Vintage Fashion & Textiles

Marilyn Monroe’s record-breaking ‘Happy Birthday Mr President’ dress, which sold for $1.2m in 1999; Olivier Coutau-Begarie’s two-day sale of 5000 pieces of antique silks tapestries and embroideries from the House of Hamot; the lively vintage fashion fairs held around the country every month – each has its own place in the world of fashion and textile collecting.

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An Ackworth School lesson for Tennants

12 April 2006

Whether it was the result of quiet, pious reflection, plentiful practice, or simply the bonds between close friends, the samplers produced by the girls of Ackworth School in West Yorkshire developed a distinct individual style.

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Thief uses key to steal rare peasant artefacts

13 March 2006

A THIEF who used a key to get into a display cabinet and avoided being filmed on CCTV has made off with two unusual artefacts from a museum in Surrey.

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Handbags at dawn for Hermès fans

05 May 2005

It’s well known that diamonds are a girl’s best friend but handbags surely come a close second. The two combined can be a killer combination.

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Proving quite a drawer at £31,000

13 April 2005

The regular sales of costume and textiles at Christie’s South Kensington (20/12% buyer’s premium) occasionally produce surprises. What seemed to be a sleeper in their March 15 sale was the mid-late 18th century linen court petticoat shown here. It was made from four oval split cane wooden hoops and half hoops on the hips for extra width, suggesting that it was intended for the most formal occasions.

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Vintage is now height of fashion

11 January 2005

SOUTH London based Paola-Francia Gardner who operates as P&A Antiques, has been a pioneer of the now booming field of vintage fashion and she holds her first fair of the year this Sunday, January 16.

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Casket heads north

19 November 2004

THE Bourne casket, a Restoration needlework casket that failed to sell when offered by Netherhampton Salerooms earlier this year, has been sold by private treaty to the Lancashire Museum Services.

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A richly woven tale from Ireland…

28 October 2004

THE highlight of a Gerald and Sheila Goldberg collection of predominately Irish decorative arts sold by Mealy’s in Douglas, Cork earlier this month was this finely-preserved Aubusson tapestry, right, designed by Louis le Brocquy (b.1916).

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Three specialists make their points

14 October 2004

THREE leading international dealers in antique needlework are getting together in New York later this month for a special selling exhibition – The Admirable Art of the Needle: Samplers & Embroideries 1650-1850.

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18th century doll's dress comes to light

22 September 2004

This rare silk and bullion embroidered doll’s or child’s dress from the first half of the 18th century will be offered at auction on September 27.

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Uniform success for bedspreads

16 September 2004

Two very different 19th century bedspreads at Hampton & Littlewood's (15% buyer's premium) July 28 sale underlined Christopher Hampton’s belief that the importance of collectables today cannot be over-emphasised.

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Wilde and a gift that he feared might lead to the perfection of poverty

01 September 2004

WHEN Oscar Wilde left Reading prison, Reggie Turner presented him with the gentleman’s black leather travelling or dressing case, seen right.

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History in a €6000 horse blanket

13 July 2004

THIS 18th century embroidered and appliqué yellow felt horse blanket, right, emblazoned with the arms of the Tighe family and their motto Summum Nec Metuam Diem Nec Optem (Let me neither fear nor wish for the last day), was an evocative reminder of 18th century Dublin pageantry.

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Vanity has lasting appeal at auction

29 June 2004

AN airheaded and insubstantial vice it might be, but plainly vanity has lasting appeal at auction, judging by the success of the coromandel veneered lady’s box, top right, and the gentleman’s hide toilet case, bottom right, offered at Amersham Auctions Rooms (15% buyer's premium) on June 6.

Big help

03 June 2004

SMALLER, more modest events, I am sure, benefit from the big fairs in town. Visitors to the Hali fair, for example, may well find the London Antique Textiles, Tribal Art and Decorative Antiques Fair on Sunday June 6 at Hammersmith Town Hall in King Street, London W6 to their liking.

Olympic links make common sense at the exotic Hali

28 May 2004

AT its seventh staging, the popular Hali fair at Olympia is undergoing some major changes, not the least of which is a name change. The event is now titled The Hali Fair: Carpets, Textiles and Tribal Art. The duration of the fair has been extended from four to 10 days and it will take place in the National Hall Gallery at Olympia from June 3 to 13, at the same time as the summer Fine Art & Antiques Fair. The fairs will be linked allowing easy access between the two.

Four dealers in same bed reveal the Great British cover-ups

20 May 2004

FROM May 22 to 29 there will be a selling exhibition of antique patchwork quilts at Pennard House, East Pennard near Shepton Mallet in Somerset.

Wearing well, the collectors who remain in fashion

13 May 2004

THIS Sunday May 16 will see, for the third time, Vintage Mayfair Frozen in Fashion being held in the Music Room of Grays Antique Market at 26 South Molton Lane, London W1, just two minutes from Bond Street tube station.

Sewing seeds to court the Queen’s favour

13 May 2004

One of the more dramatic results seen at Sotheby’s (20/12% buyer's premium) English Country House sale on April 7 in New York was the $130,000 (£70,650) paid by a private collector for this English needlework portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, c.1580, 4 3/4 x 4 1/2in (12 x 11.4cm), which had been estimated at a modest $8000-12,000.

Sorority key to surge in sampler bids

05 May 2004

AS in other markets, that of samplers has its peculiarities. While condition and craftsmanship – or rather craftsgirlship – are important they are not always paramount.

Hit US show for Mayfair

05 May 2004

ONE of the most acclaimed exhibitions of the late March Asian Art Week in New York was London dealers’ Rossi & Rossi’s show Styles from the Steppes: Silk Costumes and Textiles from the Liao and Yuan Periods.

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