The International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show: A Fantasy Tour
I attended the International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show hours before it closed this past Thursday. The fair had been open for a week, but I didn’t rush over because I knew I would never be able to buy anything. Few people can. It is a compendium of the rare and finest from more than 60 top dealers worldwide and includes fine furniture, antiquities, jewelry, old and modern paintings, antique arms and armour, porcelains and ceramics and much, much more. I have been told that the rent for dealer booths starts at $50,000 and that doesn’t include catalog photos and the general expenses of getting your things and yourself there and back. Most objects for sale are in the 5 to 6 figure range.
So why attend? It is worth going because you will see the finest available in whatever category of collecting you are interested in. Everything has been vetted, which means essentially that the objects are what the dealers say they are. They had better be at those prices.
This visit, I couldn’t help thinking, “what if .” What if, I could actually own such beautiful things or purchase them for one of my interiors clients? So, armed with my trusty digital camera, I took a spin around the fair and snapped shots of what jumped out at me. Then, I thought about how I would use them in a home. (Full disclosure: I later learned that photography is prohibited at this fair, but lucky for me, no one stopped me and I didn’t know at the time.)
Here is my fantasy tour of the fair for you to enjoy. Sometimes, the dealers were very gracious and supplied me with background information. Barely anyone told me how much things cost and I was too shy to ask (the fair is a bit intimidating for a looker like me). Other times, I was just able to snap a shot and move on. I supply background information if I have it.
My first love was this fabulous Arts and Crafts carpet, circa 1900, offered by the venerable rug dealer, Keshishian. It was made by Alexander Morton & Co. and the dealer believes the design is attributable to C.F.A. Voysey (Don’t know Voysey? He is a designer right up there with William Morris in the English Arts and Crafts period. His designs are still being produced and I will do a later post on him.) The colors are gorgeous. I also spotted a wonderful pair of lamps at another booth. Look at that terrific streamlined shape and cool cloverleaf lampshade. I would plop that beauty of a rug down in a library or den and pair it with this nice raspberry colored sofa from George Sherlock. I would place those lovely lamps on a pair of this end table from Mitchell Gold. So you would have a place to stretch out your legs, I would add this David Easton designed ottoman available to the trade through Lee Jofa. Wouldn’t it be cozy?
Now on to the dining room. I spotted these very sparkly sconces in the Galerie Lefebvre booth. They would add shine to any space. Bernd Goeckler sold a wonderful set of 14 Art Deco dining chairs (you can tell they are Art Deco period by the legs). The red dot indicating that they were sold blocked a crucial number but the asking price was in the 6 figures. I need 6 of these chairs for “my” space and I would place them around this tooled, leather topped table, described as Fornasetti style, c.1970, and offered by Bermingham & Co. on 1st dibs. Those gorgeous sconces would go above this Art Deco sideboard available on 1st dibs from Michel Contessa. And between those sconces, I would place this fabulous oil painting by Maurice Brianchon offered at the fair by Browse & Darby.
When I rounded the next corner of the fair, I came upon the large space taken by Axel Vervoordt, creator of the “Belgium look” and the subject of a book available at Amazon. I am guessing his space was at least 3 booths. Here is a look at the space. It shows his characteristic linen sofa and industrial style coffee table, plus that great abstract above the sofa.
At Axel Vervoordt, I liked this beautiful table in wood and bronze by Jules Wabbes, c. 1970 and priced at $88,200. It would be fabulous as the center table in a grand entry.Finally, I saw this lovely cabinet and garniture offered by Jason Jacques Gallery. They said details were available on their website, but unfortunately when I logged on, I couldn’t find them. I think the cabinet is from the late Arts and Crafts period or early Art Nouveau period. The white finish reminds me of Rennie Mackintosh (another designer from around the same period as Voysey–I will include him in that later post too). Please comment if you have more information.Look at those bird shaped handles. I don’t what to say about the garniture, except that the colors are striking. Again, please comment. This grouping would look terrific anchoring the end of a long hall.
So there are my favorites (just a small tip of the iceberg of what’s available to see at the fair). A girl can dream.
Next: antiquing for the mere mortal.
Photos of the International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show by Lynn Byrne