Antiques & Decoratives
Tang Dynasty Lady Court Attendant, circa 680 AD - 710 AD
The lithe and graceful form of this figure places the sculpture in the late 7th century. Her clothes and hairstyle will change around 720 AD when the fashion requires heavier ladies and fuller, lush hair-dos. Female attendants were generally made in groups for the tombs of imperial or aristocratic women.
Like their mistresses, the lady in waiting is dressed in the height of fashion. She wears a high waisted, low necked gown with long sleeves, with her shoulders draped in an elongated, graceful shawl. Her hair is worn in the elaborate topknot style, typical of the era. If she seems to slouch, that is the style of the period, a bit like the medieval S curve seen in the Virgin Mary, particularly in the Gothic period.
The figure is part glazed in what is known as a Sancai glaze, meaning the application of three colours, green, amber and straw. This was a complex technique developed during the Tang Dynasty.
The sculpture would have been moulded and the face carved. Afterwards, the glazes would have been applied, with three separate firings because of the three colours used. As this was a more complicated process, even during its day, Sancai glazed items were always much more costly than the unglazed, painted pieces. This holds true today as well. It must be remembered that the figure would have been buried for nearly 1400 years, which is why the figure has been able to survive. But traces of encrusted mud, within the interior of the figure, as well as traces on the outside remain and are part of the artifact.
The condition is excellent. It is possible that her head might have been broken off at some point and restored, but it is difficult to be sure. The neck is always a weak point in these sculptures. But, unlike porcelain, repairs to a tomb figure are acceptable and don’t seriously affect the value. If you think how these items were rescued from the ground, breakage would have been inevitable.
10½ cm H x 5 cm D x 7 cm L
The figure comes with an acrylic stand with a post in the middle to support the figure. The stand is 8½ cm x 9 cm x 2 cm highLearn More
Eastern Han Dynasty Dancing Entertainer from the Sichuan Province of China, circa 25 AD - 190 AD
This is a rare and wonderfully sculpted figure, a classical Sichuan study, full of life, humour and movement. The face, with its typical, almost haunting, mysterious smile, is characteristic of the sculpting from the Sichuan Province. But equally characteristic is their liking for lively individuality. This comes through in the dancer’s robust movements, as she leans to the right, raises her hands in a dance movement while her knees bulge through the skirt. The foot is only hinted at, but one knows it is there as it peeps out of the hem. The dancer is wearing a cross over robe with full, embroidered sleeves (which show in the detail illustration as slightly wavy sleeves). The upraised arm shows long sleeves with the hand holding a scarf as the dancing takes place. The headdress is covered in flowers, surprisingly still intact, considering this figure is over 2000 years old.
43½ cm H x 23cm L (from the base to the outstretched hand) x 13 cm D
Comes with acrylic stand 18 cm x 18 cm x 1½ cm HLearn More
Eastern Han Dynasty Glazed Steamer, circa 25AD - 88 AD
The richly green glazed flowerpot shaped steamer, with perforated holes to allow the steam to escape, was used in Han cooking, as it would be today. The amazing thing is that it exists at all, let alone in perfect condition. There are spur marks at the top for the firing of the glaze. Of course, this would have been intended for use, but in the next world. Nothing was left to chance. Nothing could be neglected.
Diameter at widest part of bowl, 27 cm, Diameter at narrowest part of the base, the perforated end, 9 ½ cm x 16 cm H
Acrylic stand 10½ cm x 10 ½ cm x 1½ cm HLearn More
Antique Coromandel Wood Writing Slope, circa 1855
There is something about writing slopes that seems to capture my imagination. They are quite romantic objects, conjuring up the act of private correspondence or even poetic jottings. They have been around for over 200 years. Designed to be desks packed into a box, they were used on journeys, military campaigns, sea voyages even hunting trips. They are a clever invention much like today’s laptop. A writing slope is a small box which one opens to reveal a sloping desk area. Each end of the desk lifts up to reveal a storage area for letters and paper.
This handsome writing slope, made from rare coromandel wood veneered onto mahogany, has brass stringing inlay on the lid as well as a beautifully etched brass name plaque. In the front is an equally fine brass etched inlaid escutcheon with a garland name banner. The lock however does not work.
The box opens to a richly covered original velvet and gold tooled writing surface that hinges open in two places to store stationary. To the top edge is a pen tray, a stamp tray and two original enamel topped ink wells, still with the dried ink inside. There is another brass escutcheon (again no key) which, when the panel for the stationary is lifted, reveals a secret release mechanism that opens a panel behind which are two drawers. I have seen this in action once by an antique restorer, but it frankly does not easily open….but it is there!
The box is in good condition and the original embossed and gold tooled velvet retains its good looks as well.
35 cm L x 23 cm D x 15 cm H with top open, 23 cm HLearn More
Out of stock
Pair of Victorian Staffordshire Pottery Spaniels, Male and Female, circa 1870
Often these Staffordshire Spaniels are sad singles, the mate having been broken many years before. The couple do indeed belong together and until I actually measured them, I had never realized that the potters made these pairs just a fraction different in size so that the female was a centimetre more delicate.
Originally modelled by the Staffordshire potters on Queen Victoria’s beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Dash, they became a favourite and indeed a necessary parlour decoration during the Victorian era. No mantelpiece was complete without a pair standing guard.
This pair, with their creamy white mottled coats, have gilded highlights, and the classic gold padlock and chain decoration. Their hand-painted muzzles are brightly coloured and their are eyes are painted the classic Staffordshire yellow. Two black painted paws have been added while their coats have been modelled to a feathery fur.
The condition of both dogs is very good. There are no repairs, no cracks or re-painting. There is the inevitable crazing with age and some of the gilt has worn off. Otherwise, the dogs are in good form.
Male Spaniel: 25 cm H x 19 cm L x 14 cm DLearn More
Female Spaniel: 24 cm H x 18 cm L x 13 cm D
Out of stock
Tiffany Sterling Silver Lidded Caviar Bowl - SOLD
This has to be the height of luxury, a Tiffany silver caviar bowl with lid and clear glass liner. Of course it can also be used for jam or honey. The Sterling silver bowl stands on a generous foot, while the bowl itself is elegantly pierced at the top. The lid has a finial and has a reeded design along the rim. The glass bowl sits comfortably inside the silver jar. There is an insert for a serving spoon. However the original spoon was missing. As I felt it must have a spoon, I have replaced it with an elegant Georgian silver spoon, London silver marked, circa 1835. I realize this is just over Georgian, more William IV in date, but in style it is definitely simple Georgian. And this bowl harks back to Georgian designs.
On the bottom of the foot, the Tiffany & Co Sterling silver mark has been clearly marked with the 'm' which indicates John C. Moore II who was director of Tiffany’s between 1907-1947. The stamp reads: Tiffany & Co 18423 Makers 1650 Sterling Silver 925-1000 M L49.
The condition is good except for a minor small dent at the rim of the bowl, over which the lid fits snugly. There is a monogram, V J H.
Although the date mark is wide ranging, in the style of both the lidded bowl and the monogram, I would say it dates from the 1920’s.
10 cm H x 11 cm diameter at lid 6½ cm diameter at baseLearn More
Out of stock
Victorian Sterling Silver Sugar Bowl
Antique Victorian sterling silver two handled sugar bowl, marked Sheffield 1891, with the Maker’s Mark, James Dixon & Son; it is boat shaped with plain handles that swirl out into a delicate 'S' shape with a charming flip detail half way down each handle, which reinforces the strength of the handles; the lower half of the bowl’s body is fluted in a classically 18th century design
H 5.5 cm, L 13 cm, D 6 cmLearn More
Antique Sterling Silver Milk or Cream Jug
Marked Birmingham 1930, with the Maker’s Mark Elkington & Co, created for J C Vickery of Regent St. London, an Edwardian department store that was fit for royalty. Indeed, the British Royal family, along with the Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian royals all patronized this department store. It is a heavy piece of silver with a Georgian shaped body, decorated with gadrooning around the lip of the jug. It is classical in shape and yet quite contemporary and it makes both a luxurious cream or milk jug, or even for gravy.
L 15 cm, H 9 cm, D 8.5 cmLearn More
Victorian Papier Mache Eyeglass Case, circa 1860
Decoratively inlaid with mother of pearl on the perimeter, bordered on either side by silver and with a centre cartouche of silver, awaiting a monogram. The inside of the spectacle case is lined in its original garnet velvet intended to cushion the spectacles. This is ideal for the wire reading glasses available today, lovely to use on a desk or a bedside table.
L 16.5 cm, W 3.5 cm W, D 1.5 cmLearn More
Out of stock
Victorian hand coloured print commemorating the birth of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s first child, Victoria
The Princess Royal was born on 21 November, 1841 and as with our own Royal family, the Victorians were fascinated by the comings and goings, weddings and births of the Royals. It was terribly popular to have prints, ceramics, and decorative items reflecting them. This sweet print is still vivid in its colours and is full of details, such as Victoria’s gracious dress and robe, bordered in ermine. She sits on a throne, and just under her dress, a footstool can be seen with a tiny regal foot. By her side, with curly hair and dressed in full regalia, is her handsome and beloved Prince Albert, looking affectionaly downwards, as he elegantly clasps his gloves.
The print is contemporary with the birth, making it around the 1840’s date.
The period, rich maple frame measures 21.5 cm by 16.5 cm, while the print itself is 12.5 cm by 8 cm.Learn More