29 September 2011

Grays dealers at LAPADA

This year eight Grays dealers exhibited at the LAPADA fair in Berkeley Square. Just a stones throw from Grays, in the heart of Mayfair, we paid a visit to see some of the magnificent pieces on display from LAPADA members. As always the huge marquee, purposely built for the occasion, did not fail to impress. For those of you who missed the fair you can visit Grays dealers from Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm and Saturdays from 11am-5pm. Catch up with LAPADA members and over 200 exceptional art and antique dealers who have permanent stands there.


Grays dealers who exhibited at LAPADA this year included; Anthea A G Antiques, Nigel Norman, Vine Antiques, Elliot Lee, The Gilded Lily, John Joseph, Wimpole Antiques and Sue Brown.


“An amazingly run fair. The venue was magnificent, the customer base excellent and sales were satisfactory in these difficult times”  Anthea A G Antiques.


One of Anthea's most magnificent items on display is this dress clip and matching bangle given by H.M Queen Elizabeth (the queen mother) to Lady Hardinge, whose husband, sir Alexander Hardinge was private secretary to King George VI.  The letter, although undated, was likely to accompany the gift for Christmas 1942 when the Royal Family was in mourning for the King's brother, Prince George Duke of Kent, killed that year.

8 September 2011

Japanese Fairy Tales

Earlier this week I noticed some very interesting looking notebooks in K&Y Oriental Art in Grays Mews.  Each one was lined up carefully just waiting to be discovered. Taking a closer look they turned out to be Japanese fairy tales for children.  Each one exquisitely bound with beautiful woodblock illustrations on crepe paper.   All the books below are made by publisher Takejiro Hasegawa.

The Mouse's Wedding - Printed in 1886


Takejiro Hasagawa was a prolific Japanese publisher of 'Ehon' or picture books. All the books published were of superb quality in design, binding, woodblock printing and the materials used.  Most of the books are bound in a traditional Japanese style known as 'fukuro-toji' which means pouch binding.  The pages are printed, folded in half, then stacked together.  The result is a series of folded pages that open at the top and bottom to form a pouch. They are then tied with silk string or ribbon.


The books we intended for markets outside of Japan and this is why these ones are in English.  However many distributers from around the world commissioned Hasegawa and books were also published in Dutch, German, French, and Swedish.  Distributors in New York, London, Brussells, Leipzig, Philidelphia, Helski all stocked Hasegawa's books.


There were several people involved in the making of these books. The publisher and editor, Takejiro Hasegawa, authors and translators, artists, text printers, and woodblock printers.  You can read in more detail about the process of making the prints here.

Even the back covers are beautifully printed.  The Mouse's Wedding has delicate cobwebs and leaves on the back cover (pictured above).

Momotaro - Printed in 1930.

Momotaro is an incredibly well-known and popular Japanese folk tale.  According to the tale, which dates to the Edo period, Momotaro came to earth in a giant peach and was discovered by an old woman and her husband.  They named him Momotaro, which means peach boy.  Momo (peach) and taro (eldest son in the family).

Years later Momotaro sets off on a quest to fight a band of oni (demons) and he befriends a talking dog, monkey, and pheasant who help him with his quest.  There are many variations in the story and there is even a song about Momotaro.


You can see the quality in this stunning illustration from the book.  The detail and colours are in perfect condition and very skillfully done.

The Old Woman Who Lost Her Dumpling



You can find all these books and many more at K&Y Oriental Art in Grays Mews, stands K24-K25.

6 September 2011

Sade dazzles the crowd with show stopping earrings by Donald Edge

After a decade away from the music industry Sade Adu is back with this ‘summer’s hottest ticket’ according to Billboard magazine. Helping her dazzling in the spotlight of her success is jewellery designer Donald Edge.  Donald has created a pair of bespoke diamond hoop earrings that promise to shine just as brightly as the star herself.

Critically acclaimed, Sade’s summer tour follows the release of Sade’s sixth album “Soldier of Love” (Epic Records) and is proving a sell out success.  Grossing $31.4million and with over 345,441 concert-goers in the US alone the tour is set to continue to Europe, South America and Australia.

 
Top: Sade Adu with earrings by Donald Edge. Bottom: Front cover of Billboard Magazine. August 2011

Retailing at £18,000, the earrings designed by Donald Edge were designed to impress.  Approximately 7ct of rare white diamonds were carefully hand-selected, with only the very best examples making the final pair of earrings.  Every diamond has been skilfully micro set in such a way that only the diamonds are visible, the delicate frame beneath cannot be seen.  Not only does this enhance the diamonds but magnifies the wow factor tenfold! The earrings were also recently featured on the front cover of Billboard Magazine.

 
Right: Chambord by Donald Edge launch in New York with Betsey Johnson 2010.

Based at Grays in Mayfair, Donald Edge has over 25 years experience designing incredible bespoke jewellery for international clients. Travelling the globe to source precious stones and diamonds, Donald has a loyal following and has designed some spectacular one-off pieces. In addition to Sade’s diamond earrings, last year Donald also designed a diamond and pearl encrusted bottle for Chambord.  Worth $2million it is in the running for the world’s most expensive bottle ever created.
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