A Shining 2018 Show

Like the fleeting majesty of a shooting star, the 37th annual San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show has passed. This year’s Show paid homage to the mighty figures in the sky with its theme,The Sun, The Moon & The Stars: Celestial Imagery in Art, Antiques & Design. The Show is Enterprise for Youth’s major fundraiser. With half-a-century of youth development experience, Enterprise continues to champion the young people of this city through training and internship experiences.

Fifty of the world’s finest Exhibitors converged on the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture and lined their booths with treasures spanning from antiquity to modernity against a backdrop of brilliant Farrow & Ball paint colors.

American Furniture & Decorative Arts

American Garage
Antique American Wicker
Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques
Roberto Freitas American Antiques & Decorative Arts

Antique Weapons & Arms

Patrick & Ondine Mestdagh
Peter Finer


Janice Paull
Jesse Davis Antiques

English & Continental Furniture & Decorative Arts

Carlton Hobbs LLC
Clinton Howell Antiques
Daniel Stein Antiques, Inc.
De Angelis
Earle D. Vandekar of Knightsbridge, Inc.
Finnegan Gallery
Foster Gwin Gallery
Guy Regal
Il Segno Del Tempo Srl
James Sansum Fine & Decorative Art
Jayne Thompson Antiques
Milord Antiques
Steinitz Gallery
Yew Tree House Antiques

Ethnographic Art

Galen Lowe Art & Antiques
Joel Cooner Gallery
Lotus Gallery
The Orange Chicken
Rainforest Baskets
Sue Ollemans Oriental Works of Art
The Zentner Collection
Rainforest Baskets
Sue Ollemans Oriental Works of Art
The Zentner Collection

Jewelry & Precious Metals

Gallery 925
Lawrence Jeffrey
S.J. Shrubsole

Paintings & Fine Art

Charles Plante Fine Arts
Daphne Alazraki Fine Art
David Brooker Fine Art
Dinan & Chighine
Haynes Fine Art
Henry Saywell
Los Angeles Fine Art Gallery
Montgomery Gallery
Trinity House Paintings

Photography, Works on Paper, & Books

Arader Galleries
Hayden & Fandetta Books
Peter Fetterman Gallery
Philadelphia Print Shop West

Textiles & Rugs

Tony Kitz

Designer Vignettes: “The Sun, The Moon, The Stars, & The Zodiac”

With the illuminating task of capturing the sky within three walls, the incredibly talented interior designers that rose to the challenge created a truly stellar experience for guests attending the Gala and Show days. Each designer worked with de Gournay to create a custom, hand-painted wallpaper to adorn his/her vignette, as well as with Show Exhibitor’s to curate a collection of exceptional art and antiques to adorn the space. Under the stewardship of Suzanne Tucker, acting as creative director, Ken Fulk, Charlotte Moss, Madeline Stuart, and Paul Wiseman sought to recreate the celestial bodies we have been in awe of for centuries.

Charlotte Moss Vignette - The Sun

The Sun, Charlotte Moss

Madeline Stuart's Vignette, The Moon

The Moon, Madeline Stuart

The Wiseman Group's Vignette, The Stars

The Stars, The Wiseman Group

Ken Fulk's Vignette, The Zodiac

The Zodiac, Ken Fulk

Our gracious sponsor, Kohler, ensured that the Grand Entry Hall was nothing short of transportive with decor by J. Riccardo Benavides, and his team at Ideas Event Styling, the stars in the entry danced along the ceiling and glittered with a luminescence that could rival the night sky.

Just past the Grand Entry Hall was the Celestial Lounge sponsored by Shreve & Co.where guests could relax and admire exquisite jewelry from Shreve that brought to light celestial motifs and heavenly stones that have long been the muse of jewelers.

Opening Night Preview Gala

This year Enterprise for Youth welcomed nearly 2,000 guests to the Opening Night Preview Gala, with the support of Sotheby’s International Realty, a long time sponsor. The Cosmo Alleycats delighted patrons in the foyer with their signature vintage sound. As guests continued through the Grand Entry Hall, they were greeted by the youth servers, the board of Enterprise for Youth, and a melange of truly decadent foods. With twenty-six bars adorning the Show floor, guests had their fill of handcrafted cocktails, Napa Ridge Winery’s Chardonnay and the crowd pleasing vodka and caviar stations. We were also pleased to welcome back The Macallan to Fort Mason for a special tasting of their world-renowned scotch. Tucked away in The Lecture Theater, guests were invited to indulge in a sweet tooth’s paradise. As the night came to a close, Candytopia and Shortlist wrapped the Show with a candy bar that any adult could be giddy over. Guests were welcomed to fill goody bags with sweet treats for the ride home.

Show Chair, Suzanne Tucker, moves the world for us each year, and we are constantly awed by her dedication, talent, and passion. We offer gratitude also to our wonderful Preview Gala Committee, Diane Wilsey, Riccardo Benavides, Susan Boeing and Christopher Redlich, Claud Cecil Gurney, Kathryn and Bo Lasater, Laura King Pfaff, OJ and Gary Shansby, Sarah and Stephen Sherrill, Allison Speer, and Hillary Thomas, and the many volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to ensure our Show is as successful as it can be.

Friends Hugging SF Fall Art & Antiques Show
Macallan Scotch
Caviar Bar

Special Events

In the weeks leading up to the Show, patrons were invited to take part in a number of events made possible by our wonderful sponsors and partners. The Battery hosted a panel discussion, which was sponsored by Bonhams, for the Show’s Young Collectors, where leading professionals in art and design discussed the Do’s and Don’ts of Collecting. Susan Boeing and Christopher Redlich graciously opened their gorgeous home to the Show’s Benefactors and hosted a beautiful evening. The Gold Collectivehosted a reception for our Designers and Artisans Circle members at The Museum of Craft and Design that celebrated craft and talent in the most fitting of locations.  

The evening before the Preview Gala, Designers and Artisans Circle members were invited to take a sneak peak at the collections brought for the 37th rendition of the Show. The Designers Circle Preview Reception, sponsored by The Shade Store, was an evening of cocktails and conversation. The Shade Store also had a special treat for guests in the form of an interactive window wall, fittingly named “the window to the night sky”, with beautiful drapery and a Giotto-esque starry backdrop by Katherine Jacobus Decorative Art, that could be used as a photobooth and engaging display of their products in a tangible setting. Photos hashtagged #StarryNightSF filtered into the Dessert Room on Gala night, filling the room with the joyous faces of actual Show attendees. The night ended with a raffle that saw amazing prizes from both The Shade Store and Grand Entry Hall sponsor Kohler.

Thursday afternoon was host to the Chairman’s Luncheon, hosted by Suzanne Tuckerand sponsored by Geographic Expeditions. Guests arrived at The Room with a View to honor Carolyne Roehm, taste the delectable wines provided by Knights Bridge Winery, and enjoy the catered lunch by McCalls Catering & Events. As a special treat, Julia B. sent guests home with a beautiful set of celestial-inspired linen cocktail napkins.

The excitement did not subside as the week continued with an impressive array of lecturers that graced us with their expertise. Thanks to The St. Regis San Franciscoand Luxe Interiors + Design, the 2018 Show welcomed lectures and panel discussions by Jay Jeffers, Suzanne Kasler, Stacey Bewkes, Michael Stern, Hutton Wilkinson, Pieter Estersohn, Maureen Footer, Charlotte Moss, Nina Campbell, and Suzanne TuckerArlene Schnitzer and Jordan Schnitzer, Directors of The Arlene & Harold Schnitzer CARE Foundation, sponsored the Authors’ Alcove and made a number of book signings, by the above mentioned people as well as Susanna Salk, Grant Gibson and Joa Studholme, possible.

At the Cocktail Hour Series, guests sipped complimentary wine from Napa Ridge Winery while hearing from experts in a breadth of artistic fields. At the first talk, sponsored by California Home + Design and The Bath + BeyondSuzanne Tucker, Cynthia Spence, Joa Studholme and Alisa Carroll discussed the interplay of decorating a home with art and antiques. Later that evening, Enterprise for Youth’s Young Professionals Group and Board President, Michael Franzia, hosted a Young Collectors Night that invited guests to sample a selection of wine from Bronco Wine Company while mingling amongst the art. The next talk in the Cocktail Hour Series was sponsored by Heritage Auctions and featured a lively conversation about celestial imagery in art and timepieces with Keith Davis, Clementine Chen, Alissa Ford and Holly Sherratt.

On closing day, the Show hosted a brunch in honor of Enterprise for Youth’s founder, Glady Thacher, to celebrate the truly remarkable work she has done and the opportunities that Enterprise continues to give young people in our city. Shortly following the brunch, attendees were welcomed to a world premiere preview of LAUTREC! His Muses & Their Music in the Lecture Theater produced by George Daugherty and the world class singers from the San Francisco Opera. Nearby, in Aedicule’s booth, the art that inspired the musical theatre concert was framed in period splendor by Peter Werkhoven.

Suzanne Tucker moderates discussion with Charlotte Moss and Nina Campbell
Crowd at Lecture

Each day the Show floor was packed and full of lively energy with those shopping, dining, and attending the exciting array of events at the Show. Many new faces, along with those who haven’t missed the Show in its 37 year history, graced us at the Opening Night Preview Gala and during the Show days.

Thank you to everyone whose support of the Show and Enterprise for Youth helped make 2018 a success. All proceeds from the Gala, Show and lecture ticket sales, catalogue ads, sponsorships, and dealer booth rent directly support Enterprise. Your support makes a difference in the lives of many San Francisco youth.

We look forward to seeing you all at Festival Pavilion October 3-6, 2019 when we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Enterprise for Youth.

Interview with Charlotte Moss

The San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show is thrilled to have Charlotte Moss as one of the entrance vignette designers, as well as a participant in the October 13 panel discussion on design and entertaining. Recently honored with the New York School of Interior Design’s Centennial Medal and named to Elle Décor’s Grand Masters list of top designers, Charlotte Moss celebrates thirty-three years in the design business this year.

In addition to her residential interior design projects, Charlotte’s work includes designing collections of fabric and trim for Fabricut, carpets and sisals for Stark Carpet, and china for Pickard. Most recently, Charlotte has used her experience culled from thirty-three years of decorating homes to design a collection of furniture and upholstery with Century Furniture.  Charlotte’s capsule clothing collection with IBU movement launched last year. IBU is a groundbreaking apparel and accessories brand that partners with women artisans in developing countries around the world who craft every piece by hand. This fall Charlotte will also launch a jewelry collection with PE Guerin Hardware based on historical designs in their archive.
Charlotte is a prolific author, having published ten books to date. Charlotte Moss Entertains, is her most recent title (Rizzoli, 2018). She will sign this book at the show on October 13 at 3:30PM.

Charlotte lectures widely and considers philanthropy some of her most important work. She is a Trustee of Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, The Bone Marrow Foundation, American Corporate Partners, The Madoo Conservancy, a member of the International Council of Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, and she serves on the Advisory Board of The New York School of Interior Design where she holds an Honorary Doctorate Degree.

In anticipation of Charlotte’s vignette at the upcoming show, we’ve asked her a few questions:

How did you first become interested in antiques?
In my grandmother’s house. I was exposed to them early and they just became a part of the landscape.

Are there any specific historic periods that you are drawn to?
I always seem to be pulled to Directoire and Empire.

In your interior design work, what is your approach to incorporating art and antiques?
My approach is always through a filter, based on the client.

What was your most favorite/memorable art/antique find? Or alternatively, can you tell us about “the one that got away”?
The first antique I bought for myself (that I remember) was a hall tree at a country auction in Virginia. I was a teenager and remembered the exhilaration that it was announced that it was mine. As for the one that got away, out of sight, out of mind, I choose not to focus on those things!

What most excites you about coming to the San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show?
I have been to the show previously and I love its diversity, and bottom line, I always love a good reason to shop.

How do you walk the show? What are you looking for? Any tips for shopping the show?
With any antique show, I study my list before I go. I like to walk, not talk and strike when I know it’s right! Sometimes it takes several rounds to take it all in. Oftentimes, you can’t even describe what you’re looking for, but you hope it’s looking for you.

Astrology vs. Astronomy

Astronomy is the study of the universe and its contents outside of Earth’s atmosphere, such as planets, stars, asteroids, galaxies; and the properties and relationships of those celestial bodies. Astronomers examine the positions, motions, and properties of celestial objects. Astrology on the other hand attempts to study how those positions, motions, and properties affect people and events on Earth. For millennia, the desire to improve astrological predictions was one of the main motivations for astronomical observations and theories.

From Arader Galleries: Scenographia Compagis Mundane Brahe by Andreas Cellarius, 1660.

Astrology continued to be part of mainstream science until the late 1600s, when Isaac Newton demonstrated some of the physical processes by which celestial bodies affect each other. Since then, astronomy has evolved into a completely separate field, where predictions about celestial phenomena are made and tested using the scientific method. In contrast, astrology is now regarded as a pastime and a pseudoscience — though thousands of people around the world still invoke advice from astrologers and astrology publications in making important professional, medical, and personal experiences.

From Philadelphia Print Shop West: celestial map by Ludwig Preyssner, from Atronomischer Bilder-Atlas, circa 1850.

A zodiac is an imaginary belt of the heavens, extending about 8° on each side of the ecliptic, within which are the apparent paths of the sun, moon, and principal planets. In Western astrology, and formerly astronomy, the zodiac is divided into twelve signs, each occupying 30° of celestial longitude and roughly corresponding to the constellations Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.

From American Garage: circa 1930 large scale hand painted canvas astrological banner.

A horoscope is an astrological chart or diagram representing the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, astrological aspects and sensitive angles at the time of an event, such as the moment of a person’s birth. For many, a horoscope represents a forecast of a person’s future, including a outline of their character and circumstances. Whether you’re a believer or not, there is a fascinating appeal and intricate beauty to depictions of zodiacs throughout time.

Below from Earle D. Vandekar of Knightsbridge: Two zodiac porcelain plates (cancer and libra) by Piero Fornasetti, commissioned by and made for Corisia in the 1970’s.

The Big Bang Theory

The most popular theory of our universe’s origin centers on a cosmic cataclysm unmatched in all of history – the Big Bang. The Big Bang Theory is (aside from a long-running TV sitcom) the leading scientific theory of our universe’s origin. Scientists believe the entire vastness of the observable universe, including all of its matter and radiation, was compressed into a hot, dense mass just a few millimeters across. This nearly incomprehensible state is theorized to have existed for just a fraction of the first second of time.

Below: artist impression of the Big Bang, image via The Guardian

Then about 13.7 billion years ago, space expanded very quickly – a cosmic cataclysm unmatched in all of history—the Big Bang. Scientists can’t be sure exactly how the universe evolved after the big bang. Many believe that as time passed and matter cooled, more diverse kinds of atoms began to form, and they eventually condensed into the stars and galaxies of our present universe.
Below (left) Starburst iron sculpture, from epoca in San Francisco. Circa 1970’s.
Below (right) Rare quartz and silvered metal brutalist style illuminating sculpture by Marc D’Haenens, Belgium, circa 1970 – from Milord Antiques.

It was Georges Lemaître, a Belgian priest,  who first noted (in 1927) that an expanding universe could be traced back in time to an originating single point. The idea subsequently received major boosts by Edwin Hubble’s observations that galaxies are speeding away from us in all directions, and from the discovery of cosmic microwave radiation by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson. 
Below: From Henry Saywell, “Vessel”, 2018 by British artist Tom Kemp

The glow of cosmic microwave background radiation, which is found throughout the universe, is thought to be a tangible remnant of leftover light from the big bang. The radiation is akin to that used to transmit TV signals via antennas. But it is the oldest radiation known and may hold many secrets about the universe’s earliest moments. 
Below, from Modernism: “Grasswood”, 2012, by Natalie ARNOLDI, oil on canvas


It seems mother earth has never been quite enough for mankind. Ever since the dawn of time, we have looked up at the skies wondering what lies beyond – and inventing machinery so we can take a closer look. The first telescope was unveiled in the Netherlands in 1608, made by Jacob Metius and Hans Lippershey. It was made famous, however, by Italian mathematician Galileo, who constructed his own, improved device and was the first to use it to explore space. With his telescope he discovered four satellites of Jupiter, and resolved nebular patches into stars.

Early telescopes such as Galileo’s consisted of glass lenses mounted in a tube. Isaac Newton (1642–1727) designed a telescope which used mirrors, known as a reflector telescope. This improved telescope was presented to the Royal Society, causing much excitement (right). On the left is an engraving with hand color from the same era (1660) by Andreas Cellarius entitled “ Situs Terre Circulis Coelestibus Circundate”. The image depicts the location of the Earth with reference to the Celestial circles. Available through Arader Galleries.

In 1842, the Irish nobleman the 3rd Earl of Rosse built an enormous telescope with a mirror 6ft in diameter. The telescope was placed in a pit near his home, Birr Castle, and consisted of a giant tube, at the bottom of which was a large metal mirror. Despite its restricted range, some remarkable discoveries were made using this telescope, such as the first spiral nebulae.

This large brass refractor telescope dates from the same era, and was made by renowned scientific instrument maker in Paris, Marc Francois Louis Secretan (Swiss, 1804-1867). It is inscribed “Secretan A Paris” on the ocular collar, and engraved “Presented by Louis J. Boury ‘79”on the main tube. Available through Roberto Freitas.
On the right is a Georgian celestial globe by J. & W. Cary of London, circa 1800. Available through Yew Tree House.

In the 1970s work began on a telescope that was to become the Hubble Space telescope (left), named after American astrologist Edwin Hubble. On 25 April 1990 it was deployed to its position beyond the earth’s atmosphere where it now orbits the planet. From this position it is able to give a view of the universe free from distortion. Its use has led to many significant discoveries, such as the age of the universe, the identity of quasars and the existence of dark energy.
On the right is the piece “Eve II”, 1982, by Jack Roth (American, 1927-2004). 
Acrylic on canvas. Signed, titled and dated. Available via Guy Regal.

In 1996 plans are born for the next generation space telescope – Hubble’s successor. Named after former Nasa administrator, James Webb, it’s a large infrared-optimized space telescope, set to be launched in 2021, which will reside in an orbit around 1 million miles away from earth. 
On the right is the piece “Untitled (Disc)”, 1971, by John Stephan (American, 1905-1995).
Acrylic on canvas. Signed, dated ’71 and estate stamped verso. Available via Guy Regal.

Here Comes the Sun

The sunburst as a decorative motif probably has its roots in the halos surrounding saintly figures in medieval religious art. During the 17th century, the Catholic church began using elaborate monstrances — decorative stands used to display the communion wafer — adorned with gilded rays. Churches in Italy (most famously St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, below right) often had gilded sunbursts above the altar.

There is a rare depiction of a convex mirror with a sunburst motif in the background of the Arnolfini portrait by 15th-century painter Jan van Eyck, suggesting that sunburst mirrors have been around for a long time.

Early mirrors were small and convex; it wasn’t until the late 17th century, when Louis XIV established his own glassworks in France, that the world saw a significant improvement in the quality and size of mirrors. But even then, mirrors of any kind were expensive rarities — a 40- by 36-inch mirror sold at the end of the 17th century would have cost the equivalent of $36,000 today. Traditionally, the sunburst mirror was attributed to king Louis XIV of France, who history refers to as the self-styled “Sun King”. In fact, he chose the head of Apollo surrounded by rays of light as his personal emblem (depicted, among many other places, on the gates of Versailles, below). The story goes that the king used to stare into his sunburst mirror each morning to contemplate his face in the center of the sun’s rays.

The early 19th century saw a resurgence in popularity for small, convex mirrors. By this time mirror production had fully taken off, and mirrors became a popular decorative and functional accessory in the home, both in Europe and America.  A perfect example is this fanciful set of 3 French Art Deco silver and gold gilt tole sunburst mirrors from the 1930’s, from epoca.

One cannot talk about sunburst mirrors without mentioning the iconic work of Line Vautrin, French jewelry maker, designer, and decorative artist. Vautrin’s work was both elegant and innovative. She created most of her mid-century Modernist pieces through the process of experimentation, achieving popularity after her involvement in the Paris International Exhibition in 1937 – her iconic work remains highly collectable to this day.
Below from Guy Regal: Sun Mirror by Line Vautrin, 1953. Made of talosel and resin. Talosel is a resin material invented by Vautrin. It is derived from cellulose acetate and the name is shortened form of «acetate de cellulose elabore».

Below from Milord Antiques: (left) Amber glass and talosel resin convex mirror by Line Vautrin, circa 1950. (right) Talosel and resin convex “Gerbera” mirror by Line Vautrin, circa 1955.

Man In The Moon

One of the most memorable images from early cinematic history has to be the man-in-the-moon from Georges Méliès’ A trip to the moon (Le Voyage dans la Lune), his influential and visionary 1902 adventure/fantasy/sci-fi tale which is often considered among the very best of 20th century cinema.

Depictions of the man-in-the-moon can be found throughout history, and across the globe. A longstanding European tradition holds that the man was banished to the moon for some crime. Christian lore commonly held that he is the man caught gathering sticks on the Sabbath and sentenced by God to death by stoning (left). In Norse mythology, Máni («moon») is the male personification of the moon who crosses the sky in a horse-drawn carriage. He is continually pursued by the Great Wolf Hati who catches him at Ragnarök (middle). In Chinese mythology, the goddess Chang’e is stranded upon the moon after foolishly consuming a double dose of an immortality potion (right).

It’s not surprising that we find many depictions of the man-in-the-moon in the decorative and fine arts. Here are just a few examples from the upcoming San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show. From Kentshire, a pair of three-color gold and sapphire earrings depicting a Pierrot clown sitting atop a crescent moon. 

From Milord Antiques (left), a pair of gilt and silver wood, metal and glass floor lamps with reverse painted depictions of the Sun and Moon by Piero Fornasetti and from Earle D. Vandekar of Knightsbridge (right) a vintage Piero Fornasetti Astronomici plate.

From epoca in San Francisco:  brass octagonal coffee table by Mexican artist Sergio Bustamante, circa 1970’s/80’s. Bustamante is primarily known for ceramic and metal sculptures, making these coffee tables a rare find.

Scientifically speaking, the man-in-the-moon face is actually made up of various lunar maria or “seas” because, for a long time, astronomers believed they were large bodies of water. They are in fact large areas formed by lava that covered up old craters. The near side of the moon, containing these maria that make up the man, is always facing Earth. The moon’s rotation has slowed to the point where it rotates exactly once on each trip around the Earth and thus, the near side of the moon is always “looking” at us earthlings.

Making an Entrance – Interview with Riccardo Benavides

We all know you never get a second chance to make a first impression. So one of the crucial ingredients in the recipe for a memorable evening is the way it starts: with a showstopping entrance. Thankfully, the San Francisco show is thrilled to be working again with Riccardo Benavides, founder and creative director of Ideas Event Styling, to pull off what is no small feat.
This year, we are doubly blessed in having the entrance generously underwritten by Kohler – a match made in heaven – or at the very least “under the stars”. Betsy Froehlich, marketing manager of Kohler, states: “Kohler has a long and rich history tied to design, art and innovation that remains at the core of everything we do. From product design to technological innovations, from experiential offerings to luxury hospitality, we pride ourselves on gracious, artist approaches and solutions. Having the opportunity to work closely with the San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show is truly an honor, as well as an extension of our respect and dedication to history, culture and art.”

Curious as to how he will exceed last’s years still-talked about display (photo below by Drew Altizer), we asked Riccardo a few questions:

What is your involvement with the show and the opening night gala?
J. Riccardo Benavides and the Ideas Event Styling team has been honored to be the selected décor company for the San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show opening night preview gala by Suzanne Tucker for the second year in a row.

How will you incorporate this year’s theme (The Sun, The Moon and The Stars) into the show entrance?
The entrance will have a vintage quality – landscaped in blue hues and mirrored accents with antique, celestial map icons. Large 4 to 12 foot stars will envelop the midnight sky overhead.

As a designer and creative director, what sets the opening night gala of the San Francisco fall show apart from so many other events in town?
San Francisco is fortunate to have patrons that welcome extravagant yet elegant events. The Fall Art & Antiques Show stands out as an event that is synonymous with luxury while maintaining a touch of whimsy and ethereal appeal.

On a personal note: will you have time to shop the show yourself (I hope so)? If yes, what would you be looking for? Are you a collector?
As a designer, I look for inspiration in architecture, furnishings, fashion, textiles and accessories. I look for pieces that withstand the test of time – pieces that transcend all generations and can be appreciated by all ages. My personal collection consists of traditional French and English antiques, such as vintage clocks, opulent jewelry, and over-the-top conversation pieces.

Thank you Riccardo, and see you at the show!

Interview with Ken Fulk

San Francisco designer extraordinaire Ken Fulk will dream up the fourth vignette at the upcoming Fall Art & Antiques Show. Ken is a designer of experiences big and small. He is renowned for his exuberant interiors, high-concept brand identities and over-the-top parties. The Virginia-born designer has spent the last 25 years developing a business by elevating the daily lives of his clients, not only designing their homes, jets, restaurants and hotels but also directing their birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and family getaways.

Leading a team of 70 architects, designers, artisans, branding and event specialists in both San Francisco and New York, Fulk has expanded his impact around the globe. In addition to current residential work from Mexico to Miami and Provence to Provincetown, Ken Fulk has made his mark in New York over the past year with three new restaurants including the renowned Legacy Records restaurant, the highly decorative Felix Roasting Co., and Noda, an exquisite omakase jewel box. And now, with the long-awaited launch of Saint Joseph’s Arts Society in San Francisco, Fulk is able to offer his rarefied experiences to the community at large.

How did you first become interested in antiques? 
Growing up in Virginia I was absolutely enthralled by the many historic homes and the wonderful antiques that often filled them.
Are there any specific historic periods that you are drawn to?
I have a fondness for early primitive American pieces and folk art. I also have a mild obsession with Biedermeier furniture.

In your interior design work, what is your approach to incorporating art and antiques?
Buy what you love. Every project needs tension. A modern painting never looked better than when it’s sitting above an 18th century chest.
What was your most favorite/memorable art/antique find? Or alternatively, can you tell us about “the one that got away”?
Many years ago, on a buying trip to London, I happened upon a series of antique haberdashery cabinets that had been removed from a famed Savile Row storefront. They were so beautifully crafted that I snapped them up hoping that someday I’d find a home for them. Thankfully, they worked perfectly when it came time to outfit my San Francisco dressing room. Each morning I get the pleasure of “shopping” for that day’s wardrobe.
What most excites you about coming to the San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show?
It’s such a celebratory occasion. Everyone truly seems excited to be there; dealers and patrons alike.

Dark Side of the Moon

One of the absolute must-see pieces at the upcoming show is Carlton Hobbs’ 18th century inlaid petite commode  decorated with a selenographic diagram on the lower shelf (below). The diagram shows the phases of the moon as it is caused by the directions of the sun’s rays and the position of the moon as it orbits the earth. Selenography is the study of the surface and physical features of the Moon. Today, it is considered to be a sub-discipline of selenology, which itself is most often referred to as simply “lunar science.”

A 19th century example of selenography is this rare “hold to the light” plate – an illustration of the moon’s phases from a rare German celestial atlas by Ludwig Preyssinger (see below, from Philadelphia Print Shop West). Some of the atlas’ plates, including this one, have cutouts in the main map, with the chart backed by paper so that when the card is held up to the light the celestial features (stars and planets) can be seen shining through. These star charts are both historically interesting and visually striking.

This original antique celestial map from Asa Smith’s Illustrated Astronomy (below left, from Philadelphia Print Shop West) illustrates the difference between a lunar eclipse and a solar eclipse. A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth passes between the moon and the sun, and the earth’s shadow obscures the moon or a portion of it. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, blocking all or a portion of the sun. Written by the principal of Public School No. 12 in 1856 in New York City, this work was aimed at school students. Smith stated his goal as “to present all the distinguishing principles in physical Astronomy with as few words as possible,” and his text was presented in fifty separate lessons with a series of questions and answers. The handsome charts of the planets and stars are printed predominantly in black, which makes the images as similar as possible to what one would actually see in the night skies. 
On the right: an eerie visual parallel can be drawn with this 19th century rare and elegant lacquered wood shield from the Kha, mountain dweller people from Laos, from Patrick & Ondine Mestdagh.

Last year’s solar eclipse was beautifully captured by Jeffrey Conley in Totality, 8-21-2017, 10:17am, 2017 (on the right) – a platinum/palladium print available via Peter Fetterman Gallery. Such celestial phenomena may very well have been the inspiration for this dramatic 1930s Art Deco onyx and diamond ring from Kentshire (on the left).

The full moon is the lunar phase when the moon appears fully illuminated from earth’s perspective. This occurs when earth is located between the sun and the moon. The full moon occurs once roughly every month. On 14 November 2016, the full moon occurred closer to the Earth than it had been at any time for the previous 68 years, this phenomenon is called a supermoon.
On the left: Distinction in a Circle, by LeRone Wilson in encaustic and bee’s wax, 2017, from Guy Regal.
On the right: a white gold bombé ring of carved crystal with a pavé diamond underlay, in 18k, from Kentshire

Interview with Madeline Stuart

Our third vignette designer for the 2018 show is Madeline Stuart, a leading member of the Los Angeles design community whose projects reflect a collaborative relationship between architecture and furniture, function and form, client and designer. Over the past 25 years, the work of Madeline Stuart & Associates has been featured in numerous publications including Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Veranda, Town & Country, House & Garden and House Beautiful. The firm has been distinguished by its inclusion on the AD100, Architectural Digest‘s prestigious list of the top 100 design & architecture firms. Since 2010 Elle Décor has included Madeline on their A-List as one of the top designers in the country as well. 

Madeline lives in the Hollywood Hills and Santa Barbara with her husband, writer Steve Oney, and Beatrice & Mr. Peabody, professional Jack Russell terriers. Here are her thoughts on decorating with art and antiques – and why the lamb chops at the opening night gala of the San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show are not to be missed: 

How did you first become interested in antiques?
I’ve been interested in antiques for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a house filled with beautiful antique furniture and objects and every piece told a story of a period and a place. Contemporary furniture represents a snapshot of the moment—antiques represent history. They possess a patina that can only be achieved through time. My mother would go to London when you could still find exceptional things for a pittance. I remember being fascinated by an antique brass scale with all the little brass weights. 

Are there any specific historic periods that you are drawn to?
I’d prefer to answer a slightly different question. Namely, please identify what specific historic periods you’re NOT drawn to! That would have to be the Victorian period, specifically in this country. I have a love—or at least an appreciation—for so many different periods and so many different countries. I wouldn’t know how to narrow it down.

In your interior design work, what is your approach to incorporating art and antiques?
It’s the difference between couture and prêt-à-porter. I’d much rather find something unique than something that’s been mass produced. How thrilling it is to locate the perfect antique chandelier or an exceptional piece of artwork! I love the idea that you can suss out a piece that’s capable of transforming an interior from one that’s merely good to one that’s truly extraordinary. Antiques are one-of-a-kind and their uniqueness is what brings life and soul to a room.

What was your most favorite/memorable art/antique find? Or alternatively, can you tell us about “the one that got away”?
I have a friend who was in a junk shop and discovered a painting by Charles Sheeler, an artist whose paintings I adore. Sadly I don’t have such a dramatic tale to tell… I recently found a stunning little Jean Dunand vase for a terrific price. I felt like I’d stumbled upon a rare gem in a field of rocks—there’s nothing like the thrill of the hunt. At last year’s antique show I was so determined not to “let one get away” that I bought a Portuguese cabinet just because I didn’t want anyone else to have it! It’s sitting in storage because it doesn’t fit in either my LA or Santa Barbara house, but I fell so deeply in love with it, I bought it anyway!

What most excites you about coming to the San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show?
The lamb chops! (seriously—my record is 13!) And the people watching!
I have such respect for the dealers and am fascinated by their unbridled passion for whatever it is they believe in, whether that be Asian antiquities or American folk art. I’m awestruck by the incredible range of beautiful things. And I love the enthusiasm of the people who attend—these are folks who truly enjoy a good party. And of course I’m compelled to torture myself by looking at all the exquisite jewelry that I can’t possibly afford to buy. I’m also excited to wear what I bought just for the show—so fabulous!

How do you walk the show? What are you looking for? Any tips for shopping the show?
I realize that everyone has a different technique when attending an antique show and I’m not sure my method has any merit. I have to go “round and round” – there’s no way I can see everything on the first pass. I find myself discovering objects toward the end of an evening, even though I may have spent time in a particular booth early on… Let’s face it, there’s a lot to see and a lot of lamb chops to eat in a very short period of time!

(Room photos, from top, by Victoria Pearson, Simon Upton, Dominique Vorillion, Trevor Tondro, Simon Upton)

Interview with Paul Wiseman

Paul Vincent Wiseman, one of the four vignette designers of the 2018 San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show, was born in the rich delta country of California’s Sacramento Valley. His formative years in an agricultural community have made him both sensible and grounded, but he has always marched to the beat of his own drum. After studying at the University of California- Berkeley, his zest for travel took him all over Europe and the Far East. By his mid-twenties, he had lived for extended periods in both France and Australia. It was during these youthful travels that he realized his passion for design. His eponymous interior design studio, The Wiseman Group, was founded in 1980. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, arguably one of the most dynamic and creative regions in the country, The Wiseman Group benefits from the cross-pollination of ideas and aesthetics in this high-energy locale. Influenced by both the city’s rich history and traditions and its proximity to Silicon Valley, the cutting edge of modern technology, the firm buzzes with vibrancy.

Direct, thoughtful exposure to the disparate cultures of the world has allowed Paul to be truthful to what is authentic. He has been influenced by the classic European motifs of Italy, France, England, and Spain, but is equally inspired by Asia and Africa. His is a global perspective on design—eclectic in the best sense of the word.
Paul has a deep appreciation for history, culture, art, and architecture. This love, paired with exposure to fine decorative arts through travel, has inspired his patronage of superb craftspeople. Artisan studios from Paris to the Far East provide the custom design elements that have become a signature of TWG projects.

In anticipation of his vignette at the entrance of the 2018 San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show, we asked Paul about his approach to collecting and decorating with art and antiques:

How did you first become interested in antiques?
I am a history buff and I was fascinated how history is often manifested through objects. For example, the neoclassicism of the late 18th century was directly connected with the discovery of Pompeii and Herculaneum. There are many other examples such as the Napoleonic campaign furniture. Once I became an interior designer, I loved using antiques to give people a more in-depth reflection of time and space.

Are there any specific historic periods that you are drawn to?
There are many. For me personally, Japanese and Chinese Asian antiquities from the Han and Ming periods and the 20th Century Japanese Art Deco period are particular favorites. I have a 500-year-old Ming table in my living room and on it a Three-legged Han Vessel from a tomb and behind that is a 1920’s Japanese Screen of gold and silver leaf. Each one of these pieces drew my eyes as they were not heavily ornamented.

In your interior design work, what is your approach to incorporating art and antiques?
I love the tension of combining contemporary art with antiques. I think that it reminds us that we are just not of one time or place. Our homes are a great reflection of this dynamic. 

What was your most favorite/memorable art/antique find? Or alternatively, can you tell us about “the one that got away”?
I think my favorite find was a console table that I spotted at a Sotheby’s auction in London. My clients got it for a very good price. We found later that it had royal inventory markings that Sotheby’s had missed.

What most excites you about coming to the San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show?
Of course the Opening Night Gala is the best party in town, but that is a known fact! I like the way the show is evolving which includes more diverse periods including contemporary art.

How do you walk the show? What are you looking for? Any tips for shopping the show?
I always pre-tour the show with my staff to scout out objects that will fit our various clients’ needs. During this tour, everyone gathers images and vendor information. We then follow-up the next morning with a breakfast meeting at our office to review and share all our wonderful finds. We engage clients before the show to gain their approval on prized pieces so we can purchase on their behalf as soon as the show opens.
What we look for varies each year and depends on the phases of our projects. Educating one’s eye is key to a successful show. Due to my experience I can recognize an unusual, unique find in order to educate my designers and clients.