The Nicholas Gifford-Mead Chimneypiece & Ornament Collection:
Christie’s, Kensington, London October 29th 2009
To everyone’s great relief, Nicholas Gifford-Mead courageously and successfully tested the market this week, when many sage voices preferred a ‘keep your head down and try to sit out the recession’ approach. Much respected Pimlico dealer, Nick Gifford-Mead partnered Christie’s to bring to the South Kensington auction house a remarkable and bold display of fine chimneypieces, garden ornament and decorative elements rarely seen in a single collection since Crowther’s North End Road, Seago’s and Mike Roberts respective grand finales.
The essential difference being not the comparative quality in any way, but rather that this success paves the way for Nick Gifford-Mead to continue his primacy as the best purveyor of exclusively original and antique Georgian and quality chimneypieces par excellence.
A full house and a ‘ballsy’ catalogue!
Candidly, the catalogue failed to convey the scale and quality of the 156 lots which fellow dealers Alex Puddy and Marcus Olliff felt were really impressive. (Alex actually said it was very ballsy!)
It was extremely pleasing to be involved with an architectural antiques auction with actual buyers in the room rather than massed telephone ranks and empty marquees with which one has become familiar. The catalogue itself , like the Seago/Crowther/Roberts editions, will become a classic reference document for all dealers in the future.
Just rewards for high end chimneypieces
Nick Gifford-Mead’s commitment to original chimneypiece accessories was duly rewarded with keen purchasing and good competition for the numerous quality items on offer. The well researched and documented provenance rewarded the vender particularly for the high end chimneypieces. The Moccas Court, George III, fine white statuary marble fireplace from a design by Robert Adam found a new home for £55,000, plus commission and taxes, again fully attributed. Phil Mayle and his colleagues presented the whole display not just professionally, but with real style.
Life after auction?
Nick proposes to continue and increase his energies rather than even consider cutting and running. I looked in briefly at the Pimlico shop on myway out of London and could not believe how Nick and his staff had already restocked with even more quality fireplaces.
MASCo’s marble fireplace sale
Don’t miss MASCo’s autumn sale of fine marble fireplaces together with oak panelled rooms from the Harewood House Estate, Windsor…Ends 30 November!