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Clinton Howell Antiques

 

Clinton Howell, purveyor of exceptional English antique furniture declares the following:

“The San Francisco Fair is, as far as I am concerned, one of the premiere shows of the year, let alone the fall season. There has always been a strong emphasis on the antique decorative arts at the San Francisco Fall Antiques Show and so it is tailor made for dealers like myself who sell English antique furniture. Almost every exhibitor I know in the show makes a particular effort in bringing items that are unique.”

Among Clinton's favorite pieces are:

A neo-classical stripped pine bookcase, circa 1770

“The style of the piece is neo-classical, a term whose definition is fairly imprecise because the neo-classical period covers from 1760-1840. This superbly proportioned bookcase is early neo-classical, probably made around 1770. The English furniture trade at this time was increasing in size, though not in quality as many new makers did not bother with the traditional seven-year apprenticeship which allowed them to make things for less money (they were known as the dishonorable trade for this practice). Hence, the year 1770 is an interesting time period, early enough for the great bespoke makers such as Chippendale, Mayhew and Ince and John Linnell to still be practicing, but also the time when new cheaper makers were fulfilling the orders for the new and multitudinous middle class. My bookcase is clearly by a bespoke maker, a detail that is easily determined by looking at the quality of the carving. It is likely that it was painted in pastel colors. Aside from the first rate carving, one of the more interesting features are the pewter cut-outs on an ebonized background. Here you can see the direct influence of Josiah Wedgwood who was intrigued with including black (basalt) as a background to painted decoration. I would not be surprised if this cabinet was not initially designed to display Wedgwood porcelain.”

 

A pair of painted and gilt arm chairs:

“These arm chairs with their blue upholstery are also neo-classical, but of a slightly later date. Neo-classicism went through several convolutions, the first being Robert Adam inspired, the next being a French-based neo-classicism which was devoid of all carving with quite severe lines and just a few curves that always had interesting molding profiles. These chairs were made for the boudoir as they are slightly lower with a 15” seat height than most drawing room chairs.”

 

An oval rococo mirror

“Rococo furniture, one of the styles that preceded the neo-classical style, was a style of profusion that was meant to alter the way you saw furniture. Instead of a mirror frame looking like a church façade with a strong pediment and baroque details, the mirror such as mine with the oval plate and the pair of apposing ho-ho birds, has a softer edge. It is designed not to make you think of the function of the piece, but of decoration. It is similar to the difference between a flower display and an architectural model, pastoral and nature focused and not pragmatic and patterned.”

 

A Gainsborough style chair, circa 1765

“The baroque style of English furniture was the nation’s first truly English inspired design. Although the elements of baroque are universal, the English interpretation struck its own chord by the mid 1730’s. Change, however, was inevitable as time and style move constantly. The gilded open armchair, also known as a Gainsborough style chair, dates around 1765. What does this chair owe to the baroque influence? Specifically, it is the proportions, the height, width and depth of it, and how the chair sits or the way it looks. Take away the carving and pretend that it is not gilded and you could have a walnut Gainsborough from 1745. However, the decoration is later and that is what determines the date of the chair. In particular, the bellflower garlands across the front are soon to become a standard decorative feature of much neo-classical furniture. All of this is interesting, but I would say that the best feature of the chair is how comfortable it is. That is truly the test of great design.”

 

Clinton Howell Antiques will be at booth #22.

Mallett Antiques

 

Mallett is one of the oldest established antique dealers in the world, specializing in the finest pieces of furniture and works of art, including pictures, clocks and other high quality objets d'art, primarily from the 18th century and Regency periods. For over 100 years Mallett has been sourcing important antiques with impeccable provenance for private collectors and the great museums of the world, including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Andrew Ogletree, Assistant Vice President and Head of Sales in the Mallett New York Gallery, and Justin Evershed-Martin, Director, highlight the following three items:

 

A fine silk and wool Soho tapestry attributed to Joshua Morris, after a design by Andien de Clermont.
England, circa 1725.

 

English tapestries of the eighteenth century are commonly known by the generic title of Soho tapestries, as opposed to those of the 17th century which were mostly woven in Mortlake. An integral part of domestic decoration in the grandest house for centuries the fashion began to wane towards the mid-eighteenth century and the textiles created in and around Soho between 1700 and c 1740 represent a last highpoint of the craft in England.
As with most English furniture contemporary to the tapestry, few pieces were signed, and it is often hard to distinguish between the different workshops. This tapestry is one of a series that is important primarily for its quality but also for the homogeneity of the pieces and the ability to ascribe them all to one prominent weaver, Joshua Morris, whose signature appears on several examples.

Provenance:
Lionel Harris, The Spanish Art Gallery, London
Mrs John E. Rovensky, until sold Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 22 January 1957 lot 1018.
with French and Co.
Mrs Hamilton Rice, until sold Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 23 October 1965, lot 343.
with Ian Hastie, Grosvenor House Antiques Fair
An important private UK collection.

 

An early 19th century Empire Clock by Bofenschen
France, circa 1820.

An early 19th century bronze and ormolu night clock, the enamel face signed Bofenschen a Paris with Roman numerals set into a classical vase with lions head handles the reverse with glass projection lens, the main body with ormolu ornamentation supported on a bronze plinth with large ormolu starburst.
This very unusual clock is designed to be used both during the day and at night. The vase contains an oil reserve and wick that can be lit at night which projects the time through an adjustable lens in the reverse. The gilded finial is removed to act as a chimney for the flame.
Bofenschen was an expert clock maker and inventor who flourished in Paris between 1780 when he was first recorded and 1813 when he was last recorded working in the Rue de Temple during which time he worked alongside arguably the greatest of all French horologists Abraham Louis Breguet (1747-1823).

 

Carina, by Klauser and Carpenter, England, circa 2010

Carina is an elegant marble dining table, sitting up to twelve guests, designed by Klauser & Carpenter. The table blends the fluid aesthetic of maritime architecture with the sculptural purity of classic Carrara marble. The fusion of these two opposed natural elements, water and stone, graces Carina with a poised and serene sense of poetry.

Mallett Antiques will be at booth #33

The Cicero Collection

 

Built over two generations, and continuing to grow to this day, The Cicero Collection is a carefully curated selection of furniture, objects, and works of art that seeks beauty in all its forms. Spanning millennia, continents, and cultures, the pieces in the collection seek to connect the human experience through a shared aesthetic. 

Here's a preview of some of those pieces, as shared by Jonathan Tung from The Cicero Collection:

 

A Gold Floriform Hairpin, Song Dynasty (960 - 1279), China

 

“This is an extremely rare and masterfully crafted Song Dynasty seven prong double hairpin. Worked entirely in gold, each of the seven prongs is composed of a pair of joined tubular stems carved with a floral and foliate design, surmounted by hexagonal bezel, and capped with a floral spray. A narrow band engraved with an archaic geometric pattern runs the width of the pin.
To me, what makes this piece remarkable is that, although the name of the lady who originally owned this hairpin is lost to history, her ideals of beauty, grace, and refinement all live on through this one cherished item.”

 

A Pair of Gold and Ruby Inset Armbands, Minangkabau People
Region of Batu Sangkar, West Sumatra, Indonesia
Late 19th century

 

“ Known as gelang gadang, these armbands would originally have been part of the wedding regalia for a bride from a wealthy and prominent family, then passed down from mother to daughter, as property in Minagkabau culture is passed down matrilineally.”

 

The Cicero Collection will be at booth #32.

Art and Antiques in the Digital Age

 

Now in our 34th year, the Fall Antiques Show has seen a great deal. Some of the most important art and antiques dealers in the world have graced our aisles. Collectors and lovers come each year to support the important work of Enterprise for High School Students and to see and buy the beautiful objects for sale over four days at Fort Mason.  

When we look back at the earliest catalogues from the 1980s, they seem almost antique themselves!  Since our first show in 1981, The Fall Antiques Show has had a strong tradition and a dedicated following, but there is always room for some change. This year we are embracing the digital age, starting with the re-design of our website, which features (for the first time) many images from the show, to give a better look at the people, the programs and most importantly the art and antiques on the floor. 

We also have teamed with EventBrite to offer a simpler way to purchase tickets for the Preview Gala, the show and the Lecture Series. All tickets can be printed at home or sent to your mobile device. 

We have a great show in store for 2015 and hope to see you all there!

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