Mar 30, 2012

Architectural Digest Show - Art Recap - Royal Stamp

Visiting the Architectural Digest Show this time around, came at a really fantastic time for me as I was on the hunt for art and artists for a new design project I am working on.

Over the course of my career, both in Portugal and now in New York, having strong solid relationships with artists has really been one of the key elements that I have been able to bring to my work.
Perhaps having had a beginning in art & antiques, somehow I always find that I want to give my clients a great look with as much emphasis on the design as is on the art and artistic collaborations.

One gallery of note that you should all reach out to if you need any consultation is Kenise Barnes Fine Art, based in Larchmont (and an ex-Christie's girl too!). Kenise always has great art to bring to my projects.

Walking around the Architectural Digest Show I was amazed at how many were artists that I had not yet come into contact with that were either new exhibitors this year (great for us!) or had new work that struck a chord with me this time around.

At the beginning of my tour, I encountered this stand. Although some may find it a little "quirky" to hang a rug on your wall, the Stamp Rug  collection stopped me dead in my tracks and I cannot rave more about them!

I stopped to speak with Richard from Stamp Rug and was thrilled to find out that the QUEEN herself actually has one of the pink ones ( pictured left) and officially approved these to not only be used as wall hangings but that we "may walk on them as well".

Don't you love that?

The detail in the hand made custom rugs made from 100% New Zealand wool in the Kathmandu valley, Nepal, are a true representation of the original Royal Mail Stamps, in size and proportion, and they are the only company allowed to produce these.

So of course, I bought one!

Having lived and studied in London, I confess I do have a special soft spot for The Queen and am so excited to be able to participate in celebrating her Diamond Jubilee.

Above left: Rochard of Stamp Rug, Sample of colors

A little history about the portrait of the Queen for this stamp:

The Queen: sculpted head by Arnold Machin via
The first official sitting with Queen Elizabeth wearing a tiara, by photographer Dorothy Wilding, was in February of 1952, about 3 weeks after the death of her father, King George VI. However, a 2nd session happened in April, where The Queen wore the diamond diadem made for George IV in the 1820s. and this shot was approved by The Queen on 5 May, but with a little retouching - the tiara was too far back on her head and needed to be pushed forward.

All British definitive stamps bore this Wilding portrait from 1952 until 1967, when it was replaced by the sculpted head by Arnold Machin although the Wilding portrait was still incorporated into all commemorative stamps during this period.

A rare treat came on to the auction circuit as in 2009 2 rare plaques of the Machin, who died in 1999, relief came under the hammer, the 2nd outselling the first for over 18,000 pounds. He cleverly used the bas-relief method, which is a form of sculpture which projects slightly from the background, and then took the casts of a mould before having it photographed.

This attention led to a third finding it's way onto the market, at the auction house Cuttlestones, based in the historic Staffordshire market town of Penkridge as part of their September 2010 Fine Art sale.

So whether on the floor...

or on the wall..

Have a "jolly good" time with these!

Wishing you a fantastic weekend and see you all on Monday with a week full of Art recaps headed your way.


  1. Oooh, I like these Jen! Great back story too. One does need a reminder of the Queen's Jubliee - and these are much more stylish than a touristy mug.

  2. I need that QE rug! I'm going to try to get to your talk at High Point, if I miss it, I'll look for you. I've done some "how to navigate" posts, that you may enjoy.

  3. I have just seen this article and need to add that it was my father John Hedgecoe who took the photograph of the Queen. Machin carved the model and then my father re-photographed it for the stamp, here is a link,


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