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world of

a magazine of art, design & collecting history

Antiques & Art MUSEUMS ACROSS THE CONTINENTS: WHERE TO GO AND WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE

NEW COLLECTING DIRECTIONS: CONTEMPORARY CHINESE ART A GROWING TREND CONTEMPORARY TIBETAN ART, ONCE NEGLECTED NOW A NEW FRONTIER

EXCEPTIONAL TITLES: ANDREW LAMBRITH REVIEWS THE LOVE LETTERS OF JOHN NASH AN EXTENSIVE AND DIVERSE RANGE OF RECENT RELEASES FOR THE COLLECTOR REVIEWED

ASCRIBING VALUE: WHEN A HUMBLE CHAIR BECOMES A CABINET MAKER’S MASTERPIECE FEBRUARY 2008 - AUGUST 2008 ISSUE 74 AUSTRALIA $16.95 NZ $20.95 SINGAPORE $20.00 UK £7.00 US $13.00 €10.50

NORTHERN ITALIAN ART OF THE 16TH AND 17TH CENTURY RE-EVALUATED


CONTENTS ACQUISITIONS 155 156 158 160 162 164 166 167 168

170

Kitaoji Rosanjin, Hiramuko (flat dish), 1950 Hamilton Art Gallery Australian silver, 19th century-early 20th century National Gallery of Australia Meissen Porcelain Factory National Gallery of Victoria John Spooner: political cartoons and caricatures Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery Sparkes cup, c. 1800-1801 National Museum of Australia Hanson cup and salver, c. 1862 Art Gallery of South Australia Donald Friend, A Brisbane bedroom, 1944 Queensland Art Gallery Françoise Pompon, Polar bear, 1933 National Gallery of Victoria S T Gill, Views of Burra Burra, 1847-1850 Art Gallery of South Australia

AROUND THE AUCTIONS Auction highlights from the major houses

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HERITAGE 24 70

96

110 132 136

PROFILES 50 74

36 46

54 60

65 78 88

Turner to Monet: the triumph of landscape painting Lucina Ward, Christine Dixon, Niki van den Heuvel The landscapes of Claude Lorrain Anne T Woollett Masterpieces from the Louvre: The collection of Louis la Caze Steven Duffy Secret Faces: unseen portrait miniatures Emma Rutherford The Duchess of Curiosities: the life of Margaret, Duchess of Portland (1715-1785) Lisa Gee Andy and Oz: parallel visions Deborah Hart Coming of Age: American art 1850s-1950s Ian Dejardin New light on three paintings in the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery Gordon Morrison

Sydney’s mayoral insignia Margaret Betteridge China at the court of the Emperors: from Han tradition to Tang elegance Sabrina Rastelli The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle: a French museum in the English countryside Howard Coutts Australian people, politics and pop! Martin Terry Assembling a museum collection Louis Le Vaillant Queensland’s visual art heritage Glenn R Cooke

200 INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

ART 10

EDITORIAL

106

114

Maurizio Canesso and Galerie Canesso Roberta Bartoli Alison Watt: associate artist at the National Gallery E M Bray Rossi and Rossi – leading the field in contemporary Tibetan art Elspeth Moncrieff Olyvia Kwok: London’s latest contemporary Chinese dealer Stephen George

LIBRIS 143 144

Andrew Lambirth reviews World War I love letters between John Nash on the front and his sweetheart in England Helen Proudfoot reviews a wide selection of recent releases including a range of titles on artists’ depictions of and contributions to Australian life from first settlement through to contemporary works

NUMISMATICS 102

The Sydney Bank and Thomas Horton James Peter Symes

PHOTOGRAPHY 119

191

ART NEWS

18

A selection of international events to diarise plus a look at the summer season of arts in London

82

Performing the past: photoworks by Pushpamala N. Anne O’Hehir Vues de Java: Walter Woodbury in Java Gael Newton

CONTRIBUTORS

DECORATIVE ARTS AND DESIGN 22 30 40

92

Researching Windsor chairs Michael Harding-Hall The Art of Drinking Philippa Glanville Stylistic influences of coins on jewellery from the Eastern Mediterranean to Bactria Monica M Jackson Thomas Hope (1769-1831): Regency designer Frances Collard

2 WORLD OF ANTIQUES & ART

COVER Pushpamala N. and Clare Arni, Yogini (after Deccani (Bijapur school) miniature painting, circa 16th century), 2001 from the series The native types: a series of photographs illustrating the scenery and the mode of life of the women of South India, 2000-2004, Type C colour photograph, 55.8 x 44 cm. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra


decorative arts and design

The Percival Compton Chairs: a remarkable set of provenanced English Windsor chairs Although a humble relation of the more elaborately designed and crafted pieces made by the great eighteenth-century English cabinet makers, the Windsor chair is important for its unique expression of craftsmanship and comfort. There are very few surviving documented examples so finding examples with a specific provenance is of especial interest. MICHAEL HARDING-HILL 1

1 Detail of under seat showing inscribed brass plaque and trade label for John Pitt 2 Comb back Windsor chair (English) attributed to John Pitt of Slough (died 1759), cherry wood with elm seat, present whereabouts unknown

2

IN 1998, a Windsor chair came up for

‘Wheelwright and Windsor Chair

Wycombe Museum at High Wycombe,

auction at Christie’s salerooms in

maker... at SLO... DSO.’ These letters

Buckinghamshire. This lacquered black

London. A brass plate screwed under

form part of the words Slough &

chair has an armorial of the Somerset

the seat stated, This chair went with

Windsor and were of more importance

city of Bath painted on the splat.

Cap. Cook around the world.

to students of Windsor chairs than the

Unfortunately, it has not been possible

connection with Captain Cook.

to substantiate this claim. Maybe the

This information garnered from the

This armorial feature is also found on a set of early chairs known as the Perceval Compton Chairs. The first of

connection can be uncovered in

label enabled the distinctive early comb

these distinctive Windsor chairs was

Australia. Next to the brass plate on

back design to be attributed to a

acquired by the Victoria and Albert

the underside of the seat was a badly

specific maker, John Pitt (1714-1759).

Museum, London in the 1970s, at

worn trade label. The label declares the

Just four other Pitt chairs are known,

which time it was a hitherto unknown

maker to be John Pitt and continues,

and each is well recorded. One is in the

design. The faded red polychrome

22 WORLD OF ANTIQUES & ART


heritage

The thriving settlement of Sydney was granted the status of being a city with the Royal Warrant in 1902 and with this came the important decision on how best to garb the city’s first lord mayor. Setting the appropriate standard had already occupied the Municipal Council back in 1842 and now there was the challenge of providing insignia worthy of the elevated office. MARGARET BETTERIDGE 1

Sydney’s mayoral insignia THE INSIGNIA associated with public

decoration. They were intended as

office are the markings, signs and

sacred vestments, denoting their

symbols which have traditionally

appointment as priests in God’s

identified the authority of

service, to be worn in the Tent of

parliamentary, judicial, mayoral,

Meeting and when they approach the

ecclesiastical or academic office. Their

altar to serve in the sanctuary, as a

origins are steeped in ancient customs

precaution against incurring

and rituals, and their intent was

mortal guilt.

always to denote authority or status. The wearing of ecclesiastical

Aaron’s insignia included a small golden bell which would sound to

vestments, we learn as recorded in

denote his presence and authority;

Exodus, was an instruction from God

and a breastplate, set with gold and

to Aaron on his consecration to

precious stones. The stones, engraved

priesthood, to give ‘dignity and

with the names of the sons of Israel,

magnificence.’ The instruction

were secured with twisted gold chain

included detailed advice on the

and rings, securing them into position

colours, materials, designs and

to ensure that whenever Aaron

significance of the garments for Aaron

entered the sanctuary, those names

and his sons, and on the embroidered

were closest to his heart.

1

24 WORLD OF ANTIQUES & ART

1 Dress collar, made by Angus and Coote, 1958. Sydney Town Hall Collection 2 Detail from the Sesquicentenary mace, made by John Hale and presented to the City of Sydney by the Friends of Town Hall. In 1908, Thomas Hughes was successful in obtaining the endorsement of the College of Arms in London for the city’s coat of arms. Sydney Town Hall Collection 3 Sydney’s first lord mayor was Sir Thomas Hughes (1863-1930) (left with Mrs Hughes) who held the office of lord mayor in 1902, 1903, 1907 and 1908. On right are the first Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sir Samuel Gillott and his wife Lady Gillott. City of Sydney Archives 4 Enamelled medallions presented to the City of Sydney by the Sydney Chamber of Commerce (top) featuring the unofficial badge of New South Wales. The larger medallion below was presented by Hughes and is decorated with the City’s unofficial coat of arms, granted in 1908. Sydney Town Hall Collection


acquisition

John Spooner (1946- ), The Aspirational Arms, 2004, pen, ink and wash, 15 x 22 cm (image). Gift of the artist through the Cultural Gifts Program, 2006

John Spooner: political cartoons and caricatures Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Mornington A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER of works

this unusual new career and has never

by Melbourne artist and well-known

looked back. Spooner won his first

cartoonist for The Age newspaper, John

Walkley Award in 1982 and another

Spooner, has been acquired by

two in 1994. In the 1980s he won five

Mornington Peninsula Regional

Stanley Awards (including the Gold

Gallery. Donated under the Cultural

Stanley for Black and White Artist of

Gifts Program, these twenty-two works

the Year) and in 2003 received the

from the artist’s own collection reflect

Graham Perkin Award for Australian

a range of issues significant to

Journalist of the Year.

contemporary Australia. They also complement a growing collection of social and political drawings, cartoons and caricatures held by the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery (MPRG).

His works are featured in Spooner: Drawings, Caricatures and Prints (1982), in the Works (1999). Exhibiting in both group and solo shows regularly since the 1980s, John Spooner is represented in public, private, national

Spooner began drawing for The Age in

and international collections,

1974. By 1977 he had given up law for

including the National Library of

WORLD OF ANTIQUES & ART

funny is a broad term. You can have wincing funny or bellylaugh funny. But there’s another ingredient too; when the cartoon makes you look at an idea in a way you’re not used to.’ John Spooner, 2004

Bodies and Souls (1989) and A Spooner

Working as a lawyer by day, John

160

‘The best cartoons are funny, but

Australia, National Gallery of Australia and National Gallery of Victoria. The twenty-two works donated by Spooner cover a wide range of styles and approaches. There are examples of


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