Tuesday, November 01, 2011

San Francisco Antiques Show

Attending the San Francisco Antiques Show has become an annual tradition for me. It's an opportunity for me to see my San Francisco friends (including Diane Dorrans Saeks, Grant Gibson, and Scot Meacham Wood), to salivate over beautiful antiques, and to party. Let's face it- the show's organizers sure know how to throw one fun Preview Party!

This year's show did not disappoint. The show's theme, Hidden Treasures, served to highlight pieces that, in the organizers' words, "have something to hide." At the front of the exhibition hall, curated vignettes were displayed that featured hidden treasures owned by San Francisco collectors. These treasures included pieces with trompe l'oeil decoration or hidden compartments. Many of the exhibiting dealers also included a hidden treasure or two in their booths.

There was so much to see that, quite frankly, I could write a week's worth of show-related posts. I tried to winnow down my photos to those pieces that really caught my eye. Below is a sampling of show highlights.

So, San Francisco Antiques Show, until next year...

I always look forward to visiting the Therien & Co. booth. In addition to being one of the most attractive booths, the mix of antiques and 20th century furniture is always intriguing. You can see a few of the Therien vignettes both above and at the top of the post.

This c. 1920 Constructivist Polychrome Painted Tabouret at Therien & Co. caught my eye, as did:

this c. 1935 cabinet by the Hungarian artist, Andrew Szoeke. Trained at the Weiner Werkstatte, Szoeke's pieces "exhibit a unique combination of Mittel European iconography executed in exotic wood inlay and Moderne form."

Also at Therien, a c. 18th century Spanish Mudejar Giltwood Drop Front Arca.

One of the most decorated booths at the show has to be that of Galerie Steinitz, based in Paris. Walking through it, you feel as though you're in someone's very elegant Parisian drawing room.

In keeping with the show's theme of hidden treasures, Engs-Dimitri showed this 18th c. Mexican painted marriage chest. Opening the chest's lid reveals a charming painted scene of a betrothed couple. On the front of the chest is nail head decoration.

This English naive painting of a coaching horse and dog is what drew me to the booth of Earle Vandekar of Knightsbridge Inc. I always find naive art so interesting because oftentimes, a painting can look slightly contemporary despite its old age. This painting dates to the 19th c.

Vandekar sells all kinds of wonderful antiques including porcelain, one of my weaknesses!

Another specialty of Vandekar is Sailors' Woolworks, needlework that was done by British sailors while at sea. I'm fascinated at how they depicted the water, especially the chevron-print sea in the first example. If you look at the detail shot (the photo immediately above this text), you can see that the stitches were quite long. The examples seen here date to the late 19th century.

And finally, Vandekar had the most amazing set of Chinese watercolors of insects. Look closely, and you'll see that the insects were painted on lacquered leafs. These date to around 1850.

Not everything at the show is old. This Alexander Gorliziki miniature painting, The Hero Departs (2010), was displayed at the John Berggruen Gallery booth.

Being a dog lover, I couldn't resist photographing this 19th c. English engraving titled "The First Lesson"; available through the Daniel Stein Antiques.

The Lucy Johnson booth boasted this 19th c. Italian or Spanish scagliola tabletop, one that is decorated with trompe l'oeil maps of the Persian Empire circa 500 B.C. I don't know if the bronze table base is of recent vintage or not.

All photos copyright of The Peak of Chic


  1. sounds like a great party! Looking forward to hearing more of SF through your eyes -my favorite city!

  2. Thanks for that peak-adored traveling with you. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

  3. Jennifer, as one of the docent volunteers at the SFFAS, I couldn't agree with you more! It's interesting to see the event come alive for me through your eyes!

  4. I love the tabouret too and would love to meet Philip at Therien who I correspond with often , not to mention DDS and all! pgt

  5. What treasures! (Wait a minute, is that a rat the dog has? Maybe I wouldn't be in competition with you for that one). It is inspiring to see so many wonderful things, isn't it?

  6. Hi! It was so fun to see you! A real delight, and thank you for including us here on The Peak of Chic!!!
    The constructivist taboret sold to a collector of early Modern furniture, and the curator of the Met loved it as well. It was a delightful surpise seeing you post. Thank you.
    xoxo to you,