Tuesday, 25 October 2016

The Peter Hone Collection at Christie's

I wasn't going to do anything today.

I was so busy lately fighting off the ends of jet lag but also a blasted cold but I couldn't handle wasting another day at home not even able to finish a proper episode of Black Mirror on Netflix.

Builders on a health and safety break - 
it's such a London sidewalk vignette.

I decided I would go to Christie's in South Kensington and see the various previews that were on display at the moment.

After nearly a month in Korea, I missed my auction previews.

The windows were dressed up more than usual and trying to evoke someone whipping up a lemon pasta in a rustic continental European kitchen of loose cabinetry.

I am itching for a gigantic yet beautiful paperweight such as this Italian ebonised one.

There was lots of good items for a certain ilk of house or mood.

I was surprised at the estimate of these 
mirrored frames of botanical prints and 
they weren't much more expensive than those they sell at Oka.

But then many don't have the patience to save up a little and then wait around for the right prints to come up which is a shame.

I adored this table of intricate marquetry.

These japanned side tables piqued my fancy as well.

My Pinterest compatriots know what I am like about a folding screen.

This was no exception.

I adored this mirror and I hope it goes to a good home.

This mirror was odd as it had so many portraits competing for one's attention.

Not a selfie mirror.

I quite enjoyed walking around the tapestries warming me up visually from the impending winter.

In my head of shopping lists apart from ginger and eggs, I always have a Dutch ebonies frame to buy.

Alas, this was over my budget for one but it was so lovely I would hang it up without it needing to frame a thing. 

At the end of the hall housed the Peter Hone Collection.
Please click on the link for the article about it.

For those who might seem it all looks familiar, the items are from one of the most famous flats in London.

Peter Hone has decided that he is selling up all the items in this flat and he is going to start afresh.

What it doesn't say in the article but I heard while I was there is that this flat is going to be the Brexit flat.

The room housing all his items truly is a cliched feast for the eyes.

Everywhere you land your eyes, 
you had to stop and investigate further.

As I did with this frame based on a Gibbons work.

I was busy taking photos when a gentleman with a terrier, 
( there were quite a few gentlemen with dogs this morning at Christie's ),
walked up to me and appreciated the workmanship with me.

He said there was two of them and he bought one in the auction in the 80's.

Like an absolute idiot I asked,
Oh so where is yours now?

He replied, I am selling it.

Me - Oh...
*face palm*

I was so tired and groggy from all the drugs I had been taking besides being overwhelmed by all the objects, 
I just didn't compute this might be Peter Hone himself.

Cutlery Peter Hone said he used regularly and was owned by the first Duke of Cambridge

His flat I could recognise in any form of visual but for me the person wasn't as recognisable as the flat.

I apologised and said I did know who he is through his flat.

He said - Oh it was in a magazine last month - 
to which a passerby chimed - 
When isn't it in a magazine?

Peter smiled.

He said that Brexit Britain was a new start and he wanted to mark that fresh beginning with redecorating his flat.

He showed me a few other times and then he dimmed the lights in the room to the way he wanted.

He didn't like the bright lights and I agreed that the items came more alive in the subtle lighting.

I wouldn't have dared asked to take his picture so I was so pleased when he offered to pose for a picture of himself and his canine companion Basel.

Peter Hone and Basel

So I didn't pap him!
I showed him the pictures and he approved and said I could put it on instagram as well.

I am not sure if you can tell the difference in the pictures below from the ones above.

The auction is tomorrow so please do go and visit the showroom if you can or at least browse the online auction catalogue.

But as I walked back home, 
I passed the opening of the ice rink.
It was a chance to see it empty but the queues to get in were formidable!

That queue went back a few more hundred meters.

A quick walk through the park in the brisk air is good for a cold and spirit.

Days like today did remind me that I don't live in London for the weather.

Don't forget to have a browse in the catalogue here.


  1. Ooooh I love this! I am glad you braved the jet lag and cold to share all of this. This was a particularly good roundup. Usually I can't see what makes things auctionable vs moving on with a little less pomp but these are treasures.

    1. Today was a great preview day there! I think you would have loved the crowd there this morning Stephen.

  2. This post is exactly why, in my estimation, you are the IT GIRL about town - bravo! I almost emailed you actually to ask if you were going to this preview as I'm green with envy I'm not there myself. I would take it all home if I could. I've been a fan of Mr. Hone since discovering his plaster casts for sale at the Soane Museum several years ago. I cannot believe his flat held so much, and all of it so great. I've been looking at the on-line catalog all week but I should have ordered a paper copy for a souvenir. My husband wants the Washington bust but it will likely sell for a pretty packet, as would everything in the auction no doubt.

    Thanks so much for this wonderful post which makes me miss my hometown even more so.

    1. I nearly didn't go! But I couldn't do anything properly and thought I couldn't feel any worse so I thought I would go early. You would have loved it there this morning and I think he probably did a great job giving extra tidbits to bidders who were borderline. I told him I might put in a cheeky bid but doubt they will go on cheeky prices as he is a bit of a modern living icon. I did see that bust but indeed I doubt it will go at estimate prices...

  3. You just made me realize that Christies is no longer sending me announcements (I was signed up for antiquities, musical instruments, etc.). I am not sure when they stopped. Sotheby's has been faithful all along. There is so much stuff out there; the trick is to wait for the sleepers to slip through the cracks--which seems to happen regularly.

    1. I think they have done a makeover of there previews - they send magazines instead. I say just sign up for everything - err on the side of getting more articles than less. I don't think there will be sleepers in this auction because there were quite a few dealers inspecting the items with their eagle eyes and the provenance of Peter Hone will count for something in the future. I can't wait to see his future flat redesigned.

  4. Oh, I covet all of it. Thank you for being our eyes and ears. That inlay mirror is particularly fetching! And what a fabulous interaction with Peter Hone. I think that generally conversions with well dressed gentleman carrying dogs prove interesting! xo

    1. Isn't it just comforting to be around so much beauty? I don't know how he assembled all of it let lone moved it to the showroom. He is utterly charming and should be an ambassador! You need to come and visit Jen xx

  5. Oh Naomi, how lucky to meet Peter himself! That is amazing. I love that he told you you could put the pics up on IG! I have to get to a Christie's auction preview. Maybe this December! xx

    1. I was just so happy to chat with him and embarrassed that I should have recognised him immediately but when he posed for a pic I thought he is just so charming - december?? yes! xx

  6. What a day! Well done for turning a day that was mired in feeling poorly into something so interesting and beautiful, to share with us :) I am very sorry the jet lag lingers and is now accompanied by a hideous cold, ugh. Feel better soon! But I love this auction, I want everything and what a wonderful interaction with the charming Peter Hone. And his adorable dog. xx

    1. It did cheer and wake me up! It was good timing too bc I was seriously considering booking a ticket back to Seoul to be in warmer weather xx

  7. Ok I am GREEN with envy. I very nearly did a Hoan/ Soane style wall above the fireplace in my casual living room. I have such a thing for Grand tour antiquities. But I ran into a few problems with sourcing knock offs of them in Australia, and then I bought a painting instead. Maybe one day. I'd love, love, love to have some of those fragments at my place, but all the stuff you've shown is just top notch. Love the tapestries, love the screen (!!!), that dutch style marquetry table with the tulips on it is beautiful. I have to stop as I'm just recapping your post now.
    I have seen botanicals framed like that in Christies catalogues in the past, so I'm wondering if there's some sort of job lot on botanicals with antique mirror greek key frames on them? They're certainly better value than the OKA repro ones, and I have considered buying them myself in the past, but then the thought of the potential postage always puts me off.
    Thank you for the post! I miss London antique rooms... xx

    1. Wish you could have come with me! It had some good stuff and there were also some prints in another part of the building I didn't post. His flat is so iconic and I don't think it is actually that big - I mean it is in Ladbroke Square so it would be of nice but still reasonable proportions. He is quite a genius and I can not wait to see what he does with his Brexit flat xx

  8. I wasn't familiar with Mr Hone until this charming introduction. Any man that understands plaster, pups, and proper lighting is worth knowing.

    I anticipate his Brexit flat having satellite offices across Europe in the near future.

    1. He was really charming and gracious and i bet his brexit flat will be amazing

  9. I admit I'd love to have something like these things, especially if there were a story that went with, such as your meetup with Mr. Hone.

  10. OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!
    I have NO IDEA WHO HE IS BUT I'm ON IT!!!!!!!!

  11. Naomi, Such a great auction and he sounds charming and nice. I would have loved those botanicals and that inlaid table, but there were so many gorgeous things! Nice that you get to these regularly. I'm a newbie so I'd have to go with someone who knows how it goes. I wish I could go to one with you.
    Have a great weekend! x Kim

  12. I love your visits to auction rooms, I need a Brexit flat.


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