18 Apr 2021


July 12, 2012 - Filed under: Goncalo Alves — Mandy

Goncalo Alves is a wood from a large canopy tree, which is rare outside of the protection of national parks, and is listed as threatened in “Arboles Maderables en Peligro de Extincion en Costa Rica”. The trees reach up to 120 feet in height with a trunk 3 feet in diameter.

Goncalo Alves ranges in colour from light to reddish brown to a deep mahogany reddish brown with a striking figure created by beautiful dark bold brown to nearly black irregular marks or stripes. With a fine to medium texture with a fine grain. In spite of its high density goncalo alves carves well, finishes smoothly and takes a beautiful polish. It is used for fine furniture and decorative figured veneers.









July 5, 2012 - Filed under: Arts and Crafts — Mandy

Romney Green was an English Arts & Crafts furniture designer; a contemporary of the Cotswold School, which flourished in the early 20th century and led to the Modernist movement. Green’s antique dining tables , chairs and cabinets are prized for their craftsmanship and elegant, simple lines. They can be found in many antique dealers specialising in Arts & Crafts furniture, adding the same touch of class to modern homes as they did those of the 1920s.

Romney Green was at the hub of the 20th century Arts and Crafts movement, helping to bring the Cotswold style to a wider audience. He began his furniture-making career in Haslemere, Surrey, in 1904, after visiting the workshops of Ernest Gimson at Sapperton and being inspired to create original designs in the same idiom.

He later moved to Christchurch, Hampshire, where he was joined by three other influential young designers – Eric Sharpe, Stanley W Davies and Robin Nance. Under his tutorship they went on to have successful careers of their own. Nance settled in St Ives, Cornwall, while Eric Sharpe opened a workshop in nearby Martyr Worthy. Stanley Davies was responsible for taking the Cotswolds movement to Cumbria.

Numerous links were forged between Green, Gimson and the Barnsley Brothers, which helped promote his work. Sidney Barnsley’s son, Edward Barnsley, set up a workshop in Froxfield, Hampshire, working with Oliver Morel, who had been greatly influenced by Romney Green, Eric Sharpe and Stanley Davies. In the 1960s Morel established the Eric Sharpe Resource Centre, which showcased the work of many of modern Arts & Crafts Furniture designers, notably Romney Green and his associates.

Green died in 1945, having led a varied and adventurous life. In an anthology of his poems he describes himself as:

“Craftsman-woodworker, boat-builder and sailor, mathematician, poet, chess-player, social reformer, rebel, friend and lover!”

Today, his antique cabinets, tables and dining chairs are found in antique dealers and museums across the British Isles. A particularly fine collection of his work is on display at the Red House Museum, Christchurch.

July 2, 2012 - Filed under: Arts and Crafts — Mandy

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) was one of the most significant figures in the history of Arts & Crafts Furniture, and a major influence on the Art Nouveau movement. A talented architect, designer and artist, he was central to the development of the Glasgow Style of design. He had few clients, yet his distinctive stained glass panels elegant Victorian dining chairs are known the world over.

Mackintosh was apprenticed to architects Honeyman and Keppie in 1889, also studying at the Glasgow School of Art. His first major architectural commission was the Glasgow Herald Building (1894), which showed amazing innovation and maturity.

Antique bookcases and the Glasgow School

Mackintosh believed that designers and architects should have freedom of expression, and began experimenting with design, aided by his friends Herbert MacNair and Frances and Margaret Macdonald (who he later married). Dubbed the Spook School, they established the Glasgow Style.


In 1896 Mackintosh, was awarded a major commission to design a new wing for the Glasgow School of Art. Constructed in two stages, it was Mackintosh’s most important work, containing baronial Scottish, rustic Japanese and many other elements. The Library is a complex geometry of timber posts and beams, complemented by dark slender antique bookcases and elegantly pierced chairs.

The Victorian dining chairs of the Cranston tearooms

Mackintosh’s best-known works were for Catherine Cranston, who commissioned him for her tearooms between 1896 and 1917. He was allowed complete freedom of expression, providing everything from the light fittings to the cutlery. The dramatic high-backed Victorian dining chairs, so prized by Lancashire collectors, are still copied by designers today.

Another important commission was Hill House, for publisher Walter Blackie. However, Mackintosh had only a few patrons, his ethic of total design making him unpopular with clients. His last public commission was a Glasgow school, in 1906. Further work followed, but it was largely met with indifference.

Mackintosh moved to London, where he began working in a bold new abstract style. However, it largely went unnoticed. Today, of course, his genius is recognised, and in Cumbria his antique dining tables and elegant chairs sell for many thousands of pounds.

July 1, 2012 - Filed under: Arts and Crafts — Mandy

Charles Francis Annesley Voysey was born at Hessle, near Hull. His father was a vicar and they were soon moved to Healaugh, in Yorkshire. Voysey was one of six children and did not attend school for his first 14 years. In 1871  his father was expelled from the Church Of England for his unorthodox thinking, so Voysey was moved to the Dulwich College in South London. He disliked this and was soon removed to have private tuition. This upbringing may account for the apparently rather austere, uncompromising nature of a lofty man now celebrated as a major figure in the Arts & Crafts movement.

He was articled to J.P Seddon  in 1874 staying there for five years, had a short spell with Saxon Snell and then two years with George Devey. He became an architect of domestic houses for the prosperous, completing some fifty or so by the time he retired. The houses are notable for end buttresses to the wall corners, deep eaves under flat cornices and leaded windows set tight under eaves and gables- not remote from his furniture.

His friend Mackmurdo probably introduced him to textile and wallpaper design. Voysey was sustained by designing in two dimensions, for which he had natural talent, although he was as equivocal about this as he was about furniture design saying “a wallpaper is only a background and were your furniture good in form or colour a very simple or undecorated treatment of the walls would be preferable……” This was a steady form of income for him and introduced him to people who bought him architectural commissions. His factory building at Chiswick, for Sandersons, is a case point.

Voysey’s early furniture included pieces like the gawky ‘swan’ chair of 1883-5 so called because of its back upright finials. This was exhibited in 1893 at the Arts & Crafts exhibition society. Voysey also worked with A.W Simpson of Kendal and designed a house for Simpson in 1909

Copyright © 2016 by Christian Davies Antiques Ltd RSS Feed | Sitemap | XML Sitemap | Authors
Copyright 2016 by Christian Davies Antiques Ltd
Website Template Design by Whalley Websites | Internet Marketing by Engage Web