Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chinoiserie Redux

Now that our SF Giants have won the World Series title and the mid-term election is over, let’s re-cap some recent design news…

On Wednesday, October 27th we attended the opening night gala of the San Francisco Fall Antiques Show with this year's theme being Chinoiserie. The venue at Fort Mason has never looked so festive, especially with the entry bedecked in red pagodas and requisite sit and chat tables. Gourmet tidbits abounded with the wait staff offering the ubiquitous glass of bubbly around every corner.

This year’s theme of Chinoiserie was well chosen, and is defined by the Antiques Show web site as “Western art that incorporates or imitates Eastern design elements and techniques”. Using chinoiserie elements has long been a standard for classic interiors and has been gaining in popularity as a more contemporary interest is heightened. There is even a wonderful blog entitled “Chinoiserie Chic”.

This year’s event welcomed the return of many of last year’s exhibitors as well as many new faces. There seemed to be a particularly large presence of art this year with a stronger focus on modern pieces, which made for an interesting mix. Particular favorites among exhibitors were Montgomery Gallery with it’s amazing mix of California paintings, Finnegan Gallery from Chicago showing late 19th century/early 20th century garden antiques, arresting in their stark beauty and dark charm. We also enjoyed an informative time conversing with the likes of Peter Pap of Peter Pap Oriental Rugs and Kathleen Taylor of The Lotus Collection, who is considered “the” procurer of antique textiles anywhere. We also spotted an amazing commode by one of our local favorites Therien and Co.

On Saturday we attended the lecture by noted interior design author Adam Lewis who spoke on his latest book, Billy Baldwin The Great American Decorator. Mr. Lewis gave an interesting talk that had us hanging on every word. After the talk we mingled about a bit more, ran into friends, then headed over to Greens restaurant where we enjoyed a rainy afternoon lunch with friends which rounded the week of antiques and Chinoiserie beautifully.

Barbara Ashfield & David Hansen

Photos from Top:

1) SFFAS Entry by David Hansen for Ashfield Hansen Design Inc.

2) 19th Century English bust from Finnegan Gallery in Chicago.

3) 18th Century French Chinoiserie needlepoint valence from Kathleen Taylor- The Lotus Collection.

4) 18th Century German Rococo Commode from Therien & Co.

* All photos used by permission.

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