Designer vignette by Catherine Kwong and de Gournay


Inspired by the grand European emporiums dedicated to the heritage and connoisseurship of tea, San Francisco designer Catherine Kwong invites you to enjoy a perfect cup in high style. Her Salon de Thé is festooned with hand-painted silk de Gournay panels, inspired by Alberta Ferretti’s latest runway collection and the majestic birds of Europe. Foliage bursting with blush-colored blooms, alit with birds in flight, are a call to Old-World romance and memories of a delicate Oolong enjoyed in Oxfordshire or a complex Darjeeling lingered over in the heart of Le Marais. Antique teacups are stacked high, evoking the aroma of epic journeys and the exquisite beauty of everyday rituals.




Catherine Kwong started her career in New York, designing luxury interiors for Studio Sofield and flagship stores for Ralph Lauren. After many amazing years of learning and creating in the city that never sleeps, she moved home to her beloved San Francisco, opening Catherine Kwong Design in 2011. Over the course of her career, Catherine has worked on interior design projects all over the world, some of which have been featured in Architectural Digest, Town & Country, and House Beautiful, among others. She has had the opportunity to work for and learn from such legendary designers as Bill Sofield, Ralph Lauren, and Paul Vincent Wiseman. Catherine holds degrees from Brown University and Parsons School of Design. In 2015, Catherine was named a "Designer to Watch" by Architectural Digest.

Designer vignette by Jonathan Rachman and de Gournay


Jonathan Rachman’s vignette features his Loro Blonyo (the inseparable couple) Monkeys. His fanciful wallpaper design is named after the Javanese/Balinese - Indonesian sculpture typically given as a wedding gift. His own parents were the inspiration for the design, as they are truly inseparable celebrating their 60th anniversary next year. Jonathan combined this homage with his love of his homeland, Indonesia, and the lush scenery of his favorite island of Bali. His vignette also features a vintage photograph from Peter Fetterman Gallery, as well as fabrics from The Sisters Collection he designed for Bolt Textiles.




Jonathan Rachman Design specializes in creating timeless interiors - interpretations of clients' personal styles and collections. Seamlessly blending the past and the present, Jonathan Rachman's aesthetic is part classical, part contemporary. Whether outfitting a weekend home in California wine country or appointing a formal estate, the firm's approach remains the same: Thoughtful Elegance. Rachman believes that every room has a story to tell, and every client's voice is different. The firm's objective is to translate the client's taste and create spaces that are both aesthetically inviting and architecturally authentic.

Designer vignette by Antonio Martins and de Gournay


Looking to his Brazilian heritage, designer Antonio Martins has envisioned an exotic mangrove jungle scene in a sea green "mare verde" monochrome. Consistent with the show’s theme Animalia: Animal Imagery in Art and Antiques, he was inspired to call attention to the many endangered species of Brazil. The walls will be covered with a custom de Gournay paper dramatically painted with flora and fauna bringing forth the steamy seductiveness of the jungle world. In the vignette will be iconic Brazilian furniture by Hugo Franca with a counterpoint of Baroque santos and a few intriguing surprises.





Antonio Martins studied hotel management in Switzerland, and worked for 11 years building a successful hotel career in Asia. From hotel operations to hotel design, he put his mark on some of the finest venues in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Argentina and most recently, Chicago. His residential career began in San Francisco, while obtaining a Masters of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture and Design. Over the past ten years, Antonio’s projects have included residences in the Bay Area, Europe and South America. His commercial designs include hotels in Palm Springs, Mexico, Brazil and several restaurants in Europe.
An artist at heart, Antonio brings an eclectic approach to interior design, with an interesting mix of antiques, modern artwork and contemporary furniture.  Antonio’s work has been featured in Traditional Home, House Beautiful, California Home + Design, Dwell, Elle Décor and many other publications.

Designer vignette by Ann Getty and de Gournay


The entrance of the 2016 San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show will feature four exquisite designer vignettes, each incorporating a few choice antiques as well as a custom-designed wall covering exclusively developed in collaboration with de Gournay.

Designer extraordinaire Ann Getty is creating an enchanting vignette inspired by India with a focus on elephants. She was especially excited when she heard that the theme for the Show this year was Animalia. This gave her the opportunity to include some of the many elephant objects and treasures that she has in her personal collection. Apparently her first granddaughter loved elephants growing up so Ann made a point of seeking out pieces that reflected her fondness. There are now more than 22 elephants in the collection! Ann has joked that she was lucky that the favorite animal was not a giraffe, as that would have proved a bit more challenging. So together with her lead designer, Maria Quiros, Ann has created a slightly more modern setting. They took a classic Jali screen pattern, applied it to silk and abraded it back to create a custom de Gournay wall covering with a less traditional look - a dramatic backdrop for her personal pachyderms.



Since 1995 Ann Getty and Associates has been providing custom interior design to clients worldwide. The company is headquartered in San Francisco with an international network of artisans and suppliers. The mission of Ann Getty & Associates is to visualize, implement and execute interior design campaigns that reflect taste, quality and integrity. Ann Getty & Associates is a firm for the astute, tasteful consumer who is interested in the finest materials, the preservation of antiques, and respect for architectural integrity.

Demons and Dragons


The Animalia theme of this year's San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show is by no means limited to the scientifically documented real world. Darwin may not agree but mankind's imagination is responsible for some of the most gorgeous and fascinating creatures to populate the world of the decorative arts. It is no coincidence that almost every culture, style or period has produced its own version of a demon, dragon, or other monstrous beast.
Whether these depictions were actual early efforts at documenting fossilized remains of dinosaurs and prehistoric animals, or symbolic expressions of evil (i.e. satan) or one's own heroism (i.e. the great warrior that slays the dragon) meant to strike fear into the hearts of enemies, we can all agree on the continuing fascination we have with these mythological beasts. Case in point: they remain a fixture in our world of entertainment to this day. Here are some examples from the past:

From Janice Paull:
One of a pair Mason's Ironstone China Alcove Vases, decorated in the Table & Flower Pot & Scroll patterns, circa 1815-20. Mason’s often used dragons and hydras – a giant snake-like monster, with its origins in Greek mythology -  on their ware.



From Lang Antiques:
This gorgeous Art Nouveau enamel and freshwater pearl pin and/or pendant, circa 1900, shimmers with a sizable freshwater pearl (13.86 by 11.5 millimeters) closely guarded left and right by a pair of vigilant griffins (or dragons), and crowned - with a pearly crown.



From Peter Finer:
A Brescian engraved and gilt cuirass for use by the papal Swiss Guard, circa 1623-44. Look closely and you will notice that the bold symmetrical pattern of scrollwork streams from the mouth of a demon mask below the neck. This distinguishing grotesque mask and arabesques engraved onto the blued steel of this cuirass characterize a series of decorated half-armours made for the Papal Swiss guard in the first half of the seventeenth century.



From Patrick & Ondine Mestdagh:
A pair of wooden corbels (one illustrated) representing Baku (mythical tiger elephants), early Edo Period. Japanese, 17th century.
Provenance: Spink & Son, London, old collection.



The Baku, otherwise known as the dream eater, is a mythological being or spirit in Chinese and Japanese folklore which is said to devour nightmares. The Baku cannot be summoned without caution, however, as ancient legends say that if the Baku is not satisfied after consuming the nightmare, he may also devour one’s hopes and dreams..... Good night!:)





Lee Bontecou at Hackett Mill


The Animalia theme for the 2016 San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show was chosen because it is fanciful, and playful, intriguing and timeless - and includes the kingdom of all animals. It is a subject that has been interpreted in just about every discipline, technique, and material throughout time and it is relatable to everyone - modern and traditional, antiquities to contemporary. Mankind has always been fascinated with the beauty and mystery of the animal kingdom, creating symbolism and meaning, and the Latin word Animalis literally means “Having Soul”. 

An excellent example of this soul – however fierce, powerful and dark it may be – is Cruel Bird (1957/2005), a brazed and welded copper, terra cotta, cement and steel sculpture by Lee Bontecou at Hackett | Mill, a first-time exhibitor at the show.



Lee Bontecou is an abstract sculptor best known for her reconciliation of sculpture and painting. She studied at the Art Students League in New York and made a prolonged visit to Rome from 1956-1958 on a Fulbright Scholarship. While in Rome, Bontecou experimented with sculptural materials and techniques including welded steel and terra cotta. When Bontecou returned to New York she established her reputation through the creation of sculptural reliefs that challenged the artistic conventions of both materials and presentation. She is best known for her web-like constructions of found objects (including recycled canvas, conveyor belts and mail sacks, among other objects) attached to a welded steel frame around a central oval void, which were then hung on the wall like paintings.


Working in a style of abstracted figuration, Bontecou created a number of animal forms in terra cotta in her early career. These animals, many of them birds, are highly cubistic. Cruel Bird (1957/2005) is constructed from industrial materials that challenge its subject matter. Bontecou mixes and manipulates unexpected materials, resulting in a work that is at once mechanistic and organic, imposing and elegant.



In 2010 the MOMA presented a retrospective of Bontecou's work. Bontecou is collected by major museums worldwide including The Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Gallery of Art and many others.

Hackett | Mill, founded by Michael Hackett and Francis Mill, presents rare works from the 1950s and 1960s by important American, European, and Asian artists. The gallery focuses on historical movements that took place in the mid- twentieth century including American Modern, Post-War Abstract Expressionism and California/Bay Area Figurative Art. Michael Hackett and Francis Mill each bring over twenty years of expertise and education in fine arts. Through their shared passion, Hackett | Mill represents a unique experience with art that is both scholarly and inspirational.

Claws, paws and hooves


Furniture based on the anatomy of wildlife dates back 3,000 years to the animal-worshiping Egyptians, whose beds stood on carved bull legs, gazelle hooves or lion feet. Four-legged beasts also influenced the design of chairs and tables of the Greeks and Romans, who used them for strength as well as decorative detail. The hoof or pied-de-biche foot, carved to reflect the natural appearance of an animal such as a deer or horse, appeared in fine furniture at the end of the 1600s.
The ball & claw design on the other hand was most likely derived from the Chinese: a dragon’s claw grasping a crystal ball, or a pearl, or sometimes a sacred, flaming jewel. In Chinese mythology, the dragon (Emperor) would be guarding (with the triple claw foot) the symbol (ball – for wisdom, or purity) from evil forces trying to steal it. Another interpretation is that the ball symbolizes a polished river stone being held firmly by a crane, who stands diligently over her nest. English cabinetmakers are credited with transforming the dragon’s claw into a bird’s talon or a lion’s paw; the lion representing English authority. Here are a few examples of various claws, paws and hooves that can be be seen at the upcoming show.

From epoca:
An elegant French Maison Baguès 1940's gilt-bronze coffee/cocktail table with ram's head caps ending in hoofed feet and Carrara marble top.



From Yew Tree House Antiques:
An impressive 19th century English country house entrance hall table standing on hairy lion paw feet, with a striking green-veined marble top.



From Clinton Howell Antiques:
A superb set of eight George II carved mahogany dining chairs with carved cabriole legs terminating in ball and claw feet. English, Circa 1750.



From Daniel Stein Antiques:
A fine Regency mahogany and ebony inlaid serving table, featuring columnar fluted supports headed with superbly carved lions masks and terminating in paw feet, circa 1825. 



From Roberto Freitas American Antiques:
A Massachusetts Chippendale carved mahogany serpentine-front chest of drawers with cabriole legs ending in ball-and-claw feet, circa 1780-1785.


Man's Best Friend


A dog is a man's best friend? Well, if the animal's popularity is anything to go by, perhaps that's true; according to the American Kennel Club, there are more pet dogs in the USA than there are people in Britain.

The statement that Dog is man's best friend was first recorded as being made by Frederick, King of Prussia in 1789. Frederick referred to one of his Italian greyhounds as his best friend. The earliest citation in the U.S. is traced to a poem printed in the The New York Literary Journal, Volume 4, 1821:

The faithful dog - why should I strive
To speak his merits, while they live
In every breast, and man's best friend
Does often at his heels attend.

The 2016 San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show is a great place to make few new such friends.

From Antonio's Bella Casa
Left: Pair of rare circa 1840 Roman Carrara marble hounds. 
Right: Pair of  19th century hand-thrown English terracotta poodles on raised bases, from the East Hampton estate of Lee Radziwill



From Earle D. Vandekar of Knightsbridge
Left: English  Berlin wool needlework picture of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, circa 1840-60
Right: Bradley and Hubbard Company, Meriden CT cast iron Boston Terrier  doorstop, circa 1920



From Lang Antiques and Estate Jewelry:
14K golden-coated Irish Setter pin



From Peter Fetterman Gallery:
Elliott Erwitt (United States, b. 1928)
New York, [Great Dane, Chihuahau & Boots], 1954
©Elliott Erwitt/Courtesy Peter Fetterman Gallery


Georg Jensen silver at Gallery 925


San Francisco's Gallery 925 offers a finely curated collection of pieces by Georg Jensen, fine antique and 20th century silver.

Owner Rachel Prater was introduced to Georg Jensen silver at the age of 11 when her mother took her to the Georg Jensen store on Madison Avenue in New York: 
“My vivid recollection was of being awestruck over the fantastic unique jewelry, modern sleek lines in silver with bold stones as well as the naturalistic designs of the Arts and Crafts era. Seeing the holloware with its "moonlight" glow just made my eyes glisten with joy. As we were leaving, my mother said, "This is not just silver to wear, use and enjoy: it is an art form, like fine sculpture." How right she was!”

Here are a few pieces currently on offer at Gallery 925:

Left: Georg Jensen sterling silver centerpiece bowl by Allan Scharff
Right: Georg Jensen modernist sterling silver candelabra by Soren Georg Jensen 1960



Left: Georg Jensen 830 silver large keepsake box from 1918
Middle: Georg Jensen sterling silver rose bonbonnière from 1919
Right: Georg Jensen 830 silver keepsake box with amber finial from 1918


Fabulous Felines


Felines in all shapes and sizes have been a popular object of adoration and fascination long before the internet came along. In ancient Egypt, cats were celebrated in hieroglyphic paintings, ceremonial objects, and famous monuments such as the Great Sphinx of Giza. They were even worshipped as deities with figurine images. In Greek and Roman art, cats were symbols of freedom and independence. They were commonly represented in mosaics, statues, paintings and tombstones.
Things took a turn for the worse in the Middle Ages, when cats (especially black ones) were often seen as symbols of evil or witchcraft in Europe and Colonial America. Their bad reputation did not travel to the East however: cats in China and Japan were happily portrayed in scenes of nature and daily life as woodblock prints. The Renaissance and Enlightenment brought hope for these elegant creatures, as well as eternal life - renowned masters such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Albrecht Durer, and Rembrandt included cats in their work.
In the 21st Century, it is clear that our fascination with the feline family endures. From the humble house cat to the roaring lion, from the fierce panther to the imposing tiger, cats large and small have been interpreted in just about every style and medium. Here are a few examples from the upcoming show:

From Earle D. Vandekar of Knightsbridge:
A charming Dutch tin-glazed earthenware tile Picture of a cat, Makkum, 20th century. The six tile picture depicts a cat seated on its hind-quarters with its tail curled through its looking forward. 



From Antonio's Bella Casa:
A superb early 1600's Florentine Carrara marble lion fountain head, mounted on a custom iron stand.



From Antonio's Bella Casa:
A circa 1815 Roman wood sculpture of a lion on a faux-stone plinth, with a beautifully carved face and mane with vibrant 22k gold gilding. 



From Arader Galleries:
From left to right:
Felis Jaguarondi (The Yaguarundi), 1883
Felis Javanesis (the little red-spotted cat), 1883
Felis Viverrina (the fishing cat),1883
These magnificent cats are from one of the finest color plate works on mammals, one that describes and illustrates all the species of Cats known at the time of publication - Daniel Elliot’s work entitled A Monograph of the Felidae or Family of Cats.



From Los Angeles Fine Art Gallery:
Leopard Cubs by Cuthbert Edmund Swan, English School 1870-1931, oil on canvas, signed.