Monthly Archives: November 2008

November’s Offer: Pair Of Painted Oak High Back Chairs As Side Tables For Cost Price

My Offer this month is the chance to buy these carved oak & painted Victorian high back chairs which have been converted into side tables with glass tops at their cost price only. They would work well either side of a sofa or as bedside tables with lamps.

This offer is to make more room in the basement gallery . . . . Hurry!

They can be found here

Item Of The Month In Depth, November – A 19th C American Colza Chandelier

This month I would like to focus of this very unusual chandelier, which has an interesting story attached to it.

It was removed from the old chapel in the Chelsea barracks, London, SW1. The chapel is the only building left standing from the original Victorian buildings and has been in the spotlight recently, as the land is currently being redeveloped by the Candy brothers. The chandelier was rescued from the chapel recently and it was thought, that if emergency listed status could not be granted to the chapel, it would have been demolished. The chandelier was reputedly given by an American benefactor, sometime in the early 20th Century. It is made of gilt brass and is of American manufacture, and would originally have been designed as a three light gasolier, later being converted to electricity as with all light fittings of this period. It is unusual in that it is of classical form, but rather than displaying the usual Greek, Roman or Egyptian imagery, this has been substituted with native American faces. It dates to around c.1850-60.

It can be found here

New In – c.1954 Jean Prouve Day Bed

New In today is an enamelled steel and upholstered day bed by the famous French designer of the mid 20th Century: Jean Prouve (1901-1984). It incorporates an oak swivelling tray.

This bed is one of a pair and dates to around c.1954

Jean Prouve

As a student of the metalworker Emile Robert from 1916 to 1919 and a collaborator with architects such as Robert Mallet-Stevens, Le Corbusier, Albert Laprade and Tony Garnier, Jean Prouvé proved to be a far-sighted technician who constantly adapted himself to the problems of his times through working in a collective structure. It was in this spirit that he opened his first workshop in 1923 (rue du Général Custine, Nancy) before moving to the rue des Jardiniers seven years later.

In 1945, Prouvé built his factory in Maxeville, where he stayed until 1954, at which time he lost control of his business. Thereafter, he continued his activities as a consulting-engineer for large architectural projects.

Beginning with the construction of wrought-iron gateways, railings and windows, from 1924 onwards Jean Prouvé created his first items of furniture. Having discovered electric welding and the application of diverse techniques of construction, he resorted to sheet-steel (particularly used in the automobile industry) of an extreme thinness – less than 1 mm thick – permitting him to obtain a “hollow-body” which allowed for a structure of exceptional resistance: the reclining chair of 1929 is a typical example.
The use of this metal is found in most of the furniture that marked his development. Jean Prouvé frequently employed aluminium in the form of corrugated sheet metal and molded elements – such as the adaptation of the rear legs of his office chair of 1934.

With his contribution to the 1930 exhibition at the Union des Artistes Modernes, of which he was a member since its formation in 1929, Jean Prouvé immediately confirmed the singularity of his approach: creating -with rustproof elements- furniture produced in series by industrial machines. He filled numerous orders such as the University of Nancy in 1932 and the furniture for the cafeteria des Arts et Métiers, Cité Internationale Universitaire Paris in 1950.

Aside from educational furniture, Jean Prouvé furnished offices and created chairs, tables, shelves, bookshelves and cabinets, all following the same construction principles: based on a sketch, a prototype was realized in order for its details to be assessed through a very strict evaluation process. This rigour allowed him to work with renowned architects Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret. Prouvé was affected by a pronounced appreciation for wood – natural wood or laminate -, with which he replaced his metallic structures in periods of shortage (wood chair of 1942). From 1956 onwards, his furniture was distributed by the gallery Steph Simon.

Jean Prouvé contributed considerably to the reconstruction and urbanization of France after the war. Always being a true entrepreneur, he was able to break away from traditional means of construction while giving priority to experience over profit.

It can be found here:

New In – c.1958 Phillip Lloyd Powell Cabinets

New In today are this exciting, large pair of wall cabinets by the American 20th Century designer Phillip Lloyd Powell (1919-2008). They have concave doors and when opened the shelved interiors are decorated in red lacquer. They are finished on the exterior in silver and gold leaf in brick form on a red background, which has been lacquered. The incorporated decorative handles are of Asian origin. Phillip often incorporated unusual elements such as these into his works. He is best known for his partnership and collaboration with the other great 20th Century American designer; Paul Evans.

This pair of cabinets were designed for his own use at home and were made around c.1958

There are two interesting articles on Phillip Lloyd Powell here:

They can be found here:

New In – 1940’s Italian Console

New In today is this very simple but stylish Italian console table. It is made of patinated bronze and ‘verde antico’ marble. The two supports rest on marble bases and are fashioned into acanthus leaves. The table dates to the c1940’s. It can be secured to a wall and therefore could take some weight. Would look great in an entrance hall, landing or cloak room.

It can be found here

Winter Antiques & Fine Art Fair, Olympia

From Monday the 10th till Sunday the 16th November, this years annual winter fine art and antiques fair will be held as usual at the Olympia exhibition centre.

Held in association with the UK’s most respected trade bodies BADA and LAPADA, leading national and international dealers will exhibit and sell a vast array of stock, including exceptional and often rare examples of furniture, glass, ceramics, textiles, clocks, prints, sculpture, Asian art, jewellery, silver, lighting, Art Deco, mirrors, maps and much more . . . .

Full details, including an exhibitor list, opening times and instructions on how to get there can be found here: