Copyright Vladimir Kagan 2010If Miami is the home of Avante Garde Modern…Palm Beach, when it can nurture two-world class Antique shows back-to-back within two weeks is comfortably the capital for exquisite Antiques. The first: The Art and Antique Fair, the second: Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show.
The venues were similar, but with a vastly different flavor. Art & Antiques was a luxurious exhibit, worthy of any museum, limited to 80 exhibitors, grandly displayed in wide aisled, thickly carpeted and luxuriously appointed pavilions with discriminating art. Each exhibitor welcomed you into his discrete private viewing room lined with velvet walls. The show reeked money and the exhibitors were fishing for the ultra rich. There were huge bronze sculptures, masterpiece paintings, Greek, Roman and Chinese archeological treasures, priceless antique furniture. One wondered how they could be transported into the convention center, how the convention center could provide adequate security and how, finally, after one week, they could be packed and removed in time for setting up the next show.
Some of the exhibitors were gluttons for punishment and chose to show at both shows!
Fast-forward four days…and a new exhibit is in place. This time 150 exhibitors, neatly organized in a grid format, easy to navigate north to south - east to west. Now the show is “find what you want and buy”…something for everyone. Magnificent jewelry aglitter with diamonds and gold, realistic painting you want to walk into and sit for a while, antique furniture of exquisite quality you'd like to own if you had room. And yes, even a piece of my furniture! A rare Walnut Extension Dining Table on sculptured legs with a mosaic white and gold center inlay, c1950-2 at the Lillian Nassau space. It was one of the cheaper items in the show: asking price: $34,000. To assure authenticity, I added a few dollars to the value by signing it. As a bonus, the dealer is offering an autographed copy of my book The Complete Kagan.
While the variety of offerings was mind-boggling, I honed in on the furniture which always inspires and somewhat deflates my ego. Modern pales against these classic masterpieces. It was refreshing to walk amongst the dealers and not stir an awe of recognition with my name….bar one, who, as I was leaving the show, ran after us to tell me how much his wife admired my designs!
Albert Bierstadt: Winter in Yosemite, a breathtaking tranquil scene you can climb into and feel the chill. M.S. Rau Antiques - New Orleans.
Two Art Deco sideboards by Maurice Jallot of France and a Shagreen Coffee Table by Michel Frank, all c1930. Valerio Antiques Coral Gables, FL
Globe Desk open
Manheim Marble Specimen Table c1700 consists of 97 meticulous inlayed precisely fitted marble. 130” long by 67” wide…. I can't imagine how they moved it into and out of the exhibit. M.S. Rau Antiques - New Orleans.
RIGHT Frank Lloyd Wright Barrel Chair, 1937 for Herbert Johnson's House
Circular Extension Dining Table by Robert Jupe - English circa 1850 table expands with eight insert-able leaves from 60” diameter to 72” or with larger leaf inserts opens to 90”. Asking price was $298,000 and sold at the second show! M.S. Rau Antiques - New Orleans.
A pair of elegant gracefully end tables by one of England's superb cabinet makers Gillows of London, was in many ways one of the highlights of the show, Illustrating the deft craftsmanship lost in 20th and 21st century furniture. Michael Pashby Antiques- New York City.