There are certain things one never gets tired of; and being surrounded by some of the most exquisite antiques is one of those things. The San Francisco Fall Antiques Show is the place for just that.
It returned for the 29th time to much fanfare, as always. Michele Goss chaired this year’s preview gala benefitting Enterprise for High School Students. She was joined by committee chairs Rosemary Baker, Peter Getty, Jenna and Bryan Hunt, Letitia and Michael Kim, Laura King Pfaff, Alison Gelb Pincus, Cathy and Mike Podell, Mary and Bill Poland, John Traina, and Suzanne Tucker.
Award-winning fashion designer and San Francisco native Derek Lam served as the honorary chair and drew in even more of the fashionable set for the evening. Despite an important play-off game by the San Francisco Giants opening night had a most generous turnout being one of the most popular social events of the season.
The fact that the game was shown on a large screen in the lecture pavilion surely helped wives to get their husbands to join them for the entire evening. During the earlier part of the event there was quite a crowd in the backroom cheering on their team, and after the much anticipated win everyone celebrated by the always elaborate and delicious buffet and at the multiple bars.
“The crowd here is very artistically cultivated. Most people know about Jensen before they walk into our booth.” Gregory Pepin, Danish Silver
Among the guests were her royal highness Princess Michael of Kent, who gave a lecture about “Chinoiserie at Court” the following morning, Vanessa Getty who attended with her friend Los Angeles interior designer Ray Azoulay, Dede Wilsey, Denise Hale, Norah and Norman Stone, Princess Victoria Galitzine, Yurie Pascarella, Dagmar and Ray Dolby, Anne Marie and Christopher Bentley, Adriana Pope Sullivan and Bobby Sullivan, Sobia Shaik, Dorothy and Ken Paige, Joy Bianchi, Melissa Barber, Angelique Griepp, Merla Zellerbach, Helen Hilton Raiser and Jennifer Raiser, Karen and Oliver Caldwell, Restoration Hardware’s CEO Gary Friedman who thanks to Ed Hardy has added antiques to the company’s repertoire, Susan Dunlevy, O.J. Shansby, Holly Baxter and Alan Malouf.
As always there was also a slew of architects and designers on hand, including Madeleine Stewart who came up in from LA, Douglas Durkin, Stephen Shubel, Myra Hoefer, Candace Barnes, Stephen Suzman, Jay Jeffers, Ken Fulk, Stephen Sutro, Will Wick, Brenda Mickel, Matthew Turner, Cecilia Sagrera, George Brazil, Melanie Coddington, Barbara Ashfield, David Hansen, Brian Dittmar, Benjamin Dhong, and Lawanna Endonino.
The stage was set for this year’s theme “Chinoiserie: Rococo to Eco” right at the entrance with two-story red pagodas made entirely from cardboard and designed by on of the city’s most prominent architects Andrew Skurman.
Also a number of galerists included Chinoiserie in their display. Dealers represented this year included Kevin Conru from Brussels, Galerie Chanel, Les Enluminures and Galerie Steinitz from Paris, Il Segno del Tempo from Milan, Michael Goedhus, Robert Bowman Gallery and Robert Young Antiques from London, Danish Silver from Copenhagen, Kentshire and Hostler Burrows from New York, Finnegan Gallery from Chicago, and Midori Gallery Far Eastern Art from Miami. Local exhibitors include Daniel Stein Antiques, Epoca, Foster-Gwin, Hackett|Mill, Peter Pap Oriental Rugs, Therien & Co. from San Francisco, and The Ames Gallery and Thomas Livingston Antiques from Berkeley and Imari Gallery from Sausalito.
“I think this is one of the most beautiful shows in the country. The selection of dealers is very interesting, ranging from classic to eclectic, and we are very glad to be here.” Jeff Russak, Lawrence Jeffrey Estate Jewelers
Galerie Steinitz, always the anchor at the very end of the venue, provided another striking room paneled in boiserie from an 18th century Parisian mansion. A pair of inlaid side tables made from Anglo Indian boxes especially captivated me amongst the other as always stunning furniture and accessories.
Robert Young Antiques‘ (London, UK) English country furniture and folk art was as popular as ever. Once again they brought a rare example of a 19th century Noah’s Ark from Germany, which was snapped up during opening night by a San Francisco collector. But Mr. Young said that they could have sold it four times over.
These arks have an interesting history, as they were very popular with children in Europe because they were often the only toy they were allowed to play with on Sundays. They were considered educational. When parents ordered an ark from a carpenter they could select as few or as many animals as they liked. Often over time godparents, aunts and uncles would gradually add animals to a child’s set by ordering additional ones each Christmas or birthday.