Purchase Story

The 37th San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show

San Francisco, California

Change comes slowly to the San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show. In 2017, after 36 years, the word “art” was added to the show’s title to reflect the growing number of paintings on display. (One of the 2018 furniture dealers called it “an art show.”) Show chair Suzanne Tucker estimated that the breakdown was 30% art and 70% antiques. “But bear in mind,” she added, “that many of our dealers also bring contemporary pieces to the show. We no longer have a fifty-year cutoff date. It is more about the quality and provenance of the exceptional pieces at the show, rather than about their age.”

“Really good so far” was San Francisco dealer Tony Kitz’s description of business of the show on day two. “The gala was spectacular, and we hope that today and tomorrow will be even better. This is the gallery’s first year/first invitation. It only took twenty-six years to get here,” said Kitz. This 6'1" long x 4'4" wide Kashan carpet was woven circa 1960 in northern Persia, and it was priced at $6000.

Matisse’s Studio (Venice 1947) by Damien Elwes (b. 1960) features a room displaying Matisse’s colors and motifs. It was one of the paintings and photographs offered by Modernism, San Francisco, which had a big and well-positioned booth (up front, impossible to miss). The 60" x 45" painting cost $75,000. The gallery’s Danielle Beaulieu said the opening was “mobbed as usual” and after that the crowd had been “steady.” By the second day of the show, there were red sold dots on an iconic Judy Dater photograph and several paintings.

American Garage, Los Angeles, always has a crowd around its booth. This circa 1920 double-sided tin sign was found in Maine. Measuring 30" high x 15" wide, the sign cost $1695. American Garage’s Michael Ogle reported “steady buying every day. This show is the best show and has the best party in the most beautiful place.”

This bleached wood bar cabinet by Maurice Jallot (1900-1971) with parquet panels and dark mahogany framing and base, French, 1946, 67" x 36½" x 18½", was priced at $45,000 by Guy Regal of New York City. It was the gallery’s first year at the show. How was business? “Lots of people, lots of memos.”

For 2018, year 37, the big change was the dates of the show—two weeks earlier, so as not to conflict with other shows, in particular TEFAF New York. The show opened on October 10 and ran from October 11 to 14. The fall 2019 San Francisco dates will be similar: October 9 for the opening gala, with the show running from October 10 to 13. Any problems stemming from the date change are “yet to be seen, but we are reaching out for feedback,” said Ariane Trimuschat, show director. “We had a tremendous turnout, particularly on opening night, when 2000 people came.”

There were 50 dealers participating this time, Trimuschat said, “about the same size” as 2017, “with a few new dealers and a lot of regulars.” For the next show, said Trimuschat, “there could be a few dealers added, when the show rents space in a building next door for storage, which will free up some floor space.”

Adding to the fun, there were lectures, lunches, brunch, and four designer vignettes at the entrance. The theme was “The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars: Celestial Imagery in Art, Antiques & Design.” Trimuschat said, “We like to keep the theme broad so each dealer can display at least one item that reflects the theme.” The theme for 2019? “We’re thinking about it.”

Red Cow by Peter Kinley (1926-1986) was an eye-catching lure to London dealer Henry Saywell’s booth. Who was at the opening party? “Everyone who’s anyone.” How did that work out? “We had lots of sales following on from the party the night before.”

Suzanne Tucker said: “I’m always excited for the treasure hunt, seeking out and finding that perfect piece. Charlotte Moss [who was one of the show’s four vignette designers] put it best when she said, ‘Oftentimes, you can’t even describe what you’re looking for, but you hope it’s looking for you.’”

For more information, see (www.sffas.org).

Seattle dealer Galen Lowe had a “very good opening—we sold quite a bit” and could say on the second full day of the show that it had been “one of the best in terms of numbers of things sold.” Still on display was a large Japanese lacquer-repaired Shigaraki jar, made at one of the “six ancient kilns” east of Kyoto. “In Japan, unlike the west,” reads the label, “repaired pieces are highly valued and are often prized possessions….” This jar, 21½" high x 19" wide, dates from the Muromachi period.

Dinan + Chighine, Surrey, U.K., displayed a group of watercolors by British artist Alan Halliday (b. 1952) depicting various views of Jardin Majorelle, Yves Saint Laurent’s garden at the designer’s home in Marrakech. This is The Date Palm; like the others in the series, it measures 31" x 37½" framed. This was the gallery’s first year at the show. The dealer did “very well” on opening night and found the following days “quiet yet steady—we still did business.”

DeAngelis, San Francisco, was asking $58,000 for this 1953 chest by Italian superstar designer Gio Ponti (1891-1979). Second-year exhibitor Michael DeAngelis said the chest is in original condition and boasts a “playful puzzle front.” The chest’s dimensions are 36" high x 48" wide x 20" deep.

Trinity House, with locations in London, the Cotswolds, New York City, and San Francisco, showed Au Bord de la Seine, a watercolor by Jean Dufy (1888-1964), 18" x 24¼", priced at $38,000. “There was lots of energy opening night, which we love,” said the gallery’s Karen Beale, “and we’ve had a lot of interest from designers.”

Chatam’s Bar, oil on panel, by Jean-Gabriel Domergue (1889-1962), 37½" x 33" framed, was priced at $98,000 by Daphne Alazraki Fine Art, New York City. The gallery has been at the show several times in the last 20 years; Alazraki was happy about the show’s adding “art” to its title and focus.

Here is one of a “very rare” pair of 18" high Georg Jensen .830 silver Dolphin candelabra, circa 1920. The pair was offered for $137,500. Each is 18" high x 15" across. This was the seventh year that Gallery 925, San Francisco, was at the show.

Yew Tree House Antiques, New York City, offered this dog (one of a pair), 26" high x 43" long. How was business? “Picking up speed—yesterday [the show’s first full day] made up for a slower opening than usual.” Show chair Suzanne Tucker reported that Yew Tree House Antiques “made quite a significant sale of a pair of Louis XVI giltwood chairs by Henri Jacob.”

Jeff Bridgman of York County, Pennsylvania, offered this 32" x 22½" framed poster priced at $14,500.

Antiques dealer Daniel Stein, located at Jackson Square, San Francisco, said the show was “very good for me.” Among the sold items were a table, a set of Chippendale chairs, a Georgian chest-on-chest, a secretary, and a pair of putti. This 17th-century Nuremberg wrought-iron painted armada chest with an elaborate working lock mechanism covered by an engraved pierced steel screen (keys included) measures 20½" high x 37½" wide x 20½" deep. Twisted ropes on the sides form the handles; the price was $11,500.

Roberto Freitas of Stonington, Connecticut, was asking $22,500 for this “very fine and rare” Chippendale carved mahogany reverse-serpentine chest of drawers, Essex County, Massachusetts, circa 1785. It descended from the Rowe family of Boston. It is 33" high x 35½" wide x 21½" deep, and the price of $95,000 included the two painted leather fire buckets, top right. The circa 1910 Tiffany desk lamp (top left) was $22,500, and the 1790 French miniature spinning jenny, $9500.

Originally published in the January 2019 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2019 Maine Antique Digest

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