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Archive for the ‘Antiques Show Information’ Category

The Sir Thomas Brocklebank, Baronet, Uniform Case

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

One of the most fascinating and handsome of the objects required for military life is the steel case to protect an officer’s uniform, mounted with brass insignia plates of the maker and the owner. The manner of fitting of top over bottom is incredibly tight, impervious to most weather, sloshing water, etc.  Our most recent buying trip to England unearthed a splendid example which we had polished and  had a custom stand created by a highly talented North Carolina metalsmith.  This is the Sir Thomas Brocklebank, Baronet, uniform case:

6145 6149 6151

The mounts, locks and slides are all brass and the medallions on the newly created stand are as well.

This is the point at which the computer assists research beyond the wildest dreams of the intrepid antiques dealer of today compared to my early years–minutes instead of untold library hours reveal vast amounts of information!

While one is tempted to jump immediately to the owner, a study of the uniform maker is an equally interesting point to begin, as the dates of the company and its locations may help us understand which of the baronets Brocklebank may have owned this case.

The uniform maker–not the case maker–is identifiable by the plaque: H. (Henry) Poole and Company of Saville Row.

According to Wickipedia and the Poole website, Henry Poole & Co is a gentleman’s bespoke tailor now located at №15 Savile Row in London. The acknowledged ‘Founders of Savile Row’ and creators of the Dinner Jacket, the company has remained a family-run business since their establishment in 1806. They opened first in Brunswick Square, in 1806, originally specializing in military tailoring, with particular merit at the time of the Battle of Waterloo.

Henry Poole ran the business from 1846,  when he moved it to 36-39 Savile Row upon the death of his father James,  until his own death in 1876, and was succeeded by cousin Samuel Cundey, whose legacy continued, for five generations, to the present-day owners Angus Cundey and son Simon. In the two centuries, the tailors have enjoyed great success and endured extreme difficulties, but survive to this day as the typification of excellence in bespoke men’s tailoring. The company still holds many Royal Warrants, and services the Lord Chamberlain’s office with court dress, with their livery department  creating uniforms for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. The company is also credited with the creation of the Dinner Suit (known in America as a Tuxedo for a Mr. Potter of Tuxedo Park, NY,  who had one made by Poole for his visit to the Prince of Wales at Sandringham House in 1886, for whom the dinner jacket was first designed).

The period at Savile Row under Henry Poole and his successors in the 19th century saw the company showered with royal warrants from England and abroad:

HIM Emperor Napoleon III 1858
HRH The Prince of Wales 1863
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh 1868
HRH The Crown Prince of Prussia 1868
HM Queen Victoria 1869
HM The King of the Beligians 1869
HRH The Crown Prince of Denmark 1869
HRH The Prince of Teck 1870
HRH Prince Christian of Schleswig–Holstein 1870
The Khedive of Egypt 1870
HRH Prince Oscar of Sweden & Norway 1871
HM King Amadeus I of Spain 1871
HRH Prince Louis of Hesse 1871
HRH Crown Prince of Russia 1874
HIM The Emperor Pedro II of Brazil 1874
HIM Tsar Alexander II of Russia 1875
HM The King of Hellenes 1877
HI&RH The Crown Prince of Austria 1878
HM King Umberto I of Italy 1879
HIM Emperor Wilhelm I of Germany
HIM Tsar Alexander III of Russia 1881
HG The Duke of Genoa 1891
HG Friedrich, Grossherzog of Baden 1891
HG The Duke of Aosta 1892
HRH Prince Emanuel of Savoie 1892
HIM The Shah of Persia
HM The King of Denmark 1893
HM King Edward VII 1902
HRH Prince Albrecht of Prussia 1903
HH The Maharajah Gaekwar of Baroda 1905
HIM The Shah of Persia 1906
The Khedive of Egypt 1910
HM Queen Alexandra 1911
HRH The Prince of Wales 1922
The Imperial Household of Japan 1923
HM King George V 1928
HM The King of the Bulgarians 1936
HM King George VI 1940
HIM Emperor Haile Selassie 1959
HM Queen Elizabeth II 1976

Sir Thomas Brocklebank was right on target with his choice of uniform maker!  So who was he?

The Brocklebank Baronetcy, of Greenlands in the County of Cumberland and Springwood in the County of Lancaster, is a title in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom. It was created on 22 July 1885 for Thomas Brocklebank. He was a Deputy Lieutenant, High Sheriff and Justice of the Peace for Cumberland. Born Thomas Fisher, he had assumed by Royal license the surname of Brocklebank (which was that of his maternal grandfather) in lieu of Fisher in 1845. His grandson, the third Baronet, was a Director of the Cunard Steamship Company, of the Suez Canal Company and of the Great Western Railway. His eldest son, the fourth Baronet, died unmarried and was succeeded by his younger brother, the fifth Baronet. He was Chairman of Cunard Ltd and Cunard White Star Ltd between 1959 and 1965. As of 2007 the title is held by his son, Sir Aubrey Brocklebank, the sixth Baronet, who succeeded in 1974. He is the Honorary Treasurer of the Standing Council of the Baronetage. [1]

Brocklebank baronets, of Greenlands and Springwood (1885)
Sir Thomas Brocklebank, 1st Baronet (1814–1906)
Sir Thomas Brocklebank, 2nd Baronet (1848–1911)
Sir Aubrey Brocklebank, 3rd Baronet (1873–1929)
Sir Thomas Aubrey Lawies Brocklebank, 4th Baronet (1899–1953)
Sir John Montague Brocklebank, 5th Baronet (1915–1974)
Sir Aubrey Thomas Brocklebank, 6th Baronet (born 1952)

So we have only three possible owners of this uniform case:  the first, second and fourth baronets, all Sir Thomas.  The fourth Sir Thomas would be unlikely as these cases generally predate his lifetime.  So that leaves either the 1st Baronet or the 2nd Baronet.  The first Sir Thomas had many offices that might have required a uniform created for ceremonial and court occasions by Poole.

Both men were, as were all of the family, intimately involved in the management of T. and J. Brocklebank, Ltd–one of the oldest shipbuilding and sea merchant family businesses in English history.  The company eventually became a subsidiary of Cunard according to the National Archives of England, thus bringing the Brocklebank name in English shipping history to 1965 when Sir John retired as Chairman of Cunard.

Alas,  the mystery will probably remained unsolved forever as both the first and second Sir Thomas Brocklebanks may have owned this fine uniform case.  What is not a mystery is the handsome side or console table created from this fascinating bit of English history!






Theta 2014–The Finest Show in Texas!

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014


Most dealers and collectors agree, the Theta Show in Houston, Texas–this was the 63rd annual edition–is one of the five most significant shows in America. I write this as I am half way home from an exciting and successful event, fascinated to see a city booming and houses under construction on tear down lots in all of the finest areas of the city. It takes new housing and improved housing to really drive the antiques business beyond the collecting level into the furnishing level. We compete at some level with modernism, mid-century, new furniture–ever Restoration Hardware for gosh sakes! Right now 18th and 19th century antiques are simply the best value for dollars spent–period!


In their continuing effort to constantly strengthen the show, the plans for next year were announced at this year’s show: NEW dates one week earlier November 12-15, 2015 in a NEW location, Bayou City Event Center. One day shorter, the opening will be a Thursday night to allow dealers from the Winterthur Show to arrive and participate. The old downtown facility is being renovated for several years–the new facility provides space for the same number of dealers and a veritable sea of FREE parking! We are all excited to say the least.

Here is a selection of shots of our booth.  Happily we already had sold a 72″ diameter table to a dealer before the photos were made!  We also sold the sofa table in top photo, most of the Imari in the secretaire, the yellow pair of period fauteuils, the set of eight dining chairs, the French mid-century coffee table, the four candlesticks, all of the cut glass on the trunk and the Rose Medallion punch bowl!  In the third photo the chest has a new home as well as the lamp and the moose doorstop barely visible on the left.  In the bottom photo two fine jugs were purchased.  Additionally and not pictured we sold a splendid mule or dowery chest as well as dozens of small porcelain, silver and brass pieces from throughout the booth.



Birmingham, Alabama “Antiques in the Garden”

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014


Well I have been remiss, mainly due to the overwhelming amount of spam. However I have simply decided to ignore and return to writing, especially since a delightful email from Australia about Samson fakes of the 19th and early 2oth centuries. So now I will play a bit of “catch up”.

One of the most innovative charity antiques shows takes place annually on the first weekend of October in The Birmingham Botanical Gardens–a combination of antiques dealers and noted designers and architects creating a variety of opportunities both concrete (buy stuff now!!!) and ephemeral (ideas to re-imagine your home based on intriguing displays–often featured later in Veranda magazine).

These photos share views of our booth at the show, a group of young tastemakers being talked to by a Taste Maker (their name for the design booths), and a couple of detailed photos of an architect designed room and a graceful room elegantly blending antiques with modern concepts.


Watching that enormous wooden facade be built was fascinating–a true test of the patience of all concerned, but wonderful when completed.

My chief criticism of the show has been too many local dealers and designers, but the attendance from local folks has been great since the new program of balancing designer spaces with antiques spaces began.  I am happy to report that next year will see more dealers from out of state replacing local dealers, but continuing to have brilliant designer vignettes.  It should be truly exciting next year–the first weekend of October as always!  We will have links from our website once concrete details are announced!  Always check our Events section of the website for what is happening throughout the country!

More from High Point

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Finally the Antique and Design Center officially opened today after a “soft” opening yesterday.  Some major pieces have sold and more sales seem to be in the offing if the designers are successful with their clients.  Here are a few shots of the completed booth.

The jewelry sure does add sparkle to the front entrance to our display!

A reminder of the July Trunk Show featuring major new estates by the effervescent Donnie Grissom of Mt. Pleasant/Charleston, SC.

Red tags enhance the booth!

Repurposed antique picture frames cut into multisided medallions and mounted with hand cast and gilded bees, dragonflies and lion masks!  At $45.00 each they really add punch to little spots, add dimension on a wall of prints or stand alone as a charming little decoration for any wall.  They are the invention of Trace Mayer of Louisville, Kentucky and we are pleased to be his representative–same price as he sells them, in case you are wondering!

I love the next item–an amazing spoon rack and cutlery and candle rack from the north of western England or Scotland.  It is warm brown oak with broken arch pediment, hearts and whale’s tails–what more could you possibly want.  AND turned bone (cow!!!) finials and pulls.  Wow!!!

High Point Antique and Design Center to Open Friday

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

We are all feverishly preparing for the opening of the Spring Furniture Market and the excitement of the antiques and design building in Historic Market Square.  Here are some photos from today with a few comments–our friend Donnie Grissom who has brilliant vintage jewelry is finishing his installation tomorrow–thus the covered cases!  (By the way, he is coming with a huge new estate collection in July for a weekend event–watch for it!!!!!)

Main Show Entry with our booth entrance.

The Tommi Parzinger credenza c. 1967 is a brilliant entrance supporting an amazing, multi level old surface horse for a procession–the rolling stand of later date.  Over Donnie Grissom’s space is a collection of paintings by Paul Hrusovsky.

Right side of the Booth

Continuing down the tight side

The Three Madonnas is by Paul Hrusovsky above an early 19th century pear wood and ash country French high buffet with ebonized moldings.

Center of the booth with French 1930's steel coffee table and Napoleon III bergeres

The two circular tables behind the coffee table are a delight–an 1880′s miniature Napoleon III gueridon and a period c. 1810 gueridon behind it!

Backside of the Napoleonic view!

A great pair of modernism chairs of rosewood and chrome by Sven Ivar Dysthe for Dokka, Norway,  flank a period 1960-70 lucite and chrome floor lamp with integral table with a cluster column in homage to George III taste (both from Studio Design Gallery, owned by Paul Hrusovsky featuring his art studio, gallery of his art and mid-century furniture and accessories).  Ivar born in 1931 was the wunderkind of Norwegian modernism design.

Back section of booth with cross aisle

A 72″ diameter Anglo-Indian teak and mahogany William IV table with Georgian breakfront on back wall, the table simply displayed with early 19th century Meissen vases (ornithological) and a Royal Crown Derby soup tureen and undertray.  Yes the orchids are real–took me an hour as new ones were unpacked last night at Whole Foods flower shop!

Floating above the c. 1780-1800 breakfront is a c, 1730 carving from Frankfurt, Germany–next is a close-up.

This represents Mary Queen of Heaven (she emerges from blue swirling clouds) holding the Christ Child blessing the world and holding the orb of the world, once with a cross atop it.

For another photo of this carving from a differing angle with differing light, check out the Whitehall Facebook reached either directly on Facebook or through the Home Page for Whitehall at www.whitehallantiques.com

More to come this week including a few highlights of my lecture next week–Tuesday–free to all attendees of the Market.

Nashville Antiques and Garden Show

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

This is a quick experiment to post a 20 second video.  My commentary is that the show covers from folk art to gardens to $100,000 English furniture pieces (in the lavender walled booth of Janie Thompson, a great dealer from Kentucky.


And here are a couple of set-up shots of our booth and of the central garden being built by Anne Daigh and her staff of 22 workers!

Central entrance garden

Our “Wall of Bamboo” in one of the side aisles surrounding our booth–we face the entry garden still under construction!

Period bamboo both with original surfaces and decoupaged surfaces

Much more tomorrow and through the run of the show.

Come join the real mistress of Downton Abbey, the Duchess of Carnarvon of Highclere who will arrive tomorrow for the show and her lecture.



Vero Beach Museum of Art Antiques Show

Monday, January 6th, 2014

For all of our friends in Florida, either year round or seasonally, the Vero Beach Museum of Art is one of the finest antiques events of the winter.  Bringing a veted list of fine dealers offering period English, Continental and American furniture, rare books, fine art, superb silver and jewelry as well as the entire range of porcelains from throughout the world, this is a show not to be missed.  Hours and events are easily found on the museum website:   www.verobeachmuseum.org/index.cfm?method=Event_antiquesshow&

We hope to see you there as we are featuring a fine George III breakfront, a rare form country French walnut Buffet a deux Corps, charming bamboo tables and unusual pub signs, period commodes from the Louis XV and Charles X periods as well as Georgian chests, cool rattan chaises with ottomans and much more.  Here are a few photos and by the way the Breakfront will be filled with a full antique Meissen dinner service so recently arrived I do not have photos!

c. 1780-1800 George III mahogany breakfront with writing drawer interior in satinwood

18th century walnut Buffet a deux Corps

Magnificent carving on the Buffet a deux Corps

Charles X commode--a precursor to modernism yet 180 years old!

c. 1750 walnut commode with original marble top

Come join the excitement!

Happy New Year

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

From Chapel Hill The entire Whitehall Antiques family wishes you a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.  We hope to see you either in the shop or at a show this year and if not, via the amazing world of the internet.

David and Elizabeth

“These are a few of my favorite things”

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

In addition to music (yes that is a line from The Sound of Music) and family,  much of my life is visual.  So here are some photos I took this year–hope you enjoy them.  In just a week we will load for The Vero Beach Museum of Art Show and return to unload a new shipment from England and France–so what better time than now to remember the past year.

Nelson, Christmas 2012 at grandma's

Alexander's Christmas Past--2012 at grandma's

The glory of North Carolina from Grandfather Mountain

Elizabeth ready for opening night, Vero Beach Museum of Art, 2013

Oops--it slid! Uncle Erik with Nelson and Alexander and Elizabeth presenting her masterpiece: Erik and Alexander in a joint birthday celebration

Topiary magic in the Nashville Antiques and Garden Show

The epitome of George I walnut bureau bookcases

Thomasville, Georgia hospitality--we stayed in dear clients' guest house

Chang at work--half snoozing in the Villa entrance room

Serenity in the Asiantiques booth, Alexandria, March, 2013

Spring finally arrives in the Duke Gardens in mid-March--at least the jonquils arrived in February!

A sweet Edwardian Sutherland table came home to Whitehall after 50 years in a Mebane, NC home--and now has a new home in Florida

May 2 brought Paul's 65th birthday celebration at Kipos, a new West Franklin Street Greek restaurant in The Courtyard

Spring Market was a great success: part of our huge booth at The Antique and Design Center of High Point

26 Abraham Derby roses by David Austin line the Whitehall parking lot producing a heady fragrance in memory of our dear employee of 50 years, Frances Farrington

Our new condo nears completion in mid-June

We ran the floors from the front door 30 feet toward the glass walls–this view covers most of the 30 feet lateral into the study making a large “L”.  Always run flooring so that you carry the eye to create a greater sense of size, rather than chopping up the desired view.

A "Moral Monday" sea of protestors in Raleigh--this year NC traded a 50% tax cut for the wealthy for reducing education funding to 47th in America. Bless our great teachers who soldier on.

The thrill of entering a lovely retirement home and finding a period breakfront from the late 18th century! I was waxing it again today at the shop!

Moving day was June 27th--this is July 1st and off to England July 4th to buy for the shop

Looking for nifty sporting items in southeast England

And finding 1960's G-Plan furniture for Paul's new Studio Design Gallery at The Courtyard (a three block walk to work each day) and already a huge success!

Nelson and Dad join us in London and then off to Paris!

View from the hotel room

Grandpa as Napoleonic Soldier--yes the sword is period

An Exciting Durham estate--I had worked with the parents for 25 years--yielded a rare Milo Baughman for Thayer Coggin chrome backed swivel, rocking club chair--and so much more!

Paul’s Modernism gallery included in his new Studio allows us to help with a broad range of fine items from the late 17th century to the 1970′s between Whitehall and Studio Design Gallery–and the stores are only a mile apart!

And then it was July 19th and time for my 65th birthday–60 friends and family gathered atop our new building to celebrate.

My son Erik and older grandson Nelson David (Elizabeth's son)


The best little guests!

And also celebrating over 23 years with Paul, my guide through life.

And then 6 days of both teaching and learning during the annual Whitehall Summer Antiques Seminar

Then the new shipment arrived followed by a wonderful fundraiser at the Villa benefitting The Chamber orchestra of the Triangle and finally of to three fall shows and the Fall High Point Market (all featured in prior blogs).

And Halloween

A December sunset from my hotel for the Jacksonville Antiques Show--my 36th straight year!

Exploring a collection to sell this winter!

And finally the beauty of Christmas again!  Another year of exploration, learning, teaching and enjoying all that life has to offer with family and friends.  Happy New Year!  Live it with love and gusto.

Children’s Hospital Benefit Show–updated

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

The 37th annual Wolfson Children’s Hospital Antiques Show has come to a successful close and we have returned safely to Chapel Hill.  Tomorrow we will unload the unsold furniture and Thursday completely re-accessorize the shop!  It was a blessing to simply add furniture and accessories to our truck when it returned from Texas instead of unloading and reloading!  It is a grueling amount of work for all of us. And having a show well above last year’s successful show was a great reward for our efforts–sales including a fine cabinet, dining table, five smaller tables, loads of silver, porcelain and glass–and even a flask and a couple of trout and salmon fishing rods for the “young collectors”.  Truly great fun!

We sold a wonderful country French cherry draw leaf table–one I featured in an earlier blog–which literally doubled in length from 79.5 ” to 159″ with a simple concealed support dropping at each end when fully extended.  It is the only example we have either owned or seen over the years.  Here is a photo of the booth with the table and equally fun, the tree which now owns the table (a tree with a house and an owner).

So the cherry table has gone to live with the 500 year old oak tree which spreads 200 feet wide and has allowed generations to share its land in many ways.  I put this on facebook and a friend commented that antiques seem to want to find the right home and this table certainly did!

The steel and gilt metal coffee table and end tables with black eglomise tops were our only modernism pieces in the show and they went quickly to a nationally prominent designer.  Interesting–in Birmingham a splendid modernism table sold to a prominent dealer/designer known for great period French furniture, to use in her own home.  In Texas our only modernism table sold to a designer who took it to a client’s home to immediate success.  We are thoroughly enjoying our addition of a few fine modernism pieces to our inventory.  Arriving in the shop in early January is another collection of fine French modernism tables found on our last buying trip.

Set up for the show was smooth and fun, as the next photo of a dear client and show volunteer sort of kicking up her heels after finding a wonderful set of huge antique cut glass goblets and a set of gracious rim soups in the booth and laying claim ahead of the evening crowd!  This is one of the benefits of volunteering for charity shows–a well deserved benefit for both the volunteers and the dealers.

This is a show working hard to invigorate itself after some rough years precipitated by the Great Recession which hit Jacksonville with a vengeance.  Last year I reported on the new show manager, the new young collector’s booth, and the rearrangement of the show. They did not rest on their laurels, but worked hard all year and added blogs, instagrams, and other devices to reach a younger, hipper crowd.  The show was again rearranged and this time it worked brilliantly with no dealer feeling they had a bad location.  And most importantly when they discovered the Jaguars were being televised in a home game on Thursday, they dropped back and punted brilliantly:  a sneak casual preview Thursday before the game for all donors and a stunning party on Friday night with huge attendance and dancing until midnight!  And yes the dealers were also dancing, including yours truly for about an hour and a half.

Across the show sales were brisk and diverse including fine art, majolica, silver, modernism, funky decorative, American Federal, Georgian and Regency and of course country French.  No doubt a few dealers were a bit disappointed, but overall the feeling was remarkably upbeat.

One las parting shot:

End Shot of the Booth

The interesting architecture is due to the show being in a historic train station.