Purchase Story

San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show

San Francisco, California

Perhaps the last (in late October, although there were still two months to go) Bay Area tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, the theme of the San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques show, held October 25-29, 2017, was “Flower Power.” Flowers and floral designs were everywhere, especially in the four vignettes at the entrance to the show, each created by a local designer, and in the booths, and on the clothing worn by exhibitors and showgoers alike.


At the booth of Peter Finer, London, these imposing suits of armor were a highlight and were priced at $175,000 each. On the left: a northern Italian etched light cavalry armor, 1560-80, made from steel, brass, and leather, 43.3" high. On the right: a composite German Maximilian field armor, circa 1520, made from steel and leather, 70.8" high.


This 1994 numbered (185/250) iconic sheep sculpture by François-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008) made from epoxy stone and patinated bronze, 36½" high x 39½" long x 13" deep, was priced at $235,000 by Antonio’s Bella Casa, Newport Beach and Los Angeles, California. Other sales were sculpture and decorative accessories, including Art Deco boxes.


At the booth of Philadelphia Print Shop West, Denver, was this 1849 lithographed and hand-colored map of the United States, conserved and mounted on new linen. It was issued shortly after the discovery of gold in California. The 15" x 25" map cost $4250.


Jill Fenichell of Brooklyn was asking $9500 for Love Seat, a pair of contemporary studio pottery stoneware chairs by Kazuko Matthews (b. 1934). Shown is one of the nonmatching pair. This was Fenichell’s first year at the show, where she reported “a lot of interest, a few sales.” The show? “Very enthusiastic collectors, engaged and looking at things.” The opening night party? “Spectacular and spectacularly crowded.”

The vignettes were created under the watchful, tasteful supervision of designer Suzanne Tucker, who was the show chair for the third year. Tucker “determines the overall direction and look of the show: the theme, the designer vignettes, the lectures, and book signings, as well as cultivating new dealers.” She also acts as coordinator, publicist, and art director for the opening night gala and subsequent events, “to make sure every year surpasses the previous one in terms of quality, visual delight, and entertainment.” Show director Ariane Trimuschat said, “Suzanne is brilliant at this—she has such a great eye. It amazes me every year.”

There were 51 exhibitors, including six new to the show, Trimuschat said, “which filled the pavilion, as we had several with very large booths. In past years we have had as many as 60 but with smaller booths. There is no specific goal for the number, as that changes depending on the size of the booths.” Tucker added, “We have also invited our dealers to think beyond antiques and bring pieces from antiquity to present day (no more fifty-year cutoff date). This has brought a more contemporary vibe to the show, which has been well received.”


This 18th-century 81¼" high x 45¼" wide x 21" deep Mexican cabinet cost $330,000 from Steinitz, Paris.


One of the “remarkable basketry forms” at the booth of Rainforest Baskets Gallery, Portland, Oregon, was this 18" x 14" shaman mask handwoven by Emberá artist Marcia Mesua. It was priced at $650. Sales were brisk (“the masks sold as if this was a liquidation sale”), and woven baskets sold as well.


New York City dealer Richard Schillay was asking $85,000 for Clown, 21½" x 15¾", by Milton Avery (1885-1965).


This circa 1900, 22" high x 15" wide wood heron was priced at $2800 by American Garage, Los Angeles. The dealer said business was “fantastic, great for us. We’ve sold large and small items and had sales every day.”

Trimuschat told M.A.D. that the process of inviting new dealers begins when returning dealers sign up—or don’t. Then, “We look for where the gaps are. What genres do we want more representation from? What is selling well in California? What new galleries would we love to include in the show?” There is also an application on the show’s website, and all submissions are reviewed. “We put a great deal of thought into each new dealer we invite.” The exhibitor list was full by May for the October show.

Attendance was up this time. “Lots of buzz,” said Trimuschat. “The aisles were crowded every day. We had eight to ten thousand over the course of the show.”

The 2018 show dates are October 10 for the opening night preview gala and then October 11-14. For more information, go to (www.sffas.org).


The 20" high x 23" wide x 18" deep bee was $6000 from Patrick & Ondine Mestdagh, Brussels.


With the perspective of a longtime exhibitor, Daniel Stein of San Francisco said that the new dealers were “a very good addition to the show.” He noted that there was more art exhibited than in the past, which he called “positive,” and he said that the more open show layout was “a plus.” The 1880-1900 French Directoire-style set of fruitwood library steps, 89½" high x 23" wide x 64" deep, on functional steel casters, was priced at $16,500.


The Chippendale figured cherrywood chest of drawers, Hartford County, Connecticut, signed by George Belden, 37 3/8" high x 33½" wide x 17¾" deep, was priced at $85,000. The Chinese export porcelain blue and white tureen with cover, 1775-85, was 13¼" long and priced at $2250. Both were  from Roberto Freitas of Stonington, Connecticut. Business was “very good” and included sales of a blockfront chest and a tea table, and he had interest in a Tiffany lamp.


First-time exhibitor Butchoff Antiques, London, offered this circa 1870 French carved giltwood “canapé in the Louis XVI manner,” 42" high x 52" wide x 25" deep, with later velvet upholstery, for $75,000. The circa 1870 Italian occasional table in carved giltwood, inset with a bird on a flowering branch, was priced at $16,000.


Originally published in the January 2018 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2017 Maine Antique Digest

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