16th or 17th Century Flemish Tapestry | Antique & Art Exchange

16th or 17th Century Flemish Tapestry

This week we feature a rare complete tapestry dating to the 16th or 17th century, which depicts Ceasar’s triumphant return to Rome in AD 47. It is interesting to note the double headed eagles in the borders. This heraldic symbol is associated with the Hapsburg dynasty and was evidently meant to indicate that they shared an ancestry with Caesar. This …

17th or 18th Century Statue of the Goddess Flora | Antique & Art Exchange

17th or 18th Century Statue of the Goddess Flora

I first saw this beauty about 18 years ago. At that point the statue was not for sale. It had sat nicely outside Thomas Church’s breakfast room in his secret garden. Church was Olmsted’s favorite student. Olmsted designed Central park. Ultimately Church designed landscapes for many leading 20th century industrialists and was extremely influential in West Coast design, playing an …

Terracotta Sculpture After Clodion | Antique & Art Exchange

Terracotta Sculpture After Clodion

This week we are featuring an amazing statue, which is not entirely as it seems. I like to think of some of my purchases as lottery tickets. This statue was in a private collection for at least 70 years. Fortunately, and unfortunately, it was signed by famous artist Clodion. His romantic sensual and realistic statues were made late in the …

Anglo-Indian Export | Antique & Art Exchange

Anglo-Indian Export

There is a very interesting group of furniture made throughout Asia and the Middle East that was exported westward starting in the 1700s. The Asian objects are broadly described as “Anglo-Indian,” and incorporate English style with Asian decoration. Some of the most interesting styles of furniture emerge from a collision in cultures. In the Anglo-Indian aesthetic it is not unusual …

Amphorae | Antique & Art Exchange

Amphorae

In Western antiquity, storage of wine, fish sauce and olive oil probably involved a pottery jar known as an amphora. These jars were made of terra-cotta and had interiors treated with resin in order to make them suitable for carrying liquids. Amphorae have a very particular shape: a bulbous body that gradually tapers inwards at its neck and foot, and …

Budding Love for Antiques in Marin City | Antique & Art Exchange

Budding Love for Antiques in Marin City

I didn’t grow up with antiques. By the time I left home, I was older than anything in it. When I finally got a decent job after graduating from college, I could actually afford my own studio apartment and replace the sleeping bag on the floor with real furniture. That’s when I discovered Marin City Flea market, a sprawling field …

Collections and Collectors | Antique & Art Exchange

Collections and Collectors

I thought I would write a little bit about some wonderful collections and collectors. I think we are hard wired to collect. Its probably a leftover from that hunter-gatherer instinct. Collections are generally open-ended and driven by the joy of discovery. A friend of mine has spent most of his life collecting 19th century American sterling silver. His love for …

A Lively Surface | Antique & Art Exchange

A Lively Surface

From the moment I first started collecting I wanted to know how to tell if something was old or not. Most dealers are in no rush to help create competitors, so their answers tended to be vague at best. I can’t recall who gifted me this insight, but the idea that an old and wonderful object posses a “lively surface” …

My Early History with Chinese Porcelain | Antique & Art Exchange

My Early History with Chinese Porcelain

I had spent most of 1988 wandering around the world. Several of these months were spent in mainland China. The industry and determination was unlike anything I had seen before. I believed China would want their antiques back and be glad to pay. In 1989 I came to live in San Francisco and work for an English antiques dealer that …

Antiques & Design Trends | Antique & Art Exchange

Antiques & Design Trends

The last 10 years have seen a dramatic shift in the market for antiques. Economic forces and changing styles (fashion) have changed the landscape. Prices that went steadily up for decades came down. If you are a contrarian, now is the moment to think about collecting. The shelter magazines are showing color and antiques again. Taste and fashion are regional. …

One and Done | Antique & Art Exchange

One and Done

I love the much attributed and repeated quote that ones home is never done but is a work in progress. Coco Chanel, Brooke Astor, Sister Parish are just a few that have been credited with saying this. For everyone’s sake I thought I might refine the quote. A painting might be moved or replaced. Upholstery might be changed. A collection …

Beauty | Antique & Art Exchange

Beauty

Tennessee Williams played an important role in 20th century thought, writing and entertainment. Recently we stumbled across a copy of a Roman bronze antique statue that he wrote about and actually considered it his best writing. The original bronze was discovered in Pompeii about 1860. It is probably a statue of the god Dionysus or Bacchus as a young man …