THE April and May lectures at (PIDFAS) were each given by one of television’s Antiques Roadshow celebrities.
In April the authoritative silver specialist Ian Pickford talked to us about rare royal gold and silver pieces that survived the English Civil War into the later seventeenth century.
He is the author of the Antiques Club’s standard reference book on gold and silver as well as a Freeman of the ancient Goldsmiths’ Company.
We were shown wonderful examples of wares used in royal banquets and presentation pieces.
The history of their survival was as fascinating as that of their creation.
But sometimes the only records of many lost treasures were rare and richly-coloured manuscript illustrations.
Clive Stewart-Lockhart is another familiar face on the Antiques Roadshow.
He is the great-nephew of Betty Joel, one of the leading furniture and interior designers of the 1930s.
It was therefore a great privilege on May 9 to hear his often witty reminiscences of his great-aunt’s overwhelming personality and be shown images of her ground-breaking Art Deco furniture and interior designs for the rich and famous.
We do not limit our activities to lectures.
We followed last year’s lunchtime piano recital at Portsmouth Cathedral with a splendid concert on May 2 from the accomplished and virtuoso piano duo Helen Morris and Kate Burrows.
A lovely Grieg symphonic piece opened the concert, followed by the substantial and demanding Mozart duet Sonata in F Major and ended with the fireworks and exhilaration of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.
We have already booked them for a similar concert in May 2018.
Our next lecture, on June 13, is entitled War and Peace – Patriotism and Protest and is given by the Tate Modern and Britain lecturer, Sarah Stoppard.
Our other June events are an outing to Great Chalfield Manor on the June 16 and our annual garden party on June 27.
Do come and meet us as we socialise over a glass of wine.
We meet about 6pm on the first floor of the university’s Eldon Building, which is off Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth, before going into the lecture which starts promptly at 7pm on the second Tuesday of each month.
Ring me, Diana Swann, for more information on (023) 9282 0317 or consult pidfas.org.uk.