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Its Fair time and preparations are well under way!

Preparing our latest publication, price list and invitations for posting
The excitement is building with less than 2 weeks until our show opens in Chelsea. As well as the normal planning for wall colours and carpet choices, selection of pieces to display, cleaning and polishing - we have produced our third catalogue to accompany our exhibits.  Britain on the High Seas: Merchants and Mariners continues to focus on the maritime side of our collections.


Above are two of our favourite pieces, a punch bowl made of oak from H.M.S. Royal George, 1802 and a silver-inlaid walnut caddy commemorating the death of Admiral Lord Nelson, at Trafalgar on 21st October 1805.


Peace in Europe, after the Battle of Waterloo, enabled international trade to flourish.  This included imports of Eastern merchandise from tea to textiles and of exotic timber both as a raw material and as ready-made furniture.  Above are an Indo-Portuguese rosewood, teak and ebony contador and a mahogany teapoy by the English firm of Gillows.


Shipping was, and still, is a dangerous occupation, so the development of a fleet of rescue vessels became vital.  We have two models of R.N.L.I lifeboats, one of which, a ‘Watson’ class boat from the 1930s, is shown above. 


For the man who has everything – how about a fully working model of a steam launch? The Portsmouth Model Steam Boat Club was founded in 1909 and their races were described thus: [the boats] ‘were mostly steam with a few electric or petrol powered, the steam boats using petrol blowlamps to heat the boilers.  Speed Competitions were held with boats timed over a measured distance.  The steam boats were usually fastest.  Steering competitions were also held where boats were aimed at a set of six flags on the far side of the lake, the boats getting closest to the middle pair scoring the highest points.’


Continuing with the 20th century we have a Lesley Arthur Wilcox oil painting of a bustling port from the 1950s called ‘World Commerce’.
And how better to finish than with a presentation half-hull model of arguably the most famous racing yacht in history  ‘America’?  There are two further layers of interest in this particular model.  Firstly, it was built by the world-famous Scottish yard of G. L. Watson & Co. Ltd., and secondly, it had royal connections as explained on the reverse.  ‘This model was presented by G.L.Watson to W.G.Jameson.  George L. Watson was one of England’s leading yacht designers.  He designed four America’s Cup Challengers which included: Thistle, Valkyrie, Valkyrie II and Shamrock II.  He also designed the King’s Britannia, and the Kaiser’s Meteor.  William G. Jameson was probably the most successful amateur helmsman in the U K in the 1880s and the 1890s.  Jameson acted as an adviser to the Prince of Wales and introduced him to Watson.’
To order physical tickets or catalogues please email or visit our website. The below E-ticket will gain you access to The Chelsea Antiques Fair between 21st - 26th September 2021
Explore more of our categories by following the links below.
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