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Curating Christie’s for Classic’s Week

Late last summer I was overjoyed to be asked to contribute to Christie’s Classics week, the biggest week in the Christie’s calendar, by curating my very own space in Antiquities. For weeks, I agonised over what i was going to do. Would it be a domestic setting? Would I create a Cabinet of Curiosities? Then I realised it had been staring me in the face all along. I made up a Rainbow Roman Emperor Intaglio wall, we painted the wall the most sublime ‘Orange Aurora’ colour from the Little Greene Paint Company and I chose the biggest fragments of Roman statues to display in front of it, to create my own little tribute to the British Museum.

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The Bath House, Stratford Upon Avon

Desperate for a break from city life I visited the Landmark Trust website for a daydream and ended up booking a weekend at The Bath House just outside of Stratford Upon Avon. Arriving via a off road track through a pitch black woodland on a dark and stormy Friday night, was the most welcoming accommodation I have ever had the good fortune to visit. Everything is comfortably at arms length in the most perfectly restored octagonal folly that sits a top its very own fresh water spring fed, roman style bathroom. Of course I had to take the icy, yet invigorating,  plunge very early morning, before running up endless stairs to fortify myself in the ready waiting hot bath. It was magic and I’ve tried to keep up ending my morning shower with a blast of the cold ever since, with mixed results if I’m honest. Do book a stay, you will not regret it. You can read more about it here

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A year in the life of my studio

Looking through my dreadfully organised photo archives, there are ever increasing numbers of pictures of projects or products happening in my studio to wade through. A lot passes through this tiny space. I thought it might be fun to share a fraction of a year in the life of the Roque Map of London. The most ambient of backdrops. 

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Wedgwood Wonderland

Every couple of years I take a trip up to Stoke-on-Trent to look in on pottery projects that are in the pipeline and always manage to fix a visit to the Wedgwood Museum. It’s a Disneyland for adults. I am struck every time that this collection was on the brink of going to auction a few years ago when the company was sold to a private equity firm.

Every display holds the most precious pieces of pottery that were once a part of the everyday. I’m always saddened to think that this kind of quality of craftsmanship is now deemed too labour intensive to viably produce and can’t help but think that this attitude in some way contributes to fanning the flames in no longer valuing domestic objects that are built to last a lifetime. Buy cheap, buy twice I say! Bring back quality pottery!

Speaking of quality, please excuse the quality of the pictures. I was so involved in properly gawking at everything, when it came to composition composure, there wasn’t any!

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Glenn Brown & Rembrandt at the BM

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Rosenberg Palace, Copenhagen

Visiting the Rosenberg Palace while in the middle of reading Rose Tremain’s “Silence and Music” had to be one of the most truly enchanting experiences in terms of bringing a book to life. In quiet corners I could picture her characters inhabiting the grandness. 

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The Thorvaldsen Museum, Copenhagen.

For years I’d been yearning to visit the Thorvaldsen Museum in Copenhagen. I’ve always felt it’s pull, a calling almost, from a kindred spirit of another time. It exceeded all my greatest expectations and came away inspired and also mildly depressed I did not live in the Thorvaldsen Museum in Copenhagen. To tell the truth, I feel like that when I visit any good museum.

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La Specola in Firenze

I’ve fulfilled my lifelong dream to visit the world’s first Natural History Museum ‘La Specola’ in Florence. I’ve had a copy of the book Encyclopaedia Anatomica since I can remember and for whatever reason have pawed over the images of the anatomical wax models, and the rather racy silk pillows and silver fringed shrouds they are kept on. They did not disappoint. 

This was a few small rooms of the complete museum. First up was the geology section and the main body was room after room of taxidermy, few labels, an air of benign neglect and absolutely perfect. Everything just being what it is and dished out in the way it was as it opened in the 18th century. It must have been mind blowing. 

I lament the updating of museums to include ‘experiences’ and wish the air of quiet respect and revery were still the flavour of the day.

A panther made of Jasper with eyes of Citrine quartz circa 16th century with a 17th century silver base.
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Love at first sight cc – tapis handmade rugs at Maison & Objet

Nothing enlivens a room quite like an exciting rug, I often dream about designing the most outlandish rugs in terrific colour ways.

It was love at first sight last Friday when I came across the cc-tapis stand at Maison & Objet in Paris. It looks like they’ve been working with that brief all along. What a thrill to find cc-tapis. Now I can dream about designing rugs for them.

 

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Smythson Styling

 

It’s wonderful to see my End of Day Confetti lamp and Classical Urn decoupage tray used in Smythson’s Christmas campaign. What a thrill to see them in such good company. 

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