Art news - February
PUBLISHED: 15:49 18 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:34 20 February 2013
All that's new and exciting in Kent's art world
ANTIQUE OF THE MONTH
Its all very confusing. Like commodes the continental name for what is basically a chest of drawers loo tables have nothing to do with the smallest room. They became fashionable with the rise in popularity of the card game of the same name (from the French lanturlu, like whist but with betting). A special table was not really needed but that was no reason not to create one.
Another name for the heavy circular table introduced in the late 18th century is drum table. Usually covered with tooled leather and fitted with quadrant drawers, some of which were imitation, the drum table was a handy piece, especially for the library or office of a large country house. This might explain why a variant became known as a rent table, so called because that may have been where the tenants of a large estate formed a queue to pay their dues to the landlord.
The drawers of this 42-inch diameter George III mahogany example, sold in our recent fine art and antiques sale, retained their alphabetic markings while others are found labelled with days of the week, giving rise to the idea the desk was a filing system for the rent collector. Thats probably a fallacy, but its rarity explains why it sold for 17,000 against an estimate of 5,000 to 7,000.
OVER THE MOON
It might not bebe a work of art, but theres no doubt that anything thats been to the moon and back is certainly collectable.
A Kent stamp company has recently acquired a valuable envelope which made a trip to the moon and back in 1971, aboard Apollo 15. Posted the morning before Apollo 15 took off, and again on the day it landed, it was personally signed by all three crew members, Dave Scott, Al Worden and the late Jim Irvin.
The envelope, called a cover, comes with a letter about its journey, a letter of authenticity from NASA and a certificate. Tony Buckingham, chairman of Folkestone-based Buckingham Covers, the company which bought the item, says: I am thrilled that this piece of history has come into our hands. Only about 500 covers have ever made this journey, and to have one here in Kent is very exciting. For a space collector, this is the holy grail.
The cover will be displayed for a short period before being offered for sale for 12,500. For more information, contact Buckingham Covers, tel: 01303 268121
CAPTURING THE MOMENT
This month sees a spectacular solo exhibition by self-taught artist Colette Baumback, held at Maidstone Library Gallery. A selection of her recent work, the exhibition features many landscapes depicting the county and its coastline in Colettes dramatic and inimitable style.
Of her own work, she says: I am inspired by the richness of colour and texture in the natural landscapes; I have spent most of my life living around the Kent coast and my work is very much influenced by what I see around me. When I see something that inspires me, I want to capture that moment.
The exhibition will run from 1 to 27 Feb. For more information, tel: 01622 751764
HAVE ART, WILL TRAVEL
If youre planning on doing any travelling this year, you might be closer to home than you think. Staff at Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery were surprised and delighted when two major art galleries from overseas contacted them about borrowing some of the Museums works of art for exhibitions in 2010 and 2011.
The gallery was initially approached by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, which was keen to borrow the photograph The Lady of Shalott by Henry Peach Robinson. The photograph is required for an exhibition called The Pre-Raphaelite Lens: British photography and painting, 1848-1875 which will be on show in Washington from October 2010 to January 2011. It will then tour to Paris where it will be on show at the Musee dOrsay until May 2011.
The Museum was later contacted by the Musee D'Orsey requesting the loan of the painting Waiting for the Verdic by Abraham Solomon. The painting will be included in an exhibition on the theme of Crime and Punishment and will be on display from March until June 2010.