Our Past Exhibitions

The Growing Years

 

The Growing Years

 

I never believed my education would stop when I left school and my unquenchable thirst for knowledge stood me in good stead for researching a subject, buying items to illustrate a theme and then writing the catalogues. I have been exceptionally lucky to have worked with extraordinarily gifted photographers and designers over the years who helped carry these ideas forward in the transition from Chalk Farm to Mayfair where we opened at 5 Old Bond Street, London, in the 1980s. The world was moving forward and Harvey’s were in the very centre of the Fine Art and Antiques World.

Exhibitions in the 1980’s

Wedding Compliments Summer 1981

To celebrate the wedding of His Royal Highness Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in the summer of 1981, Harvey’s worked with other high class dealers Vandekars, Mary Wise and Gerda Newman to show a collection of suitable presents for a royal wedding in their “Wedding Complements” exhibition at Chalk Farm, Harvey’s original premises. The Porcelain from Vandekars, Silver from Mary Wise, and Paintings from Gerda Newman complemented the Fine English Furniture, which Harvey’s have become so well known for. This was an opportunity for three companies to come together to show a stunning display of fine items working in total harmony to produce a very eye-catching exhibition. It was very well attended, and highlighted so much that was going on in London at that time.

Recent Acquisitions Summer 1982

Harvey’s were delighted to be offered a stand in the late 1970s at the world’s premier antiques fair at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London; this proved to be extremely successful for all the exhibitors. The following year, the fair was cancelled at the last moment due to the industrial action at the hotel, and the reluctance of the Late Duke of Edinburgh to cross a hostile picket line in order to open the fair. All the participants suffered financial loss, and the status of London as the centre of the Antiques Trade was damaged. Once again, Harvey’s resorted to exhibition mode and followed the example of illustrious colleagues like Partridge Fine Arts, Asprey’s, etc, by holding a special show of the very best of recent acquisitions at Chalk Farm and producing a catalogue titled “Recent Acquisitions” to illustrate this.

Opening Stock for 5 Old Bond Street Showrooms 1983

In the summer of 1983, Harvey’s took a major decision, one which was to influence their direction for many years to come. Having exhibited alongside many of the top dealers in London at antiques fairs, it became increasingly clear that many of the elite collectors of Fine English Furniture would come to London on a regular basis but not venture outside of London’s Mayfair. Thus, it seemed obvious that Harvey’s would need to move to be a local shop for these potential clients. Harvey’s was lucky enough to obtain the lease on a wonderful shop at 5 Old Bond Street. Whilst the Harvey’s shop fitters were reconfiguring the inside of the premises, David Harvey and his father spent the time sourcing the very best pieces they could find for the opening of the new Showrooms, also creating the catalogue “Opening Stock for 5 Old Bond Street Showrooms”. Many of Harvey’s existing clients attended the opening party and became regular visitors, and even lifelong friends. The Showrooms quickly became a very convenient “pit stop” being almost exactly halfway between Sotheby’s in New Bond Street and Christie’s in King Street. Every time either of these auction houses had a major sale of Fine English Furniture, we would find fresh clients visiting us and taking note of the excellent stock that was always available at Harvey’s.

The Elegant Quarter Summer 1986

In Old Bond Street, the Summer of 1986 was awash in the golden tones of a material cherished by the great furniture makers of the late 18th and early 19th centuries; Harvey’s released their exhibition catalogue “The Elegant Quarter” featuring pieces in Satinwood on display in their Showrooms at 5 Old Bond Street. The period of 1785-1810 was a remarkable 25 years, possibly best portrayed by the extrovert excellence with which people surrounded themselves. This was manifested for the wealthy in the costume of the time, just as in the decoration and furnishing of their homes. During the 18th century, the interiors of houses had changed from the Baroque to the Palladian and the Rococo. The work of the Adam brothers had inspired a revival of the Neo-classical taste, and during the quarter of a century that was covered in this catalogue, made in conjunction with the exhibition, Satinwood was the wood of choice for many of the finest pieces made. Thomas Sheraton wrote of Satinwood: “No instance in nature, yet discovered, does exceed the beauty of the richest sort of it.”

Harvey’s exhibition was held in conjunction with the Bond Street Association celebrating 300 years of Bond Street. Bond Street was named after Sir Thomas Bond, the head of a syndicate of developers who purchased a Piccadilly mansion called Clarendon House in 1686 and proceeded to demolish the house and develop the area.

Casing the Classics Summer 1987

Harvey’s “Casing the Classics” exhibition artfully explored the furniture of the English Library, 1700-1830, shown in period room settings. To produce the catalogue, the team took over a period house in Windmill Street, London. The stunning photographs by Bill Batten and the team were published in the prestigious “The World of Interiors” magazine. The room settings were then recreated in Harvey’s showrooms at 5 Old Bond Street for the period of the exhibition.

David Harvey depicts the summer’s work, “During the week of the photoshoot, there were numerous amusing incidents, but crucially, getting the feel of an 18th century Library was the essence of what we achieved. Of the many pieces which we were able to pull together, there were several of great historical interest, including the Langley Park Cabinet, which had been attributed to Thomas Chippendale, and the most unusual Metamorphic Library Table, which converted into a set of library steps and has been attributed to the workshops of Meschain and Hervé. We were lucky in this instance that the existing colours of the walls and the architectural features were in a very 18th century palette and provided a stunning backdrop for our Fine English Furniture. With pieces ranging from early Walnut through to Satinwood and Burr Elm during the Regency Period, this entertaining catalogue covers 130 years of English culture.”

Morning Noon and Night Summer 1988

The Harvey’s team were busy again in the Summer of 1988 for their “Morning Noon and Night” exhibition, and the catalogue featured once more in the highly regarded “The World of Interiors” magazine, before recreating the room settings in the Showrooms at 5 Old Bond Street. The theme explored the intricate needs of the Englishman at home in Georgian Times, fashionably shown in room settings filmed in a period house in Bedford Square, London, illustrating the different times of day. Just as the English Gentleman’s code of manners and behaviour established a standard of civilisation throughout the world, so too have his rooms created an almost absolute ideal in their decoration, furnishings and appurtenances. Ranging from an early morning bedroom through to a meal in the dining room, the spirit of English interiors is brilliantly displayed. If you’re surprised to see pomanders in every room, David Harvey can explain that, “Whilst waiting for exactly the right light to filter through the tall windows for one of the room settings, all team members sat around a table for hours making fragrant pomanders of oranges and cloves (plasters then had to be issued for damaged thumbs!).”

In Pursuit of Leisure Summer 1989

The Harvey’s team were busy again in the Summer of 1988 for their “Morning Noon and Night” exhibition, and the catalogue featured once more in the highly regarded “The World of Interiors” magazine, before recreating the room settings in the Showrooms at 5 Old Bond Street. The theme explored the intricate needs of the Englishman at home in Georgian Times, fashionably shown in room settings filmed in a period house in Bedford Square, London, illustrating the different times of day. Just as the English Gentleman’s code of manners and behaviour established a standard of civilisation throughout the world, so too have his rooms created an almost absolute ideal in their decoration, furnishings and appurtenances. Ranging from an early morning bedroom through to a meal in the dining room, the spirit of English interiors is brilliantly displayed. If you’re surprised to see pomanders in every room, David Harvey can explain that, “Whilst waiting for exactly the right light to filter through the tall windows for one of the room settings, all team members sat around a table for hours making fragrant pomanders of oranges and cloves (plasters then had to be issued for damaged thumbs!).”

May we introduce you

For four decades, Harvey’s purveyed Fine English Antiques to discerning collectors, dealers and designers. At the company’s two locations in London, 67/70 Chalk Farm Road and 5 Old Bond Street, visitors found one of the most extensive selections in the country, with items in excellent condition, well researched and photographed. All items are from the period between 1650 and 1830, ranging from furniture, clocks, barometers, mirrors, paintings, engravings and objets d’art.