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GOING, GOING, GONE: TEXTILES AS ART

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Paul Reeves, one of London’s best-known antique collectors and dealers, has put his collection of textiles up for auction. This February 23rd almost 200 of his pieces will be put under the hammer at Lyon and Turnbull in Edinburgh, including some extraordinary 19th and 20th century finds. From East African printed cottons to English embroidered silk wood panels, alongside original works made by the likes of William Morris to Christopher Dresser, this sale is a rare event that will offer a glimpse into Reeve’s expansive textile art collection. 215764 With thanks to the likes of Constance Howard, Beryl Dean and the textile artist cooperative The 62 Group, the historically shaky status of embroidery has in recent times climbed the artistic ranks, and it’s on this premise that the “Textiles as Art” auction takes place. One of the most coveted lots in this sale for example is a crewelwork hanging panel made by Sir Robert Lorimer (above), dated 1893. According to specialists, this piece is worth up to £22,000. 215281 Featuring both machine- and hand-made textiles, the auction was put together with the help of Lynn Hulse; embroiderer, textile historian and current research fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum. “Since the Renaissance the decorative arts in general, and textiles in particular,” she explains, “have occupied an inferior position in Western art. […] Despite suffering a reversal of fortune between the First and Second World Wars, the status of embroidery has once again been raised from genteel hobby to an art form.” 215515 As these textiles are priced from the low hundreds to the tens of thousands, this auction is itself testament to the high artistic status of textiles. Whether it’s needlework, weaving or prints, all you need to spot a valuable work of textile art is a well-trained eye. This is something that Reeves, as an avid collector, clearly has.   Image 1: 'La Peche' by Raoul Dufy Image 2: Woolwork triptych panel, Fauvist style Image 3: Footprints Or Red Rose Guild Image 4 : Manner of Dagobert Peche http://auctions.lyonandturnbull.com/auction-catalog/497 http://www.paulreeveslondon.com/index.php/


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