After more than 15 years in business Tomasso Brothers are delighted to be hosting their spectacular debut sculpture exhibtion at Adam Williams Fine Art, New York. To mark this seminal exhibition of more than 40 important works they have produced a luxurious catalogue, which aims to represent and describe the sculptures through sophisticated photographs and informative catalogue descriptions. More
The James de Rothschild Bequest at Waddesdon Manor: Printed Books and Bookbinding
Hardback, 2 volumes, 1162 pages, 302 x 222 mm, 96 colour and 880 b/w illustrations
ISBN: 978 0 954731 08 3
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.
The 790 books reflect Baron Ferdinand’s interests as a refined connoisseur and amateur historian. Not interested in first editions or rare texts, he collected instead books with a distinguished provenance, those with magnificent bindings and ones illustrated by celebrated artists. Many of these also related to his interest in the history of this period, documenting social culture, costume, travel, architecture and, in particular, royal entertainments and ceremonies. Among coats-of-arms are those of Louis XIV, Louis XV, Madame de Pompadour and Marie-Antoinette. The magnificent bindings are by renowned artisans working at the pinnacle of their craft: Padeloup, the Derome family and Le Monnier, who are known for lavish dentelle and mosaic styles.
The two volumes provide introductory surveys of the collecting of ancien régime books, of Baron Ferdinand’s life, historical interests and manner of book collecting (using important and unpublished trade documentation), an overview of the collection by subjects, a more detailed description of the illustrated books, and another of the wide range of royal, bibliophile and other important provenance. Seven substantial chapters describe and discuss the late 17th- and 18th-century Parisian bookbinding trade and techniques of decorative gilding. They include particular studies on the work and production of leading bookbinders. The evolution of the various styles of the period are discussed, including the bindings of the Cabinet du Roi, and lists are provided of all the examples in the collection, before a final section of bookbinders’ ‘signing’ of their work, and lists of English and other bookbindings at Waddesdon.
Of special important is the classified index of French bookbinders’ tools, some 1000 of those on the Waddesdon books being reproduced digitally, thus providing an authoritative reference files on the best French bookbinding of this period. All 790 books are described in full detail, with titlepage transcriptions, collations, lists of plates, details of provenance, descriptions of bindings, and notes on the importance of the works involved. A provenance index lists all identified past owners, with brief biographical notes on them. There is also a select bibliography.
Giles Barber, who died in 2012, started his career at the Bodleian Library and was later Librarian of the Taylor Institution, Oxford. He wrote extensively on ancien régime printing, publishing and book-collecting as well as bookbinding.
Produced for the Association Internationale de Bibliophilie, this book traces the development of the early Ottoman style under influence from their neighbours; the impact of the patronage of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror; and the development of the ‘classical’ style under his successor Bayezid II. A catalogue section provides beautiful illustrations of 41 masterpieces of bookbinding; with technical appendices, bibliography, concordance and index. More
Stained glass was unknown in antiquity. Invented around AD 1000, it soon achieved a dominant position in the arts of the Middle Ages, not only in churches but also in secular contexts. Its innovation can be compared with that of television – and like television it involves passing light through a transparent layer, using the light of sun instead of light generated by electricity, so that in a real sense the stained glass image is in constant motion, as the light passing through it changes. More
This book examines how with the Japanese craftsman's intuitive sense of aesthetics and design the tsuba's utilitarian origins reached into the realms of fine art. The collection paints a picture of the Japanese tsubako, successfully representing both classic and everyday tsuba and fittings, work of the exacting levels demanded by the Daimyo and their samurai. More
Spanning some 350 years, the Thomson Collection of historic ship models contains examples of exquisite workmanship and some of the masterpieces of the genre. Pride of the collection are the rare British dockyard models made to scale for affluent 18th-century clients closely associated with the Navy. More
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
Made from scraps and slivers of wood, ivory, bone, stag-antler and metal, netsuke developed from a simple utilitarian toggle worn at the belt into a fine art. Some of it made geniuses. This book brings together prime examples of these delightful treasures – a rare and perfectly formed horse by Masanao of Kyoto; an extraordinary Ashinaga and Tenaga by Totenko; a fine study of a running boar with a snake upon its back, a masterpiece by Naito Toyomasa. More
Literati material finds its way into parts of the brain which regular works of antiquity cannot reach; the convoluted twists of cunning poetic allusions, themselves referring back and further back, to old writings, inscriptions on stone, legendary heroes and their mottoes, and not infrequent misquotes, can catch the unwary seeker after meaning in their complex web, causing him to lose all sense of afternoons and sometimes days. While one can admire Chinese literati works for their purely visual appeal and intimate, personable presence, it is their literary content that renders them so endlessly individual and subjective of interpretation. More
This book explores the surprising heights of the idiosyncratic lone Japanese artist, the odd man out, experimenting his way through the fine arts and laying his own pathway forwards as he did. It is intended as a joyous celebration of his genius. Dating from the late 17th to the early 20th century, 69 special and individual works of painting, sculpture, ceramic, lacquer, fancy metalwork and a striking selection of pipecases and their sagemono, inro and netsuke in various materials, are catalogued with beautiful photography and detailed descriptions. More
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
A comprehensive survey of the major schools and masters in 66 fine examples, this catalogue is an indication of the developing serious interest in netsuke. Several full-colour photographs of each work, taken from every useful angle, accompany educative and entertaining text. More
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
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
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
The third and last in the series of catalogues and exhibitions on the endlessly diverse subject of artworks which reflect the culture of the Chinese scholar class and some of the individuals who comprised it. It follows on the heels of Documentary Chinese Works of Art in Scholars' Taste and Emperor Scholar Artisan Monk. Over 160 fine examples of painting, calligraphy and desk or scholastic objects, dating from the 15th to the 20th century, are presented with colour photographs and detailed, educative entries. More
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
A groundbreaking study of a little-known and virtually undocumented area of the Chinese decorative arts from 1850 to 1930. More