The Chelsea Antiques Fair, March 2015

Posted in Art Market by Editor on March 17, 2015

As noted at ArtDaily:

The Chelsea Antiques Fair
Chelsea Old Town Hall, Kings Road, London, 18–22 March 2015


Irish Road Bowlers, ca. 1790s

The earliest known depiction of Irish Road Bowling will be offered by Bagshawe Fine Art at The Chelsea Antiques Fair, which opens the day after St Patrick’s Day at the Chelsea Old Town Hall on Wednesday, 18th March 2015 and runs until Sunday, 22nd March (it coincides with The BADA Fair, just half a mile away). Dr Fintan Lane, the Irish historian and author of Long Bullets: A History of Irish Road Bowling, has stated that in his opinion this is the earliest known visual depiction of the sport.

Nicholas Bagshawe explains: “This fascinating picture depicts the Irish sport of road bowling. This sport, possibly of Dutch origin, has been played in Ireland since the 17th century and is still played today, predominantly in the counties of Armagh and Cork. The sport consists of a contest between two or more players who attempt to throw a metal ball down a country road course of a specific length. The winner is the one who completes the course in the fewest throws.”

The Irish Road Bowling historian, Fintan Lane, states that the earliest painting known before this discovery was by Daniel MacDonald (1821–1853), which dates from circa 1847. According to Bagshawe “it is not yet totally certain who the artist of this picture is, but we are becoming increasingly convinced that it is the work of Nathaniel Grogan Junior (Irish, ca. 1765–1820).” The oil on canvas measures 47 x 33 inches and is dateable from the style of painting and the costumes of the players to the years around 1790 to 1800.

Bagshawe explains that “in English terms it appears to have an affinity with the styles of George Morland, Francis Wheatley or even the portraitist John Opie. But it is none of these directly, and given the specifically Irish nature of the subject, we must be looking for an Irish artist. The Grogans, both senior and junior, seem the most likely candidates; and, when we consider that they were both Cork artists, this becomes a very strong possibility. As art historians start to differentiate their work more accurately, it seems that Nathaniel Grogan senior, while a better known and seemingly more prolific artist, might not have been capable of painting a large front-of-stage figure with quite the fluency shown here. It is more likely that we are looking at the work of his son. Grogan Junior was, like his father, a Cork painter, and he must have started out as a pupil and collaborator of the older artist. However, such few documented sketches as we know to exist by the younger man do show a greater fluency with the figure, and he must be the most likely candidate for this picture. When we add to that the fact that he is known to have exhibited a picture in his lifetime called The Bowl Players, this attribution becomes all the more plausible. There is more to learn about this intriguing picture, but without doubt it already presents itself as a fascinating piece of Irish social history.”

The painting shows two young men, jackets off, competing with each other. The third figure, with hat and coat, is likely to be the ‘road-shower’. This man would have marked the point (the ‘tip’) where the previous shot had stopped and thus the place from where the bowler would take his next throw. The bowler holds the metal ball (probably still a cannon-ball at this stage) high in the air, from where he would bring it down in a fast underarm action. This high-arm action, sometimes known as the ‘windmill’ style was a technique favoured by players in the Cork area; therefore, it is felt that the scene depicted in the painting is taking place in Co. Cork.

The BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair, March 2015

Posted in Art Market by Editor on March 17, 2015

Press release for this year’s BADA Fair:

The BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair
Duke of York Square, off Sloane Square, London, 18–24 March 2015


George I period scarlet japanned bureau cabinet, attributed to John Belchier and Daniel Massey, English, ca. 1720.

Long-regarded as the premier national fair in the UK, The BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair is the leading event for sourcing antiques and fine art of assured quality and authenticity. It is the only event on the international art calendar exclusive to members of the British Antique Dealers’ Association and will see the display of a diverse range of important furniture, objet d’art, and paintings. Before the BADA Fair opens to the public, all these items are subject to a rigorous vetting process. Encompassing both antique and contemporary items, the BADA Fair allows buyers of all tastes and experience to add to their collections. In recent years the BADA Fair has seen a steady growth in international visitors and an increase in sales above £100,000.

Ninety-eight of the most renowned art and antiques dealers from around the country, representing a variety of specialisms, have confirmed their attendance at the BADA Fair. Returning Exhibitors include leading dealers Godson & Coles, Harris Lindsay, Thomas Coulborn & Sons, Lennox Cato, Frank Partridge, Anthony Woodburn Ltd., Trinity House, The Taylor Gallery, Sandra Cronan Ltd., and Holly Johnson Antiques. The demand for stands at the BADA Fair has increased and amongst the new Exhibitors at the upcoming edition are: Beaux Arts London, Philip Mould & Company, Michael Hughes, Peter Lipitch Ltd. and Ted Few.

The exquisite range of jewellery brought by various dealers has always been a highlight at the BADA Fair, and this year is no exception. Amongst the offerings from Sandra Cronan Ltd. is an important pair of diamond ‘waterfall’ earrings dating from c. 1940, each featuring 8 pear cut diamonds, and smaller baguette cut diamonds. New Exhibitor John Joseph will bring a beautiful Art Deco coral and diamond brooch and Anthea A G Antiques will display a bold coral ring in 18 carat gold, made by Kutchinsky and dating from the 1970s.

There are several trends that have emerged amongst the items being submitted by the dealers for the upcoming BADA Fair. These include a rise of European furniture and objects designed in an Oriental style. Godson & Coles, specialist in 18th- and 19th-century furniture, as well as Modern British art, will bring a rare George I period, scarlet japanned bureau cabinet, signed by maker Daniel Massey (pictured). Frank Partridge will devote his entire stand to Chinoiserie items. Another prevalent style in furniture will be fine pieces in English Oak as seen on the stands of Wakelin & Linfield, Witney Antiques and Shaw Edwards Antiques.


William and Mary turtle shell and gilt table clock, ca.1695

A further notable category is clocks, which are always well represented at the BADA Fair. Anthony Woodburn will bring a magnificent William and Mary turtle shell and gilt table clock dating from c.1695 as well as a remarkably preserved Charles II walnut and marquetry longcase clock. Yet again the fine art at the BADA Fair encompasses some wonderful British examples, ranging from 18th-century watercolours from John Spink and Guy Peppiatt Fine Art, to modern British sculpture including Elisabeth Frink’s Assassins II from Beaux Arts London, and contemporary works by artist Jonathan Pike, to whom Julian Simon Fine Art will devote their stand.

A new development that will benefit collectors is the introduction by the British Antique Dealers’ Association (BADA) of Certificates of Provenance, which members may now choose to include with the sale of an object. This is the first time Certificates of Provenance will have been available for objects sold at the BADA Fair. The Certificates will demonstrate that an object has been bought from a member of the BADA, which will be recorded as part of its permanent provenance.

In order to broaden the audience at the BADA Fair, there are several initiatives to attract new visitors and collectors. One of the most positive has been the Interior Designers’ Selection run by House & Garden. This year four acclaimed interior designers will each choose three highlights amongst the items displayed at the BADA Fair, and their exhibitors will receive a showcard to denote the selected object. Similarly the programme of talks and events will cover themes from cross collecting to Hollywood Style – Jewellery and Fashion from 1929 to 1959, appealing not just to antique aficionados but to a range of people from interior designers to jewellery enthusiasts.

The BADA Fair has a long tradition of supporting charitable causes, and has raised over £3 million for a variety of charities over the years. This year the BADA Fair is delighted to announce The Haven Trust as its beneficiary. The Haven Trust is an award- winning breast cancer charity, offering support and complimentary therapy to patients. The BADA Fair will host a Charity Gala Dinner for The Haven Trust on the evening of Thursday 19th March in the Cellini Restaurant, within the BADA Fair.

Following the success of the catering at last year’s BADA Fair, the upcoming edition will see the return of celebrated caterers Absolute Taste running both the Cellini restaurant and Duke of York Brasserie. World-renowned and family-owned champagne house Taittinger will once more be sponsoring the Champagne Bar.