As I was typing this post about this range, I realised what an appropriate time of year it was to be doing so considering the name of the range! Regular readers of my blog or Twitter account will know that I believe that much Victorian glass is both under-rated and under-valued for what it is. Yes, there’s a lot of horrible, mass-produced rubbish out there, but there’s also a large quantity of high quality, uniquely designed glassware that was often very complex to make. Despite the amount of work and Victorian ingenuity that went into it, it’s cheap to buy today purely because it’s out of fashion. Putting my money where my mouth was late last year, I bought a vase which I consider to be typical of this. I know it’s not to everyone’s tastes, but it would have been the height of fashion in the late Victorian period. And just think about how many highly skilled steps it took to make it! The thinly blown pink core was covered with opaque cream glass, the legs were coloured, applied …

Read More

Those of you who have bought Alla Moda, my new book on mid-century Italian ceramics, will have seen a double page spread of quirky ceramics by an as yet unknown company and designer who ‘signs’ each piece with a stylised four petalled flower. I’ve pretty much fallen in love with them! At the Midcentury Fair last weekend, Haji & White were on the stand next to me. One of their favourite areas is the 1958 Brussels Exposition, or World’s Fair, which was an important showcase of postwar design and industry. Amidst the brochures, models of the Atomium, and posters, I was delighted to spot three ceramics by The Flower Painter, a large wall charger, a small square dish, and a ‘one-person’ tiny ashtray. Each shows the famously friendly hostesses that helped visitors to the park and pavilions. A price for the three pieces was worked out, and I added them to my collection. Although they still don’t reveal the identity of the maker or designer, I have learnt a number of new …

Read More

At the recent Battersea Decorative & Antiques Fair, The Decorative Collective, a group of like-minded and talented dealers launched ‘Interiors Inspired By...’, an exciting new book. As you’d expect, the book is lavishly illustrated with eye-wateringly beautiful shots of interiors containing and inspired by antiques supplied by member of the collective. But it’s a little more than interior porn, as each dealer gives insights into their background, motivation, and the key elements of their individual style. Many of my favourites are included, including Alex MacArthur, Nick Mellors, Jess Graham, Patrick MacIntosh, Fontaine Margate, and my Roadshow colleagues Marc Allum and Lisa Lloyd of Hand of Glory. There are also charmingly written pages examining themes such as ‘Country House Inspiration’, ‘The Outdoor Room’, ‘Mid-Century Modern’, and ‘Decorative Antique Dealing – A Way of Life’. This beautifully printed, chunky hardback book is a must-have for anyone interested in how antiques work in the home and become meaningful parts of your daily life. After all, your home is meant to …

Read More