April 2016 Newsletter

  • By Antiques-Art-Design Sydney

"People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do”

Isaac Asimov
Hello there,

Autumn is upon us and we are only a month away from the Sydney Fair.  Just a gentle reminder that it is being held this 26-29 May 2016 at Bryon Kennedy Hall, Moore Park, specialising in everything 20th Century, Art Deco and Vintage.  We will be sending out invitations early May, so please make sure you let friends and family know if they are interested, all they have to do is contact us via email and provide the following information: name, postal address and contact number, and we will send out an invitation.  If you would like, you are more than welcome to drop by the store and collect invitations for the fair.

You may be interested to read about Provenance where Melissa Pearce has interviewed Christopher, in this month's article on Provenance in Executive Style,
Selection of coral jewellery, to be featured at the upcoming Sydney Fair.
Blowing out the Candles in April...
Alice B. Toklas serves coq au vin. Billie Holiday sings the blues to Yves Klein.  Jane Goodall monkeys around with Clarence Darrow. Shakespeare gets down with Beckett. Buddha contemplates his present… 
Photo courtesy of Lorna Lesley and 
The power of Wow...

Bustling along Broadway, phone in hand, preoccupied with the to-do list and not paying attention and I hear “WOW!” Not the ironic “yeah like wow” beloved of adolescents but the real thing, an exclamation of pure delight. I stop and turn, curious to find out what could possibly be so wowful and to whom. He’s about eight, open-mouthed, pop-eyed staring up at “One Central Park” the vertical garden-clad skyscraper which stands reproachfully opposite the UTS building (the one that looks as if it was constructed from a stash of stale Scotch finger biscuits found mouldering at the bottom of a Globite school case).

It’s the face of Jack looking at the beanstalk the morning after the unfortunate incident with the cow, a face that says I’ve never seen anything like it and more to the point, I’ve never seen a picture of anything like it. Because that’s the thing; thanks to National Geographic, Attenborough, The Discovery Channel and Instagram we’ve seen images of all the amazing things the world has to offer and thanks to NASA and Hubble pretty much ditto for the known universe.

In his memoir “What Days Are For” Robert Dessaix writes about losing the sense of amazement as a consequence of ageing. I blame the media. But today, on this hot, dusty, noisy street, thanks to the genius of the building’s architects I witness, albeit vicariously, the sublime power of wow. 

By Lorna Lesley
A selection of Gucci bracelets from our current collection.
A Few Good Men meets Waiting For Guffman in the This American Life podcast “Theater Of War” Hear what  happens when the US Army hires ex-football coach & Broadway wannabe Lee Yopp to create “The Soldier Safety Show” an all singing all dancing extravaganza devised to combat an epidemic of drunk driving fatalities at Fort Bragg.
                                                       Photo courtesy of Lorna Lesley
From L to R: Bent Knudsen fringe necklace, concave cufflinks, ball ring, boomerang clip earrings.

Unsung Heroes
there are always those people who crave attention…no in fact they demand it: people for whom the spotlight is never bright enough, the stage never big enough and the audience plentiful but somewhat diminished from what it should be.
……and then there are those for whom the accolades and acclaim are not the measure of success, they are not the reason they get up in the morning, or the reason why they strive for increasing levels of perfection.  For them, success is in the act of creation. And fulfilment, felt simply by having created.
Jewellers and silversmiths Anni and Bent Knudsen seem to be of the later mould.
Bent Knudsen (b.1924) apprenticed at Cohr and then worked with Hans Hansen from 1946.
In 1956 he and his wife Anni (b.1926) set up their own smithy. You can see the evidence of his experience at the Hansen Kolding workshop all through their work, where quality and craftsmanship are paramount and the expression for the design is through simplicity and when required, effortless detail. See the close up of the bracelet opening on the petal bracelet where the hook is made of concentric wires fused together.
Bent Knudsen petal bracelet with close up of opening.
But unknown to most jewellery collectors and wearers is that they already had another successful business, one in paper cuts and mobiles.  The business had been running since 1952 but they had been making such pieces for friends and colleagues for many years and through their encouragement and custom the demand had grown to a point where they decided to launch a business.
Their success was huge.  They exported to 75 countries and by the mid sixties were producing over 200 designs and had more than 45 employees.
They scaled back the jewellery production in the early 1970’s but the paper cut business continued right to the passing of Bent Knudsen in 1997.
In 2008, the paper cut business was sold to Livingly who continue the business with new interpretations of Anni and Bent’s designs.
During their careers they received numerous awards and accolades, but yet it is the understated everlasting quality of their silver work that transcends time.

More can be read about the paper business here:

Photo by wikimedia: Gondoliers Venice ca1873 by Frank Hill Smith

The Last Word…
A person who stares at activity on a canal.
…or perhaps
A person who stares at activity on a canal in Venice.
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