But sales continue, whether online (see Web Shop Window) or via more conventional methods such as shop visits or through catalogues.
Here we take a look at a selection of highlights from various dealers’ recent publications.
Covering a range of media and price points, they demonstrate the breadth of offerings available, even at a quiet point in the calendar.
George Dixon (1748-95) and Nathaniel Portlock (c.1748-1817) both served on Captain Cook’s third, ill-fated voyage and went on to conduct their own circumnavigation from 1785-88.
Its primary and successful goal was to open the fur trade in the American north-west. During the expedition they re-visited Hawaii where Cook had been killed.
A Voyage Round the World first edition, second issue is Dixon’s account of the journey, though it was mostly written by his ship’s supercargo, William Beresford.
Peter Harrington Rare Books offers a rare copy of the 1789 volume, in which seven of the 17 engraved plates are hand-coloured, for £15,000. It also includes several important maps and a transcription of an ‘Indian song’.
The volume is part of the Mayfair book dealership’s Pacific Voyages catalogue. Comprising the first selection of books acquired from the collection of Lou Weinstein, founder of Heritage Book Shop in Beverly Hills, California, it includes written and visual records relating to figures including Bligh and Cook.
“I believe all booksellers are closet collectors and this passion carries on to their clients and makes them better dealers,” Weinstein says. Since his retirement he has built up a collection of more than 1000 items of Hawaiiana, which he was persuaded to sell by one of his family following a visit from Peter Harrington experts.
A Mughal bowl and plate from 18th century northern India gilded with poppies is included in Amir Mohtashemi’s 2019 catalogue.
The free-blown pieces are examples of high-quality glass craftsmanship and examples with similar decorations may be found at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum. It is offered for a price in the region of a five-figure sum.
Around the worlds
Two George I table globes, one terrestrial and one celestial, on stands of oak and ebonised pear wood, are included in Ronald Phillips’ 2019 catalogue.
Dated 1715, they were made by John Senex (1678-1740), the English cartographer and engraver.
The pair has a provenance back to Edward Holyoke (1689-1769), ninth president of Harvard College. During his career, the clergyman taught some of the signatories of the US Declaration of Independence such as John Adams and John Hancock. His 32-year tenure as president of the institution remains the longest to date. The pair is offered for a price in the region of £150,000.
The Mayfair gallery specialises in English antiques and fine furniture and the catalogue also features stock highlights such as black lacquer commodes from Ashburnham Place and a Chippendale chair.
Shoes sized up in St James’s
Rafael Valls’ alphabetical catalogue of recent acquisitions includes an oil by French painter Gabriel-Germain Joncherie (1798-1856). He is best known for his elaborate still-lifes and gained great acclaim with the trompe l’oeil scenes, which he exhibited to great acclaim at the Salon de Paris from 1831-44.
The Shoemaker, available for a price in the region of £30,000, is characteristic of Joncherie’s interior scenes, showing a seated figure seated before a window. He incorporates elements from his better-known compositions, positioning a still-life on the table at the centre of the room.
St James’s gallery Rafael Valls specialises in master paintings. In its current catalogue, 35 paintings are offered including pictures by Nicolas Maes, Frans Francken II and Marten Jozef Geeraerts.
Dostoevsky makes English debut
York dealership Lucius Books dedicates a section of its 10th catalogue to literary, musical and art debuts to celebrate its participation in the June ABA fair, which was retitled Firsts London for its latest staging.
Among these are the earliest English translations of two Dostoevsky novels: The Brothers Karamazov (1912) and The Possessed (1913).
Published in London by William Heinemann in association with Henry Frowde, Constance Garnett’s translation of The Brothers Karamazov was the first in a series she completed of the author’s books. It is among at least three binding variants with no priority established and is available for £8500. Copies in original condition are scarce due to the weight of the 850-page text block and relatively thin binding.
Art of the deal
Picture dealer Salvador Mayer examines an Impressionist painting in his Rue Laffitte gallery in this lithograph by Jean-Louis Forain (1852-1931). The Parisian road was described as ‘la rue des tableaux’ (the street of pictures) in Ambroise Vollard’s Recollections of a Picture Dealer.
Print dealer Elizabeth Harvey-Lee offers for £2000 the lithograph in her catalogue Second Sight, which features prints produced as early as 1489. It gets its title from the fact that many of the works were selected from existing stock, though there are some new choices as well.
Older work inspires
The elaborate première-partie inlay covering this 19th century ebony commode was adopted from the playful grotesque and light arabesque designs of Jean Bérain the Elder (1640-1711).
The form, meanwhile, is in the manner of contemporaneous cabinetmaker André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732), whose work was so prized he became a resident of the Louvre and was granted the special privilege of working in bronze and wood.
The piece was produced c.1880, more than a century after these two craftsmen died, by French-born Charles Mellier. After moving to England, he worked for and eventually took over the business of Anglo-French cabinet makers Monbro and Co in 1870, transforming it into Mellier and Co.
He became a major figure in London furniture design, eventually furnishing the cross-Atlantic liner Mauretania. Signed by the maker, the piece features ormolu mounts and is offered for £185,000 from Butchoff.
The third-generation family dealership, which celebrates its 55th anniversary this year, operates out of a shop on Kensington Church Street.
In this catalogue it presents a variety of objects from England, France and Italy.
The catalogue for A Brave New World: British Art in the 20th Century, an online exhibition staged by Gerrish Fine Art, includes a selection of art from Modern British masters including radical works by David Bomberg, war scenes from Christopher Nevinson and Henry Moore’s reclining figures of the 1970s.
Also on offer is Bringing in the Boat by Sybil Andrews (1898-1992) for £26,000. She established a studio with fellow artist Cyril Power in 1930 close to the Thames in Hammersmith.
They watched the annual Head of the River Race, founded in 1925, from Hammersmith Bridge. The location inspired many prints such as this one and Power’s The Eight.
The exhibition is an ideal opportunity to purchase a print after viewing Dulwich Picture Gallery’s show Cutting Edge: Modernist British Printmaking, which runs until September 8 (and includes a copy of this Andrews design).