A view near Stroud in Sussex by Abraham Pether (1756-1812), oil on canvas, signed and dated 1788, 28″ x 36″ (35″ x 43″ in original Georgian carved gilded frame), £12,000 from The Parker Gallery
The market town of Petworth is getting excited in anticipation of visitors flocking to the area for The Petworth Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair, which is taking place for the third successive year in the ‘Capability’ Brown designed grounds of the palatial Petworth mansion from Friday 5 until Sunday 7 May 2017 in West Sussex.
Petworth town itself boasts around 30 antiques and art galleries, as well as award winning restaurants, pubs and much more. Easily accessible from London, the south and further afield, Petworth has a lot to offer those wishing to enjoy a day out or even a weekend away. Antiques fair ticket holders have the added advantage of free parking right outside the marquee inside Petworth Park and free entry to view the magnificent Turners, and other Old Masters by Van Dyck and Reynolds housed in the National Trust run property.
Over the 3 days across the first weekend in May, the purpose-built marquee accommodates 48 specialist dealers, all showing their finest wares. Traditional paintings sit alongside contemporary art on many stands, so there is plenty to appeal to differing tastes. Highlights include Arthur Rackham’s original illustration Hope For The World, priced at £29,500, which graced the cover of Hawthorn’s Wonderbook, to be found on Kaye Michie Fine Art’s stand alongside Mount Vesuvius by Mary Fedden (1915-2012), £15,850. Haynes Fine Art has two further Fedden paintings, both of which were reportedly painted at the same time, as the cat in Persian Still Life shows the feline with its tongue hanging out apparently enticed by the still life the artist was painting entitled Two Fish! Another highlight from Haynes Fine Art is a pencil sketch for Tribe of Benjamin Seizing their Brides by Sir John Everett Millais PRA (British, 1829-1896), 73⁄4″ x 111⁄2″, priced in the region of £15,000-£25,000.
Many artists have found Petworth and the Sussex countryside a great inspiration through the ages with a number of paintings for sale from several exhibitors: Anthony Garratt paints en plein air and has recently been working at Petworth. Several of his paintings, which incorporate all that the weather throws at them, as one title infers Capability Brown can’t stop the rain, £3,200, are for sale from Moncrieff-Bray Gallery.
Petworth Park is having its very own flower show in advance of Chelsea, later in May, as Sarah Colegrave Fine Art is devoting the stand to floral art. Paintings for sale include Peonies, a watercolour by Cecil Beaton (1904-1980), £2,400; a coloured pencil drawing of Tree of Life by Scottie Wilson, £2,600, who Picasso considered to be at the forefront of 20th Century Outsider Art, and Phlox by former President of the Royal Watercolour Society, Robert Sargent Austin (1895-1973).
With the proximity to the coast, it is not surprising that the sea features clearly with a number of marine paintings and seascapes. ‘Wanderer’, Beside a Barque Off Falmouth is Charles Pears’ exuberant oil painting showing the artist aboard his own yawl approaching a Finnish cargo vessel, 1939, £12,500 from Rountree Tryon Galleries. Since opening their new gallery in Petworth, Rountree Tryon has a number of Petworth and Sussex watercolour and pencil works by Claude Muncaster (1903-1974) from the 1920s, as well as Tidal Creek, Chichester Harbour by Keith Shackleton (1923-2015), oil on board, 1969, £8,750. Shackleton has beautifully captured the serene sky reflected in the river estuary at Chichester at the moment the birds are returning home at sunset.
More unusual marine items can be found from the clock specialist Olde Time: a brass ship’s binnacle, c1920, £2,300 and an original brass cased ship’s telegraph with enamel dial and nine speed indicators, made by Chadburne (Ship) Telegraph Coy Ltd, £5,000, both a perfect feature for any coastal property or wannabe ship’s captain.
From ships to the railways, William Heath Robinson (1872-1944) has caused great amusement for many over the years. In 1915, one of the greatest minds of the age, HG Wells wrote to Heath Robinson stating, “Your absurd, beautiful drawings… give me a peculiar pleasure of the mind like nothing else in the world.” Amongst the works for sale, Ottocento has a William Heath Robinson pen and ink drawing first published in Railway Ribaldry by the Great Western Railway, Paddington in 1935.
Sculpture plays an important role at this fair with contemporary outdoor sculpture decorating the view from the marquee towards the mansion. 19th century and contemporary bronzes on Garret & Hurst Sculpture’s stand include Marie Antoinette, Guillotine Bound by British artist Lord Ronald Sutherland Gower (British, 1845-1916), £32,000. Standing at 116cm high this bronze depicts Marie Antoinette with cropped hair and in peasant clothing being led to her execution on 16th October 1789 with great dignity and her head held high. Gower, in his autobiography, described Marie Antoinette as an ‘all-absorbing subject’.
Jonathan Knight Sculpture creates wildlife bronzes in small editions, like Crab and Courting Curlews, both POA. Morgan Strickland Decorative Arts includes Art Nouveau bronze, ivory and ceramic figures and lighting amongst its collection by Lorenzl, Press, Venini, Hagenauer and more. Arts & Crafts metalware and glass is also to be found on the stand, including an Art Nouveau enamelled Loetz glass comport with stylised roses, attributed to Maria Kirschner, Austria, c1900, £850. Fileman Antiques specialise in fine antique lighting with interior decorators amongst its elite list of clients. The collection to be found on the stand crosses from sumptuous chandeliers to drinking vessels, a pair of Georgian diamond cut dishes with Van Dyke rim, English, c1790, £1,200 the pair and decorative glass paperweights by Baccarat and others.
Timepieces come in all shapes and sizes, from vintage Rolexes from Timewise to Richard Price’s rare French Empire bronze & ormolu mantel clock, depicting the grape harvest, c1810, £7,950 which may be of interest to one of the many vineyards located in Sussex, one of whom – Nyetimber – is one of the fair’s supporters. Another interesting piece with an alcoholic connotation is an Art Deco mirrored longcase clock that opens to reveal a cocktail cupboard, full of all the paraphernalia from glasses to cocktail shakers and swizzle sticks from the period, c1920. It also has a secret velvet lined area, which was presumably a hideaway for precious items like jewellery. The whereabouts of this secret hideaway will only be revealed by Olde Time to the eventual buyer, who will pay around £8,500.
First time exhibitor, Jupiter Antiques specialises in English and Continental porcelain. Amongst the Sèvres, Worcester, Spode, Paris and 18th century Meissen pieces is a Royal Crown Derby breakfast cup, saucer and side plate with raised tooled gilding painted with roses, signed by Albert Gregory, £3,800. All three pieces bear the royal warrant mark, By Appointment to His Majesty the King, and have a gilded foot indicating it is the finest export ware and it was specially made for Tiffany and Co, New York and others.
Richard Ogden from London’s Burlington Arcade always puts on a magnificent display. A colourful presentation of traditional jewellery with hats and fascinators by royal milliner Rachel Trevor-Morgan should be quite a spectacle. Fine jewellery for sale from Richard Ogden includes a French Art Deco diamond set rock crystal brooch with cushion cut centre diamond, c1930, POA, and a butterfly brooch with an opal set abdomen and diamond set wings in silver on yellow gold, the body and eyes set with cabochon rubies, c1900, £3,750. For the fisherwoman, T Robert is bringing a 15ct gold, platinum and enamel fishing rod and salmon brooch set with rubies and diamonds, c1910, £1,275.
Furniture from Tim Saltwell includes a Victorian solid walnut butler’s tray on stand, English, c1870, £1,050 and a late 19th century French kingwood and marquetry table de toilette after the model by Jean-François Oeben held in the V&A collection, c1880, £5,250 and a pair of French rosewood upholstered armchairs, c1865, £1,975 from Wilsons Antiques. Melody Antiques brings its country oak furniture and dressers, as well as an eclectic mix of accessories. From William Cook comes a small 18th century Cuban mahogany breakfront bookcase, only 72″ wide, that has been in a house in Yorkshire for the last 150 years, POA. Guy Dennler Antiques’ stock includes a George II walnut tallboy, £9,850, a fine Regency brass inlaid sofa table, £14,850 and a pair of George III cross-banded demi-lune tables, £14,850 the pair. Petworth dealer, Augustus Brandt comes with a stylish mix of decorative accessories and furniture including an attractive 19th century Italian pietra dura centre table with a black marble top inlaid with trailing floral band, £9,850.
Meet the artists: Sean Jefferson will be popping in on the opening day to talk to people interested in his mystical pastoral paintings on Kaye Michie Fine Art’s stand. And the sculptor Jonathan Knight is exhibiting with his latest limited edition wildlife bronzEeasr,lywwhaitcehrcofliotuwr peallinwteidthinone of the fair’s charities: The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, a small, highly effective wildlife conservation charity funding key conservation projects across Africa and Asia that protect endangered species. Money raised at The Petworth Antiques & Fine Art Fair will help protect key species including elephants, rhinos, tigers, pangolins, painted dogs and snow leopards. The second charity, with which The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited works at all its fairs, is the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), the charitable arm of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, that funds the education of talented craftspeople through traditional college courses, apprenticeships or one-on-one training with masters.