The Treasure House Fair held in the beautiful grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea from June 22 till June 26, is a new London summer event attracting 55 most distinguished art dealerships and galleries from all over the world.
The line-up covers a wide range of disciplines, from ancient to modern and aspects of contemporary art: painting, sculpture, tapestry, ceramics, silver, jewellery and design, along with furniture, clocks, watches, books and even a boat. Yes, that’s correct, the exclusive ‘All Italian’ Riva Aquariva yacht by Gucci is waiting for your personal inspection at the art fair.
Rising phoenix-like from the ashes of the abruptly cancelled masterpiece fair, The Treasure House Fair proudly brings a new experience against the familiar backdrop. For instance, unlike its predecessor one third of the exhibitors of the current event came from overseas, including French, Swiss, Japanese and American dealers and many more.
Art objects for every taste
The exhibition combines art and antiques under one roof to satisfy every taste (and most budgets). The Bureau du Roi, also known as Louis XV’s roll-top desk, vintage Marquetry Cabinets and 18th century chandeliers and candelabra compete for your attention with an Egyptian limestone sarcophagus mask and the silver-gilt Royal Shield of Achilles – the latter instantly brings you memories of Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator”.
Watches and jewellery
If you are looking for something less heavy, browse around antique watches and jewellery stands. Retro pieces by Carl Faberge, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany, Cartier are on display.
The sheer variety of sapphires, emeralds, rubies and diamonds can, at first, seem overwhelming, but don’t be put off – thinking you know nothing about antiques – the stallholders are always happy to chat about the finer details and exiting history behind the pieces they are exhibiting. Alternatively just look closer and you will definitely stop something truly unique, such as one of only two rings in the world featuring two lovers sharing a kiss or an enamel and gold-mounted gardening knife with the handle carved as a snail.
First time for same is a number of drawings by Andy Warhol dating both from the early stages of his career in the 1950s when he worked as a fashion illustrator before the advent of Pop art in America, and from the last decade of his life. His contemporary, an American figurative painter and printmaker Mel Ramos is also showcased at the art fair. Ramos’ provocative almost life-size Dita is one of the most eye-catching sculptures at the show.
A former conservator of art objects, Bouke de Vries resurrects broken porcelain shards that would otherwise have been discarded and uses them to create new artworks that tackle both contemporary and historic issues. At The Treasure House Fair you can observe and buy this Dutch artist’s Accumulation I installation.
Glass art displayed deserves a special recognition. Japanese artist art Niyoko Ikuta explores the properties of glass which he uses to make ethereal geometric sequences manifested as layered sculptures. Colin Reid who is regarded as a pioneer in the field of kiln cast glass, shows one of his newest pieces called Jura Rocks.
Bees and ousters
There features a monumental installation Honeycomb by British artist Tom Rooth. Each of 1,421 handmade and hand-drawn ceramic plates framed with 23.5 carat gold leaf are for sale for £195, except the one featuring the queen bee, which sells for £225.
You can easily spend a half of the day at the event, coming back to your favourite galleries and enjoying the sun at the Seafood Bar overlooking the beautiful lawn of the Grade I and II listed property of Royal Hospital.