Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tile collector

Stourbridge, Fieldings Auction House 12 January 2008

Born and bred in Birmingham, Shelia Huges (1937-2006) first began collecting tiles in the early 1970s. Driven by the desire to save her local architectural heritage at a time when so many old houses in the city were lost to redevelopment, she began by encouraging demolition men to save her cast iron fireplaces. Later, as her passion for the subject grew, she would catch the coach to London where she would visit specialist dealers for the day on the tiles.

When family members began to clear the contents of her Arts and Crafts home they found numerous banana boxes of largely Victorian and Edwardian tiles. They were alongside a collection of some 2000-3000 garden tools and a tail-lift van full of clothes, close to 3500 tiles arranged according to a somewhat byzantine filing system, choosing to sort her tiles into subjects.

Predictably many of the major sums were paid for the 16 tiles by de Morgan. most highly rated were two 6in (15cm) early Fulham period 'beast' tiles painted in deep blue to a turquoise ground. A stylised peacock in walking pose took £1550 and a tortoise £1600 (estimates £600-800). But perhaps a more interesting feature of this sale was the competition for the rare Victorian and Edwardian dust pressed transfer printed tiles. There were tiles here that many dealers and collectors had not seen outside reference works.


Seized or Recovered?

Art Loss Review Jan 08 - Letter to the Editor


I am trying to encourage people, especially in the media, to correctly apply the terms recovered and seized with respect to stolen goods.

In my view an item is not recovered until it has been proved to have been stolen, and returned to its rightful owners. The police normally seize goods they believe to have been stolen, and these goods remain seized until an owner claims them, at which point they become recovered.

Therefore most of your 'Recovered by Sussex Police' type of ads should say 'Seized by Sussex Police'. When seized goods are not subsequently claimed by their owners, they cannot be defined as recovered, and are often returned to the criminal who allegedly stole them, some time later. These goods could properly be described as released from seizure, but could hardly be called unrecovered. I believe that the police, public and government would better understand the concept of seizure and recovery if the correct words are applied. I would be interested to hear your views.

Yours etc
Thornton Kay
Salvo Llp

Porticos and staircases set the trend

Stone porticos and cantilevered staircase are becoming the must have feature for homes of distinction, say Cheddar-based Wells Cathedral Stonemasons.

"We have seen a huge increase in orders for neo-classical pillared stone porches for door-ways. Demand for porticos is now matching the orders for carved-stone fire surrounds. Most orders are coming from architects working on new homes but we're also being asked to create porticosowners have recognised that traditional stone features - whether they are internal fireplaces or external porticos add a unique distinction to their property. We have also seen a boom in demand for cantilevered stone staircases," said Peter Arkell, the managing director of Wells Cathedral Stonemasons.

Opportunities from building material reuse centres (BMRCs)

BMRC social enterprise re-use centres, across Britain

In the USA and Canada there are hundreds of building material Reuse Centres, or BMRCs as they get called; one in almost every large community.

USA BMRCs are financially sustainable retail outlets that sell reusable building materials to both trade and general public customers. Sales income is further increased by providing charged services such as;

* Clearing site materials
* Undertaking commercial salvage jobs and/or deconstruction,
* Partnering with regional or national builders
* Providing vocational training, including mainstream construction
* Delivering external awareness and training

Meanwhile the UK is yet to establish a BMRC network. What we do have is a wealth of effective wood reuse projects, successful architectural salvage business, a growing social enterprise sector and many organisations interested in BMRCs. There is a lot of potential for growth.

Bio-regional are working with wasteWISE and MASCo to publish a BMRC business plan toolkit by April 2008 and develop an e-network of enthusiastic BMRC partner enterprises. This will be linked in to wider networks. Our aim is to support the establishment of 3 to 5 major new BMRCs across different UK regions. This initial work is funded by the Centre for Remanufactoring and Reuse.

The core business model will be based on vibrant retail outlets, run as social enterprises. Outlets will source "as new" products from the excess materials of new build and regeneration construction projects and reclaimable materials from the wider building sector. These new businesses will complement existing salvage and recycling companies.

UK BMRCs could be created the following ways:

* An expansion opportunity for an existing social enterprise (such as the wood recycling projects or NVQ training schemes),
* A not-for-profit venture for business or reclaimed industry,
* Co-located with a major development project site
* As a partnership with a council-led initiative such as an expansion of a civic amenity site, new waste/recycling facility or resource recovery park.

There is already a wealth of social enterprises across the UK successfully retailing reused materials such as wood, furniture and commercial off cuts. Up until now, none have focused on the huge opportunity presented by the reuse of building materials.

There is, therefore, a clear gap in the UK market to recover far more substantial volumes of useful building materials and sell them at affordable prices to the general public and small-scale builders.

We need to reverse the fact that the volume of materials sold by the salvage industry has been declining over the last 10 years. Negligible quantities of demolition materials are currently being reused in their existing form. Worse still, an estimated 13% of materials go to waste without ever being used; bought in excess to ensure that construction and re-build projects are delivered on time (EA, 2007)

Jonathan Essex of BioRegional said,"BMRCs could bridge the gap between commercial salvage and the social enterprise reuse sector which includes projects such as community re-paint, community wood recycling projects, scrapstores and furniture reuse. The push for recycling seems to have shifted the demolition waste stream away from the salvage industry. For example, ten years ago it used to process 700,000 tonnes of reclaimed timber a year but now it seems to be a lot less. We do not pretend that this can be plugged by social enterprise, but government support for reuse must exceed that for recycling, not the other way around.

"Our initial aim is to target surplus new construction products and low value reclaimed products that are not currently sold by the salvage trade. The key is to try to knit things together rather than drive things apart, including creating partnerships between local authority, community groups and business expertise. There is no reason why a salvage yard cannot be a part of this, and develop a BMRC as part of its retail strategy. BioRegional's role is to encourage new initiatives to start and to encourage existing organisations, which could include salvage dealers, to take on this opportunity."

For further information contact; Ronan Leyden, Reclamation Officer, BioRegional Development Group,, 020 8404 4897

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Gaze Architectural Salvage Auction

T W Gaze, Diss Auction Rooms, Diss Norfolk; Saturday 26 january 2008

CARL Willows of T W Gaze said the sale on Saturday has over a thousand lots including 5,000 pantiles, 3,000 fish scale plain tiles, 120sqyds of excellent York flag (est £80sqyd), brickwork, nice marble plinth - light weathered cemetery piece, Preston Grange urns, good staddles, stained and painted glass, not so many doors but some super old oak doors and frames panelled and plank. A good mixed sale, he said.

Above: Lot:5941 A nineteenth century cast iron fire insert, Art Nouveau tiles. Estimate:£200-£300 Hammer price:£210

Above: Lot:5865 A cast iron roll top baby's bath. Estimate:£25-£40 Hammer price:£45

Above: Lot:5838 A pine surround with overmantle mirror, broken pediment top, scroll detail, reeded columns. Estimate:£400-£600 Hammer price:unsold

Above: Lot:5823 A pair of bow top panels of stained and painted leaded glass - ecclesiastical. Estimate:£600-£900 Hammer price:unsold

Above: Lot:5782 A pine framed octagonal with its surround.
Hammer price: unsold

Above: Lot:5442 A cast iron garden table and pair of chairs.
Estimate:£235-£355 Hammer price:unsold

Above: Lot:5358 A circular enamelled cast iron bath.
Estimate:£100-£150 Hammer price:unsold

Above: Lot:5150 A cast iron tree seat. Estimate:£200-£300 Hammer price:£190

Above: Lot:5075 A carved stone horse and rider in the Oriental style 57" high. Estimate:£1000 - £1500 Hammer price:unsold

View catalogue now (after the sale this link will lapse)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

La Fontaine de Tourny

Quebec city, Canada

Above: The Fontaine de Tourny installed in Quebec

Above: Marc and Daisy beside the Fountaine de Tourny

La Fontaine de Tourny was made by the French sculptor Mathurin Moreau and cast in 1850 by the Val d'Osne foundry. It was one of a pair that stood in the French city of Bordeaux. In 2007 it was shipped to Quebec from Paris and stored on lle d'Orleans, where specialist crafts people restored and refurbished it. The fountain was purchased from Marc and Daisy Maison, former Salvo Code dealers based in Parisa, as a gift to the city to celebrate its 400th anniversary, by Quebec fashion retailer La Maison Simons. The restored fountain was opened by the Prime Minister

Fountaine de Tourny

Remarkable chance discoveries

Lawrences Auctioneers, Crewkerne Somerset

One of the most remarkable chance discoveries in years, an 11th-century Fatimid rock crystal ewer, with a market value of up to 5 million, surfaced in Lawrence's Auctioneers in Crewkerne, Somerset on the 17 January 2008. It was catalogued as; A French Claret jug the rock crystal body carved with animals, the silver gilt mounts with enamelled decoration, 19th century, 30cm. (cracked and damaged). In fitted box of Morel a Sevres. With an estimate of £100-200. Although the clues hidden in the body of the jug was overlooked. It was cut with foliage and stylized beasts that bears comparison in form and decoration to ewers made c1000-50 for the treasury of the Fatimid Caliphs of Egypt. However, after a fierce bidding war the hammer finally fell at £220,000 (plus 17.5 per cent buyers premium).

Lawrences Auctioneers

Friday, January 18, 2008

Summers Place Auctions takes over at Billingshurst

Billingshurst, West Sussex UK - JAMES Rylands and Rupert van der Werff have launched Summers PLace Auctions at the old Sotheby's site on the outskirts of Billingshurst.

"Summers Place Auctions, in association with Sotheby’s, are the world’s leading auctioneers of garden statuary and fossil decoration," says the press release. "Between us we have over a hundred years experience working for Sotheby’s. Held in the walled gardens and arboretum of Summers Place, currently being redeveloped by Berkeley Homes, our five acres of landscaped grounds form the perfect setting. Sales in May and October will include examples of the finest garden ornament and fossils with prices from hundreds to over £250,000."

Live 'fine lots' auction followed by sealed bid 'repro and lower value lots' auction

The proposed format of the sales is unusual in that the higher value prestige lots will sell in a live auction whilst the more humdrum stuff will be offered as lots for sealed bids in the same catalogue.

"It is our intention to slim down the live auction to 200 lots or thereabouts," James Rylands said. "We firmly believe that in the past we have only been as good as the worst lot in our auctions, and that these have dragged down the impact and price for the better lots. We also believe that prices for the better material have not really moved in the last ten years and that compared to other areas of the antiques market, when trying to make subjective judgments in terms of rarity and quality, that good quality garden and architectural ornament is under-appreciated and not as expensive as it should be. Most other auction houses have a sales mechanism for keeping the finer lots for a select sale whilst the rest of the material either goes into a secondary or general sale. In the past it has not been possible to change this model."

What will go into which sale?

"The fine auction is a live auction which will contain good examples of antique or period sculpture, together with some contemporary sculpture by known sculptors, seats, fountains, architectural ornament, urns, finials and fireplaces. The sale will contain more expensive pieces, but it is not all driven by price. If, for instance, we are offered a particularly rare and interesting garden tool worth £500 this may still be entered into the fine sale.

"The sealed bid sale will comprise modern or reproduction pieces including carved Vicenza - no matter how expensive, lesser examples of garden ornament such as sets of standard cast iron urns, most early twentieth century or later lead except Bromsgrove Guild, staddle stones and stone troughs, the more standard fossils including mineral spheres and Moroccan ammonites."

How does it work?

"The fine or live auction will work in the same way as before with commission bids, telephone and paddle bidders and will be held in the marquee. The next sale is on Tuesday 20th May and will be on view from the Friday prior. The sealed bid auction will be on view at the same time as the live auction but will be in a different part of the garden and clearly marked with lot numbers of a different colour to the live auction. It will be on view until Monday 26th May. Each lot will be illustrated and carry an estimate. Anybody wishing to bid will simply put how much they are willing to pay for it and the buyer will be the highest bid plus buyer's premium when the bids are opened on Tuesday 27th May.

"The sealed bid auction is a week later so that unsuccessful bidders in the live auction can bid for the sealed bid lots. It is not our intention that unsold lots in the live auction are put into the sealed bid auction the week later since they will not be in the catalogue or on the internet.

"Catalogues for the live bid and sealed bid auctions will be separate but posted out at the same time about a month before the live sale. We are redesigning the live sale catalogues with multiple images and one page devoted to most lots. The sealed bid catalogue will have up to eight images and descriptions to a page, but with multiple images of most lots available on the internet.

"The guiding principle for which auction lots will go into is that live is quality and sealed gives the opportunity to sell in quantity. For instance we have a few vendors who have large quantities of staddle stones to sell. At present we are limited to putting one or two lots in the live sales. In sealed bids we can have a couple of lots of staddles which may attract acceptable bids from a number of buyers. The top bid secures them but we are in a position to offer the underbidders similar staddle stones at whatever bids they left which are acceptable to the vendor. The same criteria may apply to some of the Vicenza stone pieces which are often made in quantity."

As well as live and sealed bid auctions, Messrs Rylands and Werff also aim to build up a portfolio of architectural structures and buildings for sale by private treaty.

"As you know we have always been enthusiastic supporters of Salvo," Mr Rylands said, "and of trying to preserve old buildings and structures albeit sometimes in by changing them into a different format or context. After numerous attempts to auction such items we have come to the conclusion that this is not best way since it does not give sufficient time for clients to plan and is too uncertain. Instead we aim to have a number of such items in each catalogue and also on our website. At present we have the most amazing carved Portland stone niche which we are trying to attribute to Christopher Wren."

And what of Summers Place . . .?

"Over the last few months we have had a new security fence and security system installed which now encompasses another couple of acres of garden which we are in the process of landscaping. We are creating a new wetland bog garden and a new dedicated area for contemporary sculpture and for sealed bid lots. So when people come in May it’s going to look quite different. Basically we are giving the whole place a complete makeover because we feel that’s what it needs. So far we have got some amazing things for our May sales and a whole bunch of good things in the pipeline. At this stage it hopefully is going to translate into our best sale ever but I’d rather not say that in case it doesn’t quite pan out that way!"

2008 sale dates
- 29th February: Closing date for entries for May auctions
- 20th May: Fine auction
- 27th May: Sealed bid auction
- 28th July: Closing date for entries for October auction
- 21st October: Fine auction
- 28th October: Sealed bid auction

Contact details:
Summers Place Auctions, The Walled Garden, Stane Street, Billingshurst, West Sussex RH14 9AB
Switchboard 01403 331 331. Fax 01403 331340
James Rylands and Rupert van der Werff, directors and experts
Letty Stiles and Kate Diment, assistants
Jason Stiles, collections and deliveries

Future web site


The latest SalvoNEWS, including articles on Ben Gaskell of Gaskell Quartz and Paul Crowther at H. Crowther Ltd and much more....


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Stolen Buddha

Shambala Retreat, Findhorn Bay Scotland

A three foot high gold Buddha statue has been stolen from Shambala Retreat a spiritual center in Findhorn Bay. It is understood to have been taken sometime between 11pm on Wednesday 9 January and 8.30am the following day.

"Police think that we are probably targeted by professional thieves," said Shambala's spokes woman. Police said that it would have taken at least two people with a car to carry away the heavy object, which is a female depiction of the Buddha of Compassion. She in the sitting position, with her right hand resting on her right leg, her arm raised in front of her body and golden flowers raised behind each shoulder, wearing a gold tiara with gold leaves.

Police have appealed for anyone who might have seen anything. Anyone with any information, or who is offered any large religious statues for sale, should contact Grampian Police on 0845 600 5700 or call the confidential Crimestoppers freephone 0800 555111.

Forres Gazette

Inert Waste management

In December of last year, Defra launched an informal consultation that looked at rules of recovery and disposal of inert construction waste such as brick, concrete, hardcore and subsoil. Defra pointed out that the informal consultation reflects recommendations from a published report in 2006 by Lord Davidson and aimed to increase the efficiency in the use of construction, demolition and excavation materials. It also took into account a statement by Quarry Products Association which looked at the need for inert waste to restore aggregate mineral workings, suggesting that secondary and recycled aggregates should be the 'first element of supply'. The UK produces 17 million tonnes per annum, more recycled and secondary aggregates than any other European country, these materials "cannot meet the entire demand for aggregates, either in terms of quality, but more significantly, in terms of quantity". The QPA said that "a level playing field must be created by bringing all inert waste recovery and disposal activities under one proportionate and risk based regulatory regime".

The consultation, sent to, this will be out for 13 weeks and ends on 21 March, is inviting proposals that address:

* The need for the different activities involving inert waste
* Revised guidance on the testing of inert wastes that are land filled
* Inconsistencies in terminology for describing inert waste going to landfill
* The quality of guidance of activity, recovery and disposal

Wastes that are outside of the reviews, but are considered as construction and demolition wastes include timber, plastics and hazardous materials like asbestos.


Construction waste and SWMPs

Site waste management plans (SWMPs) were originally launched by DTI as a voluntary code of practice for the construction industry. However, following support for SWMPs proposals in a Defra consultation, it is expected that legislation will be enacted in April 2008 to implement SWMPs into the industry.

SWMPs are intended to reduce the total amount of waste produced on construction sites and prevent fly tipping. A SWMP must identify the different types of waste to be produced by a construction project, consider any alterations to the design and materials specification of the project that could result in the reuse, recycling or recovery.

SWMP regulations will effect any person, contractor, supplier to the construction industry or company organising a construction project with a cost over £250,000.

This emphasises that every year the construction industry produces approximately 1.45 tonnes of waste for every person living in the UK. Benefits are said to include saving constructors money as it will help contractors manage materials more efficiently and therefore lower costs. It emphasises that an average skip costs £150 to hire and the average cost of what is thrown away in the skip is over £1,200. NetRegs also site that in the UK an average of 13% of all materials delivered to sites go into a skip without being used.

NetRegs have set up a site to offer advice

Banksy fetches £208,000

Portobello Road, London

A wall adorned with a painting by the mysterious graffiti artist Banksy fetched £208,000 in an online EBay auction. it attracted over 69 bids on eBay. The design is of a classically-dressed painter adding the finishing touches to the real artist's scrawled name. Reportedly created in broad daylight behind the cover of some scaffolding whilst Portabello market was in full swing. It appeared on a post-production company wall on Portobello Road, after deciding to auction the wall, the potential seller protected the investment against vandals by placing a perspex sheet over it.

Bobby Read, art expert at specialist insurer Hiscox, said: "Banksy is a maverick as well as a hugely talented artist. It's an intoxicating combination for buyers as this price shows. The Portobello Road wall is a special piece and probably the largest piece of Banksy art work to have been sold at a public auction. This sale poses many interesting questions for the art world. How do you move a piece of work like this, how do you display it and how do you insure it?"

Although, it has been suggested that the buyer has a history of being a non paying bider and auction wrecker. Neither auction site eBay nor seller Luti Fagbenie has confirmed if the bid has been accepted.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Decorative Antiques Fair

The Decorative Antiques Fair, The marquee Battersea Park London
The Winter Fair £8 on the door including catalogue which allows free re-entry. It has an international reputation amongst private buyers, antique dealers, and design professionals and over 130 exhibitors.

Tuesday 22nd 12 noon – 8pm
Wednesday 23rd 11am – 8pm
Thursday 24th 11am – 8pm
Friday 25th 11am – 7pm
Saturday 26th 11am – 7pm
Sunday 27th 11am – 6pm

The Decorative Antiques Fair

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Room Panelling at Christies auction

Christies 24 January 2008, King Street London

Lot 130
A set of George III pine room panelling
Designed by Sir William Chambers, circa 1765
Comprising a pair of door frames with egg-and-dart border and ionic half pilasters surmounted by a modillion cornice with swag tablet flanked by paterae and a pair of panelled doors with egg-and-dart mouldings, a quantity of Greek-key carved dado mouldings, a quantity of ribbon and reed wainscot mouldings, a quantity of egg-and-dart cornice mouldings, a quantity of dado panelling, restorations and replacements including most of the carved ribbon-and-reed wainscot moulding, the reverse of the egg-and-dart mouldings incised '1', '11', '111', inscribed in pencil 'W Young'. Two door frames 98 in. (249 cm.) high; 73 in. (185.5 cm.) wide; 8 in. (20.5 cm.) deep
Estimate: £15,000 - £30,000


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Extraordinary fireplaces

Sothebys, London New Bond Street
Important English Furniture

A carved statuary marble chimneypiece with 'Rosse Antico' relief plaques and micro-mosaic panels c1778, the chimneypiece attributed to Lorenzo Cardelli, the micro mosaic panels attributed to Cesare Aguatti. The rectangular shelf with a narrow bead and reel moulding above an egg and dart moulding, the freize with twin ribbon-framed panels of micro-mosaic decorated with leafy scrolls terminating in grotesque masks, the central low relief rosso antico oval frieze medallion depicting Apollo and Daphne between a further smaller pair of conforming medallions depicting the eagle born ascent of Ganymede to heaven on the left and the goddess Hebe accompanied by an eagle and vase on the right, the aperture within a border of paterae surrounded by a trefoil pattern moulding, the jambs each with a gilt-brass mounted micro-mosaic panel of leafy tendrils and flowers incorporating a swag-hung urn, the stepped plinths to each jamb headed by further ribbon carved mouldings. Almost certainly acquired in Italy by Frederick Augustus Hervey, 4th Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry (1730-1803) and installed at Downhill Castle, County Derry removed from Downhill Castle shortly prior to its demolition in 1950 and installed in the present owner's house shortly thereafter.
Estimate: £80,000—120,000 Hammer price: £423,700

A carved statuary marble chimneypiece c1778, attributed to Lorenzo Cardelli.
The rectangular shelf with fluted and leaf carved mouldings and a narrow ribbon carved band, the freize elaborately carved with leaf scrolls interspersed with paterae and small animals flanking a pair of cherubs supporting an oval medallion of The Three Graces tending to a baby in a basket accompanied by putti, the aperture within a cavetto moulding carved with an anthemion border, the jambs each with panels of leafy scrolls issuing from flower heads and interspersed with birds, all framed by lappet mouldings headed by paterae and neo-classical oval medallions. Almost certainly acquired in Italy by Frederick Augustus Hervey, 4th Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry (1730-1803) and installed at Downhill Castle, County Derry.
Removed from Downhill Castle prior to its demolition in 1950 and installed in the present owner's house shortly thereafter.
Estimate: £60,000—100,000 Hammer price: £72,500


Any old Iron

Pure iron is starting to prove itself as an alternative to wrought iron and mild steel on restoration projects up and down the UK. TV DIYer Don said that "Iron is the most stable and one of the most plentiful elements in the universe. There is a perception within restoration circles that damaged wrought ironwork should be replaced like for like but new wrought iron is no longer made and pure iron offers a long lasting solution that is just as aesthetically pleasing and doesn't spilt, crack or break up like wrought iron." The lack of high quality wrought iron available to blacksmiths has led to many utilising a poorer quality product. Convention has played a part in its establishment but the lessons have not been learnt with increasing amounts of wrought ironwork requiring preservation or replacement.

Barbara a specialist web resource and professional blacksmith said that " working with pure iron is becoming increasingly popular as a sideline for many as it is easier to forge than existing metals and repousse work can be carried out cold. I have carried out a range of demanding comparisons in its performance to that of wrought iron and mild steel and it came out on top in many areas. all of the processes were executed with ease and no problems were encountered. With continuous hot bending the material showed no sign of cracking that would have occurred with mild steel had it been subjected to the same treatment."

Blacksmith Hector Cole said "for smiths who have tried forging wrought iron of poor quality and have encountered all its faults, pure iron will be a good substitute as its forging qualities are far superior to mild steel." Wrought Iron was was graded in four distinct quality and strength levels with the best performing grade A used for railway tracks for example. Grade D, the lowest grade, was introduced in 1959 specifically 'for fencing' and is often the source of the poor quality reclaimed material marketed to blacksmiths today. It is in the realm of ecclesiastical architecture that pure iron is increasingly proving its worth. one example is the gate installed recently at All Souls Church on the edge of Halifax town center in West Yorkshire.



SalvoFAIR 27 - 29 June 2008, Knebworth House Hertfordshire

Salvo are inviting designers with inspired creations that have been made by re-using materials, or are environmentally friendly in some way, to exhibit and sell at the Salvo Fair, in a new enclave.

For the last two years, Gini Coates, from London, has been at the Salvo Fair selling her upholstered storage boxes, that double-up as little seats, made from fruit crates and vintage fabrics.

The Salvo Fair is a three day outdoor event held in the deer park at Hertfordshire’s Knebworth House. Traditionally the fair is based around about fifty dealers from all over the country, with five hundred tonnes of architectural salvage and reclaimed building materials exhibited for sale. More recently the fair has begun to incorporate craftspeople from parallel fields.

For prices and information, please call Colleen on 020 8400 6222 or email

Above a product by Eco-Design using an old Victoria bath and transforming it into a sofa - the kind of thing we are looking for at the fair

Above: Gini Coates' storage boxes at last years SalvoFAIR


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Stonework care and repair

Above: Dave Bridgewater's house in Bath an example of a Limestone Building

Most commonly used building stones are sandstone and gritstone, limestone, granite and slate. Granite and slate are usually fairly tough and resistant to decay, whereas limestone and sandstone tend to be more affected by the elements, particularly in polluted environments. Once they are removed from the quarry and exposed to the atmosphere they will start to weather and decay - their ultimate aim is to turn into soil. It is important that you know the cause of the problem and the possible range of solutions. There are four aspects to successful care and repair of stonework; maintenance, cleaning, repair and protection.

Maintenance - Stone decay is inevitable and no remedial treatment can halt it, but regular maintenance can prevent small defects developing into something more serious and greatly prolong the life of stonework. General maintenance tips include checking gutters and downpipes regularly for leaks as these concentrate water in the stone work increasing the risk of frost damage and cause unsightly staining. Remove all plants from the stone work as this can cause damage and channel water into the wall. Carry out patch re-pointing using a matching lime mortar. Never rake out sound original pointing.

Cleaning - Should never be undertaken without a detailed survey by an expert to establish the type of stone, the type of soiling and weather the dirt is harming the stone or is just unsightly. If the dirt is harmful then the cleaning will probably be justified. If not, you will need to weigh up the benefits of a cleaner building against the damage caused by cleaning. The main cleaning methods are water washing, mechanical cleaning and chemical cleaning.

Repair and restoration - Stone which is split or fractured can be strengthened by inserting tiny stainless steel pins. Cracks should be filled with fine-grained lime mortar to consolidate the surface and shed water. Repairs must be weaker than the surrounding stone so that future decay takes place in the mortar and not in the stone; its is much easier to renew a repair than to deal with continued stone decay. Damaged areas can be restored by piecing-in new stone or; as a last resort, by replacing an entire block of stone.

Protection - Historic stone can be protected using various lime-based methods, which can help to slow down the rate of decay. Sheltercoat consists of lime putty and fine stone-dust, worked into the surface of the stone. It is good for protecting mortar repairs and blending new work with old but is only suitable for limestone. Limewash, made from lime putty and pigments diluted in water, provides traditional surface protection to masonry walls. Lime render can protect severely decayed masonry whilst still allowing the building to breathe. Many buildings were originally rendered in this way but have been stripped in modern times, exposing the bare stonework and making them vulnerable to water penetration.


Monday, January 07, 2008

Bonhams' Savoy sale makes £1.86 Million

Bonhams, The Savoy London

Above: A five panel specimen wood marquetry screen made by David Linley, inlaid with architectural designs, the timbers including thuya, oak, burr oak, Maccaser ebony, maple, yew, sycamore and stained fruitwood, each panel 61cm wide x 213cm high sold for £15,600

Above: An Edwardian satinwood and rosewood banded bookcase from the 4th Floor Hotel Side sold for £13,200

Above: A 5ft 4in Model 160 grand piano
from the The River Restaurant sold for £11,400 (Estimate: £2,000 - 3,000)

Above: Lincoln Taber, British (1941-1989) A very large twelve panel trompe l'oeill painted screen from the The Thames Foyer sold for £10,800

Above: A large oak parquet dance floor from theLancaster Room of the Savoy sold for £2,640 (Estimate: £400 - 600)

The Savoy Sale – a three-day auction of 3000 lots of furniture from the Savoy hotel made £1,857,096 twice the pre-sale estimate. Over the course of three 12-days, over 3,500 people from across the world chose to bid on a little piece of history from one of the world’s best-loved hotels. Bids flooded in from as far away as South America, the Far East and Australia. A multitude of private individuals bought; as did hoteliers, interior designers, and party-planners.

The ‘Savoy effect’ was evident from the start as items regularly fetched up to ten times their pre-sale estimates. Lot 1 achieved the first round of applause when the large garden urn from outside the main entrance of the hotel, estimated at £400 – 600, made £2,640. Further highlights included a large oak parquet dance floor from the Lancaster Room which sold for £5,040 (estimate 400 – 600) to London-based party planners, Bentley’s Entertainments. The Beaufort Screen – a large 12-panel trompe l’oeil screen by Lincoln sold for £10,800. A white Grand Piano, played by Frank Sinatra on visits to the hotel, made £11,400 (estimate £2,000 – 3,000).

Harvey Cammell, Bonhams Director of the Savoy Sale and Furniture specialist said “We always knew that this sale was going to be special and different, but frankly we have been astonished by the response to the auction. The regular applause says it all. The world has a love affair with the Savoy. That much is evident. The sale has been helped in no small measure by the media interest from around the world, which filled column inches, radio and TV air-time in countries as far apart as Brazil and China for the past three months. We have had hotel groups bidding for collections of chairs and tables alongside individuals decorating their homes. The effect of the Savoy name was highlighted by the sale of lot 223 – a Rosewood serving counter from the hotel’s fitness gallery, emblazoned with the name Savoy in chromium-plated letters. Bidding for this particular lot were as many as 12 people in the room chasing the £300 – 500 estimate to an incredible £9,000.”


Egyptian revival sale at Bonhams features furniture and objects that the Pharoahs would have recognised

Bonhams, New Bond Street London

Bonhams will be holding 'The Egyptian Revival Sale' on 23rd January 2008, an auction of works of art inspired by Ancient Egypt. The event will include a short talk by Lord and Lady Carnarvon. Lord Carnarvon is the great grandson of the fifth Earl who funded Howard Carter's exploration, which led to the great discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb.

The sale will include:
Sculpture and works of art inspired by Ancient Egypt
Empire, Regency and Egyptian Revival furniture
Egyptian Revival Art Deco jewellery, figurines, clocks and ceramics
Oil paintings, watercolours and prints relating to Egypt
Photograph collections of travel in Egypt
Books and folios about Egypt

Madeleine Perridge of Bonhams Antiquities Department who is heading the Egyptian Revival Sale says: “The opening of the Tutankhamun Exhibition in London 02 Dome shows once more that the allure of Ancient Egypt and its artistic heritage endures into the 21st century. ‘The Egyptian Revival Sale’ will showcase pieces inspired by Ancient Egypt and will doubtless attract strong interest. The lasting appeal of Egypt has influenced works of art from the Grand Tour period of the 19th century, through to the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in the 1920s and the subsequent Egyptian Revival.”

Above: A photographic album of archaeological and topographical interest, Estimate: £400 - 600 Hammer price: £750+vat

Above: A pair of sandstone recumbent sphinxes 19th Century, Estimate: £10,000 - 15,000 Hammer price: unsold

Above: A pair of pink granite and white marble obelisks possibly 19th Century, Estimate: £800 - 1,200 Hammer price: unsold


Amateur metal detector discovers unique finds

Above: The only lead curse on a Roman emperor ever found, with a Roman gold coin. The lead foil would be hung in a temple to enact the curse, which would be made with the impression of a coin. Photograph: Martin Godwin

Some 1,650 years ago someone was so comprehensively fed up with the state of the Roman empire that they committed an act of treason, blasphemy and probably criminal defacing of the coinage. They cursed the emperor Valens by hammering a coin with his image into lead, then folding the lead over his face.

Thousands of Roman cursing charms survive, scrawled on pieces of lead with a hole punched to hang them up. Many were found thrown into the hot springs in Bath, demanding revenge on those guilty of petty theft. However nothing as audacious as cursing an emperor has ever been found before. The battered scraps of metal discovered by Tom Redmayne, an amateur metal detector, in a muddy field in Lincolnshire are a unique find, but is just one of a torrent of 300,000 valuable, fascinating or downright weird object finds reported by amateurs in the 10 years since PAS was created.