Thomas Woodham Smith
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Life In The Arts Lane - week 113 - All Change

(0) Comments | Posted 29 October 2015 | (09:46)

After nearly five years of quasi independence as a roving antique dealer and erstwhile fair organiser I found myself boarding an aeroplane heading for the San Francisco Fall Antique Show once again an employee of Mallett antiques. In fact, as I sat in my seat dreamily staring out of the...

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Life In The Arts Lane - week 111 - Fun and Games at LAPADA 2015

(0) Comments | Posted 5 October 2015 | (12:52)

The joy of doing a fair is the unexpected learning. This time at LAPADA in Berkeley Square I learnt that if someone crouches down they are not going to buy. You might almost say that the lower the crouch the less money they have to spend on art and antiques....

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Life in the Arts Lane - Week 110 - Work Wakens From Its Slumbers

(0) Comments | Posted 9 September 2015 | (12:55)

With a lurch, a hop, and a shudder the Art World is slowly - like Frankensteins monster - jolting back to life. For me leading the way is an auction house called Roseberys, located in South London, they are among a group of salerooms that have picked up the baton...

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Life in the Arts Lane - week 109 - L'Antiquaire en Vacances

(0) Comments | Posted 8 September 2015 | (11:27)

For the antique dealer the word 'holiday' is a tricky one, most people look forward to their summer respite from the daily slings and arrows of the 9 -5 drudgery. They seek sunny climes where with shade, beach, grilled food, copious quantities of their favourite tipple and a semi-embarassing smattering...

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 108 - The Fear and Loathing of VAT

(0) Comments | Posted 15 July 2015 | (12:05)

Sometimes in a world dominated by finances one has to remember that we are in this Art World for the sake of the stuff not what the stuff is worth. There are many ways to earn a living and this is one of the oddest, so we must have loved...

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 107 - Nearly at an End?

(0) Comments | Posted 8 July 2015 | (15:46)

In London the sun is shining, the public walk in a daze and semi-naked young and old parade their interesting bodies around town. This is the summer; it is usually a brief interlude between heavy and depressing cold, black clouds and frequent rainy days. These few sweltering days have brought...

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 106 - Buzz Buzz Buzz Go the Art Fairs

(0) Comments | Posted 16 June 2015 | (09:47)

Buzz buzz buzz.

The fairs are in full swing in London, The Olympia Fine Art and Antiques Fair opens on the 18th June and Masterpiece opens a few days later on the 24th. Like industrious worker bees everyone is madly working away. Each dealer has a few precious clients...

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 105 - The Arts Lane Needs Europe

(0) Comments | Posted 2 June 2015 | (10:39)

I am British, I love my nation but I look out not in. I live in the Oval in London. I live near the tube - I love it when the tannoy says: "this station is oval". I am also served by a myriad of bus routes. From my home...

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 104- Come Rain or Shine

(0) Comments | Posted 28 April 2015 | (13:31)

Once again finding myself amid the hurly-burly of the confluence of fairs at Montpellier, Avignon and Beziers, I was encouraged to observe how current tastes and fashion intersect with the antiques world. These fairs take place four times a year and whilst some traders take stands at all three, the...

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 103- The changes wrought by age and time

(0) Comments | Posted 27 March 2015 | (09:39)

I have started to notice and be upset by changes I see around me. I wonder whether this is like a new form of puberty, a phase we all go through when we hit a certain age. For all my life, up to now, I have celebrated and been eager...

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 101- Underground/Overground

(0) Comments | Posted 25 February 2015 | (17:48)

The joy of London is that everything is here. There is an endless parade of buildings of every possible period and style available as a delicious smorgasbord. I have two bicycles - one for speeding and one for cruising. Depending on my mood and tardiness I will take in the...

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 98 - Nose back to the grindstone.

(0) Comments | Posted 15 January 2015 | (11:48)

The holiday period of Christmas and New Year seemed to last for a very long time this time round. A lot of drinking accompanied a lot of eating - a flock of roast birds and a shopping trolley of steamed fruit-based puddings. Crackers popping, silly hats worn in rakish fashion...

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 97 - Memorial in Amsterdam

(0) Comments | Posted 16 December 2014 | (16:35)

Another early start! 6 am and I am gathering my sons and chasing down to Folkestone. The traffic is light but I still manage to miss my slot at the Eurotunnel by 10 minutes. I had cunningly bought a discount return - £70 return for an overnight stay. Clearly aimed...

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 96 - The Smell of Art

(0) Comments | Posted 3 December 2014 | (12:17)

There are times when you can get a strong whiff of how something or someone is doing. Everything has its own particular aroma and I was particularly struck by the pong of the Ming. One of the best museum membership cards in London is the one for the British Museum....

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 95 - Normal for Norfolk

(0) Comments | Posted 20 November 2014 | (18:52)

I love shopping. In fact I would have to admit that I have made a career of it. So, when my friend, fireball antiquarian book dealer Daniel Crouch, asked me to accompany him as shotgun on a trip to my favourite shopping county Norfolk, it would have been churlish to...

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Life In the Arts Lane - Week 94 - Post Olympia Reflections

(0) Comments | Posted 13 November 2014 | (21:14)

Sunday 5pm rolled round and the Olympia fair morphed from the serene elegance of a West London antique show into a frantic scramble of destruction. Everyone wants to get out at once, and we wrestle for access to the stores. Plastic boxes and bubble-wrap replace the aged visitors and family...

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 93 - Death Stalks the Hall

(0) Comments | Posted 5 November 2014 | (09:29)

I took my little black dog out for a walk. She always sits sweetly and patiently at the lights. She trots along obediently and ever so slightly swaggering she crosses the road and scampers off into the churchyard. She runs and leaps with puppyish enthusiasm despite being a mature 2...

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Life in the Arts Lane - Week 92 - Quo Vadis?

(0) Comments | Posted 27 October 2014 | (17:29)

It is a strange moment. I do not know where to go or what to see. There is so much going on that it seems easier to stay in bed and pull the covers up over my head and sing nursery rhymes. Frieze is in town and it has two...

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 91 - LAPADA, Battersea and Rome

(0) Comments | Posted 11 October 2014 | (13:49)

In Berkeley Square you normally admire the trees, the tired bedraggled grass, and the stoic office workers stalwartly enjoying fresh air, whilst cars and trucks go round and round, circling like lions around Christians in the Colosseum. But at this time of year the pattern is disrupted by the landing...

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 90 - The Paris Biennale to Beziers

(0) Comments | Posted 1 October 2014 | (16:07)

Paris wakes up the art world's Autumn season every two years. 2014 is one of those years. On the 9th of September there is a huge and fancy dinner for the VIPs, yours truly not invited once again. And on the 10th at 6.30 the normal preview crowd gather to...

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