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Nautilus cup

The Royal Collection Trust SILVER, BELLS AND NAUTILUS SHELLS: ROYAL CABINETS OF CURIOSITY AND ANTIQUARIAN COLLECTING – An English Wunderkammer Nautilus cup, Nikolaus Schmidt, c.1600. Royal Collection Trust © HM Queen Elizabeth II 2015

LONDON – Art Antiques London Announces 6th Annual Edition in Kensington Gardens, London,  12-18 June 2015  —  Face to Face: Dame Rosalind Savill in Conversation with The Duke of Wellington on the Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo Will Highlight Lecture Programme.

Anna and Brian Haughton, the London-based international art and antiques Fair organizers have announced plans for Art Antiques London, which will run from 12th-18th June 2015 in Kensington Gardens, London. It will be the 6th edition of this acclaimed Fair which takes place in a purpose-built pavilion in Kensington Gardens. Set in the beautiful parkland of Kensington Gardens, the Fair’s Pavilion is positioned next to the Albert Memorial and opposite the Royal College of Art and The Royal Albert Hall. Art Antiques London is the first fair to take place on the historic site of the Great Exhibition of 1851. Art Antiques London brings together more than 60 exciting international art and antiques dealers offering exceptional works of art, among them many of museum quality. Furniture, paintings, drawings, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, glass, clocks, watches, jewellery, objets de vertu, silver, antiquities and Asian art are among the many different categories included and for sale.

The superb lecture programme is a particular feature of the Fair, underpinning its academic credentials and always receives acclaim from collectors and museum curators. The Fair has been most successful in furthering the tradition of collecting, connoisseurship and academia, setting the fair apart from other events in the Capital. The Fair presents a serious platform, that, according to Anna Somers Cocks in The Art Newspaper (20 June 2013) “like the Old Master drawings fair in Paris, but unlike most other fairs today,… is an encounter between people who really want to talk art and handle objects knowledgeably.”

Among the highlights of the Lecture Programme:

Kathryn Jones, Curator of Decorative Arts, The Royal Collection Trust : SILVER, BELLS AND NAUTILUS SHELLS: ROYAL CABINETS OF CURIOSITY AND ANTIQUARIAN COLLECTING – An English Wunderkammer

The great treasuries of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I list curiosities from around the world – unicorn horns, works of amber, pelican bones and wrought pieces of silver and gold. This tradition of collecting was widespread in the courts of Europe but less well known in England and does not appear to have been widely pursued by later monarchs. Yet historic inventories and other archival documents do offer occasional glimpses of an English Wunderkammer containing humming birds, whale’s ribs and bezoar stones, as well as exquisitely carved Roman gemstones and works of art by Holbein. It was the greatest royal collector, however, who revived the tradition of his forebears in his collections of the early nineteenth century. George IV’s great collection included items of silver gilt, ivory, amber, mother of pearl, jewelled cups and nautilus shells. Kathryn Jones will look at the history of these royal cabinets of curiosities and some of the surviving wonders in the Royal Collection.

Other lectures include Jeffrey Munger, Porcelain Highlights at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Prof Dr. Ulrich Pietsch, Director of Public Art Collections, Dresden: “Fantastical Worlds – Painting on Meissen Porcelain and German faïence by Adam Friedrich von Löwenfinck 1714-1754”, and Dr. Alfred Ziffer on The Ansbach Residence Collection.