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Sunday, November 29, 2015

An old photo just surfaced today and sent to me from my first wife, Janis Enright

From the age of eleven I worked Saturdays at Harcourt Howard's antique shop at the Albion and then at his home at Denham Street Clayfield, in Brisbane.
I learned the trade that was buying and selling but more importantly, I learned that research and restoration were the two most important elements to success.
I was far more inclined towards collecting than trading and was also more focused on a design career. Dealers it seemed to me were always at each other's throats and scheming to devise ways of extracting key pieces from households they had entree to.
I can't remember the cat in the pic, he had so many.
Harcourt was a generous man with his time and knowledge, there was no area of the house 'out-of-bounds' to me. This trained me to be scrupulously honest or else . . .
His wife Elsie had passed away by this time, she was a medium in the "Spiritualist Church" and was trained by my GrandMother on my Father's side - Annabell Enright.
I can see that this was after Harcourt's stroke as his right hand was affected, still although his speech did return to normal.
I was so chuffed to see this lost image, again - Love you Harkie (and Janis)!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

My O and X images have been off the boil - a few newies:

My shot yesterday - my sister's daughter's son (Blayde) comes to the studio Thursdays as he is interested in learning hand skills associated with his model building. He is useless for the next two to three weeks - (the most important time of the year), preparation time downhill to studio Christmas sale.

From @cottageindustrystore in my InstaG account

From @sibellacourt in my InstaG account

From @mattjt on my InstaG account

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Our jewellery studio isn't an actual shop with a shingle anymore

Our favourite 'shop shingle' that I have on hand to make should we ever start a "shop" again. Almost a circle and a cross in that skillet, eh?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Another (found) O and an X

This Japanese graphic came with our new A3+ colour printer by OKI, the unit is fantastic but . . .

. . . I have to admit though, that it is surely a modern graphic produced by a secretary . . . and a publishing application. It surely didn't arrive into this world from an informed brief to a designer, who designed the page and in turn briefed an illustrator and then did finished art to complete the job.
But then I'm a grumpy old retired designer!

Three Australian colonial photographers, missing from my collection (until now) . . .

Daniel Marquis, Brisbane - W.A. Smith, Maryborough - H.G. Liversey, Queensland amongst nearly forty   Cartes-de-visite I found at a local garage sale last Saturday. On searching for additional info on these photographers, I came across a web resource by an old friend, architect and fellow AGHS member - Peter Marquis-Kyle - go here.
This next card is larger 4"x61/2" mounted on Trimmed board:

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Two sketched works by George Morland, original frames and back boards with signatures and now all cleaned and refreshed, in the urban_archaeology collection

These came to us from Michael Allen Antiques who was responsible for dismantling Lesbia Dobson's life-long collection in Brisbane, recently. Her collection manifest had them as "emanating from Tasmania", numbered 92 a and b on the back of the frames, apparently they were also cleaned and mounted in the 1970s. Well, when we opened the frames and peeled back the mounts we found on the reverse - a title on one (My Son! My Son!) and a signature (Morland) on the other. The frames are all one piece with later gilded partial fillet and burr walnut veneers in the late 18th century style. Once I cleaned off all the adhesive tape I found three written Morlands with one, a heavily impressed Morland in his handwriting style. I hand-scraped off the 1970s brushed gold that had spilled onto the veneer and had then both museum mounted with UV glass. I waxed and buffed the frames also.

George Morland has a wonderful history be it both artistically 'hard working' and self obsessed "hard drinking" - do spend the time to click on the link. Morland was born 26 June 1763 in London and passed away in Brighton 29 October 1804, he was an important English painter of animals and rustic scenes. One great picture I have as a high-res version is in the Philidelphia Art Museum - here. It is easily evident that these are both from his hand, the original frames and signatures are also helpful as art history tells us he was heavily copied - although his output was also great in number even in his later life in and out of the poor houses . . .

Titled on the reverse - My Son! My Son!

Titled on the reverse is the Morland signature

A correct Morland signature in deep pencil on the pack panel of the frame, this is prior to removing the tape adhesive. These back panels are both roughly pit sawn panels.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

I found what I want for Christmas

They are ticketed at A$14,000.00 and now in the window at LaTrobe Antiques at the Grange in Brisbane. Thomas Chippendale's 'Director' has these girendoles illustrated. They aren't mid 18th century but the carving 'ice patterns' are most divine, the gilding is last century as is the old mirror work.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Hilaire Belloc's own writing box in the Urban_Archaelolgy Collection

Two pencil portraits in the Emma Belloc estate - those of Mr & Mrs Smith, by Ackermann of London

These two are encased in a tooled leather gate-fold case, under glass and were advertised and purchased a few years ago via Michael Allen's web page.
We have other cherished articles from the Hilaire Belloc estate.

Sharing another Georgian piece in the collection - William Rothery Esq., London "pitt club" badge

From a direct defendant of the famous catholic author - Hilaire Belloc. We have a copy of Miss Emma Belloc's eight page will detailing her jewellery and small effects when she lived at No. 49 Rowland Gardens, London. Her effects survived right down to her nieces who resided in Brisbane and when the last lady passed away a dealer friend purchased almost all of the estate.

The London Pitt Club badge to William Rothery Esq., is oval silver-gilt with a raised white enamel medallion on tinted ground glass, portrait by the famous Scotish gem engraver, James Tassie.
Originally issued to members at £1 16c. 6d., was supplied by Green and Ward of Ludgate Street.

Similar sold at the London Medal Company: product code LMC/2053 for £650.00

Purchased from Michael Allen Antiques, Brisbane - 2015.

Our jewellery collection is a living resource for ourselves and our commission clients

This item in the Urban_Archaeology Collection ticks all our interest boxes. Our research has shown the same piece sold in the UK, twice previously. 1) and 2) - Maker: Patrick Robertson. Edinburgh c1790.

A rare Georgian Scottish silver Helter Skelter Club Badge of plain oval form with tied ribbon and ring surmount, the face engraved with a crest of a heart with an arrow through it below the motto ‘Thus Far’. To Robt Campbell Original Member. The reverse with the instituted date 8th May 1790 and the initials D.W.B.C.

Further research on the Helter Skelter Club is supplied by Michael Allen:

Sir Walter Scott:  St Ronan’s Well (written c1823)
Thirdly, we may commemorate some ranting blades, who also came from the metropolis to visit Saint Ronan's, attracted by the humours of Meg, and still more by the excellence of her liquor, and the cheapness of her reckonings. These were members of the Helter Skelter Club, of the Wildfire Club, and other associations formed for the express purpose of getting rid of care and sobriety. Such dashers occasioned many a racket in Meg's house, and many a bourasque in Meg's temper. Various were the arts of flattery and violence by which they endeavoured to get supplies of liquor, when Meg's conscience told her they had had too much already. Sometimes they failed, as when the croupier of the Helter Skelter got himself scalded with the mulled wine, in an unsuccessful attempt to coax this formidable virago by a salute; and the excellent president of the Wildfire received a broken head from the keys of the cellar, as he endeavoured to possess himself of these emblems of authority. But little did these dauntless officials care for the exuberant frolics of Meg's temper, which were to them only "pretty Fanny's way"- - the dulces Amaryllidis iræ. And Meg, on her part, though she often called them "drunken ne'er-do-weels, and thoroughbred High-street blackguards," allowed no other person to speak ill of them in her hearing. "They were daft callants," she said, "and that was all - - when the drink was in, the wit was out--ye could not put an auld head upon young shouthers--a young cowt will canter, be it up-hill or down--and what for no?" was her uniform conclusion.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

September 10 2015 - the type God who sacked the serif, has just passed away . . .

Adrian Frutiger - here.
I started as a designer counting spaces, (and lines) when specifying lino-type. We now just extend fonts digitally, he wanted to slant Univers more in the beginning.
I LOve the guy! RIP

Wednesday, September 16, 2015