Not many people know that the famous rock star Freddie Mercury had a degree in Art and Graphic Design from Ealing Art College and that he used his talent to design the logo for his rock band Queen.
A keen collector of art and antiques Freddie became a client of ours and we greatly enjoyed his visits to our shop on the King’s Road. He bought many pieces of Biedermeier and Art Deco furniture from us for his house in Logan Place, Kensington as well as for his apartment in Montreux, Switzerland.
We are very happy to announce that we will be exhibiting our Biedermeier and Art Deco furniture at The Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair in Battersea Park. We will also show a collection of 20th century paintings.
The fair opens Tuesday 27 September at 12.00 AM and is open every day until Sunday 2 October at 06.00 PM. It is over 20 years since we last exhibited at an antiques fair so this is a very exciting project for us. We realise that antique fairs have become more and more important as an event and the Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair in Battersea is now one of the most successful fairs in Britain.
Here you have the opportunity to see well over 100 exhibitors covering a wide range of subjects with the emphasis on furniture and objects to decorate your home. For this reason it has become a Mecca for the interior designers who usually turn out in force on the opening day to pick up pieces for their discerning clients.
We hope to see you there
A remarkable example of how furniture design can reflect great historical events is provided by the emergence of the Biedermeier style after Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo in 1815. The mood of Europe changed - and the style of furniture altered dramatically to match this mood. As Napoleon had conquered most of Europe, the pompous, magnificent Empire style with its grand, monumental mahogany furniture had become extremely fashionable, and palaces and houses were accordingly redecorated throughout the continent.
But after Napoleon's final defeat, Europe settled down to a long period of peace. The middle classes, who were prospering, wanted a simpler style, which could be functional as well as beautiful. This style, later as 'Biedermeier', is essentially Empire furniture shorn of its ormolu mounts, excessive gilding and aggressive self-importance. Its original geometric shape often leads it to being described as the forerunner of modern furniture.
Like most styles, it did not have a name while it was being made, but was only given one after it had been and gone. The term 'Biedermeier' is often wrongly assumed to be the name of a cabinetmaker or designer of the period. During the late 1840s in Austria and Germany, the preceding era (1815-1848) was subject to a barrage of satire, which finally led to the very furniture being mocked. The painter-poet Josef Victor von Scheffel published in 1848 cynical poems with titles as 'Biedermann's Evening socialising' and 'Bummelmaier's Complaint' in the Viennese satirical magazine 'Fliegende Blätter' (Flying Leaves). These names were combined into the pseudonym 'Gottlieb Biedermaier' by Ludwig Eichrodt, who together with Adolf Kussmaul published poems by the schoolmaster Samuel Friedrich Sauter under this name. The spelling finally changed into 'Biedermeier' in 1869 when Eichrodt published 'Biedermeier's Liederlust'.