Posts tagged ‘Italian Antiques’

February 26, 2023

Waring & Gillow Italian Antiques Exhibition 1909

A new edition to the growing collection of Antique Dealer catalogues is a rare exhibition catalogue produced by the furniture makers and retailers Waring & Gillow in 1909. This ‘Exhibition of Italian Furniture and Pictures by Italian Artists’ took place at Waring & Gillow’s shop in Oxford Street in London.

Waring & Gillow Exhibition catalogue, 1909. Photograph, Antique Dealers’ Research Project, University of Leeds.

The exhibition included a very wide range of ‘antiques’ – ‘antique furniture’, ‘Old tapestries’, ‘sculptured marbles of historic interest’, ‘Bronzes’, ‘Old Majolica ware’, ‘Lace’, XVIth century Cathedral Vestments’ and paintings by ‘Old Masters’, as well as paintings by ‘Modern Italian Artists’ such as Pio Joris (1843-1921), Silvio Galimberti (1869-1956) and Filiberto Petiti (1845-1924) – the latter loaned by Queen Margherita of Savoy (1851-1926).

Waring & Gillow Exhibition Catalogue, 1909. Photograph, Antique Dealers’ Research Project, University of Leeds.

The ‘Modern’ paintings in the exhibition appear to have all been loans from various private collectors, no doubt an extra inducement for potential customers to come to buy the wide range of antiques in the exhibition, all of which were for sale. There were a small number of ‘Old Master’ paintings, which also appeared to have been loans (‘The Three Graces by Sarriboursi’, ‘The Annunciation by Francesco di Gentile’ and a ‘Madonna and Child and Saints Bernardo and Girolamo by Pinturicchio’); but there were also one or two ‘Old Paintings’ on sale at the exhibition – a pair of oil paintings on panel ‘of the Pier Della Francesca School’ (priced at £75 the pair), and a ‘XVth century Madonna and Child’ on panel (priced at £95).

The range of antiques for sale illustrates the evolving fashion for Italian interior decoration promoted by Waring & Gillow at the time. The catalogue even included an illustration of an ‘Italian Salon’ as one of the frontispiece images – the tapestries in the illustration were for sale in the exhibition, described as ‘Early XVIIth century’ the 7 tapestries were offered at £3,000 the set.

Waring & Gillow Exhibition Catalogue, 1909. Photograph, Antique Dealers’ Research Project, University of Leeds.

The exhibition included a wide range of antique furniture, including ‘XVth, XVIth and XVIIth century’ chairs and tables, coffers and cassone; this ‘Fine Italian Renaissance Credence’ in walnut (see below) was priced at £100.

Waring & Gillow Exhibition Catalogue, 1909. Photograph, Antique Dealers’ Research Project, University of Leeds.

And this ‘Table of old ”Verde Antico” marble, with ”Breccia Corallina” borders, was offered at £115 (see below).

Waring & Gillow Exhibition Catalogue, 1909. Photograph, Antique Dealers’ Research Project, University of Leeds.

Perhaps the most surprising ‘antiques’ for sale in the exhibition was a range of ecclesiastical vestments, including this ‘Renaissance Chasuble of the Sixteenth Century’ (one of 4 offered for sale) at £39.10s (see below). Although to be fair, the tradition of buying and selling antique textiles goes back to at least the early 19th century in terms of the history of antique dealing, and museums such as the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A Museum) had been assembling collections of antique textiles since it’s earliest days in the 1850s.

Waring & Gillow Exhibition Catalogue, 1909. Photograph, Antique Dealers’ Research project, University of Leeds.

That Waring & Gillow, one of the leading modern furniture retailers in the period, should be staging exhibitions of ‘antique furniture’ is of course not unusual; the firm was also buying and selling antique furniture alongside many modern furniture retailers at the time. The exhibition catalogue will be making it’s way to the collections of Antique Dealer material at the Brotherton Library Special Collections at the University of Leeds in due course.

Mark

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