I’ve been thinking about figurative versus abstract art. Art that tells stories versus art that uses only colour or pattern or shape or material. Very possibly I could do some research to find out what the art theory experts have to say about this difficult topic. Probably a lot, very little of which I would … More Pottery and poetry
I’ve always been highly suspicious of anyone who is described, or describes him- or herself, as a connoisseur. It’s a term you frequently hear bandied around in art and antiques circles. But what does it mean? According to the artist and critic Jonathan Richardson in his book Two Discourses, published in 1719, connoisseurship has three … More Expert Connoisseur
Readers of the Random Treasure blog will know that I spend much – ok, too much – of my time wandering around charity shops in search of – well, in search of random treasure. More often or not, it’s a fruitless pursuit, and I return empty-handed and frustrated from my local rounds, or sometimes from … More A good week
Earlier on this blog I posted a piece entitled “Staples” about a Chinese porcelain bowl bought in 2012 at an auction in Aboyne, a small town in Aberdeenshire some 30 miles west of Aberdeen. This new posting is about another purchase from the same auction. I paid £5.00 for it. What a great day that … More Scotland’s First Khedival Khayamiya
The Random Treasure Blog is making a second guest appearance on the Talking Antiques blog with a new piece entitled The Joy of Jugs. You can read it here. The piece is about jugs. I bet you could tell that from the title.
There was a period of a couple of years after I retired from full-time work and before I started writing my book Random Treasure when I became a semi-serious antique dealer. Which is to say that I trawled the house for possessions that I could live without, and started selling them off fairly systematically. And … More Selling Flags
One day in the summer of 1969 my late brother Philip drove home in his latest second-hand car. It was a dark blue 1964 Triumph Herald 1200 convertible like the one in the picture on the left below. I was envious. He had a regular job but I was an impoverished student. My truly dreadful … More Pua Kumbu
I never buy nineteenth century engravings. Don’t even like them much. Especially those dark, dreary, ponderous reproductions of high Victorian narrative/historical/romantic paintings. My tastes in wall art are more modern, more colourful, more abstract. You see these things all the time in low-end auctions. No-one collects them. More often than not they are left unsold, … More Outmoded but not quite forgotten
Sometimes you come by an object which is so inexplicable and so far outside your experience that you wonder if it has travelled through time and fetched up at your local saleroom by supernatural means. Here’s one such, which I bought a couple of years ago because I can’t stop myself buying unidentified woodcarvings. I’ll … More What the devil is it?
I’ve written a new piece about this coffee table, which is a rather more interesting object than you might think at first sight. But if you want to read the piece, you can’t read it here. The Random Treasure Blog is making its very first guest appearance away from home. The new piece is called … More Utility