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 […]

Curious Glass – An Enamelled Opalescent ‘Sunflower’ Vase

Opalescent Sunflower Vase

It’s usually the things that nobody knows about that attract and intrigue me. If they’re of a certain (good, or fine) quality, or have an interesting look, I want to know more. Browsing around the Cambridge Glass Fair, I came upon this rather unusual looking small posy vase. Somewhat etherial, it’s also rather appealing. “But […]

A Quick Trip – Helsinki & Pentti Sarpaneva

1970s Pentii Sarpaneva Oy Kumela vase © Mark Hill Publishing Ltd

The many different hats I wear for my career often take me to unexpected places. Last month, I was delighted to be asked to visit Helsinki in Finland, home to many a notable mid-century modern glass factory and designer, from Iittala to Riihimäki and Alvar Aalto to Timo Sarpaneva. I don’t often get too much […]

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 […]

Book Launch – Sklo: Czech Glass Design from the 1950s-70s

Mark Hill signing his new book on modern Czech Glass

On February 26th 2017, I launched my latest book, Sklo: Czech Glass Design From The 1950s-70s. It is a revised and considerably enlarged version of my bestseller Hi Sklo Lo Sklo: Postwar Czech Glass Design from Masterpiece to Mass-Produced, which I published in 2008 and which sold out two years later. I was delighted to […]

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 […]

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 Painting – Helen Grunwald & Russian Chapel Murals

Helen Grunwald Painting Thumbnail

I’ve been collecting inexpensive pictures, and etchings in particular, since I was about 15 or 16 years old. I’m sure my friends thought I was weird. In fact, I know they did. What attracted me, apart from the prices I could afford as a schoolboy, was that there was usually a story of some sort […]