23 Oct 2017

 
  

March 20, 2013 - Filed under: Scottish Country Estates — Mandy

Estate houses in Scotland, also known as Scottish country houses, are large houses usually built on landed estates in Scotland, from the sixteenth century, after defensive Scottish castles began to be replaced by more comfortable residences built for royalty, nobility and local lairds. The origins of Scottish estate houses are in the extensive building and rebuilding of royal residences, beginning with Linlithgow, under the influence of Renaissance architecture. In the 1560s the unique Scottish style of the Scots baronial, which combined features from Medieval castles, tower houses, peel towers with Renaissance plans into houses designed primarily for residence.

After the Restoration the work of architect Sir William Bruce introduced neo-classical architecture to Scotland in the shape of royal palaces and estate houses incorporating elements of the Palladian style. In the eighteenth century Scotland produced some of the most important British architects, including William Adam and his son Robert Adam, who rejected the Palladian style and built a series of estate houses that were based on classical and continental models. The incorporation of elements of Medieval architecture into estate houses by William Adam helped launch a revival of the Scots baronial in the nineteenth century, given popularity by its use at Walter Scott’s Abbotsford House and Queen Victoria’s retreat at Balmoral Castle. In the twentieth century the building of estate houses decline with the influence of the aristocracy and many were taken over by the National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland.

William Adam, was the foremost architect of his time in Scotland, designing and building numerous country houses and public buildings. Among his best known works are Hopetoun House near Edinburgh, and Duff House in Banff. His individual, exuberant, style was built on the Palladian style, but with Baroque details inspired by Vanbrugh and Continental architecture. After his death, his sons Robert and John took on the family business, which included lucrative work for the Board of Ordnance. Robert emerged as leader of the first phase of the neo-classical revival in England and Scotland from around 1760 until his death. He rejected the Palladian style as “ponderous” and “disgustful”. However, he continued their tradition of drawing inspiration directly from classical antiquity, influenced by his four-year stay in Europe. An interior designer as well as an architect, with his brothers developing the Adam style, he influenced the development of architecture, not just in Britain, but in Western Europe, North America and in Russia, where his patterns were taken by Scottish architect Charles Cameron. Adam’s main rival was William Chambers, another Scot, but born in Sweden. He did most of his work in London, with a small number of houses in Scotland. He was appointed architectural tutor to the Prince of Wales, later George III, and in 1766, with Robert Adam, as Architect to the King. More international in outlook than Adam, he combined Neoclassicism and Palladian conventions and his influence was mediated through his large number

We have recently purchased many items from a large Scottish Country Estate which can be seen on our website

http://www.christiandaviesantiques.co.uk/CurrentStock.aspx

March 15, 2013 - Filed under: Antique Candelabra — Mandy

A candelabrum (plural candelabrums, candelabra, candelabras), sometimes called a candle tree, is a candlestick holder with multiple arms. The word comes from Latin

In modern usage the plural form “candelabra” is frequently used in the singular sense, with the true singular form “candelabrum” becoming rare. Likewise, “candelabra” and “candelabras” are preferred over “candelabrums” as the plural form.

Although the electrification of indoor lighting has relegated candleholders to the status of backup light sources in most homes and other buildings, interior designers continue to model light fixtures and lighting accessories after candelabra and candlesticks. Accordingly, the term “candelabra” has entered common use as a collective term for small-based incandescent light bulbs used in chandeliers and other lighting fixtures made for decoration as well as lighting.

 

March 5, 2013 - Filed under: Taxidermy — Mandy

Did you know there were more than a dozen taxidermists showing at the Great Exhibition in 1851, the year when 75,000 visitors paid to see John Gould’s exhibition of stuffed hummingbirds at Regent’s Park Zoo?

By the late Victorian era virtually every large village in the UK had a resident ‘professional’ taxidermist and almost every home a stuffed bird or mammal of some description. And interest in the natural world, the advent of foreign travel and the lure of big game hunting before the era of animal conservation ensured the industry thrived into the 1930s.

By the 1970s of course, taxidermy had entered its fashionable nadir, and most of the commercial companies had ceased trading completely, but it was not forever. In the past two decades, there has been an undoubted resurgence of interest in mounted specimens from the animal kingdom as serious antiques

Collectors of antique specimens prefer named cases by the best makers. It is not an exhaustive list but the best examples of antique taxidermy often carry the labels of Henry and Rowland Ward of Piccadilly, James Hutchings of Aberystwyth, James Gardner of London, Thomas Gunn of Norwich, A.S Hutchinson of Derby, Jefferies & Sons of Carmarthen, Murray of Carnforth, H.T. Shopland of Torquay and Peter Spicer of Leamington Spa.

There are equally respected European firms, while Van Ingen & Van Ingen of Mysore were renowned for their big game mounts (particularly tiger skins). Most taxidermists have a distinct style in case production: those by James Gardner for example are distinctive for their brightly coloured gouache or watercolour backgrounds, Peter Spicer for exceptional cabinetmaking.

Most collectors prefer cased birds and mammals that show the subject matter as close to how it existed in the wild.

 

- Filed under: Thomas Chippendale — Mandy

Thomas Chippendale (probably born at Farnley near Otley, baptised at Otley 16 June 1718 – November 1779) was a London cabinet-maker and furniture designer in the mid-Georgian, English Rococo, and Neoclassical styles. In 1754 he published a book of his designs, titled The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director. The designs are regarded as reflecting the current London fashion for furniture for that period and were used by other cabinet makers outside London.

Chippendale was the only child of John Chippendale (1690–1768), joiner, and his first wife Mary (née Drake) (1693–1729). He received an elementary education at Prince Henry’s Grammar School. The Chippendale family had long been the wood working trades and so he probably received his basic training from his father, though it is believed that he also was trained by Richard Wood in York, before he moved to London. Wood later ordered eight copies of the Director. On 19 May 1748 he married Catherine Redshaw at St George’s Chapel, Mayfair and they had five boys and a girl

 

After working as a journeyman cabinet maker in London, in 1754, he became the first cabinet-maker to publish a book of his designs, titled The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director. Three editions were published, the first in 1754, followed by a virtual reprint in 1755, and finally a revised and enlarged edition in 1762, by which time Chippendale’s illustrated designs began to show signs of Neoclassicism.

Chippendale was much more than just a cabinet maker, he was an interior designer who advised on soft furnishings and even the colour a room should be painted. Chippendale often took on large-scale commissions from aristocratic clients. Twenty-six of these commissions have been identified. Here furniture by Chippendale can still be identified, The locations include:

  • Harewood House, Yorkshire, for Edwin Lascelles (1767–78);
  • Wilton House, for Henry, 10th Earl of Pembroke (c 1759-1773);
  • Petworth House, Sussex and other houses for George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont (1777–79).

 

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