At the time of writing, I can’t say excitement for this month’s coronation is exactly fever pitch. Even my local Poundland, generally a fine barometer of the national mood towards festivities, is yet to stock any bunting. Thus far I have no street parties in the offi ng, or invites to drinks parties.
But I do think Brits take some warming up when it comes to communal expressions of joy, so I hope to stand corrected. On a personal note I am indebted to Charles III as I was once invited on a tour of his Highgrove grounds with his head gardener (I was editing a gardening magazine at the time). I hope I am not disclosing any state secrets when I say he takes his compost heap very seriously. So for this, and other reasons, let us all raise a glass on May 6.
How many of us will be buying commemorative ware to mark the occasion remains to be seen and it is for future generations to decide how much of it becomes the antiques of the future. On page 50 antiques valuer Edward Rycroft takes us on a whistlestop tour of royal coronation ware across the ages. As a collecting genre it has long since shrugged off its “Hyacinth Bucket” connotations and is now enjoying a well-deserved renaissance in the saleroom.
We continue the royal theme on page 18 when Stephanie Connell charts the history and collectability of coronation furniture. For centuries peers were given the opportunity to buy the chairs they sat on in Westminster Abbey at coronations (peeresses got stools) and they are now highly sought after. In further patriotic mood, on page 34, Charles Hanson presents for sale an embroidered sample from the design of Elizabeth II’s coronation robe, along with handwritten notes from its maker Norman Hartnell.
On page 30 we take a look at weddings (some of them royal) in the 15th and 16th centuries, with much surrounding the nuptials to attract the collector, from gimmel rings to majolica. Closer to home, the art pottery of Lambert Doulton is put in the spotlight on page 24. If you don’t know the work of Doulton’s early potters – the majority of whom were women – you should take a look ahead of a large sale in Essex. Elsewhere David Harvey puts a Chippendale-period chest under the microscope and, on page 36, book specialist Adam Douglas reveals why we should all take note of the 400th-anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio. Enjoy the issue.
IN THIS ISSUE
STEPHANIE CONNELL explores the world of collectable coronation furniture, page 18
JOE SIMPSON puts the contents sale of a legendary London antiques shop in focus, page 28
CHARLES HANSON showcases a very special royal textile, page 34
Georgina Wroe, Editor
PS A quick reminder that because the June and July magazine is a joint issue it will be with you later than usual. Expect delivery from the second week in June.
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This signed letter from Charles III and Queen Camilla thanking the recipient for his help at their wedding in 2005. It has an estimate of £700 £900 at
Chiswick Auction’s royal sale on
ADAM DOUGLAS reveals everything you to know about Shakespeare’s First Folio,
Editor: Georgina Wroe, georgina.
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