CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Surrey Life today CLICK HERE

At home with Jane Austen - Surrey’s Antiques Scene

PUBLISHED: 17:59 13 January 2014 | UPDATED: 17:59 13 January 2014

Jane Austen

Jane Austen

Various

Every month, our expert Ali Heath, brings us all the latest – from the best fairs to where to bag a bargain or hunt out vintage gems

If you’ve grown up with a love of Jane Austen then the current bi-centenary excitement surrounding this truly remarkable author will certainly be of interest. Amazingly, Pride and Prejudice was first published in 1813, Mansfield Park in 1814 and Emma, which included a picnic set on Box Hill, in 1815 – and yet the content still seems very relevant and appealing in the 21st century.

The bi-centenary also forms the inspiration behind this January’s Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair, just over the Surrey border in Battersea, a definite must in the annual calendar for antique enthusiasts, with over 140 dealers from across the UK and Europe.

Back to Mansfield Park

To commemorate this landmark anniversary, a special exhibition is being held at the fair entitled Miss Austen at Home, providing a fascinating insight into how Regency England would have looked when Jane Austen’s now famous novels were being created. Curated by Helen Linfield of antiques specialists Wakelin & Linfield, one of the UK’s leading experts on 18th and 19th century furniture, it will take the form of a display in the main foyer, showcasing two Regency interior styles of differing social echelons.

The first room scheme is indicative of Mansfield Park and, whilst a fictional home, Jane Austen would have spent much time in homes of similar gravitas. Set up as a formal country house drawing room of circa 1800-1815, it will include grand items including a Georgian bookcase, writing desk, sofa and Gainsborough chairs mixed with William & Mary carved-back elbow chairs and a large Aubusson rug.

For the wallpaper, a bespoke screen-print has been created by interior specialists Hamilton Weston called Royal Crescent in shades of green, grey and white. A direct imitation of a Robert Adam design, the pattern was discovered in an 18th century parlour of a property in the Royal Crescent in Bath.

From manor to cottage

The second room scheme is much simpler in style and lends itself to the familiar and more sparsely furnished country cottage feel of Jane Austen’s own home, just over the Surrey border in Chawton, in Hampshire, featuring items such as an oak gate-leg table, with ladder-back and Windsor chairs, and a small pedestal occasional table, like the one Jane Austen would have written at. The walls will feature etchings, nautical sketches, samplers, silhouettes and watercolours that would have been painted by the ladies of the house. English ceramics, including creamware and traditional metalware will accessorise the room.

Hamilton Weston will also be producing a wallpaper design for the Chawton Cottage scheme dating back to circa 1780. Based on a discovery from a housekeeper’s room in central London, it was hung back to front and appeared to have been used as a lining paper behind later wallpaper layers. The design has been re-drawn by architectural historian Robert Weston from fragile salvaged fragments. Named ‘Dashwood’ (after the family in Sense & Sensibility), the design will be block-printed for the Decorative Fair foyer using a grey background with black and white pattern details. Wallpaper was very expensive at this time and grey was a very popular colour as it served to disguise discolouration from candle and wood-smoke.

All pieces shown in the two room schemes are to be drawn from exhibitors at the fair and will be available for sale. It promises to be a fabulous entrance to this compelling thrice-yearly fair and a fitting tribute to a well-loved English author.

***

London Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair, Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London SW11 4NJ. Tuesday January 21 to Sunday January 26, 2014. Admission £10 (including catalogue). Tel: 0207 616 9327

***

READER OFFER:

Get two-for-one entry simply by mentioning Surrey Life two-for-one offer on the door!

***

Ali Heath is the owner of Plum (see plumlifestyle.com / blog.plumlifestyle.com). To contact Ali about styling and writing commissions, e-mail ali@plumlifestyle.com

More from Surrey Life

Thu, 10:52

Surrey is full of secret hideaways and hidden gems. Slades Farm on the Wintershall Estate is definitely one of them

Read more
Wed, 16:05

The new hotel is set to open in spring 2019 and will be located in the heart of the vineyard, offering sweeping views over the North Downs Way.

Read more
Tue, 10:53

From Santa’s Grottos, to Victorian Christmas markets and late-night shopping, we’ve covered what’s on in Surrey this season

Read more
Tue, 10:47

Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Tue, 10:41

Having bloomed in Brighton’s restaurant scene over the past decade, The Chilli Pickle opened its second site in Guildford this summer

Read more
Mon, 14:32

Historic Royal Palaces and IMG have announced that Kylie Minogue is the first headliner confirmed for Hampton Court Palace Festival 2019. These will be her only London shows of summer 2019. Here’s how you can get tickets

Read more
Mon, 12:56

Enjoy this linear rail to ramble section of the Thames Down Link route taking the short train-ride from Box Hill & Westhumble to Ashtead before walking back

Read more
Mon, 12:13

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend (16, 17 and 18 November): art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

It’s that time of year when our beautiful countryside is alight with the colours of autumn. Here, we pick out some of her favourite spots to enjoy the seasonal splendour – as well as some perfect places for a post-walk refresher

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Found on the stretch of the River Thames between Weybridge and East Molesey, Sunbury-on-Thames is blessed with a village feel where it meets the water. From antique hunts to the joys of river life, here are a few of our favourite reasons to visit

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

Verity & Violet are Loui and Jess – a singing duo from Surrey who specialise in blending vintage classics with modern favourites. The two have achieved success in the capital, but are now hoping to attract an audience closer to home

Read more
Friday, November 2, 2018

With the Christmas celebrations seemingly starting earlier every year, it all feels a little too ‘soon’ sometimes, but what if you want to look your best for Christmas & New year celebrations and are considering having cosmetic non-surgical procedures? The Bella Vou Pantiles Clinic offers surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures and treatments from a purpose-built private clinic in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells

Read more
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Living in England’s most densely wooded county, it’s always a pleasure to witness Surrey donning its autumn finery. Here’s some of the best places to do just that - plus a few pub pit stops to enjoy on route!

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

We are regularly reminded of the high cost of housing with statistics revealing that only one in three millennials will be able to afford their own home during their lifetime and that most will remain in the category known as Generation Rent

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search