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What's On

Highlights at COLLECT 2014, Saatchi Gallery 9-12 May





Designer Days

Recently our design clients have been very busy and so a great mix of both old and new design has come curling, twisting and projecting into my proverbial eye-line.

The Muse team has recently worked on the Crafted Showcase at the Royal Academy, where we met many designers of items as varied as jewellery, headwear and handmade shoes and had a great time showing journalists around and finding out more about the craftsmen and women and their pieces, including Prince George’s new highchair.

We have also just had a week of Masterpiece ‘exhibitor day’ meetings, where passionate dealers have described a great variety of design items that they will be bringing this year, from Daniela Kumpf’s Russian Imperial porcelain to Edward Hurst’s William Kent furniture to Peter Petrou’s Yoruba ear plugs.

COLLECT: The International Fair for Contemporary Objects, run by the UK Crafts Council, is also on the horizon for us. It will feature top galleries and artists from across the globe at the Saatchi Gallery from 9-12 May. New for this year is ‘Legacy: Two works on Hope and Memory’- a touring exhibition of ceramic works by Claire Twomey and Julian Stair.

This mix of older and newer design is in fact essential in the exciting work we are currently undertaking with Butchoff Antiques. It’s their 50th anniversary and to celebrate not only have they launched a contemporary design competition, working with young design students at two London colleges, but are also exhibiting a 19th century cabinet as part of the Wallace Collection’s exhibition, Reproducing the 18th Century: Copying French Furniture. Both are two very different but very exciting projects.

Butchoff’s cabinet has a key role in the Wallace Collection’s current display in demonstrating the beauty of a high quality 19th century copy of an 18th century original- showing that not only was the concept of the ‘copy’ regarded more highly then, but sometimes the quality of these copies and complexity of techniques used were far more difficult than the originals.

Moving from complex copies to cutting edge contemporary originals, the Butchoff design competition now under way aims to showcase the best of young design talent. We are currently working with students and tutors from both Kingston University and The London College of Furniture who are currently creating their designs to be judged in May. These can be completely contemporary but inspired by the master craftsmanship or techniques at the essence of Butchoff’s 18th and 19th century antiques. After a recent review of progress, we are all very much looking forward to the May judging, and then the unveiling of the winning design at LAPADA fair, Berkeley Square, this September. Watch this space!

More Musings

What can a commercial retail guru teach Art+Antique dealers?

Claire Owen, March 13, 2014

The LAPADA 2014 conference, expertly put together by Sarah Percy-Davis and Max Stiegler, was held at The House of Lords and was presented with an impressive line-up of speakers including Philip Graves, consumer Psychologist and professional speaker, Nigel White (International Business Communications Expert), Clare McAndrew (Arts Economics) and Sir Stuart Rose (previous Executive Chairman of the British retailer Marks & Spencer). The morning started off with a behind the scenes tour of Parliament which took us through the Queen’s robing room, along the series of paintings of King Henry VIII’s wives and finally to today’s recognised House of Commons Chamber. If you haven’t been on one of these tours around Parliament, I can’t recommend it enough. I leant more in one hour than I did in three years of history at school.

The conference was put together to inform members of LAPADA (the London and Provincial Antiques Dealers’ Association) of the status of the international market, demystify some consumer behaviours and to help them overcome some of the challenges they face in the commercial market. Although each speaker was inspiring, Sir Stuart Rose was the main highlight to whom we were all looking forward. Many of the dealers were trying to sell to him their wares after he mentioned his passion for decanters, and he managed to play them with his quick wit, but was eventually tempted by Lennox Cato’s advances and collected his business card afterwards.

A Monumental Valentine

Freya Simms, February 14, 2014

Art theft and forgery have long had sexy celluloid reputations: from Peter O’Toole and Audrey Hepburn frolicking in How to Steal a Million to the Thomas Crown Affair, that, not [...]

Gong Muse announces new additions to client roster for 2014

Freya Simms, January 27, 2014

2014 has got off to a flying start at Muse with several new business wins seeing our portfolio flourish in diverse and exciting ways. The Mary Rose Museum and Heritage [...]


Lucy Barry, January 27, 2014

‘BRIC’ was a term coined by Jim O’Neill in 2001 to describe the new economic powerhouses of the world (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Since then, the acronym has been [...]

Exhibition Review: Masterpieces of Chinese Painting 900-1900 at the V&A

Emma Double, January 22, 2014

Chinese New Year is approaching and 2014′s year of the horse is galloping towards us. As Asian art booms across the world, it doesn’t appear to be the only fast-moving [...]


Claire Owen, January 6, 2014

2013 has been another notable year for art, antiques and design. Records across many disciplines have been broken at auction, including sales in jewellery and art, and attendance at museums [...]