During the fourth edition of the show, which runs until December 17, the gallery makes full use of its large exhibition space to show a wide selection of Arts & Crafts furniture and some later pieces, alongside modern British paintings and contemporary craft.
After all, says director Brian Thompson, “clients want to be able to live with these pieces” and exhibiting them together “helps people understand how Arts & Crafts furniture could be combined with other objects. Contemporary glass works, for example.”
The breadth of the selection also means a wide price range, from £75-75,000, which could encourage anyone from the casual Christmas shopper to top clients to come through the door. In fact, by the time of the show’s opening on November 22, several members of the trade had already phoned to enquire about various pieces.
One of the highlights is a large, eight-piece bedroom set by Cotswold furniture designer and maker Peter Waals. It is comprised of a wardrobe, two beds, two bedside tables, a dressing table, a table mirror and – fresh to the market – a cheval mirror.
“We think this is the largest collection of Waals that’s been on the market for a long, long time,” Thompson says.
Other examples of British Arts & Crafts furniture by MH Baillie Scott, Heal’s, Gordon Russell and Betty Joel are also on show, as is a chest of drawers by Ernest Gimson.
And these pieces rub along quite comfortably with paintings by British artists such as John Bratby, Phelan Gibb and John Melville.
One stand-out painting has been paired with the Gimson chest. This is a portrait of artists’ model Pat Nelson by Edward Wolfe, an oil which has been exhibited at Tate Britain twice in recent years: once in its Spaces of Black Modernism, 1919-39 exhibition in 2015 and again in Queer British Art, 1861-1967 earlier this year.
“ We think this is the largest Waals collection that’s been on the market for a long, long time
Prices for the artworks range from £400-40,000.
As well as this and other examples of furniture (there are some Ercol and mid-century pieces on offer), there is a wide selection of decorative works by contemporary ceramicists, glass makers and wood turners. Works by ceramicists Jill Fanshawe Kato and Romilly Graham, glass maker Steven Newell and wood turner Richard Chapman are all available, priced from £75-2800.