The Treasure House Fair

Yesterday, Shirley and Jill and I went to visit the Treasure House fair hosted at the Royal Chelsea Hospital, just off Sloane Square. As described on their website,

“Set against the backdrop of the historic Royal Hospital Chelsea in London, the fair offers a captivating blend of art and design. The spacious aisles, high ceilings, and inviting ambience create an exceptional experience, complemented by a special garden terrace and a range of refreshments to cater to every visitor’s desires.

The Treasure House Fair founders, Thomas Woodham-Smith and Harry Van der Hoorn, were co-founders of the original Masterpiece fair in 2009. Now in 2024, after a successful first edition of this new venture, they again combine their enthusiasm and expertise to create, with the exhibitors, a new experience against the familiar backdrop of Christopher Wren’s astonishing site.”  <>

Indeed, many may be feeling the gap left in the London Art Calendar by the end of Masterpiece, but the Treasure House Fair definitely fills it! Far more manageable in size, the Treasure House Fair offers visitors a wide range of art from all periods, as well as sculptures, vintage cars, and jewellery.

Particular favourites of the team included the armlet Alma-Tadema gave to his wife, and painted in the image below.

(The Alma Tadema Armlet)

Maison d’art Monaco presented some fantastic icons alongside some far more contemporary pieces, all unified by being works painted on gold grounds. Spotted by Jill! We were able to get a close look of ‘The Mourning Saint John’, painted by the worksop of Pietro Lorenzetti in Sienna around the mid 1300s.

The attention to detail in this work was incredible – the stippling and gold work has lasted well the test of time. 

(the staff member holding The Mourning Saint John)

Another highlight was a marble statue of two nymphs called ‘Falling Stars’ by Italian sculptor Vittorio Caradossi, on display with gallery Adrian Alan. Carved around the turn of the century, we couldn’t help but stand in awe at the breathtaking details of this work. As we moved around, we noticed small stars delicately carved in the fabric wrapped round one of the nymphs, and the tender touch of their two hands gently entwined. 

From the Adrian Alan website – 

“Sculpted from a single block of the finest white statuary marble, the two intertwined nymphs, representing shooting stars, are carved atop billowing drapery and clouds.The sculpting of the intertwined nymphs so that they appear to fall through the air is both technically brilliant and composed with masterful elegance. The figures are posed as if dancing in the heavens; transfixed as they fall. Their celestial journey is made real by the fall of their hair and how the drapery clings to their bodies. They personify shooting stars as messengers of love and symbolise divine guidance and good luck.” <>

‘Falling Stars’ by Vittorio Caradossi

Philip Mould’s stand included a beautiful portrait by Gerald Leslie Brockhurst, ‘The War Widow’, painted around 1923. Brockhursts works echo the portraits of Raphael, but are painted with a contemporary feel, both from the brushwork and the clothes of his sitters. The stand itself was painted and decorated in the style of the Bloomsbury Group, and was a work of art in itself.

We spent a good deal of time with the team at Phoenix Ancient Art <> , who told us in depth about the unique nature of many of their statues. One, for example, was the ‘Gillet’ Rider, a Greek archaic bronze for the late 6th century. Distinctly archaic in the rider’s face, the gallerist pointed out that the body was far more classical, pinpointing it’s creation at the cusp between the Archaic and Classical periods. Despite now missing his horse, the bronze was in remarkably good condition.

‘Gillet’ Rider

Other stands featured statues by Rodin, drawings by Auerbach and Gustav Klimt, landscapes by Augustus John and portraits by the contemporary artists Jamie Coreth and Isabel Douglas Hamilton. 

Open from 27th June – 2 July 2024, the Treasure House Fair is well worth a visit. You can of course also treat yourself to a glass of champagne and admire the views of the Hospital! 

Tickets can be purchased through the link here:

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