My First ‘Design At Home’ Auction with Dawson’s

Saturday 2nd December 2017 saw my first ‘Design At Home’ midcentury modern and contemporary design auction with Dawson’s Auctions, and my return to the auction world (other than as a buyer!) after 16 years. And I loved it – every single bit of it! It was great to connect with new clients, and reconnect to […]

An American Studio Pottery Pioneer – A Forgotten Vase

Herbert Sanders Vase

It’s all about the first look, and then about identifying and questioning what first made you think “Oh, that looks like a good thing”. It’s instinctive, even if you don’t quite know what or why. But there’s usually a feature or two that mark something out from the rest. We were visiting Saugatuck in rural […]

Complex Glazes – A Vase By Dr Felix Singer

Felix Singer Ceramics Glazes Vase

I’m a great believer in writing verbal history down when possible. I always advise it when I hear family stories relating to a treasured object on the Antiques Roadshow – go home and write the story down. People forget, or stories get warped, and then it just becomes an ‘object’ that is devoid of context. […]

The Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair – 13-15 October 2017

Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair

Next fair: 13th-15th October 2017 Click here for more information and FREE entry tickets. The inexorable rise of decorative antiques has seen the development of a vast number of antiques fairs tastefully packed with carefully curated stands showing off each dealer’s unique eye. Some reflect fashion – others make it. At the top in tree […]

The Mossy Dwarf Receives His Guests Seated

Mossy Dwarf

As regular readers of my blog will know, I’m a huge fan of etchings and have bought them since I was schoolboy. I never spend much, I just buy what I like. The more bizarre or bonkers they are, the better. I usually buy without knowing much or anything about the etching or the artist, […]

Fougasse – Accident or Design? A Rare Leaflet

Artist and caricaturist Fougasse is best known for his iconic ‘Careless Talk Costs Lives‘ posters, produced during World War Two to caution the public against gossiping and accidentally spreading information that may be of use to German spies during the War. Fougasse was the pseudonym of Cyril Kenneth Bird (1887-1965), a qualified civil engineer, who […]

I’ve Been In The Antiques Business for 20 Years!

This October saw my 20th anniversary working professionally in the antiques business. In October 1996, I was offered a full time role as a porter in Bonhams‘ Collectors Department, then based in Lots Road, Chelsea. Several months of being a general porter setting up and manning views for £50 per week were over, and I […]

A New Name & Attribution – Dragan Drobnjak

Henryk Albin Tomaszewski Glass

Attributions in the world of antiques and collecting change frequently, and across the board too, from porcelain to furniture to glass. This is particularly the case with ‘new markets’, like mid-century modern Italian ceramics and postwar Czech glass design.  A new source will be unearthed, such as a catalogue or forgotten book, or a piece […]

These Vases Are NOT From Murano – Or Even Italy!

Snowflakes Glass Vase

Browsing around the excellent and huge Hopkinson Vintage, Antiques & Art Centre just by Nottingham’s station after doing a NADFAS lecture, I stumbled upon this vase. I was delighted as it had a label – something I’ve been looking for for ages. When sold on eBay or in countless fairs, shops and antiques centres across […]

London Antiques Legend Alfie’s Hits 40!

Last Thursday Alfie’s Antiques Market in Church St, Marylebone, London hit a major anniversary when it turned 40. It’s almost as old as me! A day of festivities, including a lecture on 20thC Glass given by me, culminated in an intimate party, held as part of the London Design Festival. Exhibiting in a pop-up shop […]

How Teddy Helped Children Understand World War One

Farnell Mascot Soldier Bears Pocket

Sometimes it takes the smallest of things to help children begin to understand a complex situation. In this instance, it was a small teddy bear. During World War One, Farnell (known as the ‘English Steiff’ by collectors) produced tiny 3.5in high bears which they called ‘Mascot Bears’. They were given as gifts and taken to […]

A Decade of Fat Lava – 10th Anniversary

Ten years ago today, the first retrospective exhibition of West German ceramics of the 1960s & 70s, featuring the Graham Cooley Collection, closed at the King’s Lynn Arts Centre. Over 500 ceramics were included, and over 3,500 people came to visit. It was accompanied by a catalogue of the same title, written by me, of […]