Journal

19 December 2017

Forty Years On

The frost has bitten, and the leaves are gone, as we move towards the end of the year and start looking ahead.

2017 has blown by in a flash and the doom-mongers have yet to have it all their way.

Life in Battersea continues to be vibrant and exciting as the new Herzog and de Meuron flagship development of the Royal College of Art, (situated directly opposite us), heads for final planning permission. Interesting local restaurants, cafes and independent shops are popping up all around, whilst an increasing number of “creatives” are populating the area. We can only hope that the convivial local spirit and multi-cultural atmosphere is not impacted by the development of Brexit.

Once again, in 2017 we curated three significant selling exhibitions; The New York Winter Antiques Show in January, our Annual Exhibition of Folk Art here in our Battersea Gallery in May, followed by Masterpiece London in June/July. Now the cycle starts again as we prepare to leave to exhibit in New York from 20th-28th January, (Preview on Thursday 19th January). 

Somehow exciting works keep finding their way to us, many are entirely new discoveries, fresh to the market, whilst others have been tucked away in private collections for a generation or more and suddenly re-surface. It is the excitement of the next discovery that drives us on. The hunt can be challenging and frustrating, as we go for weeks, sometimes months, without uncovering anything significant. These are the lonely and worrying times. The opposite of course applies when somehow something wonderful appears, as if by magic, and it all seems worthwhile.

Our professional lives have been dominated by this cycle since we moved into 68 Battersea Bridge Road and opened our Shop, in 1978. So, 2018 will be the 40th Anniversary of Robert Young Antiques and our selected way of life. This is a milestone and we are proud of it. As we look back over the years and remember both difficult times and exciting surprises, we recognise that it is those of you who "get it" that have helped us to raise the profile and champion the work of largely anonymous and untrained artists, artisans and craftsmen.

We appreciate the confidence you have had in us and the courage you have shown by following your instincts and collecting the things you love. Thank you for your inspiring loyalty.

We wish you all a Happy Christmas, an enjoyable Holiday Season and a peaceful, healthy and rewarding 2018.

 

11 April 2017

CYCLES AND STRUCTURES

It's spring again, the lilacs are in full bloom in our garden and the daffodils are already tiring, birds are singing flirtatiously on the terrace above the shop and the sun is shining.

Our business life is also cyclical and structured around significant annual events.

As usual, we began the year in New York, where we exhibited at the New York Winter Antiques Show for the seventeenth consecutive year this January. This started 2017 off well for us, as our blend of Naïve, Folk and Vernacular works met with considerable demand and we made significant sales to both new and established clients. Our American clientele have real enthusiasm and appetite for unique primitive pieces and recognise the value of integrity and original surfaces. It is a well-educated and sophisticated market and it is both an honour and a pleasure to share selected works with them at the beginning of each year. We have already agreed to exhibit there again next January, when the cycle will start all over again.

Since returning to the UK, we have been concentrating on business here in London and particularly the build up to our Annual Exhibition of Folk Art, followed soon after by our continued participation in Masterpiece London, where we have Exhibited consistently since its inception in 2010.

Our Folk Art Exhibition opens this year at 11.00am on Thursday 11th May and we have just signed off on the Catalogue (No. 48), which has now gone to press and will hopefully be mailed out towards the end of April. The Catalogue illustrates and describes fourty eight of some hundred or so works we have selected for the exhibition. Other pieces may gradually be posted on our website or social media platforms as we approach the opening. We always look forward to meeting our friends, clients and those who are simply interested and enthusiastic about the pieces we handle and hope that lots of you will be able to come by again this year. We will all be here on Preview Day, from 11.00am – 6.00pm and subsequently on weekdays from 9.30am – 5.30pm and Saturdays 10.00am – 4.00pm. The Exhibition closes on Saturday 20th May at 4.00pm.

Illustrated (left) is a rare hand carved Norwegian Marriage Casket, c.1780 from the Setesdal Region, to be included in the Exhibition. This is a fine example from the Scandinavian folk art love token tradition. Of classic six-plank construction, fixed with wooden pegs, it retains a hinged lidded till to the interior, a sliding side concealing a secret drawer, original wire hinges, sprung lock and excellent historic painted decoration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 April 2017

COUNTRY LIFE MARCH 2017

Thank you to Arabella Youens, Giles Kime and the selection committee at Country Life for including us in the Country Life “Secret Address Book"  of " the 100 best architects, builders and interior and landscape designers in Britain”. We are honoured.

“One of a reliable band of dealer – decorators who source beautiful antiques and know how to use them!”

 

Gallery Tour