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MANY ANTIQUE CHIMNEYPIECES AND FIREPLACE MANTELS that pass through the galleries of Westland London, EC2 are of considerable vintage. Frequently originating from one, two, three even four hundred years previous to the original installation provenance which is frequently far distant from the location where it comes into Westland’s sphere. Also there have often been numerous relocations since the original installation. These distinguished elderly prestigious antique fireplace mantels and other features of the highest quality have been understandably treasured and carefully tended by all previous owners and merchants being such expensively made rare and central elements of the Houses and palaces of prominent citizens.
TRACING THE ANTIQUE HISTORIES OR PEDIGREES of these prized and precious Architectural antique elements and features is usually a blend of skilled diligent research …and chance. Being focussed on the subject with an extensive library on many aspects of historical architectural antiques ranging from Medieval Italian Palazzo’s to Victorian Arts and Crafts mansions, Westland, if time allows sometimes finds helpful references leading to discovery of the original provenance or subsequent installation locations.
AN EXAMPLE IS THE CASE OF WESTLAND’S STOCK ITEM 7927 : It was the chance discovery of an ancient copy of the since expired venerable antique Connoisseur Magazine from March 1960. Therein was a full page black and white advert for the self same antique Georgian fireplace mantel..and indicating that it had been recently removed from a house in Bath, Somerset by the long established antique fireplace dealers J. Pratt and Son. This is likely to have been the original 18th century location, so it can be assumed the Pedigree was complete. Manufacture in Italy or England by 18th century Italian craftsmen, transit over the waves to Bristol, installation in Bath, removal to Mount Street Mayfair by Pratt, installation in a Manor House in Oxfordshire by Pratts in the 1960’s. From thence to Westland London’s EC2 galleries…and then to Tokyo, Japan. In all probability it will at some distant point in the future resume its life journey to a different location having been treasured and protected by all concerned over 250 years.
THE TIMELESS ETHOS regarding such objects is best described by the Swiss Watchmaker Patek Phillippe who state in their long running publicity that these items are never truly owned by one individual rather that they are held in trust for following generations.
AIR-FER MER : Was the caption of the French antiques shipping industry in the 1930’s when many adverts in England as well proclaimed trouble free door to door shipping of high value fragile antique items to remote destinations…in those days usually from Europe to North and South America. So a present day aspect could be the air, sea rail or wagon miles an item has travelled in its lifetime to the present day. Right from the creaking mule or bullock drawn carts down to the quayside in Forti Di Marmi in Tuscany in the 17th-18th century, loaded onto the sailing ship for transport to England…right up to the glistening shiny, hi tech computer tracked FedEX Airfreight service in cargo 747’s of the present day.
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About Westland London
Westland London is a vast panorama of antiques spanning over 16 galleries at St Michael’s Chruch, London. The Courtyard displays a wide selection of all kinds of Antique Architectural Elements, antique fireplaces, Statuary and Fountains.
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