Fine Craftsmanship

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Eccentrics in Netsuke

There is an excitement to eccentric netsuke, and a dimension of an artistic personality and vision which raises these creations from the level of craft to art. The simple fact is that individual, experimental netsuke are much more difficult to understand than identifiable hack work – even great hack work – and are therefore much more gratifying when one does understand them. More

Masterpieces of European Arms and Armour in the Wallace Collection

Described by The Times as a “watershed between past and future of that most magnificent of publishing beasts, the academic catalogue … as beautifully presented and generously illustrated as it is well researched”, this book draws attention to a selection of the most refined and tantalizing pieces or arms and armour from one of the most significant collections of its kind. More

The Noble Art of the Sword: Fashion and Fencing in Renaissance Europe 1520–1630

Since the early Bronze Age the sword has been a sign of wealth, status and the power of divine right. Yet, before the sixteenth century the sword was almost never carried on the person in everyday life. It was a rare, noble weapon, carried into battle by the aristocratic warrior class but set aside in time of peace. However, the increasing prominence of the Renaissance middle classes brought a fundamental change to the sword's place in society. Now large numbers of non-noble but often wealthy and upwardly mobile people could also afford rich things like fine clothes, jewelry and weapons. More

West Country to World's End: The South West in the Tudor Age

During the Tudor Age the South West was famed for the innovation and endeavour of its people. Devon seadogs Drake, Raleigh and Hawkins sailed to ‘World’s End’ in their pursuit of treasure and glory, Exeter’s Nicholas Hilliard produced exquisite miniature portraits of courtiers while fellow Exonian Thomas Bodley re-founded Oxford University’s library, later named the Bodleian in his honour. These men lived during the religious turmoil and political intrigue of Elizabeth I’s reign – a time of opportunity for the merchants and traders of Devon. More

The James de Rothschild Bequest at Waddesdon Manor: Printed Books and Bookbinding

The outstanding collection of late 17th- and 18th-century books, together with their sumptuous bindings, built up by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in the last 20 years of the 19th century, match his other extraordinary collections (covered by earlier catalogues in the series), and is among the best of its kind outside Paris. This catalogue reveals for the first time the riches of his book collection. More

Endeavouring Banks: Exploring the Collections from the Endeavour Voyage 1768–1771

When English naturalist Joseph Banks accompanied Captain James Cook on his historic mission into the Pacific, he took with him a team of collectors and illustrators. They returned with unprecedented collections of artefacts and specimens of stunning birds, fish and other animals as well as thousands of plants, most seen for the first time in Europe. They produced, too, remarkable landscape and figure drawings along with detailed journals, descriptions and maps of the places visited. This collection – along with contemporary portraits of key personalities aboard the ship, scale models and plans of the ship itself, scientific instruments taken on the voyage, commemorative medals and sketches – will tell the story of the Endeavour voyage and its impact ahead of the 250th anniversary in 2018 of the launch of this seminal mission. More

Rare Antique Asian & Colonial Decorative Arts: Michael Backman Ltd

The decorative arts of South and Southeast Asia, and especially those of the 18th and 19th centuries, and trade items produced during the same period, constitute a much neglected area. The objects presented here – ranging from ornate ivory-handled daggers and exquisite silver filigree boxes to an ancient wooden tomb guardian and magnificent embroidered silk – are all of exceptional quality and are often incredibly rare. More

Bringing Heaven to Earth: Chinese Silver Jewellery and Ornament in the Late Qing Dynasty

A groundbreaking study of a little-known and virtually undocumented area of the Chinese decorative arts from 1850 to 1930. More

Xanto: Pottery-painter, Poet, Man of the Renaissance

WINNER of The Art Newspaper / AXA Exhibition Catalogue Award 2007. Francesco Xanto Avelli da Rovigo was an intriguing artist who painted some of the most beautiful and fascinating ceramics produced in Renaissance Italy. With surfaces entirely painted with scenes from classical literature, Roman history or the Bible, his dishes were much sought after by the educated elite of his time, and continue to fascinate ceramics enthusiasts today... More

The Wallace Collection Catalogue of Sèvres Porcelain - OUT OF PRINT

The remarkable collection of eighteenth-century Sèvres porcelain acquired by the Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace between c. 1802 and c. 1875 now forms a distinguished part of The Wallace Collection.It is here catalogued as a set of three volumes - Volume One: Vases, Volume Two: Tea wares, useful wares, biscuit figures and plaques, Volume Three: References, appendices and index. More

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