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Fast Forward: Mallett Antiques to bring the London Design Festival to Mayfair
Glacier by Brodie Neill for Patrick Brillet Ltd, at Ely House, Courtesy Mallett, 2011

LONDON.- Mallett marries old and new in a series of contemporary events at Ely House during the London Design Festival this September. The great antiques dealer will offer a rich historical background to cutting-edge pieces such as the Glacier chair by Australian designer Brodie Neil and a 17 metre fantasy chandelier by lighting manufacturer Bocci; Mallett will also celebrate the opening of Jules Wright’s new exhibition space at Ely House dedicated to contemporary photography. These collaborations will be accompanied by talks headed by design critic Gareth Williams on the future of collecting contemporary design and on fantasy furniture throughout the centuries.

Giles Hutchinson Smith, Mallett’s Chief Executive, says “we want to encourage designers to rediscover their heritage and editors to be as bold as the great makers of the past. LDF is the perfect opportunity for Mallett to open its doors and collaborate with the great talents of today.”

For 150 years, Mallett has been sourcing exceptional pieces of 18th and 19th century English furniture for royalty and museum collections across the world. With the new millennium, Mallett started building close relationships with contemporary designers, extending its field of expertise to the latest trends of furniture design. In 1999, Mallett held “Breaking Tradition”, an exhibition of Danny Lane’s glass furniture on Bond Street and in 2008, Mallett began commissioning internationally renowned designers such as Barber Osgerby, Matali Crasset and Tord Boontje. These new pieces formed the Meta collection and were exclusively made to order by the finest master craftsmen across Europe and America.

Six years on, Meta remains dedicated to the fusion of 21st century design and 18th century craftsmanship. This September, Meta will present the prototype of “Glacier” by Australian designer, Brodie Neill for Patrick Brillet Ltd. “Glacier” is a sculptural chaise longue cast in solid glass in the forests of the Czech Republic in 2011. Czech glass makers are the heirs of the Bohemian glass tradition, with skills dating back to the Middle Ages. Brodie’s design pushed their techniques to the limit, casting over 360 kgs of molten glass and annealing it under very close supervision over 80 days.

Another triumph of cast glass will be unveiled in the form of a monumental chandelier, which will be hung in the original stairwell of Ely House, the Bishop’s Palace designed in 1772 by Robert Taylor and now home to Mallett for the past two years. The chandelier will be a joint installation with Bocci, the Vancouver-based design company, showcasing their “bespoke 57” design. These glass lights will explore the process of trapping voids of air in molten glass coated in metal to create dramatic depth when light. The chandelier will be on display until the end of the year.

Alongside these celebrations of design, Mallett will also welcome Jules Wright at Ely House where she is relocating her photography gallery “Wapping Project Bankside”. Mallett and Jules have a history of successful collaborations, including the launch of the Meta collection in Milan in April 2008 and “Opening the Shutters”, an exhibition of contemporary photography set alongside Mallett’s great antiques in 2013. True to her reputation of being one of London’s most daring and visionary figures of contemporary art, Jules will open her new exhibition space with the first UK solo show of Juul Kraijer’s surrealist work, with photographs challenging the traditional hierarchy between animals and human kind.

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