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

A Tale of Two Ships

A cased ship’s half-hull model of  the electric river launch ‘Loosestrife’, designed by G L Watson, built by J Adam, Gourock, in 1889 for Henry Gold, based at Cookham. L 38in.  SOLD

Often one of the pleasures of dealing in old things is the human story behind them.  Everything we buy was made for, used by and enjoyed by someone else.  It is therefore very satisfying when we re-unite pieces with their own history.  By chance this has happened twice this month. The LAPADA newsletter featured ‘Cushie Doo’.  Imagine Charlie’s delight when he was contacted by the first owner, Mr Osmand’s, direct descendant who unrolled the original shipyard drawings and explained more of her history when he met us to view the model.  Apparently one of Cushie Doo’s annual tasks was to steam from Sydney round to Northern Australia with every conceivable item needed to run Mr Osmand’s vast cattle stations in northern Australia.  After some bargaining, and some difficulty fitting the model into his open-top Triumph TR4, Mr West drove away a happy customer. 
Secondly, another attractive cased model bearing the legend “Loosestrife”, Scale ½”= 1Ft, to the Captain from the Designer”.  But who was that designer?  A pencil mark on the back attributed her to Olympic sailor Lynton Hope but this proved to be a red herring as he did not design river launches.  Eventually we discovered all about her.  ‘Loosestrife’ was a Thames river launch designed by G L Watson and built by J. Adam of Gourock in 1889. The electric motor was supplied by Golden & Co. of London.  She was created for Henry Gold, of Hedsor, Maidenhead (High Sherif of Berkshire in 1897) and flew the burgee of the Royal Clyde YC.  George Lennox Watson (30 October 1851 – 12 November 1904) was a noted Scottish naval architect.  He built luxury sailing and steam yachts for clients such as the Vanderbilts, the Rothschilds, the German Emperor, four America’s Cup challengers and RNLI lifeboats.  Arguably Watson's most famous commission was Edward Prince of Wales’s J-class yacht ‘Britannia’ who raced successfully for 43 years (see the watercolour below).  This research led us to contact G.L.Watson & Co. Ltd., who are still classic luxury yacht specialists and they have bought the model as Loosestrife was their first ever electric launch.

‘Britannia, KI, leading the race through Cowes Roads’, watercolour Charles Dixon 1933   £18,000
Victorian alabaster figures of the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte, English, c1870.  Each £4,400
A pair of Continental bronzed-spelter gasoliers, now converted to hall lanterns, c1900.H 49 in.   £7,450

Meanwhile new purchases include two alabaster companion figures of the Duke of Wellington and his great adversary Napoleon Bonaparte.  Another pair of fighters in Spanish style armour holding aloft lighted torches have been converted to electricity and at 49 inches in height make imposing hall lanterns.  

A Regency mahogany waterfall
Bookcase, English, c1820.   £5,850
A Regency Gonçalo Alves dumb waiter, English, c1820.  H 49in    £ 3,650
A Collinson and Lock cabinet, English, c1870.    £5,800
Waterfall bookcases are very much in vogue at the moment and this Regency mahogany one (above left) has the added advantage of being on castors, while the tiered stand in the centre (usually referred to as a ‘dumb waiter’) is of interest because it is made of Goncalo alves, a rare and sought after timber sometimes called tigerwood because of its dramatic stripes.  One the right we have an attractive drawing room cabinet attr. to  F.G. Collinson and G.J. Lock.  This partnership were famous for their marquetry furniture in the classical style, incorporating rosewood, ivory and Pietra Dura marble mosaics, two techniques that we see on the current piece.  Alongside traditional designs they achieved success employing and collaborating with some of the leading designers of the Aesthetic Art Movement including the architect T.E.Collcutt, who designed their new premises, Christopher Dresser, Stephen Webb (their senior designer), H.W. Batley and A.H. Mackmurdo.

Please check the Wick Antiques or Barnebys websites as new delights are posted every day.  Charlie will be in the London gallery on Wednesdays so do ring 07768 877069 for an appointment. 

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

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Wick Antiques · Unit 2, Riverside Business Park · Gosport Street · Lymington, Hampshire SO41 9BB · United Kingdom

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