July 28, 2010 |
Fall Preview: Paris prepares for the 25th Biennale des Antiquaires
Preparations for the Biennale des Antiquaires, which will open on September 15 in
Paris’s Grand Palais, are well underway. Although it is the twenty-fifth edition of the Biennale, it is the first under the direction of Hervé Aaron of Didier Aaron, who is the new president of France’s Syndicat National des Antiquaires, which organizes the show. Although the Biennale will feature the same caliber of objects and installations that have made it the most glamorous antiques fair, this year twenty-five “young dealers” have been selected for inclusion in a special section
called the “Tremplin pour la Biennale” (springboard for the Biennale), which will
be located on the balcony.
Although similar to Maastricht’s Showcase initiative, which also added young dealers, the Tremplin is muchless formal, although no less rigorous. Rather than soliciting applications, Aaron asked members of every vetting committee to nominate ca…» More
April 10, 2010 |
Philadelphia hosts two important antiques shows in mid-April, and free shuttle service between them makes it easy to see everything on offer. The Twenty-third Street Armory Antiques Show, now in its sixteenth year, opens on Friday April 16 and features more than forty dealers showcasing eighteenth- through twentieth-century American and European fine, folk, and decorative arts. A special exhibition entitled Patriotism: Red, White, and True, drawn from the private collections of exhibiting dealers, will include nineteenth- and twentieth-century objects displaying patriotic symbols.
The gala preview party for the Philadelphia Antiques Show also occurs on April 16. The show itself, celebrating its forty-ninth anniversary this year, runs from April 17 through April 20 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. It includes fifty dealers, primarily from the Middle Atlantic and New England states, who consistently offer a wide range of formal and folk paintings and decorative arts of the…» More
Asian art in New York
March 20 to 28 is Asia Week in New York, when more than thirty dealers, auction houses, and museums come together to offer an array of exhibitions, sales, lectures, and receptions highlighting the best in Asian art.
The Asia Society, the organizer of this year’s event, will kick off the week with a March 22 benefit reception and dinner dance, Celebration of Asia Week: AllThingsArtASIA, and will have two special exhibitions on view in its museum: Arts of Ancient Viet Nam: From River Plain to Open Sea and Pilgrimage and Buddhist Art. Other participating museums—including the Brooklyn Museum, the China Institute, the Japan Society, the Korea Society, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, and the Rubin Museum of Art, among others—will also be holding special tours of their galleries and exhibitions during the week.
This year’s Arts of Pacific Asia Show, the centerpiece of Asia Week, will be held from March 25 to 28 at 7W New York at Thirty-fourth Street and Fifth Avenue, the same location as last year. The seventy-five exhibiting galleries come from the United States, Europe, and Asia, and will feature important textiles and statuary, paintings, furniture, ceramics, small objects, and jewelry ranging in period from early millennia to the twentieth century. A preview will be held on March 24.
The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) Maastricht features emerging dealers in a special section of their own.
TEFAF Maastricht has a notorious-ly long waiting list of dealers hoping to exhibit there. Upon becoming chairman of the executive committee in 2007, the Asian art dealer Ben Janssens listened to a number of young dealers who bemoaned the fact that getting a booth at TEFAF seemed unattainable in their lifetimes. As a response, he initiated Showcase three years ago—a special area of the fair for those with businesses established no less than three years and no more than ten prior to the date of the fair. Showcase dealers must have international standing and quality standards as impeccable as those of the fair’s regular exhibitors.
Showcase amounts to a one-time-only fast track into the spotlight, although participants may later apply for a regular booth at the fair. This year, two alumni of the first Showcase—Emanuel von Baeyer, a German-born, London-based dealer in old master drawings, prints, and paintings, will join the new “works on paper” section (another Janssens innovation), and contemporary jeweler Otto Jakob of Karls-ruhe, Germany—return with booths in the main part of the show.
Von Baeyer says that the Showcase “is a testing ground for both parties. The organizers can invite a younger generation of participants, who can see if the fair is for them,” al-though, he admits, he has not yet met a participant who would not jump at the chance to come back. Fellow 2008 Show--case exhibitor, European sculpture and works of art dealer Bernard Deschee-maeker of Antwerp, confesses that “if the fair organizers called me up and told me a spot had opened up at the last minute, even a small stand in a corner, I would do it without question.”
Others concur. Rob Winter, a Kyoto-based specialist in Japanese arms and armor, who also exhibited in Show-case’s debut season, has now eschewed all other fairs to concentrate on getting a permanent booth at TEFAF. Michel Thieme, an Amsterdam-based tribal arts dealer who exhibited in 2009’s Show-case, initially balked at the prospect of applying for a booth at the main fair because of the financial commitment and the pressure of finding enough important new objects. But he has now set his sight on taking a stand in 2013. Fair organizers have advised him that it’s not too soon to start applying.
What is it about the experience that elec-----trifies participants about the Show---case program despite the small booths and the relative isolation from the main part of the fair? Their reasons invariably include great sales, new clients, increased prestige with old clients, unprecedented press coverage, and the unexpected and welcome sense of camaraderie with fellow Showcase exhibitors. Winter, for instance, was nervous about how his arms and armor would be received at a show where virtually no one was dealing in Japanese things. And yet to the very last his sales never stopped. He reports that “it was constantly buzzing.” Paris-based Alexis Renard, who deals in Islamic and Indian art, and who took part in last year’s Showcase, was also apprehensive at first. But he found that unlike other fairs, collectors seem to welcome new and unfamiliar arenas and do not hesitate to make a purchase. The large number of museum curators in attendance also impressed him strongly.
Alistair Crawford, a New York–based dealer in Georg Jensen and contemporary silver and gold is also an alumnus of Showcase 2009. He describes TEFAF’s organizational prowess as “superb.” He does caution that “you’ve got to get it right because you’ve only got one shot at it.” Janssens explains that his aims in establishing the program were twofold: “One goal is to give young dealers a chance,” and the other is simply “to show just how many young dealers there are…to fight against the pessimism of some in the profession,” he says, referring to a widespread sense on the part of older, more established dealers that they are the last of a dying tribe in a world that lacks interest in history and connoisseurship. He seems to be succeeding on both counts.
February 19, 2010 |
What: Leather and brass dog collar belonging to Charles Dickens, 19th century
Where: Bonhams New York (February 19, The Dog Sale)
Sold For: $11,590
Like most Victorians, Dickens's love for dogs was well known. Although the exact animal that wore this collar is unknown, one account of his home at Gad's Hill (the address inscribed on the collar) writes: "the large dogs were quite a feature of the place, and were also rather a subject of dread to many outsiders...Linda, a St. Bernard had been living in the garden at Tavestock House before she was taken to Gad's Hill. She and Turk—a mastiff—were the constant companions in all their master's walks."
Gemellion, Artist unknown, Limoges, France, 13th century Champlevé Enamel on Copper, 8 7/8” diameter Collection of The Walters’ Art» View All