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.

Not just the quality…feel the width!

06 December 2002

Antique dealers, interior designers or those with an eye to stylish decor in their own homes all need recourse to supplies of antique style furnishing fabrics whether it is to recover that Edwardian settee, recreate a 17th century tapestry-lined interior or give a period feel to those worn-out seats on a set of Regency chairs.

Fragments of the past forming the basis of designs for the future

07 November 2002

The 12th specialist textiles sale under the Rossini (17.342% buyer’s premium) hammer at Drouot on October 9 attracted keen trade interest, with 76 per cent of the 550 lots sold, yielding a hammer total of some €430,000 (£270,000).

Nelson’s crest on a farewell wave

17 October 2002

Shot by a sniper when aboard HMS Victory at the crowning moment of his career, Admiral Lord Nelson is without doubt Britain’s finest maritime hero. When news of his death, after triumping at the Battle of Trafalgar, reached London George III made the decision to break with tradition and give Nelson a state funeral.

Sixties style on a role

08 October 2002

Some of the best expressions of the Sixties’ love affair with bold psychedelic patterns and colours can be seen in the fabric designs from that era.

BM textiles crisis

27 August 2002

THE acquisition of a unique collection of Afghan textiles has highlighted the cash crisis at the British Museum. Despite spending £34,000 on the collection, including a £26,000 grant from the National Arts Collection Fund, the BM’s ethnographic textiles collection has nowhere to display it.

Fashions of the past have wide appeal for today’s buyers

14 August 2002

CLARKE GAMMON's 584-lot sale on June 25 (15% buyer's premium) was most notable for the Sydney Oliver Trust costume and textile collection.

Collage at the college

12 July 2002

Searching for the perfect piece of passementerie or some furnishing fabric to add the finishing touch to an interior? It’s worth checking out Sotheby’s two-day sale from H.W. Keil Antiques which takes place in Cheltenham next week on July 15 and 16.

Tiffany name works its magic as travelling case makes £2000

19 June 2002

WITH little in the way of furniture at this 1000-lot Essex sale at Ambrose on 17-18 May it was left to jewellery to provide the higher prices and collectors’ items to provide the wider interest.

Bids on a roll with the help of realistic estimation

13 February 2002

London’s first costume and textile sale of the year took place at Christie’s South Kensington (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) at the end of January, the 318 lots netting just over £150,000 with an 87 per cent take-up by lottage, 89 in money.

Samplers sew up major interest at needlework specialist sale

30 January 2002

THE Midlands branch of Bonhams is the clearing house for all sewing pieces offered to the empire’s rooms and showed its worth at this specialist sale on 13 December.

Lost and found in the salerooms

05 December 2001

When Sotheby’s sold Joan Stephens’ collection of samplers and needlework in New York in 1997, the second most expensive lot, at $90,000, was an English needlework picture initialled EP, and dated 1746.

Costume cuts dramatic dash

04 July 2001

This dramatic theatrical costume for a warrior in yellow satin with gilt thread and silk embroidery took the top price in a sale of Asian Costume and Textiles held by Christie’s South Kensington on June 21.

Why history is pants

21 June 2001

A pair of early Levi’s jeans dragged from the mud of a Nevada mining town were worth far more than their weight in gold when sold through eBay on May 25.

Silk-embroidered linen ceremonial panel

14 May 2001

UK: Moroccan textiles were the strong suit in Christie’s South Kensington’s May 4 sale of Islamic and Indian textiles, none more so than this impressive 2ft 3in x 8ft x6in (70cm x 2.6m) silk-embroidered linen ceremonial panel dated to the 18th century and worked with striking abstract designs.

Wellington – soldier of the right fibre

26 February 2001

UK: SUCH has been the surge in popularity of English samplers and related textiles over the past few years (driven largely by American collectors who can no longer afford their own folk art) that any picture with even a hint of natural fibre is guaranteed to attract interest at auction.

Christie’s to sell part of Wernher Collection

10 April 2000

UK: Christie’s are to sell a selection of works of art from the Wernher Collection, expected to fetch over £10m, as the highlight of their summer season.

Oh yes – I’m the great Pretender’s

19 July 1999

UK: “A piece of the plaid worn by Prince Charles Edward Stuart at the battle of Culloden and left by him at Sir James Mackintosh Moy Hall Chief of the Clan Chatten. Presented by Lady Mackintosh to Sir Thomas Grey.” – so read the handwritten statement which accompanied this tattered tartan fragment, 6in (15cm) square, to Phillips’ sale of textiles in Edinburgh on July 2.

Humour in stitches

26 April 1999

UK: COLOURFUL and humorous, this late 17th century needlework panel, left, was the top textile at Neale’s (15 per cent buyer’s premium) sale in Nottingham on March 25-26.

Travelling set fit for a general

12 April 1999

UK: PROBABLY commissioned by General Charles Churchill – whose arms it bears – for his European campaigns after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, this William and Mary silver-gilt travelling set came up at Mellors & Kirk of Nottingham on March 25-26 where it sold privately at £48,000 (plus 10 per cent premium).

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