Update on The Open Art Fair

I wanted to let you know that I have decided to withdraw from The Open Art Fair and therefore will NOT be exhibiting. The Fair is continuing and will open as planned on Wednesday the 18th March. The Peartree Collection tickets are still valid.
My decision is an entirely personal one, taken in conjunction with my family, and in the light of increasing concerns over the Coronavirus and the steps necessary to stop its advance.
If you are interested in any item of stock, I will of course be available online and by phone.  Subject to how the virus develops, I am always readily available and happy to meet privately to show items. Normality will undoubtedly return and when it does I will find alternative opportunities to exhibit.
I hope everyone is, and stays, safe and well.

The Open Art Fair in today’s FT

Delighted that The Open Art Fair chose to feature the Peartree Collection’s own Christopher Dresser teapot in today’s FT. Image attached.

Quote of the day

Shirley Mueller, a US neuroscientist and collector, has written in today’s ATG “Collecting gives meaning to life [sorry kids] and gives life a spark, in contrast to the day to day drudgery of life. It encapsulates the thrill of the chase and is overall a very pleasant experience. I believe collectors are lucky. We have a passion that drives us”. Never a truer word said.

New letter by Archibald Knox uncovered

Whilst trawling through the British Newspaper Archives (as you do on a dull day over Christmas), I found an unlikely letter in the London Evening Standard written by the one and only Archibald Knox, whilst still in the Isle of Man, dating to 1893. The letter concerns Knox’s regret, even anger, at the demise of the main Peel Cathedral, a theme that was a constant throughout his life. Whilst it is hard to square Knox’s modernist design brilliance with his traditional faith, he clearly found no contradiction whatsoever in the two, an area worthy of more research.

Rare modernist Christopher Dresser tea set listed

If you were ever in doubt that Christopher Dresser was a “rock-star” of the decorative arts, see this link for further details on Christies’ recent sale of a plated teapot by Dresser for nearly $400,000. I am delighted to list an entire tea set by Dresser, and in sterling silver, at a fraction of that price. A bargain!

Norman and Ernest Spittle uncovered

The purchase of a lovely sterling silver teapot marked for N&E Spittle ((Norman and Ernest) set me on the trail of this relatively obscure partnership, mostly known for their copper and bronze lighting and metalwork. It seems their important history has been in part obscured by the early death of Norman and subsequent company name changes. They nevertheless were highly influential on Gustav Stickley’s metalwork in the US, and produced fittings for some of Britain’s most modern buildings in the period 1900-14.

Items returned to descendants

It’s been an unusual and rewarding two days. First, the Collection’s Milon Andreewitch plaque has been acquired by family descendants wishing to obtain a great example of their ancestor’s brilliant but limited works. And then today the Collection’s lovely Bertha Inglis spoons have been bought by a family member, also wanting to celebrate and remember their ancestor. To reunite pieces sold c 100 years ago is really very touching – and great testimony to the power of the internet too.