Friday, 14 March 2014

Freedom for dogs to run off the lead in the parks of London

I have aways lived in London and owned dogs for most of my life. We have two in the shop, Nancy a large brindle whippet and more recently Lucy a whippet lurcher both of whom were rescued.

They both have gentle temperaments. One of the great joys is walking with them in central London's great parks…..Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park and Holland Park, where in the winter the only users of the parks are dogs and their owners.

Please support us in the fight to save the rights of people to exercise their dogs in Kensington and Chelsea. We are being threatened by the council who are trying to bring in a law saying that all dogs will no longer be allowed off the lead anywhere in any of the parks in Kensington and Chelsea. The fear is that this will spread to other parts of London and will result in people no longer being able to own a dog in London, as if you can't exercise them it would become impossibly unkind to have one and they bring so much to so many people, especially those living alone.

There is a petition that if you would be willing to sign it and encourage other people to sign as well might stop this ridiculous infringement on all our rights.

If you love dogs and value freedom please sign the PETITION even if you don't live in London every signature helps preserve a way of life that we all value……………

Monday, 24 February 2014


We have recently framed and hung a large collection of finely detailed 18th century prints of Switzerland for the grander chalet………….
From From the publication 'Tableaux de la Suisse, ou Voyage Pittoresque fait dans les Treize Cantons et Etats alliés du Corps Helvétique' by the Swiss historian Béat Fidèle Antoine Jean Dominique de la Tour-Châtillon Baron de Zurlauben & de la Borde1720-1799, they have tremendous charm and are framed in water gilt frames with pale gluey grey views
Lake Geneva in the 18th century showing the Chateau de Chillon
swiss landscape
The Devil's Bridge on the Mont St. Gothard above a roaring torrent…..
and as painted by Joseph Mallord William Turner in the first years of the 19th century. 

The bridge opened the first passage between Switzerland and Italy.  There are many bridges that legend relates were built by the devil, they are normally represent a significant technological success in the face of nature. 
According to a local myth, building the first bridge was very hard and so the Devil himself agreed to build it. The condition attached to the construction was that the Devil would get the soul of the first to pass over the bridge. So, when the bridge was finished, people chased a goat over the bridge. Angered by the trick, the Devil went to pick up a large stone (called Teufelsstein, the Devil's Stone) in order to smash the bridge to pieces. On his way to the bridge however, he encountered an old believing woman with a cross. Scared of the cross, he left the stone and fled. The devil's stone weighs 220 tons and stands near Göschenen. In 1977, the stone was moved 127 meters to make way for the new motorway passing over the St.Gotthard Pass, at a cost of 300,000 Swiss Francs.
Popular belief has it that the moving of the stone was the cause of an increased number of accidents on kilometre 16 on the St. Gotthard road tunnel.
We always have large sets of prints and this set of aquatints after Raphael are very striking
Each engraving with an allegorical figure set against a black sky holding an item or animal with a predella scene in the lower border, these depict scenes of animals, again relating to the respective times of day and night.
rafael aquatint


Meanwhile we now have two shop dogs Nancy and now the younger Lucy.

They also do their bit posing……………………here seen in front of and early 18th century English Tapestry sitting on an Empire chair.

Monday, 3 February 2014


The English Stately home look is all the rage and particularly in the USA where 1stdibs have just  run an article on "Getting the Look". I thought that we could add to their selections

The entrances or halls of large English house can be magnificent indeed, often with soaring ceilings and the use of marble as here at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, where until recently the magnificent exhibition of pictures bought by Catherine the Great was on show loaned by the Russians.

Halls aren't always this big! but if you have the space a centre table with a wonderful bunch of flowers always gives a grand impression on entering a house
library table

William IV mahogany centre table with a 4ft 6" diameter is a good size for a large display of flowers from the garden……

William IV Giltwood Chairs from Julia Boston Antiques
and somewhere to sit down and get your breath after a long drive a pair of gilt wood William IV arm chairs add a sense of theatrical grandeur.
From the entrance advance into the house to the drawing room or sitting room

Here the stately homes of England display their finest furniture and pictures, often bought abroad during the 'Grand Tour' in the late 18th century or just acumulated over the generations. English country houses are known for their freezing cold bathrooms and dogs on the furniture……….

pomona painting from Julia Boston
Here are some further ideas for that look, 
Here in England we may no longer hunt foxes with hounds but they are still part of country life.
Louis XV commode
The dining room where politics, flirtation and gossip can abound, where certain subjects are taboo and where almost anything can become part of the conversation as long as it not too vulgar ……..dogs and horses rather than children, shooting parties and fishing in Scotland, plans are discussed and history can be made.
English William IV Sideboard 

Every house would have had a wine cellar but for everyday convenience the cellaret is a small elegant piece of furniture where a 20 bottles of wine can be kept at close hand
English Cellaret
With dinner by candlelight mirrors on the wall add to atmosphere
gilt regence mirror
Above the dining table chandeliers glitter in the light from the candles on the table
A Pair Of Six Arm 19th Century French Chandeliers From Julia Boston
All large English houses had libraries, somewhere to go and read in peace
Comfortable chairs, book lined walls and luxurious tapestries tables to sit at when reading and desks to write those long letters
George III tallboy showing iternal secretaire
An 18th century English tallboy opens to reveal an escritoire 
The top of this architects table lifts and slopes or can remain flat

A large desk is a luxury and this one is large with loads of storage space 

French Composition Mirror from Julia Boston

and so that you can check that you are looking your best before going down for dinner a full length cheval mirror
and for the walls….
You don't need a stately home to get the Downton look, it always helps! But the look is more than achievable in a more normal sized house and it doesn't need to be in England it can be anywhere…..

Saturday, 25 January 2014

January can be a quiet month after the long break for Christmas and the new year. We now have a second shop dog a severn month old rescued whippet lurcher called Lucy……. see her and us on the 'About Us" new section on our website. 
Posing on a French mahogany fauteuil by Pierre-Antoine Bellangé,  one of the most important makers of the period. This chair could have graced the Napoleonic household sat on by Napoleon or Josephine!
 I thought that some more inspiration for the walls would be a good way to start off the year, especially as we have been selling both prints and tapestries. 
I have always been a fan of close hung prints and this is how we show them in the shop.
Here we hung a collection of mostly 18th century black and white prints above an English sideboard. Putting together collections is something that we love and we will be showcasing more soon. 
Here for  the villa of architect Olivier Clément Cacoub and his wife, Danielle, in Cap-Ferrat, France, which appeared in the February 1983 issue of AD, Alberto Pinto decorated the grand salon in cool colors. The walls are graced with 18th-century engravings.
A set of three 18th century engravings after Joseph Vernet that we have in the shop. A collection can always be built up slowly adding prints as you find them or look through our extensive collection of 17th and 18th century engraving.

One of a pair of 18th century engravings after Wouvermann. We often frame in very simple gessoed ebonised frames. There is also nothing so grand and simple as water gilding.
Galleria Farnese Published Rome 1693
Halls and passageways and staircases are particularly good places to close hang antique prints
Here a collection of 18th century architectural prints in black and hold frames are hung to great effect in a hallway.
Here the decorator Mark Sikes has hung a large collection of birds close together and they look marvellous.
Here a set of pressed ferns collected in Jamaica in the late 19th century are framed in water gilt and painted frames
A set of 12 18th century armourial prints in ebonised frames
12 framed aquatints of the "six hours of the day and the six hours of the night" 
Hung in either a modern or period setting these large sets of engravings make a great statement and cover a lot of wall space!
To see more visit our website and come and meet us and the shop dogs

Friday, 27 December 2013


The weather has been a mixture of appalling,  gales and driving rain………………fog and sun, in other words not so far from normal!
With a roaring fire in the grate we have all had a relaxing break in the country & Lucy our new young lurcher is getting to know her way around.

More on antiques, the shop and what is happening soon………..