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Tag: antiques

September 16, 2018

The Talented Tinker

by Matthew Steeples

Actor Dudley Sutton – AKA ‘Lovejoy’s’ Tinker – passes away aged 85 shortly after giving an interview lauding the NHS   The talented actor and regular at the Chelsea Arts Club, Dudley Sutton sadly died yesterday after a short battle with cancer.   Best known for playing Tinker Dill in the brilliant BBC comedy-drama series … Continue reading “The Talented Tinker”

September 14, 2018

Picture of the Week – A Bottled Baroness

by Matthew Steeples

Racist Marie-Claire, ‘Baroness’ von Alvensleben spotted dashing for sparkling wine as she ‘works the room’ at chi-chi antiques fair   Last night at LAPADA, waiting to pounce on unsuspecting innocents complete with her trademark helmet hairstyle, Marie-Claire ‘Baroness’ von Alvensleben perched on a bench at the entrance.   The wannabe Elnett ambassador’s eyes beamed when … Continue reading “Picture of the Week – A Bottled Baroness”

November 26, 2017

The Finery of Fatland

by Matthew Steeples

Vast Greek Revival style Pennsylvania mansion for sale for 56% less than it was marketed for in 2014; it comes with a pub in the basement   An extravagant and somewhat over the top estate in Pennsylvania is on sale for £2.96 million or 56% less than the £6.75 million sum it was listed for … Continue reading “The Finery of Fatland”

October 24, 2017

Wealthy Wilton

by Matthew Steeples

Six-storey Belgravia residence with controversial business connections goes on sale for 22% less than it was marketed for in 2015 and 3,497% more than it sold for in 1997   A 6,961 square foot freehold terraced townhouse in Belgravia has gone on sale for £25 million or 3,497% more than it was sold for in … Continue reading “Wealthy Wilton”

July 4, 2017

Anything But Liberal

by Matthew Steeples

Former Liberal Democrats headquarters for sale for somewhat reduced but still anything but liberal sum of £36 million (to include a Rodin)   A building that was originally the London office of the North Eastern Railway Company and the headquarters of the Social Democratic Party and then their successors, the Liberal Democrats, between 1982 and … Continue reading “Anything But Liberal”

June 8, 2017

A Question of Borwick

by Matthew Steeples

Matthew Steeples asks Conservative candidate for Kensington Lady Borwick five questions; he put the same to the Liberal Democrats Annabel Mullin also whilst Labour’s Emma Dent Coad failed to respond   In the final hours of the 2017 General Election campaign, I asked the Conservative candidate for Kensington, Lady Borwick, five questions I considered relevant … Continue reading “A Question of Borwick”

April 6, 2017

Billionaire Battersea

by Matthew Steeples

Historic Battersea mansion for sale for the same sum it was marketed for in 2011; it has been mostly empty throughout the intervening period and was renovated by the late billionaire Malcolm Forbes   Billionaire publisher Malcolm Forbes was a man who liked to live large. He had a huge yacht named The Highlander, threw … Continue reading “Billionaire Battersea”

September 7, 2016

The pleasures of Petworth

by Jacina Coyne

New contributor Jacina Coyne on how to spend a day in Petworth, West Sussex   Petworth is well known for its synonymous stately home and its grounds by ‘England’s greatest gardener’, Capability Brown. This is a charming gem of a town in the English countryside and is easily accessible from London. I reached it in … Continue reading “The pleasures of Petworth”

February 24, 2016

Sting’s Steinway Sells

by Matthew Steeples

Musician Sting’s Steinway piano sells for a staggering £116,500 against estimate of just £30,000 to £50,000

September 19, 2015

Previewing Noott

by Matthew Steeples

Trinity House hosted a packed preview of the works of the artist Edward Noott on 16th September

February 1, 2015

Oliver Trusgnach

by General

A Belgian fantasist, Oliver Trusgnach falsely accused a former Belgian prime minister of abuse before becoming an £18,500 per year antiques gallery manager in Witney, Oxfordshire in 2000.

January 9, 2015

Taking The Talisman

by Matthew Steeples

Lateral penthouse available to rent in conversion of former Art Deco garage in Fulham for the staggering sum of £6,500 per week

September 20, 2014

Sloane discretion

by Matthew Steeples

Matthew Steeples reviews Chelsea townhouse hotel San Domenico House   San Domenico House is a hidden secret; a small hotel that’s physically minutes from the bustle of Sloane Square yet literally a world away from it.

July 19, 2014

Romantic heroes: Ian Fleming and James Bond

by James Murphy

James Murphy examines his romantic heroes, Ian Fleming and James Bond   I was privileged to attend the recent Masterpiece art and antiques fair in Chelsea. For me, the undoubted highlight was coming face to face with the letters of Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, on Peter Harrington’s stand.

July 11, 2014

Drugs and Dents

by Matthew Steeples

A Cumbrian mansion built by opium traders and more recently used by cannabis growers comes to the market for just £1.5 million   Built by the well-known Dent family, who made their fortune trading both tea and opium, Flass is a vast 23,000 square foot Palladian mansion on the outskirts of the village of Maulds … Continue reading “Drugs and Dents”

June 27, 2014

American masters

by Matthew Steeples

Two works from American galleries on display at Masterpiece   Business on the opening day at Masterpiece 2014 was brisk with one dealership, Symbolic & Chase, selling a 1912 Cartier corsage for in excess of $20 million (£11.75 million). Our friends at Apter-Fredericks, equally, were delighted to sell an important mirror in the first hour … Continue reading “American masters”

June 25, 2014

Masters of Masterpiece

by Matthew Steeples

The Steeple Times chooses six of the best items on display at Masterpiece 2014   Thursday marks the official opening of the fifth annual Masterpiece art and antiques fair featuring over 150 leading galleries from across the world. To accompany today’s preview, The Steeple Times asked six of the exhibitors to choose their highlight from … Continue reading “Masters of Masterpiece”

March 22, 2014

The best of BADA

by Matthew Steeples

A roundup of the art worth seeing at BADA   The BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair on Chelsea’s Duke of York Square is an annual showcase of art and antiques that range in price from £100 to £1 million. Here, The Steeple Times picks three of our favourite items on display that suit a … Continue reading “The best of BADA”

March 18, 2014

A window to watch

by Matthew Steeples

Antiques dealer Apter-Fredericks’ Spring window is one to watch   Antique dealers are often thought of as fussy and a little fuddy-duddy. In their latest display, Apter-Fredericks on Fulham Road in Chelsea show themselves to be anything but.

December 26, 2013

A tribute to the King of Gin

by Matthew Steeples

Our tribute to Martin Miller   We learnt yesterday via Facebook that the founder of Martin Miller’s Gin and Miller’s Antiques Guides, Martin Miller, had died. Like many others, we were shocked and astounded by this terrible news.

December 17, 2013

Bears and postmen

by Matthew Steeples

Charles Mitford Cust tells the tale of a Steiff bear with a fascinating past   I was routing around in the family safe one rainy day recently when I spotted an unusual object hidden behind a pile of ancient documents right at the back, it turned out to be a near mint condition 1908 Steiff … Continue reading “Bears and postmen”

October 8, 2013

Auctioning Oprah

by Matthew Steeples

Oprah Winfrey to sell off contents of her Californian mansion   As Oprah Winfrey prepares to turn 60 she’s decided to refresh the décor at her $82 million Californian estate. As a result, the contents of this mansion along with items from her other homes are to be auctioned at the Santa Barbara Polo Club … Continue reading “Auctioning Oprah”

October 1, 2013

Henry Wyndham

by Matthew Steeples

A collector of English drawings and watercolours since the age of 14 and second to none as an auctioneer, Eton educated Wyndham hammered down Giacometti’s Walking Man sculpture for £65 million in 2010 and Rubens’ Massacre of the Innocents for £49.5 million in 2002. His glasses saved his sight in a shooting accident in Scotland … Continue reading “Henry Wyndham”

August 17, 2013

Oliver Newton

by Matthew Steeples

This London based antiques expert has a captivating enthusiasm for silver and fine craftmanship.

July 3, 2013

As safe as Stockinger

by Matthew Steeples

Stockinger’s safes represent the most secure of investments   Masterpiece 2013 closes today. This impressive showcase is something that has been crammed to the brim with some of the finest works of art, design and antiques currently on the market, but given that many of these items are of immense value, they need to be … Continue reading “As safe as Stockinger”

May 30, 2013

Ian Towning

by Matthew Steeples

The queen of the antiques trade has blue blood on his mother’s side. Aside from appearing on the mahogany skinned David Dickinson’s Real Deal television programme, Towning is launching a pen for left-handed writers and is often spotted promenading the Kings Road in full regalia and at a certain sun tanning parlour next to McDonalds.

May 21, 2013

The tribes looking for CFS

by Sarah Tucker

Sarah Tucker goes in search of the ten tribes paying homage to a centenary of flower power at the 100th RHS Chelsea Flower Show   Yesterday I attended the press day for the 100th anniversary of the Chelsea Flower Show. Gnomes have been allowed for the first time, but many of the celebrities who attend … Continue reading “The tribes looking for CFS”

May 10, 2013

The Bouquet of Christie’s

by Matthew Steeples

Always dressed to the nines and a prominent feature at Christie’s auction receptions, this lady plainly loves a perm as much as she likes antiques and fine art. She’d most definitely make a perfect body double for Hyacinth Bucket and Baroness Thatcher would, without doubt, have been green with envy over her collection of handbags.

May 7, 2013

Lord of the Bond

by Matthew Steeples

The sale of a £400,000 castle owned by a man who was an inspiration for the creation of James Bond’s nom de plume Sir Hilary Bray, Bt and for many elements of 007’s character also   Count Robin de la Lanne-Mirrlees (1925 – 2012) is largely thought of as the man whose persona Ian Fleming … Continue reading “Lord of the Bond”

March 12, 2013

A monstrous murder in Mayfair

by Matthew Steeples

Matthew Steeples offers offers a tribute to the late Robert Troyan   I first met the larger than life Bostonian character Robert Troyan (1950 – 2013) with his partner Anthony Feldman in the early 2000s at their impressive apartment in Mayfair. Though I did not come to know them well, I fondly recall a number … Continue reading “A monstrous murder in Mayfair”

March 5, 2013

Jim Ruig: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

by Matthew Steeples

The Steeple Times asks architectural antiques expert Jim Ruig: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”   The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? Design, travel and friends.   “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? The best revenge is to have a fabulous life.   … Continue reading “Jim Ruig: “What’s on your mantelpiece?””

January 29, 2013

Martin Miller (1946 – 2013)

by Matthew Steeples

The undisputed king of gin. Martin Miller didn’t like the gins he tried and so created his own, Martin Miller’s Gin. It is wonderful. This father of five and husband of Ioana Beju was also the genius behind Miller’s Antiques Guides and a brilliant hotelier. He enjoyed life to the full in true Dickensian style and … Continue reading “Martin Miller (1946 – 2013)”

November 26, 2012

Beverly Cohen

by Matthew Steeples

Co-owner of the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills with her husband R. J., Cohen is of surprisingly humble origins. She grew up on a chicken farm in Cleveland, Ohio but moved to LA with her divorced mother aged 13 when she opened a Kosher chicken killing plant on Santa Monica Boulevard. This hardworking lady now … Continue reading “Beverly Cohen”

November 12, 2012

John Gaze (1947 – 2011)

by Matthew Steeples

A gent who operated by routine, whisky and 40 cigarettes a day. This clubman’s knowledge of London history was phenomenal and he was dedicated to his role as parish clerk at St. Michael’s Cornhill. Gaze, a Russian icon dealer with a shop in the Piccadilly Arcade, lived a life full of dramas that included being … Continue reading “John Gaze (1947 – 2011)”

November 1, 2012

Urs Schwarzenbach

by Matthew Steeples

This Swiss born son of a printer has spent over £85 million buying up properties in the Henley-on-Thames area of Oxfordshire. Schwarzenbach also owns 123,000 acres in Australia, 26,000 acres in Scotland and has his own polo team, the Black Bears. This financier’s foreign exchange dealership, Interexchange, is the biggest in Switzerland and betting against … Continue reading “Urs Schwarzenbach”

October 7, 2012

Reversing Fortunes: Tales of former home of Claus von Bulow

by Matthew Steeples

A most curious tale of playboys, socialites, lawyers and real estate moguls   This week the mystery buyer of Clarendon Court, the former marital home of Claus and Martha “Sunny” Von Bülow (1932 – 2008), was revealed as a restaurateur and real estate mogul named Paul Roiff. Separately, the New York Post reported that Mr … Continue reading “Reversing Fortunes: Tales of former home of Claus von Bulow”

June 19, 2012

The Miracle of Winslow

by Matthew Steeples

Stowe Opera’s ‘Marriage of Figaro’ at Winslow Hall   In July 2012, the Stowe Opera Company will perform Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro in the grounds of Winslow Hall in Buckinghamshire.   The Stowe Opera Company was founded in 1995 by the renowned musician and conductor Robert Secret and originally performed in the grounds of Stowe … Continue reading “The Miracle of Winslow”

May 7, 2012

Gary Hazell

by Matthew Steeples

This gent has a knowledge of spirits second to none, but he’s now also found a new vocation with his “tales by the riverbank” blog. He’s passionate about fishing and cars but also used to run an antiques shop in Sussex. If you want to go fishing, Gary’s the man to go with.

April 28, 2012

Andrew Davis

by Matthew Steeples

He was labeled “Baron Von Essen” but evidence of his pedigree failed to surface. Starting in 1990, this buccaneer built up a collection of 26 luxury hotels but the £300m empire, developed with loans from bankers who plainly asked very few questions, collapsed in 2011. Since then, instead of quietly going to ground, he’s bought … Continue reading “Andrew Davis”

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