £7,000 - 10,000

Lot 46
A ‘Courlis’ Vase, No. 1085
designed 1931
amber
6 ¾ in. (17.2 cm.) high
stencilled R. LALIQUE FRANCE
Estimate £7,000 – 10,000

 

Lot 47 A 'Courges' Vase, No. 900 designed 1914 cherry red and white stained 7 ¼ in. (18.4 cm.) high intaglio LALIQUE Estimate £30,000 - 50,000

Lot 47
A ‘Courges’ Vase, No. 900
designed 1914
cherry red and white stained
7 ¼ in. (18.4 cm.) high
intaglio LALIQUE
Estimate £30,000 – 50,000

 

Lot 114 A 'Sauterelles' Vase, No. 888 designed 1912 lime-green and white stained 10 ¾ in. (27.4 cm.) high wheel-engraved R. LALIQUE Estimate: £10,000 - 15,000

Lot 114
A ‘Sauterelles’ Vase, No. 888
designed 1912
lime-green and white stained
10 ¾ in. (27.4 cm.) high
wheel-engraved R. LALIQUE
Estimate: £10,000 – 15,000



One of the earliest items in the sale is lot 9, Quatre Masques vase with handle, which dates from 1911. No one can remember seeing this particular vase appear at auction previously, so it is exciting to make a fresh discovery. A version without a handle has been offered at auction in the past, but this is the first time the Quatre Masques vase has come to auction with a handle, and it is this addition which makes it so rare.

Lot 9 A Rare 'Le Jour et La Nuit' Timepiece, No. 728 designed 1926 topaz, on patinated metal base 15 in. (38 cm.) high stencilled R. LALIQUE Estimate £75,000 - 85,000

Lot 9
A Rare ‘Le Jour et La Nuit’ Timepiece, No. 728
designed 1926
topaz, on patinated metal base
15 in. (38 cm.) high
stencilled R. LALIQUE
Estimate £75,000 – 85,000

 

There are also some rare enamelled wares in this sale. Lot 4, Nimroud vase, infrequently appears at auction and lot 7 Chamois vase I have not seen in red before. The background design has a thinner wash of enamel and the animals are then highlighted in a strong red enamel.


Lot 4 A 'Nimroud' Vase, No. 970 designed 1926 clear and black enamelled 7 7/8 in. (20 cm.) high wheel-engraved R. LALIQUE Estimate £5,000 - 7,000

Lot 4
A ‘Nimroud’ Vase, No. 970
designed 1926
clear and black enamelled
7 7/8 in. (20 cm.) high
wheel-engraved R. LALIQUE
Estimate £5,000 – 7,000

 

Lot 7 A 'Chamois' Vase, No. 1075 designed 1931 clear, stained and red enamelled 5 in. (12.8 cm.) high stencilled R. LALIQUE FRANCE Estimate £5,000 - 7,000

Lot 7
A ‘Chamois’ Vase, No. 1075
designed 1931
clear, stained and red enamelled
5 in. (12.8 cm.) high
stencilled R. LALIQUE FRANCE
Estimate £5,000 – 7,000



Car mascots remain a highly collectible area of the market with individuals specifically seeking to complete the ‘set’. Lalique designed most of these in 1928 and 1929. In the new age of speed and the motorcar they were symbols of prestige, and remain so today.


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Below is a selection from the sale’s catalogue of A-Gent of Style‘s favourite pieces.

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– Christie’s Images Ltd. 2015 –



A ROOM WITH A VIEW: ART AND THE INTERIOR at SIBYL COLEFAX & JOHN FOWLER





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Designing with art is an art form in itself. When unique interiors display art in the home and best showcase the client’s private collections, the results can be utterly dazzling especially when the boundaries between art and decoration are blurred.

Following the success of last year’s exhibition “From the Gallery to the Room”,
Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, the worldwide renowned interior decorators’ practice, are delighted to present the 2015 exhibition, in association with Jenna Burlingham Fine Art.

 Starting on Wednesday 17 June until Friday 26 June, “A Room with a View: Art and the Interior” will return to the company’s iconic 39 Brook Street, Mayfair venue, and will have on show works by leading Modern British artists including Ivon Hitchens, Patrick Heron, Roger Hilton, Elisabeth Frink, Winifred Nicholson, Mary Fedden and John Piper.


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 “The exhibition gives us the opportunity to show what an exciting dynamic can be created in our Brook Street showroom by mixing our furniture and antiques with modern paintings” says Philip Hooper, design director for Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler. “Jenna’s eye for the decorative means that her works are the ideal foil for our antiques. A Room with a view: Art and the Interior gives a true insight of how we consistently find ourselves decorating houses for the 21st century.”

Visitors will be able to enjoy and appreciate the work of these artists, and engage with Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler’s interiors in a new and unusual way.  This, once again, is a great way of broadening up the art’s appeal where classic, modern and contemporary style connect and merge harmoniously.

 “The exhibition is a wonderful chance for me to work with accomplished interior designers, and to exhibit carefully chosen Modern British and Contemporary art, drawings, sculpture and ceramics in the unrivalled setting of Brook Street” says Jenna Burlingham

 

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Exhibition opening times: Monday – Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm

For further information, contact:

Colefax Group Press Office Trudi Ballard Email: trudi.ballard@colefax.com Tel: (0)207 493 2231


– All imagery by Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler –




TURQUERIE GONE CHIC: SERDAR GULGUN





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The Turkish Turkish fantasy created by Serdar Gülgün has been an assault on
A-Gent of Style‘s senses since he discovered the quintessential Renaissance man a few months ago through his latest book, celebratory press coverage and of course Instagram.

For those who are not familiar yet with this magician of interiors, Istanbul native Serdar Gülgün is a world-renowned interior designer, Ottoman art collector and expert, and an internationally acclaimed lecturer, historian, and author. And now one of A-Gent of Style‘s favrourite new designers. From his now well storied stunning 19th-century historic mansion on the Bosphorus to his collections of historical art to his books, The Grand Bazaar Istanbul and Ottoman Chic, Gülgün is known for his passion for bringing Turkish history to life. For those who have visited Istanbul in style, he is the man behind designing the A’Ya rooftop terrace at Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet.





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Redolent of Turkish bazaars, his decors are replete with objets d’art and filled cabinet of curiosities as well as lavish touches of eccentricity. Original architecture and spectacular design elements intoxicates with a sublimely elegant kaleidoscope of pattern, colour and texture.

“To me, stylish interiors are like sensual beings that appeal to all the senses” opines Gülgün. “They are made up of many layers, colours, patterns, textures, fabrics, as well as beautiful music, exquisite scents, delicious food, pleasant words, and ultimately, gracious manners.” “I am a translator”, he adds. “I translate the old into the new. It is a process of recapturing the obscurities of the past and reinventing them in the light of the future”.

An Istanbulite and a devotee of Ottoman imperial culture, Gülgün has always been intrigued by the rare spectacles of the Ottoman court and dreams of the Old World. “I fell in love with this house when I first saw it in shambles. It took me many difficult years to restore it but I don’t regret it one second,” Serdar Gülgün says of his labour of love and most personal design masterpiece: his home, Macar Feyzullah Pasha Kosku which he oversaw the process of meticulously for seven-years to revitalise and return it to a state of elegance and splendour.


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Gülgün lets his imagination run wild with audacious-yet-sophisticated flourishes: intricately carved ceilings, spacious rooms, domed ceilings, frescoed walls, enormous Oushak carpets, sensuous brocaded upholstery, inlaid mother-of-pearl Syrian armoires to name but a few. His whimsical taste and flamboyant imagination effortlessly conjures glamorous, gem-encrusted art pieces, which are meticulously handcrafted in the original 15th century workshops of the Grand Bazaar. Infusing natural elements with centuries-old workmanship, each curiosity takes his followers on a new flight of fancy.

Standing at the crossroads of many cultures between West and East, the Ottoman style this sultan of chic excels at is also spiced with influences from Chinese and Indian to French and Italian, all of which are present in his enticing interiors. Constantly inspired by the atmosphere of his ancient city, Gülgün believes a successful interior design is a place of experience in which authentic elements of culture fuse and achieve alchemy, awakening all the senses and transporting its inhabitants to a place of fantasy.

 “The word ‘extravagant’ generally refers to something in excess and is related to flamboyance, which can easily turn inelegant, but Ottomans found a way to achieve an elegant extravagance,” explains Serdar Gülgün

 

You can follow Serdar on a short tour of his house (and marvel at his French)


 

Hopefully this will all be music to your ears too. But enough spiel for now, let the images speak for themselves…




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CRYSTALLISED: “ETERNAL” by DAMIEN HIRST with LALIQUE



 

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Lepidoptera. Like moths, butterflies are part of this animal order and symbolise transformation, metamorphosis and rebirth. Throughout the centuries, the brightly coloured winged insects with their conspicuous, fluttering flight and their enigmatic, fragile allure have been a popular motif in the visual and literary arts.

Damien Hirst, one of the UK’s most significant and recognised contemporary artists, has featured butterflies repeatedly in his work since the late 1980s as a symbol of both the beauty and fragility of life, thus making it one of his most distinctive and enduring representations.



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It therefore comes as no surprise that this year, world-renowned French crystal and glass manufacturer Lalique have collaborated with Hirst on a limited edition series of crystal panels representing the butterfly.

Lalique, with its 130-year heritage of craftsmanship and mastery of crystal, is exploring the modern possibilities of this form with exceptional talents, such as Hirst, whilst still preserving the iconic and timeless Art Nouveau and Art Deco influences embodied in René Lalique’s original Flora and Fauna pieces; the master was known to take pleasure from strolling in the country to observe the flight of insects.

Crystals being notoriously difficult to work with, these masterpieces once again demonstrate the boundless artistry of Lalique’s artisans who rose to the challenge of interpreting the artist’s vision, resulting in a visual tour de force showcasing a confluence of contemporary styles and traditional craftsmanship.


A-Gent of Style at the launch of Eternal, London February 2015

A-Gent of Style at the launch of Eternal, London February 2015


This exquisite collection, aptly coined ‘Eternal’, is available in three series – LoveHope and Beauty – each depicting a different butterfly in twelve colourways. As opposed to the more florid and multifarious specimens of his past work, Hirst’s monochromatic butterflies in this edition remain simple – even serene – in their depiction, only to be counterbalanced by the striking, colourful backgrounds of the panels. Each panel is numbered and comes with the artist’s signature engraved in the bottom right-hand corner, and a signed edition certificate.


Versatility is another appeal here; the rectangular-shaped panels can be displayed in numerous ways including mounted on an easel, framed and hung across a wall partition, or inset into a wall, the latter option offering the effect of stained-glass windows, which in turn give a quasi-religious dimension to Hirst’s work. “I love that the panels have an almost religious feel”, the artist explains. “They make you think of stained glass windows which I’ve always adored, it’s the way they manage to capture colour and light so completely and then throw it back out at you.” Whilst butterflies might look static and lifeless in art that verges on taxidermy, Hirst adds that “I’ve always loved that they look identical in life and in death, but when the light shines through these panels, it feels like they’re brought back to life in some way.”

 


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“I’ve always loved crystal”, continues the iconoclastic Englishman. “It’s both beautiful and difficult to work with, so I’m really excited about the project. It’s amazing being able to use all the expert craftsmanship and incredible history of Lalique for something new, and the results are beyond all my expectations”.


The Lalique store, London

The Lalique store, London, February 2015



Silvio Denz, Chairman and CEO of Lalique, states: “An artist of immeasurable talent and worldwide renown, Hirst perfectly embodies his generation of artists, unafraid to embark on experiments, calling into question the strict definitions of art and what constitutes a work of art. Eternal, the magnificent result of this collaboration, takes as its motif the butterfly – close to the hearts of René Lalique and Damien Hirst, who shared a sense of the magical and paradoxical beauty of the butterfly, ephemeral and eternal at the same time.”


The Lalique store, London

The Lalique store, London, February 2015



The collaboration was first unveiled at Lalique’s stand at Maison&Objet in Paris in January and at their Paris store shortly after (11 rue Royale, 75008).

The collaboration is now on show at Lalique’s London boutique (47 Conduit Street, W1S 2YP). For more information, please visit Lalique’s website.



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Lalique Interior Design Studio

Lalique Interior Design Studio



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Lalique Interior Design Studio.

Lalique Interior Design Studio



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– Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates, copyright Damien Hirst and Lalique 2015 –







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