Fairs are one of the great pleasures of summertime and Masterpiece is one that shouldn’t be missed. One can’t help but be dazzled by the array of exquisite objects, ranging from artworks to jewelry to antiques. I hope some of you will take the opportunity to browse its range of exceptional pieces. Even if many of the pieces’ price tags have a digit too many to be within reach, the inspiration in abundance here costs no more than the entry admission. I always find that these sorts of venues are a terrific way to train one’s eye. Being particularly fascinated by pieces of the past, I love getting up close to furniture and studying colors, finishes, and patinas.
As a young designer I am constantly working on learning to see. Learning to see means not just spotting what’s trendy or what goes well with what. Rather, it’s about looking at visual properties, drawing connections and reading meaning. It’s about feeling the reason behind a sober neoclassical bookcase or being swept up in the exuberance of a gilded rococo console.
In our highly digital world where we live immersed in screens and remote connections, it’s critical to get out into the world, train your eye, grow your visual vocabulary, and truly see. So if you’re in London, get to Masterpiece and get inspired.
An 18th C. walnut sleeping chair having its original needlework, French c. 1760.
A George II painted carved pine open bookcase, c. 1735. Edward Hurst.
A Pair of George II Giltwood Armchairs in the Manner of Thomas Chippendale, c. 1755. Frank Partridge.
An Early 19th C. Lacquer Cabinet on Stand, China. Mallett.
An 18th C. Pine and Polychrome Lacquer Magot, Germany. Chiale Antiquariato.
One of a Pair of George II Giltwood Mirrors Atrributed to Benjamin Goodison, c. 1735. One of a pair of George III Chinese Lacquer Commodes Almost Certainly by John Cobb, c. 1765. Ronald Phillips.