Tuesday, April 29, 2008


There's no need to rifle through the bin of the rich and famous to get your hands on their cast offs. You can now scavenge with the stars at a website launching on Wednesday 30 May 2008. Members will be able to rummage through or dispose of items without a penny changing hands. It's a greener way to trade, as the site will create a virtual warehouse, cutting down waste and extending the life of your possessions.

The celebrity throw aways set it apart from charity shops. Although, there is a catch: users will be informed that the likes of Boy George, Gordon Ramsey and Alan Carr have released an item into the market place but they won't know what it is. So you could receive a toaster and never be sure if it once belonged to Graham Norton.

"Users will be able to take pictures of items on their mobiles and text them directly to the site, so it's posted within 30 seconds," says al-Karooni. "That way, people who don't have much time can offload unwanted possessions without loads of hassle". Other features will include a text alert if desired items become available, rewards points and a video section allowing people with more unusual offerings to promote them QVC-style.


Battersea Fair

Battersea Fair, Battersea Park London

Above; Recrafted salvaged items into various lighting features, on the stand of Antiques by Design, Guy Trench

Above; Reclaimed poison bottles transformed into lights by Guy Trench

Above; Salvaged Patent Office shelving and a selection of lighting on Retrouvius's stand at the fair

Above; Ernest Race rockers commissioned by Retrouvius

Above; Car plant lights and reclaimed underground signs

The Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair has over 130 exhibitors, and takes place three times a year in January, April and October at the marquee, Battersea Park. The recent Spring event seemed to be full of browsers and hopefully buyers. Guy Trench said the "First day was extremely popular, and by the third day alot of the fine examples of stone garden statuary had been snapped up". Perhaps this indicates that the Spring fair is the time to sell garden statuary and furniture?

For inside the home, Retrouvius showed their impressive salvaged Patent Office shelving, which looked extremely attractive on their stand and in the entrance hall to the fair.

Battersea Fair

Parquet de Versailles at Christie's

Above: Christie's Amsterdam 7 May 08 Lot 2, c100 panels of probably 19th century pegged oak parquet de Versailles

Amsterdam, Holland - CHRISTIE'S are selling 100 panels of oak pegged parquet de Versailles in Amsterdam on 7th May 2008. The lot is described as 18th or 19th century, each panel 100cm square and formerly the property of Axel Vervoordt, the Belgian decorator who, like dada dealer Raymaekers (yes, he is still going! - see him slightly younger in SalvoNEWS 1993? 'An interview without Raymaekers') at Queen of the South in Genk, is the kind of upmarket designer/dealer typically found in this region of Europe, of whom a prime example is Bernard Steinitz.

Patrick Snitselaar, a French expert in parquet, said that it was difficult to assess the age of the parquet from a photo, especially without seeing the backs of the panels, but his best guess would be nineteenth century. Older parquet, normally predating the introduction of the metre on 10th December 1799 (19th Frimaire 8, French metric time), was usually in panels just under 98cm square which measured three old French feet or pieds du Roi which measures 32.48cms, compared to an English foot which measures 30.48cms.

The lot is estimated at €20k-€40k. The catalogue note reads, The large diagonal squares known as parquet de Versailles were introduced there in 1684, as parquet de menuiserie ('woodwork parquet'), to replace the marble flooring that required constant washing, which tended to rot the joists beneath the floors. Such parquets en lozenge were noted by the Swedish architect Daniel Cronström at Versailles and at the Grand Trianon in 1693.

Footnote: PS says that after the storms in France in the 1990s (was it 1999?), which resulted in masses of fallen oak trees and a boom in oak availability, much of the wood was attacked by woodworm and what is now left the Chinese are buying with a vengeance.

Before the sale, the quantity available was reduced from 100 panels to thirty-nine complete panels (circa 96 cm. x 96 cm. per panel) and thirty-two incomplete panels, the panel sizes were changed from 100cm square to 96cm square which indicated that the panels were more likely to be 18th century than 19th as mentioned by Patrick Snitselaar above, and the estimate was reduced from €20k-€40k to €10k-€15k. The lot sold for €19,450 (£15,420 $30,132 ) giving an average of £220 per panel for all 71 panels.

Christie's Amsterdam 7 May 08 Lot 2, c100 panels
Patrick Snitselaar's Antic Floors
Queen of the South
Axel Vervoordt

Monday, April 28, 2008

Future annual event at Architectural Treasures and Old Rad Co?

Above: Some of the new yard near Tenterden

St Michael's, Kent UK - SATURDAY 26th April was the opening day of Fiona and Andy Triplow's new six acre site on the A28, to where Architectural Treasures and The Old Radiator Company have now relocated, after countless truckloads of stock and equipment had been moved from sundry smaller depots and workshops dotted around east Kent.

Although the trade turn out was small, those that made it along with many members of the Kent salvage-buying public, received a hospitable welcome which featured guided tours, a local acoustic jazz band and hog roast in pleasantly sunny weather. In the evening the open day became a more private party with live rock n roll music, and cameo appearances by members of the trade including Steve Tomlin and Debbie Kedge who we believe travelled furthest.

This is the second grand opening held by Fiona and Andy - their first was at Smarden a couple of years ago - and later that night, over apple pie and ice cream (a traditional Irish snack) the possibility of an annual event was discussed, which would be a local shindig for their businesses with an opportunity for a Kent and region trade get together in the evening. If they decide to set a date, Salvo will include it on the wallplanner for next year.

Andy Triplow is the uncrowned king of reclaimed radiator stockists, with approximately 3,500 normally in stock, which he restores in-house and sells both privately and to the trade, mainly in the UK.

Architectural Treasures
The Old Radiator Company

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dealers ask for support to vote against Camden Passage retail plans

Camden Passage, London UK -

Camden passage dealers have sent out a call for support at the April 28 planning meeting, where the future of The Mall will be decided.

The dealers face eviction as new owners London & Associated Properties PLC (LAP) seek permission to redevelop the interior of the Grade II listed building to create a single retail unit.

The Camden Passage Association want anyone who opposes the plans to attend Islington Council's April 28 meeting at Islington Town Hall at 7.30. They especially want traders from Antiquarius in Kings Road, Chelsea - also under threat of eviction by LAP for similar purpose - to support them.

Islington Tribune

Camden Passage

No more live auctions on eBay

In a move that will impact hundreds of auctioneers worldwide, eBay are to discontinue their live Auctions business by the end of this year.

eBay vice president Jim Ambach issued the following statement on April 15: "As we work to improve the buying and selling experience. . .we need to make sure our resources are aligned with our priorities. In the case of Live Auctions, maintaining and improving this platform falls outside our immediate focus, and will, therefore, be retired at the end of the year."

This will effect several small independent auction providers including Artfact, icollector and LiveAuctioneers, who in turn work directly with traditional auction houses to supply merchandise and auctioneers for eBay Live Auctions.

In a letter to clients, Julian Ellison, chief executive of LiveAuctioneers said they would develop their own independent real time Internet bidding platform to take over when eBay Live Auctions ceases to operate.

PC Pro

Monday, April 21, 2008

** NEW SalvoGUIDE **

Finally, Salvo are satisfying the needs of the general public by producing regional guides to business dealing in reclaimed building materials, architectural antiques & salvage and fine architectural items & statuary. We will be starting with London and the surrounding regions. The pocket-sized A6 publication will be printed in the spring and circulated throughout London, we currently have 5 outlets for the guide and aim to increase this as we are in talks with B&Q and hope other big interior and hardware stores will be interested.

2,500 will be printed initially, and then more according to demand, with the print run until June 2009. The Salvo Guide will be given away, or offered at a low price with the proceeds going to the distributor. The Salvo Guide will be advertised on our website and free to download.

We are offering businesses a double page spread in the Guide for £400, which will include lots of photos of your stock and premises and useful information about your business (see mock pages attached). It is possible to provide your own artwork for the pages or we can liaise with you and photograph your stock and yard and design the pages for you.

The second part of the Salvo Guide will be a categorised directory of trade, craftspeople and other useful addresses, in London and the surrounding area. Those advertising in the double page spreads will automatically appear in the directory and companies wishing just to be in the directory can do so for £50.

The old printed SalvoPACK was always very popular and we feel that this new updated version is long overdue and will be well received, and we really hope that you will want to be apart of it.

For more information please contact; Colleen on 020 8400 6222.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Salvo Fair news

Above: Sales were good despite clouds and light rain at Salvo 2007

SALVO 2008: Fri 27th June (Trade Day), Sat 28 and Sun 29 June, Knebworth, Hertfordshire UK

New! Reuse Design Enclave

This year’s Salvo Fair will incorporate a new Reuse Design enclave. There is a growing number of innovative people creating interesting one-off pieces. They may have items of stock that will not sell in their original form, or they are clever craftspeople and enjoy making new, exciting products using reclaimed items.

Guy Trench is one such person. His business, Antiques By Design, has been running for 5 years and is based in Maldon, Essex. He will be bringing to the fair a collection of his lights handcrafted from violins, rugby balls, fishing rods, cricket bats and mirrors created from decorative antique windows.

Every year Salvo Fair aims to exhibit big, sometimes huge, items of interest. Guy Trench is hoping to bring along a 6ft wooden elephant from Rajasthan, which he believes to be 50 - 70 years old. The hefty and decorative elephant would make a fantastic feature for a restaurant or shop, and will add to the variety and spice, of which you can be assured there always is, on offer at the Salvo Fair.

If you are interested in exhibiting in the Reuse Design marquee, please call Salvo on 01225 422300 or 020 8400 6222

Also, TW Gaze Auctionneers of Diss in Norfolk, will be sponsoring a Pimms marquee at the Salvo Fair. The tent will be open on Friday, the trade day, and Saturday and Sunday, the public days and will be a place to congregate for a chat, a meeting point, and somewhere to shelter from the unpredictable British summer weather! Carl Willows from Gaze will be at the fair, if you'd like to talk auctions, and he'll also be bringing 12 spades to help in our carbon offset adventure, more details to follow.

Salvo Fair 2008

Lightbulb ban threatens antique lights

Another example of the law of unintended consequences seems to be looming up for the antiques trade. If the government persist in their proposals the phase out energy-inefficient incandescent light bulbs there will be serious repercussions for those specialist and general dealers handling antique lighting. In a bold and laudable move, Ireland has just announced plans to ban the sale of incandescent light-bulbs by the year 2009.

Tiffany and Lalique lights would be among those effected, as most are unsuited to new fluorescent candle and golf-ball shaped bulbs are far too big to fit into most antique glass shades. Also, at present it is impossible to fit most chandeliers with suitable low-energy bulbs.

incandescent light bulb ban

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Chimneypieces at auction better private treaty hopes

Simon Chorley Art & Antiques, Prinknash Abbey Park Gloucestershire

Above: A George III statuary white marble chimneypiece, circa 1770. Sold for £20,000.

Above: A late Century English statuary white marble chimneypiece, circa 1880. Sold for £19,000

Above: An English late 18th Century statuary white marble chimneypiece, circa 1785. Sold for £21,000

Private treaty or the open market was the decision that a Gloucestershire based charity had to make when moving from premises rich in fixtures and fittings, which would be incongruous in the new building. Advised by their bankers concerned about security, that a private sale would be preferable, the charity put the matter in the hands of Simon Chorley's auction rooms in Gloucestershire. "We looked at the possibility of a private treaty sale, but the amount of material meant it would be a huge commitment for a single buyer," said Mr Chorley.

With no one party forthcoming the lots went to auction on March 6 at Prinknash Abbey Park Rooms. Proving the potency of selling in the saleroom, the move paid off. The sale saw everyone of the 134 lots get away bringing a hammer total of £138,000.

Plenty of buyers were in the room and on phones when the seven 18th and 19th century chimney piece closed the day. It carried a modest overall estimate of £80,000-101,000 they sold to dealers at a total of £112,000.

Best seller was a c.1785 English statuary white marble chimneypiece with an inverted breakfront shelf above a frieze carved with a central female bust and scrolling acanthus and lidded vases. A sienna marble surround to the aperture added colour and quality. Measuring 4ft 6in high by 5ft 3in wide, the chimneypiece came complete with a later grate, brass hood, tiled back hearth and curb. Estimated at £15,000-18,000 it sold to a dealer in the room at £21,000.

Simon Chorley

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

April's Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair

Battersea Park, April 22-27 2008

The Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair - which, in late January, enjoyed its busiest event in its 23 year history shows no signs of letting up on its continuous path of rejuvenation.

The second decorative fair of the year, saw the tally of exhibitors go over 125 making this, by some way, the largest spring fair to date. Trends became apparent at the January show, when there was an exceptionally strong presence of interior decorators and this has been taken into account by dealers including Retrouvius. Salvo code dealers Retrouvius are returning to the fixture after some time. This month one of the highlights of their stand will be a quantity of the type of antique you would expect to find at the decorative fair but at few others. Retrouvius have salvaged the complete run of ornate cast-iron shelving from The Patent Office, made in the late 19th century by W. Lucy and Company of Oxford.

Decorative Antiques & Textile Fair

Tennants Summer sale of Mouseman

Tennants, North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire saleroom Tennants, who have made a name selling the furniture of Robert Thompson, have secured an entire Mouseman commission for sale in July. Lots will include the complete fixtures and fittings of the Senior Library at Leeds Girls high School, completed by the Kilburn workshop from 1933-34. In addition to 16 tables and 87 chairs, there are both freestanding and fitted bookcases, an alcove seat, radiator covers and wall panelling. The main door and frame will also be offered for sale: it is inscribed The gift of a friend for the benefactor who paid Thompson £1222 for his work in 1934.

The school is now moving to a new site and, while elements of the old building are listed, no preservation order was placed upon the Mouseman interior.


Stained glass proves popular

Best of British auction, 20 March 2008

Stained glass proved the most popular single category in the best of British auction on March 20.

Stained glass auctioned included pieces from an impressive collection belonging to musician Jimmy Page. He had created a dining room specifically to display it but, having moved from that home, had put the pieces in storage. Five were 2ft 10ins high panels with figural evocations of stars and planets designed by Burne-Jones that were part of a suite of nine created for a house named Woodlands.

All were sold above estimate, the most expensive being 'Luna' which realised £70,000. The sale also included a dozen unattributed stained glass roundels painted with zodiac signs c.1880 that fetched £35,000.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Drew Pritchard’s Auction - 5th April 2008

Above: A patinated artificial stone pool surround. Hammer price £4,000

Above: A compostion statue of Apollo. Hammer price £900

Above: Composition stone planters to £300

Above: A restored 1910 shanks cast iron bath. Hammer price £4,700

"In excess of 150 local, national and international buyers attended Drew Pritchard’s stock clearance auction in Glan Conwy on the 5th April. It was essential that Drew cleared stock from his yard to make way for a partial redevelopment of the site.

The auction was conducted by Wellers Auctioneers, Glen Snelgar and Rupert Stevens, who selling consecutively to keen buyers managed to finish the 1,200 lot sale by 4.00pm.

Competitive bidding between trade and private buyers saw most of the lots change hands. One of the Morris stained glass panels sold to a museum following the sale, along with a flurry of after sales.

All in all a good days work!" Drew Pritchard said.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Salvage firm backed in battle to stay put

Minchinhampton Architectural Salvage, Aston Down Gloucestershire

Builders and friends have rallied behind a reclamation business which is fighting to stay in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.Nearly 40 people have written to planners urging them to let Minchinhampton Architectural Salvage stay at Aston Down.

Minchinhampton Architectural Salvage's permission for its 20-year-old operation off the Cirencester Road has effectively lapsed, the committee will be told on Tuesday. That is because the consent was originally given to named people who are no longer involved with the company, says planning officer Pippa Moore's report to the meeting. The firm's proprietor, Steve Tomlin, said more than a dozen jobs were also at stake. "It would be a tragedy if we were forced to close. We employ a lot of people and we think we have become an important part of the community," he warned.

The councillors are being recommended by Ms Mooreto grant Minchinhampton Architectural Salvage permission.

SUCCESS! 16 April 2008: The planning application succeeded


Salvage Fest

Salvage Fest, Clinton Hill Brooklyn

Brownstoner.com's First Annual Salvage Fest held September 8, 2007 at P.S. 11 in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn proved extremely popular as 'people showed up in their droves'. Dealers brought an array of interesting things and there was a opportunity to bring any building materials that had been gathering dust in a basement. Brooklyn is edgily awaiting the next Salvage Fest, hopefully planned for this year.

Salvage Fest

Dennis Buggins v John Hobbs goes public

FOR some time now top craftsman, restorer and salvage dealer Dennis Buggins and top London and New York antiques dealer John Hobbs have been at loggerheads over unpaid bills for work done by Buggins for Hobbs. This has come to a head with a refusal by Buggins to settle out of court, and a story in The Times in which accusations are flying.

The Times article says, 'Last week he (Dennis Buggins) identified four items recently offered for sale in London and variously described as “Italian, early 19th century” or “George II circa 1740”. He claims these were assembled or revamped at his workshops from materials including old wardrobes, salvaged panelling and barn planks. One of Buggins’s main clients has been the prominent London dealer John Hobbs. He strongly denies any wrongdoing or ever knowingly selling a fake.'

'Last week Hobbs’s lawyers offered Buggins £200,000 to settle the dispute on the condition that he sign a two-page statement — which had not been written by him — retracting all the allegations he had made to The Sunday Times. Buggins refused.'

Times online

Whistle blower reveals £30m antiques scam

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

FORM is scrapped

FORM, Battersea Park London

After two stagings, Clarion Events, organisers of the Olympia fairs, have abandoned their new fixture FORM. In 2009, for the first time in 13 years, it looks likely that there will be no Spring art, antiques or design fair at the West London exhibition complex.

The Spring version has always been a problem and has never been conspicuously successful. For most of its 13 years it was one of the three annual Fine Art & Antique Fairs although it attempted to have a more modern, decorative edge than the other two.

In 2006 Clarion gave the Spring fair an unashamedly modern slant and retitled it Fine Art, Design and antiques, marketing it as "the fair for the 21st century". But it remained weak and last year its director Freya Simms renamed it FORM promising an experience not before seen at Olympia, a fair that was definitely not an antiques fair and one which broke the Olympia mould, combining cutting edge with style and design.

This attempt to rebrand the fair proved unsuccessful, whilst some appreciated its rough and ready, fresh, fun, approach, FORM was not a serious new fair and fell between a number of disciplines, being neither contemporary nor antique - but incorporating exhibitors from both areas.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Seven charged in vast international fake prints fraud

Chicago, Northbrook USA

Three European and four Americans have been charged following the breaking of two international rings involved in the manufacture and distribution of fake 20th century prints.

In the larger of two cases the so-called 'European indictment' five people face ten counts of fraud relating to the import of forgeries from Europe and the import of forgeries from Europe and the channeling of them through a Chicago dealer who provided certificates of authenticity. Most were copies of original limited-edition prints by the likes of Picasso, Chagall, Lichtenstein, Miro and Dali and sold for up to $50,000 (£25,000) each.

So large was the scam that it is thought 25000 counterfeit Alexander Calder prints and 600 counterfeit Chagall's alone were issued. Prosecutors in the combined American/Spanish operation say the prints were trickled onto the market through galleries, fairs and eBay, between July 1999 and October 2007.

Not Just words, but action

Chris Harrop, Group Marketing Director of Marshalls

The natural stone market is changing fast. Awareness of environmental issues has soared in the past 12 months. Consumers are more aware than ever of our carbon footprints and our persona; impact upon the planet. Ethical issues are now getting much more media attention, too. Child labour and poor working conditions in international supply chains have been exposed - though far from eradicated.

But in response to heightened awareness of environmental and social issues, some companies prefer to greenwash over the issue rather than take the decisive action required to achieve real impact. Unfortunately, companies' desire to market products as 'sustainable' races ahead of their capacity to ensure that supply chain integrity and environmental performance are rigorously sustained.

In the meantime, greenwash is a real danger to sustainability. Companies are profiting from people who wish to purchase sustainably. So, despite having the power to change businesses, purchasing decisions continue to support unsustainable business. One of the most pervasive myths about sandstone from India is that it is entering the country as ships' ballast- which is often used as an excuse for inaction on social issues. The implication is that it is entering the country anyway and it would therefore be pointless to waste the resource.

Actually, the total volume of Indian sandstone imports into the UK reached 171,853 tonnes in 2007, more than 100 times the 1,475 tonnes it was in 1997.

It's a booming industry and much of the stone arriving in the country from unverified sources is being quarried at huge human cost. In 2007, Marshalls led a high profile campaign to raise awareness in the industry of the many social issues associated with sandstone quarrying in India. The harsh reality of the dangerous and often inhumane working conditions in many quarries was exposed - with evidence of child labour sending shock waves throughout the industry.

Many importers are similarly reluctant to look too far into social issues endemic in sandstone quarries of Rhajasthan - such as child labour and debt enforcement labour. But it's harsh reality that child labour is still widespread, even though it has long been against the law. The Child Labour Act, 1986 of India prohibits the employment of children below the age of 14 in factories, mines and other forms of hazardous employment.

Industry associates were reluctant to do more than issue vague statements of support for improved ethical and environmental standards, besides urging caution that insistence on better standards could threaten the incomes of quarries and labourers. Although much was said, little was done.

The perceived barrier to action for many natural stone suppliers is that delivering on ethical criteria in business is a continual and demanding process of benchmarking, analysis and improvements. Meeting independent standards demands rigorous, regular auditing. It requires a long-term, holistic approach, not ad-hoc tactics.

That's why Marshalls became the first member of the landscaping industry to join the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) in 2005. The ETI focuses on ethical trade that deliver concrete benefits for workers. Members sign up to the ETI base code, which includes the principles that child labour shall not be used, employment is freely chosen, no harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed, working conditions are safe and hygienic, working conditions are safe and hygienic, working hours are not excessive living wages are paid and workers' rights are respected.

A third twist in the tail

Golding young,Grantham Auctioneers Lincolnshire

The final chapter in Colin Wilson's 'Giambologna' monkeys is in question as there is a new twist to the tail.

Just as Grantham auctioneers Golding Young announced they would decide the fate of the controversial bronzes at auction in July, a third figure has come to light. for over 10 years the late Colin Wilson, a Lincolnshire dealer, researched and championed the authenticity of two small bronze monkeys that he bought at auction in the late 1990's for a few hundred pounds. The monkeys dated back to 16th/17th century and Mr Wilson believed they were from Giambologna's fountain of Samson and a Philistine erected in Florence c.1569. A drawing in the Uffizi shows the fountain in situ and four niches containing seated monkeys cast in bronze. Believers say Wilson's monkeys are a good match for size.

The latest monkey to be found is adopting a different posture and was bought by the vendor's father during the 1950's for a reputed £2.10s.Od from a scrap merchant in Ickleford Hertfordshire. Interestingly it is just a few miles from the saleroom where Colin Wilson made his find. Auctioneer Colin Young, who has followed the cause of the monkeys for several years, believes the new discovery will undoubtedly unlock new theories to add to the 42-point dossier already available on the Golding Young website. It certainly adds credence to the assumption that the monkeys were moulded in two pairs.

Auctioneer Colin Young said, "This is a fantastic development. it may be wishful thinking, but it just may be that the forth monkey could be found before the sale."

Golding Young: The Colin Wilson Monkeys attributed to Giambologna (1529-1608)

Recycled trainers from Hi-TEC

HI-TEC has created a golf shoe that it claims is made from 99% environmentally sustainable materials. The Enviro has been created from organic, vegetable-tanned, chrome-free leathers, outsoles made of rice husks and latex rubber and a recyled sock liner.

The only part of the shoe that is reported not to be recycled is the spike receptacle, however HI-TEC's engineers said they are confident that soon even this will be made in a sustainable fashion.

Greener golfers can now walk with a clear conscience. The trainers are priced around £70, for more details call 01702 541771.