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‘Antiques for the Future III’ is a selling exhibition of contemporary furniture by 12 of Britain’s leading Designer-Makers, which follows the success of previous exhibitions where Norman Adams Limited has introduced collectors to leading-edge contemporary design within a domestic setting. Pieces from three leading British contemporary silversmiths will compliment the cabinet-work on display; as will sculptural pieces and turned wood by three of the leading artists in wood. You will be able to add to your collection with these specifically designed pieces. Prices for a modern day masterpiece in this selling exhibition begin at just £200.

There will also be exclusive contemporary British paintings on display from Rafael Valls Limited. This exhibition, compliments the COLLECT exhibition to be held at the V&A, which has in recent years had a shortage of furniture and woodwork on display.

This balance is redressed by Antiques for the Future III, the latest contemporary design exhibition in a series held by Norman Adams Limited, which begins on Tuesday 5th February and runs until Wednesday 27th February, offering leading-edge designs. Some of the pieces available include a monumental hall cabinet in fumed and limed oak and stainless steel by Wales & Wales, together with a sinuous set of library steps in English walnut and ebony by Dr Waring Robinson. Choose a work of art from Richard Chapman’s collection of vessels turned from English hardwoods, or perhaps a delicate chest of drawers for jewellery in bog oak and ripple sycamore by Robert Ingham, only 19.5 inches high.

Senior and Carmichael have made strength come from disaster with their ‘Hurricane’ coffee table and chair created from various trees blown down in the 1987 storm. These pieces have been specially made twenty years on from The Great Storm. And John Makepeace has designed ‘Flow’, a ripple ash, holly and cedar of Lebanon writing chest’ specifically for this exhibition, following on from his successful ‘Sand’ which Norman Adams Limited exhibited at Grosvenor House Fair in 2005. Andrew Varah has made a console table using glass and stainless steel to frame a wonderful slab of burr oak, while S.F. Furniture have contrived a pair of Gothic end tables called ‘Filigree’ of the lightest feeling. New addition to the exhibition, Stephen Skolnik will show an ingenious rosewood drinks cabinet with the cross section in the shape of an apple.

Compliment your furniture with a piece of contemporary silver such as a ‘Flamingo’ candlestick from Ndidi Ekubia; or highlight your furniture with one of Margaret Langley’s tactile wooden sculptures, or a superb piece of carving by Georgy Mkrtichian.

The 12 internationally renowned Designer-Makers exhibiting furniture at ‘Antiques for the Future III’ are: The Edward Barnsley Workshop, Matthew Burt, Martin Grierson, Robert Ingham, John Makepeace OBE, Dr Waring Robinson, Rupert Senior and Charles Wheeler-Carmichael, S.F. Furniture, Silver Lining, Stephen Skolnik, Andrew Varah and Wales & Wales. The three British silversmiths displaying their work this year include Ndidi Ekubia, Rauni Higson and Brett Payne.

All these craftsmen will be on hand at times during the exhibition to describe their creation process and discuss potential commissions from artistic concept to functional transformation. Become a Patron of the Arts by selecting a piece from the wide selection on display or commissioning an individual piece of furniture, silverware or sculpture.

Stewart Whittington of Norman Adams Ltd commented: “We are delighted to again to showcase Britain’s leading designer-makers and the traditional skills of cabinet-making and silversmithing that are of the best quality and design. We feel it is important to illustrate to potential collectors how contemporary and antique furniture and silver complement each other so well in a domestic setting.”


Photographs available
For further information:

Christopher Claxton Stevens &
Stewart Whittington
Norman Adams Ltd
8-10 Hans Road
London SW3 1RX
Tel: 020 7589 5266
Fax: 020 7589 1968

Media enquiries:

Russell Elliott
Cassleton Elliott & Co. Ltd.
Tel: 020 3178 2336
Fax: 020 3178 2338
M: 07808 403 963

Notes to Editors:

Norman Adams Ltd.

Norman Adams Ltd is a family firm that has been established since 1923 and in Knightsbridge from 1928. Behind the original Edwardian façade, the showrooms with their high ceilings contain a large stock of the finest 18th century English furniture with the emphasis on condition, colour and patina which have for so long been the hallmarks of the business. There are also chandeliers, clocks and barometers, needlework and objects to complete a room or house.

Coming from Bristol, Norman Adams set up his business as an antiques dealer in Boston, Massachusetts in 1923. As well as shops in New York, he opened at 10 Hans Road, opposite Harrods, in 1928 and here they still are, a family-owned firm with traditional values in customer care.

Upon Norman Adam’s death in 1979, his son-in-law Stewart Whittington took over and together with Christopher Claxton Stevens, continues to uphold the fine tradition laid down for over three-quarters of a century.

Christopher Claxton Stevens and Stewart Whittington are also authors of the universally acclaimed book titled ‘18th Century English Furniture – The Norman Adams Collection’ which is now in its fifth printing. It contains over five hundred illustrations, many of them in colour, of furniture which has passed through the hands of the firm.

The firm has exhibited at the Grosvenor House Art & Antiques Fair since 1936. They have also been members of the British Antique Dealers’ Association since 1923 and are members of C.I.N.O.A. the International Fine Art Dealers’ Association.

Designer-Makers participating are:

The Edward Barnsley Workshop, Hampshire

The only remaining workshop in Britain from the Arts and Crafts Movement began the 1890’s when brothers Ernest and Sidney Barnsley settled in the Cotswolds as architects and furniture makers. Sidney’s son Edward (d.1987) trained with Geoffrey Lupton and in 1923 took over his workshop at Froxfield, near Petersfield. Until the 1950’s he refused to install any machine-tools but thereafter developed a lighter style of furniture, often veneered rather than in the solid. It became an educational trust in 1981, with apprentices trained in the traditional manner. Under designer James Ryan, the creation of unique pieces of furniture continues in this historic workshop.

Matthew Burt (b.1951), Wiltshire

Matthew Burt established his Wiltshire workshops in the 1970s and has a considerable depth of experience in designing and making to briefs from both the domestic and corporate markets. Alongside his work, the Splinter Group showroom sells his low volume production pieces. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Society of Designer Craftsmen and a visiting tutor at The Furniture College, Letterfrack, Ireland. He has been awarded the Craft Guild Mark from the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers, and a RHS award for outstanding presentation, Chelsea Flower Show 2000.
Recent major exhibitions include Fresh Air at Quenington Sculpture Trust, Furniture for the 21st Century in Whitehall and the Origin London Fair.

Martin Grierson (b.1932), West London

Martin studied furniture and interior design at the London County Council Central School of Arts & Crafts from 1949 to 1953. He then worked as a design assistant in several architectural offices until 1960 when he set up a freelance design practice. In 1975 he opened his own workshop and has continued as a designer-maker ever since.

His commissions include corporate, public, private, ecclesiastical and museum work. A notable recent achievement was winning First Prize in the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers’ Jubilee Design Competition for public seating for the Wallace Collection in London, in 2001.

Robert Ingham (b.1938), North Wales

Born in India in 1938, Robert returned to England with his family when he was 11. He trained at Loughborough College, Leeds College of Art and Leeds University. After several years of teaching he set up a workshop with his brother at Thirsk, designing and making furniture.

In 1976 he moved to Dorset to assist John Makepeace in establishing Parnham College, which he ran as Principal for 20 years. Many of the most successful designer-makers today were trained there under his guidance. In 1997 he moved to set up his own workshop in North Wales, making pieces to commission and specialising in exceptional boxes.

John Makepeace O.B.E. (b. 1939), Dorset

John’s career could be described as an adventure in wood. Trained as a cabinet-maker, he has been designing and making furniture since the early 1960’s. In 1976 he bought Parnham House in Dorset to show his work in an historic house open to the public and founded the college there which educated a generation of designers and makers.

Through his interest in timber-growing and technology, he has challenged the boundaries of innovatory techniques in his designs and promoted public awareness of British furniture craftsmanship internationally. Since moving to smaller premises in 2001, John is now concentrating again on his own furniture making and his work as a development consultant. He and his team are involved in commissions for private, corporate and public clients in Europe, Asia and the USA and his work will be found in museums around the world.

Dr Waring Robinson (b.1934), Hertfordshire

Waring is unusual in that he came to professional furniture making from a career in General Medical Practice, although he sees the pleasures to be experienced in medicine as oddly similar to those gained from the creativity of the furniture maker. Since the early 60’s he has been excited by the possibilities of contemporary furniture design, but without formal workshop training, relied on self-education and competitive shows to nurture his talents.

Since 1994 he has concentrated on his second career, working on commissions, speculative pieces and small production runs, making furniture of an organic nature as well as more classical in form, largely of English hardwoods.

S.F. Furniture, Gloucestershire

Ian Heseltine and Declan O’Donoghue set up S. F. Furniture after they graduated from Parnham College in 1980. Their work has encompassed a very broad spectrum from board room tables for multi-national corporations to an intricate watch - case for a private collector. It has included public seating for museums and parks, college library furniture, a set of dining chairs for a stately home and complete suites of church furniture.

As a team, Declan’s conceptual approach, starting with the form and impact of a piece, is perfectly matched by Ian’s more technical approach and interest in its function and the making process.

Rupert Senior (b. 1959), and Charles Wheeler-Carmichael (b.1961), Surrey

The Senior and Carmichael partnership has been designing and making highly individual furniture for the past twenty years. They were both trained at Parnham College in the early 80’s. They are perhaps best known for their ingenious mechanically-based pieces that combine their training in traditional hand skills with new technology and materials.

Their work is to be found in embassies, collections of large corporations and English country houses. Recent commissions include writing desks for the Marquess and Marchioness of Bath and special cabinets for the Sir John Soane Museum’s collection of Robert Adam drawings.

Silver Lining, Cheshire

Silver Lining has been creating bespoke furniture for superyachts, embassies, museums and private residences worldwide from 1985. The company was founded by Mark Boddington, a former pupil of John Makepeace and someone who has a lifelong passion for wood and furniture. The design team led by Alex Hull, bring clients’ challenging ideas to life using the latest in 21st century technology together with the time-honoured craftsmanship that have won Silver Lining numerous awards. Growing into a substantial-sized workshop.

Stephen Skolnik (b. 1959), London

Is inspired by his love of engineering, architecture and attention to detail. He finds the process of taking a solid piece of beautiful timber and transforming it into something useful and appealing a wonderful journey of exploration, whether by revealing the essence of the wood or a more contrived Art Deco approach. His ultimate goal is create a piece that his clients will love and enjoy possessing for many years.

He trained at Rycotewood College in Oxfordshire, Rosewood College in Canada and has studied under David Charlesworth in North Devon.

Andrew Varah (b. 1944), Warwickshire

For 30 years Andrew has been marking bespoke furniture, relying largely on word of mouth from clients to promote his designs and making each piece of furniture personal to their requirements. His designs are often drawn from architectural details or past styles such as Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Biedermeier or Classical Greek, frequently involving intricate inlay work. He is the only maker in the world producing Infinity Models. Sometimes a sense of humour is incorporated in a piece, such as a secret compartment with something in it, which the client has twelve months to find.

Wales & Wales (b. 1950 and 1952), East Sussex

Rod and Alison both trained at Rycotewood College and were at Parnham at the same time, Rod as a student and Alison as a trainee. They set up their workshop together in 1981 and have since designed and produced high quality one-off furniture and limited batch production, as well as designing for manufacturers. They are particularly known for their monumental cabinets of drawers but their commissions have also included boardroom tables, reception desks, public seating and street furniture. They both lecture and teach design internationally, write for magazines and their work is displayed in a number of museums and public collections.

Wooden sculptural and turned work available by:

Richard Chapman (b. 1946), Norfolk

Norfolk born and bred, Richard uses East Anglian timber, sometimes of rare species, to create sculptured forms, skilfully exposing colours and dramatic figure and burr in his work. He has been turning professionally for over a decade and there are examples of his work in the collections of both H.M. The Queen and the late Queen Mother. A selection of turned bowls and vessels will be included in this exhibition.

Maureen Langley, Anglesey

A sculptor for almost 50 years, and a lecturer for 25, she moved from South Africa to Trearddur Bay, in Anglesey five years ago. She has worked in clay, stone, marble, wood and now in plaster for bronze casts. Her first exhibition in Britain was held in the Ucheldre Centre last year. Her prevailing live is for African hardwoods and, with one exception; it is these that she will be exhibiting at Norman Adams. Her sculptures respond to the natural colour and textures of the wood and in her ‘Renewal’ series she makes use of forms cracking open and revealing contrasting spheres.

Georgy Mkrtichian (b.1967), Georgia, Russia

Georgy was born in Tbilisi in Georgia. At art school he specialised in wood technology, graduating with honours and in 1982 he won a medal in Moscow for wood carving. He moved to London in 1994 and has collaborated with many private collectors on a range of commissioned pieces. He has recently been involved in the carving the frame of a Matteo di Giovanni painting at the National Gallery, London. His collaboration with Martin Grierson has also shown an instinctive flair for contemporary carving.

British silversmiths participating are:

Ndidi Ekubia

Born in 1973, Ndidi originally studied three-dimensional design but graduated as a silversmith from the Royal College of Art in 1998. She has won several awards and served as artist in residence at the Crafts Council in 2004. Her aim is to create visually stimulating yet functional silverware, pushing the metal to its limits, yet allowing it to retain its natural fluidity. Her hand-finished, planished surfaces and gilding can produce surprising effects.

Brett Payne

Brett Payne has won many awards for his design and craftsmanship since graduating from Sheffield Hallam University with a BA Hons in 3-Dimensional Design.

In the mid 1990s he was awarded the title of ‘Designer of the Year’ at the prestigious UK Jewellery Awards. Awards for Technical Innovation, from The Cutlers’ Company, have gone hand in hand with Awards for Design from The Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council, and recently he has won two awards for his work from De Stichting Zilverkunst in Schoonhoven, Holland.

Brett Payne has regularly exhibited his work both in the UK and abroad, most notably at The Pompidou Centre, Paris; The Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; The Keith Lippert Gallery, Washington; The Roger Billcliffe Gallery, Glasgow and at The Goldsmiths’ Hall, London. As part of Crafts’ Council exhibitions he has also shown work in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seoul and Berlin.

One of the principle assets of Brett Payne’s approach to design is his ability to refine innovation and unconventional ideas into visually stunning and disarmingly practical pieces. His understanding of the importance of simplicity leads to a refreshingly direct and uncomplicated way of making that produces contemporary classics.

Rauni Higson

After training for 3 years in the Lahti Design Institure, Finland, I attended the school of Jewellery in Birmingham, graduating with a BA (Hons) in 3D design / Silversmithing and Jewellery. I established my studio in North Wales in 1997, where the spectacular mountain landscape has been one of my biggest inspirations.

Most of my work is formed under the hammer. Fundamentally I enjoy exploring the distortion of metal in 3 dimensions to form pieces that are both attractive and functional. However, I have never been afraid to experiment in design, constantly developing the technical boundaries of my craft. As well as producing work for sale in galleries and exhibitions, I enjoy working with clients on specially commissioned pieces, ranging from wedding/engagement rings to trophies.

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