Decluttering, without regrets

Do you feel overwhelmed with stuff that you and your family have accumulated over the years, but at the same time very reluctant to make a start on getting rid of things? I believe the minimalist trend can go too far. If you are too radical you can throw away possessions which connect you to…

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My picture passed in at auction – what do I do now?

Auctioneer about to bring the hammer down

If you have ever tried to sell something in a specialist art auction you will know that there is a long build up and the process can be very stressful. Once you have made a decision to sell, a failure can be very frustrating not to mention inconvenient. My first tip is – never pre-commit…

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What are the best antiques for today?

Photograph of Wolston Farmhouse Sitting Room

There is no better way in my opinion to add some flair to your home than to add a few selectively chosen antiques or vintage pieces. If you are hunting around antique shops, which are the pieces you should be on the lookout for and which pieces should you avoid even if they look temptingly…

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Five essential Art Collecting terms explained

Editioned artworks are orginals in their own right.

If you are collecting art, what are some essential terms you need to know? Provenance Provenance means the record or history of an artwork’s ownership. Ideally, an artwork can be traced back to when it was first exhibited and sold. If it was acquired directly from an artist, the relationship of the first owner to…

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Fake or Fortune?

Frances Burke "Berwick Roses" oil on canvas

Do you have artworks in your collection that you really know next to nothing about? Have you ever wondered if you might be sitting on a work with potential to set the artmarket on fire and feature in one of those articles we all love to read about with titles like ‘Painting found in attic…

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How to commission a portrait

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) Portrait of a Young Girl 1879 pastel on paper

The winner of the wildly popular Archibald prize was recently announced, and that has set me thinking about how to commission a portrait for your own collection, or as a gift. The Archibald might be the most famous, but it’s not the only prize for portraiture in this country. To name but two others there…

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How and where to start collecting art

Photo of art gallery

If you are wondering how to start collecting art, then the best place to start your journey is where you can’t buy any. I refer to major public art galleries that have large permanent collections covering many periods and styles. Of course many of the artists whose works you will see there are either very…

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Lessons from the world’s best art collectors

Detail of Frederick Leighton's masterpiece "Flaming June"

Are you thinking of starting an art collection? Here is a brief guide to some of the 20th Century’s best art collectors, and a lesson we can learn from each of their stories. Sir Denis Mahon (1910-2011) Denis Mahon majored in art history at Oxford in the early 1930s. At the recommendation of Kenneth Clarke,…

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Sculpture in your garden

Rodin's sculpture of Adam in the Israel Museum's garden

I was reflecting on the trend for outdoor living rooms. Frequently I see gardens landscaped with screens, water features and other random decorative elements that add form and structure and – let’s face it – are easier to look after than plants. But sculpture in your garden can add impact and lasting value in a…

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