Thursday, 25 June 2015

Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture for a Modern World

Tate Britain currently shows a major retrospective exhibition of  Dame Jocelyn Barbara Hepworth's work, who was an English artist and sculptor and achieved international prominence in the 20th century in British modernism. 
During her early studies in the 1920s at the Leeds School of Art, she was awarded a county major scholarship to study sculpture at the Royal College of Art, London. She graduated in 1924 and was awarded a further scholarship for one year's study abroad and went to Italy where she stayed for two years. She lived first in Florence and then Rome where she learned the traditional Italian technique of marble carving.

Pelagos, 1946, part painted wood and strings

She had begun to use bronze in the mid 1950s, and for the remainder of her career she divided her work between direct carving in wood or stone, and creating sculpture to be cast in bronze. The use of bronze also enabled Hepworth to work on an increased scale and during the 1960s she embarked on ambitious sculptural pieces and major public commissions. Maquette for Winged Figure, 1957, was  eventually enlarged for one of her best known and most prominent commissions for the John Lewis Partnership building on Oxford Street, London, inaugurated in April 1963.

Maquette for Winged Figure commission for John Lewis

At Alfies you will find sculptural pieces for the home, whether it be in the form of a chandelier, mirror, bookends or just simply a work of art....

1970s cast bronze swan bookends, offered by Travers Antiques

Sculptural Sciolari Flush Mount Pendant, offered by The Moderns

1960s Steel Wall Sculpture, offered by Matt Mitchell London

Austrian Art Deco candle holder designed by Richard Rohac, offered by Robinson Antiques

Geometric abstract sculpture, offered by The Moderns

Starburst Mirror, offered by Louise Verber

Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture for a Modern World at Tate Britain, 24 June – 25 October 2015

Friday, 12 June 2015

Trooping the Colour: The Queen's Birthday Parade

This Saturday we celebrate the Queen's official birthday with the traditional ceremony of 'Trooping the Colour'. The custom of Trooping the Colour dates back to Charles II in the 17th century when the colours of a regiment were used as a rallying point during battles and were trooped in front of the soldiers every day to make sure that every man could recognise those of his own regiment. 

In London, the first record of The Sovereign's Birthday being lodged by the Grenadier Guards is in 1748 and again in 1760 after George III became King, as it was ordered that parades should mark the King's Birthday. From the accession of George IV it became an annual event with the exception of the two World Wars. 

Photo taken by The Telegraph

This impressive display of pageantry is now held on the occasion of the Queen's Official Birthday. It takes place in June each year to celebrate the official Birthday of the Sovereign and is carried out by her personal troops - the Household Division - on Horse Guards Parade and the Queen herself attends and takes the salute.

To celebrate, at Alfies we offer a large and varied collection of beautiful antiques and gifts fit for a 'right Royal knees-up'!

It is said that the Queen is fond of blue. This beautiful vintage diamond and
sapphire cluster ring offered by Pars Jewellery would make an excellent gift.

A lovely collection of Art Nouveau and Art Deco silver scent bottles.
Offered by Hayman & Hayman.

The Royals have always been avid horse riders. These Victorian cufflinks
with a horse motifs offered by Tony Durante would be perfect for an English gentleman.

A collection of Coronation tin including a rare tin box with a portrait of
the Royal Family. Offered by Paola & Iaia -Of The Originals.

A wonderful 1940s propaganda scarf in machine edge rayon depicting the three services (Army, Air
Force, & Navy) on the quarter with a union flag in the centre. Offered by Tin Tin Collectables.

A beautiful complete 1893 fruit set Sheffield silver plate set with pearl handles by
Charles James Allen & Sidney Darwin. Offered by Goldsmith & Perris.

For details of the ceremony taking place Saturday 13th June visit:

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Shoes: Pleasure & Pain at the V&A

Saturday 13 June 2015 sees the opening of  Pleasure & Pain at the V&A. This exhibition will look at the extremes of footwear from around the globe, presenting around 200 pairs of shoes ranging from a sandal decorated in pure gold leaf originating from ancient Egypt to the most elaborate designs by contemporary makers.

At Alfies, our vintage clothing dealers have a fascinating selection of footwear. Pictured below are handmade espadrilles from Tin Tin Collectables. On VE day the laces were replaced with tricolore laces to celebrate victory in Europe. 

'Victory' espadrilles with original laces, 1945, offered by Tin Tin  Collectables

The origins of Riviera style stem from the 1920s and 1930s, when sunbathing and sport became fashionable pastimes. Canvas espadrilles are a particularly apt Riviera touch.

1920s sporting espadrilles, offered by Tin Tin Collectables

In the 1900s, it was commonplace for women to acquire elaborate re-usable heels such as the ones below and later have the rest of the shoe constructed by a shoemaker. 

1900-1910 diamante set heels offered by Tin Tin Collectables

Mirror set heels c1900s, offered by Tin Tin Collectables

Below are a selection of shoes from different eras you will find at Alfies...

1930s brown shoes, offered by Carole Collier

1950s black lace shoes, offered by June Victor
1960s metallic silver shoes by Harrods, offered by June Victor

And of course, you'll need a chic shoe horn to put your fabulous footwear on....

1950s shoe horn in the shape of heeled shoes, offered by Tin Tin Collectables

Pleasure & Pain at the V&A will run from the 13th of June 2015 until the 31st of January 2016.

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