LAPADA - Trade Association
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LAPADA, the Association of Art & Antiques Dealers, was founded in 1974 and now stands at over 550 members, which makes it it the largest association of professional art and antiques dealers in the UK. There are also 50 members in 16 other countries. Membership is only open to those who meet the Association’s requirements as to experience, quality of stock and knowledge of their subject and to those who adhere to the association's strict code of practice.
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Exquisite design and craftsmanship
give antique tea caddies an enduring appeal.
Antique tea caddies and boxes come in all shapes & sizes and are made from all manner of materials from exotic timbers to horn, ivory & tortoiseshell. Our fascination with them is due to their sheer complexity and their links with history and fashion. We can’t help but want to peek inside when we see an antique box. When opening it, we want to see what stories could it tell.
Some boxes were commissioned for kings & queens and were made by cabinet maker firms who held royal warrants for their skilled craftsmanship. Now these beautiful time capsules are admired by us all and are still used by many today. Some have been altered for more practical uses to suit our modern world such as to hold jewellery or to keep that precious tablet or phone. Antique boxes will outlast any modern equivalent, not only because of their superior quality and craftsmanship, but also because the timbers and materials used 100 & 200 years ago are not available today. So next time you’re thinking of a practical gift, think boxes.
One of our specialities is tea caddies. My passion for these came whilst doing an apprenticeship for a restoration company. As part of this apprenticeship, I attended High Wycombe Furniture College to obtain my certificates for cabinet making. One lesson on French polishing used a tea caddy for demonstration. After the lesson, I asked if I could purchase it, and I’m pleased to say it went home with me that day for the grand sum of £5.00. Now I’ve got the bug and thirty two years later that bug is stronger than ever…!
Tea has a great history with the British, and the elaborate objects made to store it hint at just how expensive this commodity was. Because tea was so expensive, tea caddies were made by top cabinet makers of their time with skills that are almost extinct today.
If you are collecting antique tea caddies, silver or art, do your homework. We recommend going to antique exhibitions where dealers are only too happy to share their knowledge with you. We also recommend specialist dealers, particularly members of a trade association, as they know more about pieces than a general dealer. Building a friendship with a dealer can be very beneficial too, not only for your pocket but you’ll also be shown those pieces that always seem to be snapped up by other collectors.
This year we have seen a increase on tea caddy collecting and boxes in general. We always say buy the very best you can afford.
Tea caddies with makers labels are very rare, so if you see one, snap it up. Thomas Chippendale, Henry Clay, George Seddon, Gillows, Edward Holmes Baldock, H. Spencer, and Robert Wright are some of the leading Georgian makers.
Victorians were much better at leaving Cabinet makers and retailers marks on their items. Makers & retailers to look out for: Betjemann, Lund, Asprey, Thornhill, Mappin & Webb, William Comyns, Jennens & Bettridge, Spier & Son. etc
Here are a few of the types of caddies you will come across, along with my advice for what you should look for in each
Boxes with complex shapes, fine inlays, exotic veneers and silver
Boxes with makers marks will always be desirable. Colour, patination and original untouched condition in particular Georgian pieces are highly collected.
Tortoiseshell tea caddies
Complex shapes are more costly, and if they are pressed or inlaid with silver they are highly collectable. Red & green stained tortoiseshell is very rare and sought after. Their shapes are mostly simple, but their colour makes them highly collectable and stand out in a collection.
Tea caddies in the form fruit
Fruit tea caddies are and have been very sought after. They are all continental and all made of turned out sycamore. All will have cut steel hinges, locks and escutcheon with a simple lock and key. As these caddies are highly sought after, the market is flooded with fakes. Buyers beware..!
Apples & pears are the most common, with melons and then pumpkins being much rarer. In most cases the latter two are more than double the price of an apple and pear. Any damage or repairs to these seriously affect their value – pay particular attention to the front and the back of the hinge. Colour and patination is everything when it comes to purchasing these wonderful fruit caddies.
Once again do your homework and buy the best you can afford. Exhibitions are great places to meet dealers where you can seek good advice about collecting and what to collect. Browsing dealers’ websites is another super way of doing homework, and don’t be shy to send an email or sign up to their newsletters.
Written by LAPADA member Mark Goodger of Mark Goodger Antiques
From a selection on LAPADA's website
Posted: 26 April 2021
From a selection on LAPADA's website
A Short History of Chests of Drawers
Though they are found in nearly every bedroom today, the history of chests of drawers began only a few hundred years ago. Whilst the coffer chest was in use from the 13th century onwards, it was not until the late 17th century that the use of drawers in chests emerged. This coincided with an increasing demand from the wealthiest patrons for luxury furniture and cabinet pieces, and also in an increasing number of cabinet-makers in employment.
These opulent cabinets later started filtering down to upper class and some middle-class homes. Adam Bowett’s English Furniture 1660-1714… notes that these cabinet designs likely influenced the chests of drawers found in ‘middling’ homes from the 1670s onwards, as cabinet-makers applied developing techniques. Read more...
LAPADA Webinar Series with Freya Simms
Thoughts And Predictions From Leaders In Culture And Design
Freya Simms - CEO LAPADA
A new, free webinar series featuring LAPADA CEO, Freya Simms, in conversation with leading captains of culture. Leading figures from the worlds of museums, design and curation will share their predictions for what the future holds for the art and cultural worlds as they make plans to emerge from the Covid-19 crisis.
Previous webinars are available on the links below and LAPADA will announce additions to the schedule as they are confirmed:
Dealers, listen to a conversation between Freya and 20th century design expert Mark Hill on maximising online sales. The discussion covers the current state of the online market, which marketplaces are the best fit for your business, and Mark’s advice for selling more online.
A conversation with LAPADA Member Connie Gray, Fashion Illustration Curator at Gray M.C.A and Kerry Taylor, Founder of leading couture auction house Kerry Taylor Auctions on the evolution of fashion illustration and couture, and how they became bona fide collecting categories.
Freya is joined by founder of the Inchbald School of Design, Jacqueline Duncan OBE along with two alumni, Staffan and Monique Tollgard, co-founders of Tollgard Design Group and Country Life Executive Editor Giles Kime for a special conversation celebrating 60 years of the Inchbald School of Design. They discuss the legacy of the school, the evolution of the interior design profession globally over the past half century and their predictions for the future of interior design in a post-Covid world.
Dr Tristram Hunt
Dr Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A Museum kicked-off the LAPADA Leaders series on Thursday 21 May at 1100 BST, discussing how the crisis can revolutionise and democratise cultural experiences and what cultural organisations can learn from the pandemic lockdown.
Design icons Kelly Hoppen and Katharine Pooley was in conversation on Wednesday 27 May at 1100 BST discussing the impact of the crisis on design trends and how it will affect the way we live and experience our homes.
On Wednesday 3 June, former National Portrait Gallery Director and National Trust trustee, Sandy Nairne was joined by The Foundling Museum’s Caro Howell in a discussion around the practicalities for museums as they look to reopen and what creative strategies will be employed to engage new audiences.
On Wednesday 10 June, Goodwood Curator James Peill and the Duke of Buccleuch’s Curator Scott MacDonald discussed country house curation and how in a world crisis the buildings and their collections are a monument to permanency.
ANF TOP PICK SELECTION FROM LAPADA'S WEBSITE
Amethyst and pearl, 18CT yellow gold jewellery suite - Antique French c.1880 - £4,950.00
A set of twelve framed 19th century pressed ferns - £9,620
Sterling silver punch bowl and goblets by CJ Vander LTD - Vintage Elizaveth II C - £3,950
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