Whitehall Blog

Archive for June, 2013

Winnetka Through Saturday

Saturday, June 8th, 2013

It is exciting to report that the show is very well attended and busy.  Elizabeth has sold five pieces of furniture plus prints, porcelains and silver!  This is very happy for all of the dealers at the show and hopefully Sunday will be another good day–and with glorious weather to entice people to other pursuits!

Booth at Winnetka, Illinois

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Tonight I am sharing Elizabeth’s photos from the booth at the Winnetka Summer Antiques Show which opened this evening.  These photos show the booth from left to right.  It is a wonderful quality show–don’t miss out if you are in Chicagoland!

Details again:  www.yelp.com/events/winnetka-winnetka-summer-antiques-show-2013-2

“Most Highly Decorated” Chinese Export Porcelain

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

We are thrilled to offer from a Florida collection a pair of amazing “Grant” pattern Chinese Export porcelain chargers of monumental size and exceptional decoration and condition.  This export porcelain, called “most highly decorated” in the 19th century, is the ultimate in Rose Medallion porcelain.

The history of famille rose porcelain dates back about three centuries, but in the 19th century blossomed into a highly decorated procession of designs (famille rose simply means the decoration includes some pink in the decoration–pretty easy to remember).  The earliest of the Victorian era Chinese export patterns, about 1830, was what is called Rose Mandarin–a gorgeous all over single pictorial design that stretches around objects from vases to tureens, across the entire surface of platters or plates–but always a single motif filling the entire space.  The next designs are Rose Canton–multiple reserves of blossoms and vines–and Rose Medallion–four quadrants of alternating figural and floral reserves.  These are at their finest associated with the 1850′s to 1890′s, but stretch into the 20th century with constantly degrading quality of both decoration and palette.

This particular design is thought to begin about 1850 and the two most important services were brought back to America by captain Ammen in 1867, one service for his family and one service for his friend President Ulysses S. Grant–the service sent directly to the White House in 1868, with the center reserve monogramed “USG”.   Both services are represented in the Peabody Museum.  The naming of the pattern is not surprising, of course, as all Presidential services have a revered status in American porcelain collecting.

Our pieces were made for sale to a wealthy family–remember it is the best of the period– but not to order, as the center medallion has a conforming bird and flower design instead of a family monogram or crest:

The four medallions in this design are melon slices and at the indentation at the top of each is a stem.  They of course represent in Chinese symbolism the idea of fecundity as a melon is filled with vast numbers of seeds, each producing many more melons on a vine!

For comparison, here is a photo of a typical Rose Medallion platter–compare the shape of the four reserves, the comparative richness of the gilding, the quality of the painting and you will truly appreciate the wonder of this pair of platters.

Standard Rose Medallion Platter, c. 1860-1880

Come by the shop for a hands-on study of these three platters and a selection of Rose Medallion vases.

Winnetka Opens Friday

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

The Winnetka Summer Antiques Show opens this Friday and for those in the greater Chicago area this is a marvelous show filled with many of America’s finest dealers–and most realistically priced dealers.  This is not a blow you away with prices show, but a show with superb antiques and a diversity that will appeal to every collector.  Come and enjoy!  Elizabeth will be happy to see you and assist you in our booth!


Here is a shot of a few items headed to the show!

A Few Goodies headed to Winnetka!