Thursday, April 23, 2009

Antiques Roadshow - Bath, 23rd April 2009

What a beautiful day out in Bath! Today, my better-half and I took ourselves off to Bath and another Antiques Roadshow valuation day. With all good intentions I set my alarm for 7am, hoping to leave by 7.30am, but we only just got out of Portsmouth at around 8.15am and straight into the rush hour traffic. Still, once we were onto the M27 it was quite a smooth journey along the A36 to wonderful Georgian Bath under a cloudless blue sky. So far we have been exceptionally lucky with the weather during our AR visits. After a minor mishap on arriving at the city - i mistakenly thought the roadshow was being held at the Bath Pump Rooms, but no, it was at the Assembly Rooms which was a bit of a climb up a hill - we joined the queue for the reception desk. People snaked around the building, all waiting for their first glimpse of the joys inside. The sun was beginning to beat quite hard by the time we actually got inside the building and my balding pate was glad of the respite undercover. All in all, it took just over 2 hours to get to the reception desk, the longest we've had to queue at a roadshow so far. But gladly, the individual queues to see specialists inside, weren't as bad as they could have been. It seemed that every major hitter expert from the show was there: Rupert Maas (art), Lars Tharp (ceramics), Eric Knowles (ceramics & glass), Hillary Kay (miscellaneous), David Battie (ceramics & orientalist works), Paul Atterbury (miscellaneous), Geoffrey Munn (jewellery), Christopher Payne (furniture)... Maybe it was because they live fairly local and all opted for Bath because it was easy to get to, or it was because they had anticipated great finds coming from the city's wealthy inhabitants? What ever the reason for the great turn out, it was fantastic to see them all there in the flesh - i had goose bumps and a massive grin when we were told to go and see David Battie at the ceramics table to show him what we'd brought along. My partner and I had in fact, taken along not just ceramics, but also some Chinese hand painted scenes on very fine paper and wood (which looks sheeny like silk). They weren't worth a fortune (£10 each), but were a good result for a £5 for-the-lot investment.
As for the ceramics, I took along a small hard-paste porcelain cup that I was curious about; it is not by any of the Powell Bishop and Stonier factories, but was made around 1810-20ish and possibly by Masons or Mayhew according to Mr Battie. As for my Bisto collection, I took along my India patterned vases, my framed Ogdens cigarette card of a Bisto pot and some bowls. One of which, he commented looked like the designs of Charles Voysey. If you search for an earlier post on this blog, I mentioned that it reminded me of the work of 'the four' - that is, Rennie Mackintosh and his group from the Glasgow school - there are similarities indeed with their work. With his suggestion in mind, I have contacted a society who study/celebrate Voysey's work with the hope that they may have some info as to whether he did any ceramics design. Who knows, he may have sent designs to Bishop & Stonier?

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About Me

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Sometimes, life doesn't turn out the way you expected. And sometimes, it is exactly as it was 'meant' to be. But whilst i'm not a believer in fate or fatalism, I do believe that life is a both a learning experience and an obstacle course to be climbed and clambered over in the most creative way possible! In doing so, you'll get to where you should be even if it's not where you'd imagined.
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