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History

Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 - 1821), France’s greatest ruler and one of history’s finest military leaders, died almost 200 years ago, on 5th May 1821. In the light of that imminent anniversary, art collectors and historians are once more turning their attention to the many social, political and artistic achievements that he instigated. Napoleon was not only a military genius but a man of great intellect with a passion for

“To every age its art, to every art its freedom." The quote above is written above the door of the Secession Building, designed by Joseph Olbrich in Vienna in 1897. The building, purpose-built to hold exhibitions of the 'new arts' of modernity, was designed as a sort of visual manifesto of the Secession artists. It was a symbol of modern ideas, aesthetic principles and creativity. A group of artists had made a

The Shoguns, who ruled Japan during the Edo Period (1603-1867), had followed an isolationist policy called ‘Sakoku’. During this very long period of isolation, Japan severely limited its relations with the outside world. While this self-imposed isolation helped the country’s economy and also caused the growth of local culture, it produced many negative effects in the long run. In this rigid system, the artistic community of Japan was dependent upon

The French are famous for their fine taste in everything, whether it's food, art, architecture or furniture!! Like French art, French furniture also has a long history, but the eighteenth century is considered as the Golden age of French Furniture. It was during this time that the most refined and beautiful Royal furniture was made in the busy Paris workshops of Europe's elite Cabinet makers. Furniture that was a display of

The Ottoman Empire, established at the end of 13th century, was one of the largest and most powerful empires of the world. From the 14th century till the early 20th century, most of the Northern Africa, Western Asia and Southeastern Europe were under the control of the Ottomans. The Empire became the most powerful under the rule of Sultan Suleiman, also called Suleiman the Magnificent, during the 16th and 17th

Following on from our last blog post about The Maori Collection, Josiah Martin's photographs of Maori culture and the New Zealand landscape were exhibited at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition, where he won a medal. It's an incredibly interesting event, and seems particularly relevant as we head into the madness of autumn art fairs in London. The exhibiting of art, design, services and one-off pieces is by no means new,

The Royal Pavilion at Brighton is one of the most eccentric, decadent places to visit. It is testament to the personality of the Prince Regent, later George IV, and remains a spectacle of opulence and regency style today. The town of Brighton Brighton is a mere 50 miles from London, making it a destination for city folk both past and present. During the eighteenth century, Brighton was becoming popular as a resort

Standing proud on a hilltop, above extensive gardens and a river, this attractive watercolour of an impressive country house is a fabulous new purchase for Nicholas Wells Antiques. Not only is it lovely to look at, but it is actually a very rare depiction of a remarkable property, demolished in 1768. The house in question, however, and the family responsible for its construction, were highly influential elites in Northern England but

  The Tea Caddy The term ‘tea caddy’ came in to use c.1800 and is derived from the Chinese/Malay word cati/catty for a measurement of weight. Prior to this, they were referred to as ‘tea cannisters’ and could take a more box-like form made of wood, porcelain or metals. These exceptional examples all date from the Georgian period, arguably the heyday of tea consumption. A pear, a melon and a barrel – they

  Standing proudly, a handsome, youthful man is pictured in armour, wearing a red sash over his shoulder and holding his helmet in his right hand. His long hair displays a natural wave, typical of the seventeenth century. The rocky landscape in which we see him,  another characteristic of seventeenth century portraiture, demonstrates his importance and prowess over nature. This young gentleman is sat within a magnificent 17th Century original Dutch giltwood

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