In a matter of months the UK government is likely to introduce legislation that will restrict the sale, import or export of any (silver) item which has, by volume, more than 10% ivory (excludes musical instruments). The detailed legislation is still to be worked out but I have built a simple spreadsheet you can plug in your silver item’s weight and measurements of ivory components to calculate whether the piece meets the likely de minimis rule. If you would like a version please contact me.
In the early 1890’s the Guild of Handicraft exhibited some of their earliest metalwork at a little known exhibition at Armourers’ Hall, home of the Armourers and Brasiers Company in the City of London. I have, finally, found an article on the 1891 exhibition which included a sketch of a door or finger plate the Guild exhibited. This won a competition the Exhibition was hosting to design a finger plate for the Hall and the design was subsequently made up and fitted, where it can still be seen today. The article is in the attached pdf The-Armourers-and-Brasiers-Exhibition-1891. The designer and maker of the finger plate is given in the article as John Williams, with a total of six plates ordered for the Hall in total. Separately, Alan Crawford notes that Hardiman and White both designed prize winning exhibits for Exhibitions at this venue in 1890 and 1892 respectively.
ATG letter: Why I waved bye-bye to Online Galleries
MADAM – I wanted to add to the discussion (ATG No 2344) on the recent fee increase by Online Galleries (Anthony Bernbaum of The Peartree Collection writes).
I chose not to continue with Online Galleries (or its parent, 1stdibs) as a result of a subscription increase that, in my case, was from £175 per month to £400 per month and in the middle of what I considered an annual subscription agreement (a case of ‘always read the small print’, it seems).
Coming off Online Galleries will, without doubt, cost me valuable referrals, and according to Google analytics, has already reduced traffic to my own website. When I Google relevant search terms like ‘Archibald Knox silver’ I have the galling experience of seeing my images as previously listed on Online Galleries linking to their home page.
My analysis of the direct value of Online Galleries to me is that it is indeed worth over £400 per month, generating well over £10,000 of sales per year.
Squeezed on costs
So why come off it? Well, I believe that the internet will become an increasingly dominant channel for antiques and design galleries and so control of that channel is critical.
With this in mind, I cannot envisage partnering with an internet site for the long term when there is such a breakdown in trust. When my sales are, say, 50%, not 5-10%, through Online Galleries, what then?
Will I be asked to pay £4000 per month, or, as for 1stdibs, well over 10% of sales?
Physical galleries are being squeezed by increasing rents and now we have intermediary listings providers trying to recreate an online equivalent.
More than this though, it is important to ask what is the valueadd of an intermediary like Online Galleries? Just 10 years ago the answer was ‘quite a lot’.
Building workable websites was expensive, listings sites even more so, and that warranted high fees. With the emergence of HTML templates however, it is inexpensive and easy to create very effective websites.
So, what are we, as dealers, paying for? The reality is we are paying an intermediary to promote itself at our expense. My images on Google from Online Galleries are there for a reason, indirectly I have paid for it. So why would I pay to become more and more dependent on an intermediary whose value-add is to a large degree a function of my expertise, my products and, in fact, my money?
So, it’s bye-bye Online Galleries and hello to BADA and LAPADA, who have created listing sites empathetic to both the consumer and industry, and also to Instagram.
With increased investment in my own site I am confident that what I may lose in the short term will be more than gained in the longer term.
The Peartree Collection, London
I am delighted to announce that the gallery has become a member of LAPADA. A selection of items for sale can now be found at both BADA’s and LAPADA’s listing websites. The Peartree Collection no longer lists items with 1st dibs or its subsidiary, Online Galleries.
Major new pieces to be showcased at BADA Fair
We will be exhibiting a number of major new pieces by Archibald Knox for Liberty & Co at the BADA Fair. Highlights are in the attached catalogue and will include a rare Cymric clock, a large enamel and stone set tankard, two great Knox inkwells and enamelled vase. Overall fifteen new Knox Cymric silver pieces from a private collection will be for sale, together with other items from the Wiener Werkstatte, Charles Ashbee, Christopher Dresser, Gilbert Marks, Kate Harris and Ramsden & Carr.
The BADA Fair, London, opens on 14th March. Please contact me if you require a ticket.
The Peartree Collection will be exhibiting at the BADA Fair, Stand C28, from 14-20th March, Chelsea, London. Please contact me for a further details and a ticket. I will be exhibiting a number of new pieces from private collections, most notably an exceptional collection of Cymric silver by Archibald Knox for Liberty & Co.
I have just published new research into Voysey’s aluminium clocks. It can be found in the Research section of the website. Published in The Orchard, the Voysey Society Journal, it provides further insight into the provenance of these rare cloccks.
The Fundacian Juan March opened its new British arts and crafts exhibition on Friday evening to resounding success, queues were sighted around the block. It’s a phenomenal exhibition with exhibits from major private collectors (present company excepted – Jimmy Page being one) and strong support from the V & A and Hunterian. My paltry images capture a small flavour only. Well worth a trip if you are looking for a weekend away.
Details for the the arts and crafts exhibition to be held at the Foundacion Juan March in Madrid have been released and can be found by clicking here.
Opening on October 17th it promises to be a major exhibition on the British arts and crafts movement with over 300 exhibits by all the leading participants in the Movement including Morris, Voysey, Ashbee, Mackintosh, Baillie Scott and Gimson.