LONDON.- Ronald Phillips Ltd
, one of the worlds leading antique galleries handling some of the most important pieces of English Antique Furniture and Works of Art has released some of the finest examples of craftsmanship and design that will be displayed on the companys stand at the International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show.
Prices will range between £38,500 and over £2,000,000, many of which have notable provenance, with some offered for public sale for the first time. The collection for the exhibition promises to be a magical history of narcissism and decoration- and a celebration of England craftsmanship which are a testament to Simon Phillips exceptional eye and expertise. Simons interest in and knowledge of English decorative arts is wide-ranging enabling him to successfully source the very finest furniture and works of art, which are invariably united by his unerring and intuitive sense of what makes them special. The booth of over 40 lots presents a wealth of opportunities for international collectors and interior designers and the rich and varied array of items will suit many tastes; tailored to meet the sustained and growing interests of collectors intent on acquiring works of the highest calibre.
Highlights of the exhibition include a pair of George III three light ormolu candelabra designed by the Scottish neoclassical architect, interior designer and furniture designer Robert Adam, English circa 1775; the drawing by Robert Adam for the design of the candelabra is now preserved in the Sir John Soane Museum in London. Ronald Phillips has long championed mirrors, whilst pairs of mirrors are the ultimate finds. This exhibition boasts several pairs of mirrors including a pair of George II giltwood mirrors, English circa 1750. Retaining most of their original gilding with a distinctive Rococo design following a drawing published by Matthias Lock in his book Six Sconces. Having recently come out of a private collection in Florida, the mirrors once belonged to Walter P. Chrysler in New York. Mr. Chrysler, whose father, Walter Sr., founded the Chrysler Corporation, devoted much of his life to building a multimillion-dollar collection of art works that was housed at the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences in Norfolk, which was later renamed the Chrysler Museum. Ronald Phillips also hold a number of the finest Chinese reverse painted glasses, painted in China and sent to England to be sold. The earliest was from 1760 and in New York there will be a stunning pair from 1765. This pair of mirrors formed part of the collection assembled by H.J. (Jim) Joel. Like many other collectors of the middle years of the 20th century, Joel was advised by R.W. Symonds, the collection bearing his distinctive imprint. Unlike some of his contemporaries, Jim Joels collection encompassed a wide variety of genres that was sold in a monumental two-part Christies house sale, at Childwick Bury, St. Albans on 15-17 May 1978.
Other highlights include, a George II walnut card table, English circa 1735, with concertina action, its notable provenance includes Percival D Griffiths who purchased the table in 1908. Under the wise counsel of R. W. Symonds, Percival D. Griffiths, amassed arguably the greatest collection of English Furniture formed in the 20th century, a collection which is unlikely to bettered any time soon. The table reached over $700,000 at Sothebys in 2004, after leaving another significant collection of Theodore and Ruth Baum.
The most expensive pieces documented are a stunning pair of Chinese lacquer commodes commissioned for the Earl of Shaftesbury of St Giles House Dorset, English circa 1765, estimated over £2,000,000; whilst some of the most exciting finds revealed are the seat furniture which includes a mid 18th century desk armchair, almost certainly made by Thomas Chippendale, priced at £235,000 and The Glemhall Hall Gainsborough armchairs, English circa 1755. Commissioned under Dudley North of Glemhall Hall, Suffolk, the chairs were originally part of a larger suite of which nine armchairs can be traced. Each chair depicts a different bird made by Lady Barbara, the wife of Dudley North. A pair of chairs is in the collection of Colonial Williamsburg. Two further chairs formerly in the Colonial Williamsburg Collection are now in a private collection in New York, a single is recorded in the Gerstenfeld collection in Washington, whilst another single chair was sold at auction in 1954 with current whereabouts unknown. Also on display will be a set of twelve George III mahogany armchairs by Gillows of Lancaster, English, circa 1795. Some of the original webbing, significantly stamped Gillows Lancaster has been preserved with the chairs.
Simon Phillips, who took over the Mayfair firm from his father Ronald over fifteen years ago says: It has become increasingly difficult in recent years to find great pieces of English furniture, but within this exhibition there is a wonderful cross-section of important and rare English furniture and objects. United by the common themes of rarity, provenance, craftsmanship and beauty, I have invested in each of these items because they had the attributes I look for in fine English Antique Furniture, but the time has come for them to find new homes and enjoy the next chapter in their histories; whilst providing collectors with an opportunity to acquire the very best.