‘FROM THE GALLERY TO THE ROOM’ at SIBYL COLEFAX & JOHN FOWLER





“At our Brook Street showrooms we once again have the opportunity to show
how this works in reality, and by taking the painting out of
Jenna Burlingham’s gallery and into our historic rooms you can see how exciting this style of decoration can be.”

– Philip Hooper, design director for Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler –


IMAGE: Q311470 Artwork: ‘January 1973:4’ screenprint by Patrick Heron Bronze: ‘Ravel ll’ by Richard Fox

Artwork: ‘January 1973:4’ screenprint by Patrick Heron
Bronze: ‘Ravel ll’ by Richard Fox


A-Gent of Style would like to inform you of a special collaboration opening tomorrow that should not be missed. 

Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler are delighted to present a forthcoming exhibition From the Gallery to the Room, in association with Jenna Burlingham Fine Art.
The exhibition will be held at the company’s historic 39 Brook Street, Mayfair premises from 17-27 June, 2014. “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. “At Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, the decorators and designers like very much the dynamic that is created when furniture and objects from different eras are played off against one another; this is best seen when modern pictures are placed within our interiors. It is becoming more and more the excepted standard that a client will have a collection of 20th century, contemporary paintings and crafted objects and it is part of our role to curate and bring a sense of logic to a potentially random mix of things.”

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 Jenna Burlingham Fine Art, founded in 2010, is located in a refurbished Grade II listed building in Kingclere, Hampshire, one-hour from London and her gallery is a favourite among discerning interior decorators and collectors. On show will be works by leading Modern British artists, including Ivon Hitchens, Patrick Heron, Roger Hilton, Elisabeth Frink, Winifred Nicholson, Mary Fedden and John Piper. “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. “Jenna’s eye for the decorative means that her works are the ideal foil for our antiques” says Philip Hooper. “From the Gallery to the Room gives a true insight of how we consistently find ourselves decorating houses for the 21st century.”



IMAGE: Q311345 Ivon Hitchens 1893-1979 October Trees, Ashdown Forest, 1939 signed oil on canvas 21 x 24 in 53.3 x 61 cm Laurence McGowan:8 inch bowl, 2013 Signed with monogram Glazed stoneware 8" Elisabeth Frink Horse in the Rain, 1976 signed and numbered 2/9 (on the underside) bronze with a dark brown patina width 10 in width 25.4 cm (EF009)


Ivon Hitchens (1893-1979) ‘October Trees, Ashdown Forest’, 1939
signed, oil on canvas; bowl by Laurence McGowan, 2013, signed with monogram
Glazed stoneware; Elisabeth Frink ‘Horse in the Rain’, 1976, signed and numbered 2/9 (on the underside), bronze with a dark brown patina

 

All Furniture: Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler. www.colefaxantiques.com

All Artwork, ceramics and bronzes supplied by Jenna Burlingham Fine Art.  www.jennaburlingham.com






CHRISTIE’S and ‘THE ART OF DESIGN’ with SIBYL COLEFAX & JOHN FOWLER




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The summer season at Christie’s South Kensington has now started, the most noteworthy landmark being, and you will all agree of course,
the feature of A-Gent of Style in the prestigious auction house’s June newsletter, which you can view in full here (shameless self-promotion).



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Additionally, following a very successful collaboration last July, Christie’s invited Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, interior decorating and antiques, Brook Street, Mayfair, to contribute to another innovative sale on 4 June that celebrates the best of interior design and decoration with an international reach and universal appeal.

A-Gent of Style is delighted to be collaborating with the two renowned houses on the feature of this sale, and he had the privilege to be given a preview guided tour of the exhibition on Thursday evening ahead of the opening to the public on Saturday.


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The Art of Design sale combines a carefully curated selection of 60 lots which exhibit the quality, elegance and world-class reputation of the Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler name alongside a collection formed over the course of a lifetime by the late Melbourne-born interior designer Lex Aitken and his partner, the esteemed fashion illustrator and designer Alfredo Bouret Gonzalez.


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Taken from their Sydney home and private collection (Aitken died last spring at the age of 83 in Sydney and Gonzalez now lives in Vancouver, having sold the Sydney home), this home contents sale will appeal to both first-time collectors and aficionados of design who will be attracted by the good taste synonymous with each contributor. The auction will include furniture, ceramics, pictures, lighting and decorative objects, forming 220 odd lots, with estimates from £300 to £80,000. The sale is led by two fine portraits, the first by Jacques-Emile Blanche (French, 1861-1942), entitled ‘Jeune fille à la fenêtre’, a charming full length oil (estimate £15,000-25,000) and a striking depiction of Mrs Moody, three-quarter length, in a white dress, holding a dog in her lap, in a landscape by British master George Romney (1734- 1802) with an estimate of £50,000-80,000 (shown here). The Romney can be seen hanging above the sofa in the Sydney home of Mr. Aitken and Mr. Gonzalez.


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Lex Aitken’s international career is reflected in the diversity of countries represented among the objects in this sale. Yet the influence of London is evident throughout as it was where he built his reputation in the 1960s as Lex Aitken Antiques, his eponymous business on the capital’s road of designers, Pimlico Road. Aitken’s integrity and flair endeared him to clients – including luminaries such as Lucien Freud, who shared his contagious enthusiasm for works of art, furniture and design.

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 In a career that spanned almost two decades which brought him worldwide recognition, fashion illustrator Alfredo Bouret Gonzalez, Lex Aitken’s long-term partner, shared his taste and connoisseurship honed in Paris where he sketched for the great couture houses, Vogue and Harpers Bazaar, capturing effortlessly with his dazzling impressions and animated lines the golden age of haute couture, and was granted unique access to the reclusive genius Balenciaga. Gonzalez moved to London where he established his boutique, ‘Mexicana’, importing peasant shirts and other Mexican wear to a delighted London audience, which included HRH Diana, Princess of Wales and Valentino.

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A-Gent of Style was fortunate to be given a guided tour of the exhibition with Charlotte Young, the sales’ specialist at Christie’s, and Ronan Sulich, Christie’s Sydney representative. A-Gent of Style shamefully knew very little about aesthetes Aitken and Gonzalez and could hardly find any information online (where else these days?!) about their incredible careers and lives except a fascinating YouTube video on Gonzalez’ s life and career (which you can view at the end of this article). So it was with great appreciation and enjoyment that Sulich, who flew in to help with the curation (he knew Aitken and Gonzalez well, and had been to their storied house on several occasions over the years) delighted us both with stories and anecdotes that brought to life the glamourous life of parties, dinners and travels the international ‘A-gay’ couple had experienced together, surrounding themselves with eclectic collectable objets over the decades. Both Aitken and Gonzalez were generous supporters of the arts and after they retired to Aitken’s native Australia, settling in Sydney, they contributed to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the RMIT University and the Powerhouse Museum, Melbourne.

The exterior and an interior from the Sydney home of Lex Aitken and Alfredo Gonzalez

The exterior from the Sydney home of Lex Aitken and Alfredo Gonzalez



The Sydney home of Mr. Aitken and Mr. Gonzalez:


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Sibyl Colefax and John Fowler antiques:


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The Art of Design exhibition at Christie’s, South Kensington:

Viewing is opened until Tuesday 3 June 5pm with a late viewing this evening until 7.30pm. The auction will take place at 10 am on Wednesday 4 June.

You can view the full catalogue here.


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Some of A-Gent of Style‘s favourite picks from the sale:

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The Alfredo Bouret Gonzalez retrospective:






A-Gent of Style would like to thank Charlotte Young, the sales’ specialist at Christie’s, Ronan Sulich, Christie’s Sydney representative, and Trudi Ballard at Sibyl Colefax & Fowler for their assistance and support.


– Photographs by Christie’s, Sibyl Colefax and John Fowler, and A-Gent of Style





DESIGN and THE ARCHITECT at PHILLIPS LONDON




If it is significant relics from the 20th century (and some of the 19th century) you are seeking, you will be delighted to hear that London is currently blessed by three exhibitions and forthcoming sales by two prominent auction houses.

Today’s feature will look at the first two sales A-Gent of Style saw this week. Advance warning: not only are there in this feature incredibly beautiful and exceptional objets that discerning collectors will undoubtedly snap (Max Ingrand’s mirror in big diamond-shaped mirrored and cut glass is a sight to behold) but also a Polar Bear on the loose.


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Last Wednesday saw the preview of two important sales coming up next Tuesday, April 29, at Phillips. A-Gent of Style attended the evening drinks reception at Howick Place’s vast headquarters gathering significant and rare pieces never seen together before. Ranging from furniture, drawings, buildings, models, lighting and equipment from the 19th, 20th and 21st century, the pieces cover the Arts & Crafts, Wiener Werkstätte, Art Deco, Modernist and Bauhaus design periods.

Not too dissimilar to Artcurial’s Design of the 20th C sale last May in Paris (reviewed here), A-Gent of Style was delighted to be re-acquainted with some of his favourite designers and ensembliers such as Royère, Ruhlmann, Adnet, Dupré-Lafont, Giacometti, Ponti, Ingrand, Perriand, Jeanneret, Prouvé, Henningsen, Fontana Arte, Borsani, Lelii to name but a few amongst the vast selection of eminent game-players of last century’s design scene. An absolute treat for A-Gent of Style, self-proclaimed 20th century design junkie.

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This Design sale comprises 214 lots. Jean Royère’s important and unique ‘Tour Eiffel’ extendable dining table circa 1963 has the highest estimate at £300,000 – 400,000, followed by Diego Giacometti’s ‘Carcasse’ low table ‘petit modèle à la chauve-souris’ circa 1979, estimated at £200,000 – 300,000.
And joy of joy, there is an appearance of a Jean Royère ‘Ours Polaire’ sofa, circa 1952, estimated at £200,000 – 300,000 which will be a great addition to our ever-growing Polar Bear retrospective.

You can view the full catalogue here.


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The second sale, ‘The Architect’, was created and curated by American starchitect Lee Mindel (who gave a brilliant talk at the beginning of the evening about his curation), and brings together some of the best designs by architectural stars from the past two centuries in 103 lots. It will celebrate the contributions architects have made to our environment through the furniture, objects, and equipment they’ve invented in response to the buildings they’ve conceived.

Carlo Mollino’s unique and monumental ceiling light, designed for the Casa Orengo, Turin, 1949 is estimated at £220,000 – 280,000 and Jean Prouvé’s demountable entry lodge, from Ferembal, Nancy, circa 1943-1944, has a low estimate of £180,000 – 240,000.

You can view the full catalogue here.


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Here are A-Gent of Style‘s snapshots regrouping both sales. Viewing is still in full swing at Howick Place, SW1, today 12pm-6pm and then up until Tuesday 10am-6pm. Both auctions, which will be straight after each other, will start at 2pm. Happy bidding!

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– Image courtesy of Phillips –





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