Grosvenor House Art and Antiques Fair is the great summer
event for leading London galleries, and ours is no exception.
Since 1994, Trevor Philip & Sons has been one of this
privileged group, for all exhibitors are stringently vetted,
as well as the objects they offer for sale each year.
Fair was launched in 1934, and has gone from strength
to strength; under the royal patronage of H. M. Queen
Elizabeth The Queen Mother, it has an international reputation.
The Fair is held in 'The Great Room', the largest ballroom
in Europe at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, once the London
home of the Duke of Westminster. The building has a special
atmosphere as exhibitors arrive and take over their stands,
sorting out what goes where. Is the carpet the right colour?
Do the lights work? There is much camaraderie, and we
all borrow or lend a hammer, or screw driver. Saf and
I will have every object on and off the stand three or
four times, before we are satisfied.
Philip & Sons stand is to be found at the entrance to
the ballroom - an excellent place to meet our old friends,
and to make new ones. Attracting the widest imaginable range
of visitors, the Fair is as much a part of London in June
as Ascot, Henley and Wimbledon. Our clients include museums,
celebrities and avid collectors of scientific and marine
instruments; however, someone seeking an unusual gift will
also find a wide choice of objects to choose from. The Fair
is so much the highlight of our year that we start planning
for the next year as soon as it is over. We even find ourselves
asking "Is this a Grosvenor House object?", for
what is chosen has to be really special.
how special was eloquently described in the introduction
to the 1951 Fair Handbook:
a spectacle alone it is superb; clocks and furniture,
silver and jewellery, bronzes, porcelain and a thousand
other things which prove that man is only a little
lower than the angels, all displayed in a single
Philip & Sons are proud to add such unusual items
as the artefacts of science, with their precision and
subtlety of concept, to this major event. The Grosvenor
House Art & Antiques Fair is open from the 9-15 June
1999. Please contact us if you would like further information.
in silver,signed: Joshua Mann Ebor Fecit 1686
is now a growing interest in the provincial instrument-making
trade in Britain that certainly began as retailing of London-made
products, but also had its own skilled craftsmen.
Such men, as might be expected, were based in the major
cities, and of these, York had a fine cultural and scientific
flowering in the later 17th century. The group of scholars
known as the York virtuosi created an environment in which
craftsmanship flourished, and two skilled practitioners
were the brothers Thomas and Joshua Mann.
Mann was primarily an architect, working on a number of
building schemes, in particular the Market Cross at Pavement
in York, sadly demolished in the 1813. He was also an engraver,
as some fine signed memorial brasses bear witness. Joshua
also has memorial brasses to his credit. York had some notable
silversmiths in the late 17th century, before the city's
assay office closed in 1716, and they may well have contracted
out engraving to such skilled workmen as the Mann brothers.
Not all of this will have been signed, but the lovely little
silver pocket dial now in the gallery is signed and dated
by Joshua Mann, the only example of an instrument bearing
his name to have survived.
Ring Dial Signed
by Hilkiah Bedford, c.1665, complete with printed instruction
as this ring dial is, the most exciting thing about it
is the survival of its accompanying instruction sheet.
The sheet, and so the instrument, are datable by the printed
address of the maker: "at the Signe of the Globe near
Holborn-Conduit". This was Bedford's first workshop,
and it was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666.
He then moved to Fleet Street. Very few instruction broadsheets
have survived from the 17th century, and this is the earliest
known so far.
Bedford was a skilled craftsman, with a number of fine
instruments to his credit. There are four of his ring
dials in museums, one of them in silver. His broadsheet
notes that he makes mathematical instruments "in silver,
brass or wood".
broadsheet describes the various parts and function of
the dial, and then proceeds to explain how to find first
the latitude, and then the time. The particular cleverness
of the universal ring dial is that it makes it possible
to find the time at any location. Theinstrument was designed
by the mathematician, William Oughtred, and Elias Allen
and Hilkiah Bedford were the two instrument makers whom
he recommended as making his invention. It is therefore
likely that the text of Bedford's broadsheet comes from
Oughtred's book, published in 1652.
of a magnetic
azimuth dial plate
Henry Sutton, 1653 Plate measurement, 53/4 x 51/2 ins;
diameter of dial 51/4 in.
item in our group of paper artefacts is this superb pull
of a magnetic azimuth dial and compass rose, engraved and
signed by Henry Sutton. It bears not only the year date
on the dial itself, but also the full date: " August 16
1653" on the paper surround. A dial of this kind would have
been intended for a horological compendium, or perhaps the
base of a circumferentor, to be used by a surveyor. The
design of the dial was first described by Arthur Hopton
in his 'Topographicall Glasse' of 1611.
Sutton , who was a Freeman of the Joiners' Company, was
working in the middle years of the 17th century, and died
in 1665. He was a fine engraver, famous for his engraved
scales and the illustrations he provided for mathematical
books. A printed paper-on-wood quadrant made by him bears
Instrument or any of the Mathematiques are made
in Brass or Wood by Henry Sutton Instrument-maker
behind the Royall Exchanges."
Mrs Johnstone (1812) and Edward Mogg (1813)
survival of card and paper artefacts from the early 19th
century is unusual, and if they do still exist, they are
frequently damaged. So these two sets of globes and booklets,
in fine condition and with the original colours little faded,
fully deserve the glass domes we have provided to preserve
Johnstone is an excellent example of the "scientific
lady", of whom there were many examples in the 18th
and 19th centuries, including Mary Somerville above all,
but also Mrs Gatty and Mrs
Ward. She was the daughter of John Lodge Cowley, Geographer
to King George II, who taught at the Royal Military Academy,
Woolwich. He also drew the superb constellation figures
on the glass globes made by Thomas Heath.
up from my infancy to the sciences", Mrs Johnstone herself
became a teacher, "instructing many of the Nobility, in
the use of the globes, orrery, maps, projections". She
taught "Ladies in the Use of Globes" at her house, 20
George Street, Tower Hill. The Dissected Pocket Sphere
was her invention, and she firmly states that Mogg's version
was a piece of plagiarism. The design is indeed something
to be proud of, for it is a combination of terrestrial
and celestial globes, capable of teaching both geography
and astronomy, as well as time-telling.
Mogg's Celestial Sphere, "for the instruction of
Youth in Astronomy" was produced for purely commercial
purposes by a successful printer and mapmaker. Edward
Mogg made his name by publishing maps and guides to London,
that enabled travellers to triumph over dishonest cab
drivers. There was clearly a good market for dissected
globes, and Mr Mogg was determined to cash in on it: but
the credit for an ingenious invention must go to Mrs Johnstone.
Picture Clockwise from top left
18th-century circumferentor, in an oak box. Signed on
scale: "J.Search London"; James Search was working in
Golden Square, London, from 1771. The retailer, whose
trade card is in the box lid, was William Harris of High
Price £ 2,400.00
French prisoner-of-war work, early 19th-century "Spinning
Jenny" made of bone. With two figures wearing Breton hats;
one figure holding a baby; all operating and moving from
a central crank handle with a windmill.
Price £ 4,200.00
Early 19th-century marine chronometer in mahogany, brass-bound
box, signed: Parkinson & Frodsham, Change Alley, Cornhill,
London. This partnership specialised in chronometer making
Price £ 8,250.00
Pocket 23/4 inch terrestrial globe in
case, signed by J & W Cary, and dated 1791. The globe
shows Captain Cook's voyages on the Resolution and the
Discovery in the 1770s.
Price £ 5,500.00
Artist's model in wood, 26 inches high, finely articulated
and finished. Probably French, 19th century with carved
face, feet and hands and a defined ribcage.
Price £ 4,200.00
Scrimshaw depiction of a three-masted ship on fire, polychrome,
19th-century; inscribed "Lieu. J.Petley R.N."
Sandglasses, a single, and a fine pair, of varying time
century. Manufactured from glass and brass.
Price £ 2,600.00 No8 £ 2,500.00
2. May 1999
Trevor Philip and Sons