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Established in 1981 by Charles Wallrock. Previous suppliers of Harrods for over 22 years.

Masterpiece 2018

 Louis XV commode by de Jeune with a pair of Louis III imperial porphyry vases and a lacquer box by Jennens & Betteridge

Once more the end of June is promising to be very busy with the opening of Masterpiece in Chelsea.   As our stands are always a similar shape and size the planning does tend to be a bit formulaic so we rely on bringing very differing stock from year to year.  Standing against the three walls we have a selection of bookcases, cabinets or chests of drawers.  These also supply valuable display space for vases and sculptures, as can been seen above where the breche violette top and ormolu mounts of the large and imposing Louis XV commode ( 57 inches wide) are perfectly complemented by the later Napoleon III imperial porphyry vases.  As we are not specialist picture dealers we usually put works of art on the walls – mirrors, embroideries, shibayama or pietra dura.  This year we have a large giltwood Regency convex mirror, which will balance the size of the commode and echo the ormolu mounts, and a Japanese embroidery of a sea eagle over rolling waves – eagles are a favourite theme of Charlie’s.
A Regency convex mirror,​
surmounted by an eagle. H 58 ½ in​
A Meiji period needlework of a sea
eagle above waves.  H 73 ¼ in W 56in
Susan E Stuart, ‘Gillows of Lancaster
and London, 1730-1840,’ Vol.I  P 268

In the middle of the stand we have room for a library table and a couple of chairs or paired small tables.  We are spoilt for choice here. First is a striking Goncalo Alves library table attributed to Gillows of  Lancaster  by Susan Stuart because of its similarity to a rosewood writing table in the ‘Estimate Sketch Book’ of June 1825.  She continues ‘the most intriguing thing about is piece is the brass inlay or boulle (buhl) work which forms a border on the table top’.  She then confirms that it was a pattern commonly used by George Bullock of Birmingham and London and that there had been a long history of co-operation between the two firms dating from the 18th century.

A George IV rosewood centre table attributed to Gillows.  Diam.  48 in   A Victorian amboyna centre table by Taprell and Holland & Sons,   Diam. 51in

Second is a George IV table with a superb contre-partie boulle-work border round the frieze and powerful lion’s paw and scallop shell feet.  In this instance the boulle work is inspired by the classical French taste with anthemion and palmettes. Third is another centre table - this one is amboyna and made by the famous firm of Taprell and Holland & Sons. Holland & Sons became one of the greatest furnishing firms of the Victorian era, responsible for the interiors of Osborne House, Windsor Castle and Balmoral. 
An Italian walnut of an elegant man
with a donkey’s head.  H 53 ¾
A pair of Anglo-Indian camel tables A marble head of Admiral Lord Nelson,
c1805.  18in overall

And finally the ‘wow’ factor.  Charlie always conjures up something weird, whacky or wonderful to draw people onto the stand.  My absolute favourite is a character I have christened ‘The Donkey Dandy’.  This Italian walnut carving shows the body of a young buck dressed in the height of fashion with buttoned tail coat, top hat and walking cane but with a donkey’s head. This is not ‘Bottom’ from a Midsummer Night’s Dream because he was a joiner and would not have been so extravagantly dressed. Could it be an allegory of vanity?  The camel tables are Anglo-Indian and the marble head is that of Admiral Lord Nelson from a bust by or after Thaller and Ranson, circa 1801-1805, from the collection of Louis Huth, Esq of Possingworth Park, East Sussex. 


Dates for your Diary
Masterpiece London 27th June – 5th July


Wallrock and Brooker, 93 Lower Sloane Street, Chelsea, SW1W 8DA

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Having previously supplied Harrods antiques department for 22 years, Charles Wallrock of Wick Antiques offers his expertise and professional knowledge to help you buy and sell your antiques.
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Unit 2
Riverside Business Park
Gosport Street
SO41 9BB

T +44 (0) 1590 677 558
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Wick Antiques · Unit 2, Riverside Business Park · Gosport Street · Lymington, Hampshire SO41 9BB · United Kingdom

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