Library

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

  UPDATE : Masterpiece Fair: London 2020South Grounds, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, SW3 4LW In light of the evolving Covid-19 pandemic and increasing measures taken to combat it by the UK government, Masterpiece have decided to cancel this year’s edition of Masterpiece London, which was scheduled to take place from 24 June - 1 July 2020. "We are grateful for the support and hard work of our exhibitors, partners and staff in

F & C Osler, the leading British glassmaking company of the 19th century, was established by Thomas Osler in 1807 in Birmingham. In its infancy, the company only manufactured chandeliers and glass furniture. However, when Thomas Osler’s sons, Follett Osler and Clarkson Osler, joined the business, the company’s operation expanded, resulting in the opening of its second branch in London in 1845. F. C Osler's 8.25 meter crystal fountain made

France is renowned for being the home of some magnificent French chateau - grand country homes or palaces built for nobility - but not all the properties have survived intact. If the idea of owning your own chateau appeals, either for a second home, holiday residence or business enterprise, there are still some wonderful properties available, if you know where to look. We've handpicked these two stunning examples, both of which would

The Allure of Mid Century Furniture Born in 1962, I am sort of Mid Century myself. It is a rather peculiar feeling having lived through a period that has become a style. As I grew up my parents eschewed the rich upholstery and heavily carved furniture of their childhoods for the clean lines, delicacy and mechanical references that epitomises the Mid Century. The term itself, however, is a trifle vague and

There's something special about owning a home with history. There's the architectural and design history of the building and the developmental changes its been through over the years, but also the historical fascination of the people who lived and grew up in the building before you. If you love homes with history and fancy owning your own to either live in or have as a holiday or investment property, then here's a round-up

Today’s Antique Market -The British Antique Dealers Association Top Antiques Dealers In our special series on the world of antiques and the antique market Nicholas Wells Antiques is delighted to present specialist blogs on leading fairs, dealers, and the preeminent organizations and associations, such BADA (British Antique Dealers’ Association). Founded in 1918, BADA British Antique Dealers Association is considered one of the top antique dealer associations and includes approximately 350 international dealers, galleries, and antique shops. In this blog, we will showcase some of our

The Tipu Sultan Collection -Islamic and Indian Arms and Armour  At Nicholas Wells Antiques Ltd., we follow the most intriguing sales of rare antique objects particularly those that tell the fascinating story of iconic historic figures like Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore (1782-1799). This month arms and armour auctioneer Antony Cribb will feature a highly rare set of Indian and Islamic objects from the siege of Seringapatam, the site of the great and enigmatic Sultan’s defeat.   About the Tiger

In 1759, John Mayhew and William Ince formed a cabinet-making partnership firm. Both men set up and signed a formal partnership agreement on January 16, 1759 that declared them to be in a partnership business for 21 years, starting December 25, 1758. They described their venture as “Cabinet-makers and Upholders” and the first property they purchased as a firm was that of Charles Smith. Little did they know that this firm

Selecting Antique Table Lamps from Nicholas Wells Antiques Ltd. for Your Interior, Style and Collection The most memorable and beautiful spaces often combine modern and classic design creating a sense of artful arrangement, and flow, while as well generating comfort and livability. Indeed, eclecticism is at the root of the extraordinary fascination we have with the traditional interiors of country houses, castles and city residences. The admixture of periods, colour, texture and styles allow

The Charm of Genuine Antique Mirrors Exceptionally beautiful and unique antique mirrors evoke a sense of accomplished craftsmanship, detailed and expressive carving as well as intricate emblems and patterning. Such iconic pieces hold their own in historic architectural spaces, and as complementary pieces when arranged with art collections as well. Interior decorators frequently choose mirrors for extending space and light, and as focal points for curated vignettes, and placement might include entryways, above or on mantels, as

Interior Decorating with Antique Mirrors The antique mirror is an iconic decorating object, a unique embellishment that exists somewhere between artwork and furnishing. The most creative and well-regarded interior designers almost always include an antique mirror or group of mirrors as a finishing touch, a tasteful and elegant way to create a sense of opulence and character. Rare antique mirrors are of course the penultimate form of this decorating essential. Many of our clients in London choose antique mirrors as decorative

“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

Many years ago my great friend and colleague at Mallett, Piers Woodnutt, introduced me to a field of collecting that I knew very little about. Since seeing and handling the first Dunhill Aquarium lighters, I have been spellbound by them ever since. They cross the divide of a functional luxury object combined with a quirkiness and uniqueness that makes every one of them special. They all have their merits and distinctive features,

Egyptian Revival Furniture Art has always been appreciated all over the world. No matter what time or age we are living in, the beauty of art and culture cannot be dimmed or overlooked. Consequently, Egyptian Revival Furniture is part of our culture. The Egyptian revival in the decorative arts is considered to be one of the great distinguishing art movements of the 19th century. The period known as the Egyptian revival appears

The Summer Art & Antique Fair that has been taking place in Olympia, London since 1972 is a major art and antiques event not only in the UK, but all over the world. Known for its diverse offerings in a variety of categories, including paintings, ceramics, jewellery, furniture, textiles, contemporary art dealers, the fair brings the world’s best decorative and antique pieces to London every year in June. According to

London-based NICHOLAS WELLS ANTIQUES sells its antique furniture and artworks solely online. Owner Nicholas Wells shares with EAL his insights into the changing antiques landscape and the many digital options available to interior designers, drawing one particularly promising conclusion: “It is again fun to collect!” What are some of the benefits you offer to designers? How do you develop relationships with them? We, too, focus primarily on high-end interior designers. Since 1998, I have established many

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

Orientalism is a term that refers to the Orient i.e. the East, in reference to the Occident i.e. the West.  Orientalism is the study of cultures, peoples and languages of Eastern societies as viewed by Western scholars. In particular, it has been used to refer to works of 19th century scholars, especially British and French, in literature and arts that were reflections of their interpretation of Eastern societies, they had

Avvocato Faustino Corsi, a Roman lawyer, who lived from 1711 to 1846, is a name that needs no introduction when we talk about decorative stones. For those who do not know, the term ‘decorative stones’ is used for any rock or mineral that can be made to look beautiful after cutting and polishing. Popular decorative stones are serpentines, granites, marbles, jaspers, jade, fluorites and amethyst. The use of decorative stones

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

Persia, home to the finest woven carpets and rugs. Persian carpets and rugs are highly popular all over the world due to their high quality and intricate designs. The art of carpet weaving has been an integral part of Iranian culture since ancient times, and is considered an artistic legacy. It would not be wrong to say that Persian rugs and carpets are the culmination of Iran’s cultural and artistic excellence.

James Shore of Matlock Bath, Derbyshire was perhaps the greatest maker of Blue John vases & urns. It is believed he was active from the latter part of the 18th Century through to the early part of the 19th Century. Very little is known about him on the personal side, however, history has noted his pieces were some the finest Blue John works ever produced. A feature of all his

Two techniques that are often confused, they are very similar but by no means the same! Before getting into what either of these terms mean, we need to understand where they originated from first. These refer to a style of inlay that grew in popularity during the 18th century. The terms were used to describe two different types of surface inlays used across the decorative arts in numerous applications. Our interest

Blackamoor figures are small sculptures and representations of usually African males along with other dark skinned figures from European history. Most of them are depicted holding a tray or any receptacle that was intended for practical use. Blackamoors are also incorporated in jewelry and other decorative art while life-size figures were kept as artificial ‘footmen’ in doorways. Also referred to as ‘Nubians', this race has been immortalized in décor and jewelry

If anything, the T’ang Dynasty that ruled China between 618 and 907 AD, is famous for the brightly coloured tomb figurines they brilliantly modelled out of clay. These famous figurines known as mingqui in Chinese were crafted from low-fired earthenware for the exclusive purpose of high profile ceremonial burials to accompany the deceased in the afterlife. These highly admired and distinctive pottery figurines of camels, horses, servants, dancers, musicians, courtesans and

Large Contemporary Abstract Paintings for Interior Design For a vibrant décor, have no fear of mixing periods and materials to create contrast and intimacy, using colour with texture and height in juxtaposition to volume and weight.  A collector’s house never looks decorated as such because it has given a home to a multitude of objects and paintings of which the diverse origins constitute its vitality. The greatest interior designers of the twentieth century

  An important antique Italian marble center table & the grandeur of its patrons William Montagu Hay, 10th Marquess of Tweeddale (b. 1826 - d. 1911) Prior to 1878, Hay was known as Lord William Montagu Hay. Born in Scotland in 1826, he was appointed a member of the Bengal Civil Service in British India, and then later as a Liberal Member of Parliament. Following the death of his brother in 1878, he became

On 26th September 2017, the auction house giant are holding an exciting auction of the Vivien Leigh Collection, and as huge fans of the iconic actress, we had to take a look at the Sotheby's catalogue. With an outstanding collection of film memorabilia and artworks, the Vivien Leigh Collection also offers an impressive array of furniture and decorative arts from the film star's private collections. As a woman of good taste

Nicholas Wells Antiques specialises in 18th and 19th-century European furniture, and we pride ourselves on having an expert eye for spotting those unique, exceptional quality pieces. In particular, we think that the Georgian period produced some of the finest examples of furniture design. What makes Georgian furniture interesting, is the immense variety of styles that emerge throughout the period. From the years 1714 to 1830, over a century, we see

Thomas Chippendale 1718-1779 18th-century genius, furniture designer, interior designer, and leader of taste.  Thomas Chippendale is England's most famous furniture designer of the Georgian period. He influenced furniture and interior design in England and the world and supplied its richest British clients with exceptional furniture and interior design.   Thomas was the only child of John (1690-1768) and Mary (1693-1729) Chippendale who ran a cabinet making business in Yorkshire. Little is known about

It is not every day that you see people talking about antique japanned furniture. With the fast-paced lives we’re living today, everything from the past seems blurred – just like the objects on the outside of the window appear to the people inside a fast moving train. The art of Japanning has quite similarly faded into the pages of history. We wouldn’t be surprised if the only people who knew about

Did you catch our last blog post, The Masters of Midcentury and Modern: Part 1? All one needs to do is scan an interior decorating magazine, Pinterest, or even Instagram to see that midcentury and modern design remains on practically everyone's list of must haves. In our last post, we looked at Willy Rizzo, Romeo Rega and Syrie Maugham, and in Part 2 we take a look at Milo Baughman,

Nicholas Wells Antiques may specialise in 18th and 19th century furniture, but we absolutely adore Midcentury and Modern design too. We have some truly exceptional pieces - elegant, sometimes opulent, sometimes restrained, they are hugely varied. We are going to take a closer look at some of the designers responsible. Willy Rizzo Possibly the epitome of 'Hollywood Glam'? Willy Rizzo was an Italian photographer who began, in the post-war years, to capture

Nicholas Wells Antiques are excited to announce that we have recently acquired an exclusive Vintage Dunhill Lighter Collection. An established, luxury men's brand, Dunhill is one of the most recognisable names associated with twentieth-century style, glamour, and quality. It is, therefore, no surprise that vintage Dunhill lighters are extremely sought after and collectible. The History of Dunhill Alfred Dunhill inherited his father's London saddlery in 1893. Following the increase in motor car

William Hogarth is best known for his fabulous paintings and print series such as 'A Rake's Progress' , 'A Harlot's Progress' and 'Marriage a la Mode', but he also wrote a book called, 'An Analysis of Beauty' in 1753. In this book, Hogarth expresses his theories of visual beauty and grace in a way that was accessible to many readers, and develops what he calls, the 'line of beauty'. In his

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,

Nicholas Wells Antiques is  proud to present a sneaky peak into some exciting new stock - Josiah Martin and Elizabeth Pullman: the Maori Collection. Please do get in touch if you are interested in any of the photographs shown, as all are currently available! Josiah Martin and Elizabeth Pullman's photographs of New Zealand, the surrounding islands and the people were hugely popular during the second half of the nineteenth century and

At Nicholas Wells Antiques, we know that our unique, high quality, period pieces suit any interior. We are extremely careful to select items that embody a sense of excellent craftsmanship, timeless style and seamless design. Should you need convincing, we have taken some stock images from Houzz and Pinterest  - our favourite destinations for stylistic inspiration - and matched them with a few of our very own masterpieces. Take a look and perhaps

It's Friday, and if you're like us, you've had a hectic week - you've faced the pressure of deadlines, had innumerate meetings, and are feeling the heat in the city this August. Come 5pm on a Friday, you're ready to leapfrog out of the office, find your respective friends/colleagues, bag a table at a bar and order yourself a very large, cool beverage. Cocktails, as far as we are concerned, are

Once deemed old fashioned, drinks trolleys have officially made a comeback. Their renaissance has been helped considerably by their appearance in the Soho House group hotels – placing a drinks trolley in individual rooms is a nice touch and who doesn’t like having their own personal ‘cocktail station’?! And it’s not just Soho House that have been getting in on the action. The ever-so-chic hotel The Laslett, in Notting Hill, has

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

I recently came across La Guirlande de Julie whilst conducting some research, and frankly, I had to share it. It is, quite possibly, one of my favourite objects in this world. La Guirlande is a book of love poetry, compiled by a French Noble in a bid to woo the love of his life, Julie. The book is filled with poems, illustrated with the most beautiful hand painted flowers, each one singing her praises

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

  We are delighted to announce some fabulous new treasures within the Nicholas Wells Antiques collection! Take a look and let us know what you think: Impressive, Florentine Marble Centre Table To learn more, click here   Bronze Victory, on original Portoro Marble Revolving Pedestal, By Sabatino De Angelis To learn more, click here   Painted French Provincial Empire Console Table To learn more, click here   19th Century Empire Gueridon Centre Table, with Marble Top To learn more, click here   Regency Rosewood Side Cabinet Chiffonier   To learn

  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

Our collection of glass sculptures are rather extraordinary, characterful and exceptionally skillful pieces.  A selection are designed after Picasso, and take inspiration from his cubism and surrealism. Additionally, we have several equestrian sculptures and a spectacular leaping salmon. Alessandro Barbaro Alessandro Barbaro is Master Glassmaker at the Vetreria Artistica Colleoni on the island of Murano. He has been working with glass for almost 40 years and is an extremely experienced and skilled craftsman.

Louis Comfort Tiffany Louis Comfort Tiffany was born in 1848, the son of a successful jeweller, Charles Lewis Tiffany, founder of the Tiffany & Co. that we know today. He was an artistic fellow and studied art in New York before travelling to Paris, arguably the artistic centre of the western world at the time. In Paris, Tiffany was greatly influenced by the emerging Aesthetic Movement and Art Nouveau styles. It

In its seventh year, Masterpiece London is a well established highlight of the art world calendar. It celebrates the collection of artworks from antiquity through to present day, and has a huge range of works on display. It is so exciting to wander around, eyeing up a drawing that would just be perfect for your bathroom, or perhaps a cabinet that would fill that gap in your sitting room

  Golden, glistening under the flicker of candlelight; there is nothing quite as atmospheric and decadent as ormolu and gilt-bronze castings. The Wallace Collection has created a glorious exhibition highlighting the excellence of the bronzier. And rightly so; the techniques used and skill required to create such characteristic elements of decorative art are often neglected. Techniques and Production Ormolu became an increasingly popular addition to furniture and decorative objects during the eighteenth century. The

Superb Rare 19th Century French Kingwood, Rosewood & Mother of Pearl Parquetry Ormolu Mounted Boîte à Nécessaire. This truly beautiful piece, veneered throughout with matched chevrons of Kingwood, with its cover & hinged door inlaid with mother of pearl, Rosewood & Kingwood parquetry lattice work, all set within an ormolu beaded mount frame is absolutely gorgeous to behold. The two ormolu female Goddess figures are beautiful quality, one of which

Magnificent 19th Century Blue John & Ashford Black Marble Tripartite Table Important, Extremely Rare & Magnificent Blue John & Ashford Black Marble Tripartite Table, Circa 1845. The Ashford Marble top is inset with the most fabulous variants & veins of Blue John, the colour & depth are truly outstanding. The attention to detail & artistic design of the top is a masterpiece in the use of Derbyshire Blue John, showcasing all

Please see below the photographs of the Important & Rare George III Harewood & Satinwood Pembroke Table Attributed To Mayhew & Ince, Circa 1780. One of the finest 18th Century Pembroke tables ever made. The colour, figuration of the veneers & patina on this glorious piece are truly superb, the mahogany lined drawer & leather & brass casters are a beauty to behold. It is a most exceptional table. The

A recent article in The Telegraph concerning the current market for glassware predicted that we would be seeing a surge in interest in crystal and glassware, in “decidedly contemporary shapes’. Following a period of dust gathering and relative obscurity, Glass appears to be making a comeback. Despite the brittle physicality of this material, its decorative and ornamental nature speaks for itself and it is not difficult to see why these

Paul Jacoulet (1896-1960) has an immensely abundant legacy of over 160 woodcut prints in addition to an excess of 3,000 watercolours and drawings. His works are a triumphant harmony of both Eastern and Western cultures that he was exposed to throughout his lifetime, recently acknowledged in an exhibition at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in 2011. Born in France, Jacoulet grew up in Tokyo after his father, a university professor, was

Leeds's most lavishly decorated historic room has just been reopened to the public following a painstaking restoration and preservation over the winter months. Famous for its panels of fine Chinese export wallpaper, the Chinese Drawing Room was almost entirely decorated by a former resident, Lady Isabella Hertford who lived at the house in the early 19th century. The Chinese export wallpaper had been given to her as a gift by the

X