For Collectors of the Fine and Decorative Arts
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  • Features From Previous Issues

    Coats of Many Colors

    The difference between a mediocre piece of American painted furniture and a great one is measured in a span smaller than an inch. Vulnerable to the ravages of time and the whims of fashion, few of these furnishings have survived the centuries with their painted surfaces intact. Continue reading

    Exhibitions: Sèvres’ Success

    Since the mid-18th century, Sèvres has produced porcelain for monarchs, diplomats and private collectors alike. Even as the factory’s wealthy clients were put to the guillotine in the midst of the French Revolution, the National Convention decided that Sèvres must continue to run. “We all know that French history is riddled with changes of regime and political and social turmoil over the centuries,” says Liana Paredes, curator of a new Sèvres exhibition at the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens in Washington, D.C. “What were the factors that safeguarded this factory and its production through such a long history?” Continue reading

    Books: The Other Hot Pot

    Everybody now knows the story of the Euphronios krater, the sixth-century B.C. Greek masterpiece of vase painting that the Metropolitan Museum gave back to Italy last year. But what about the Euphronios kylix? A companion piece to the krater, this delicate drinking vessel shows an earlier version by the artist of the scene depicted on the krater—the body of the Homeric hero Sarpedon being carried off the battlefield of Troy by Sleep and Death. Continue reading

    Collecting: Premium Blend

    For 40 years London dealer Indar Pasricha has been collecting Indo-European furniture, a hybrid genre that was a byproduct of the spice trade that brought the Portuguese, and later the Dutch, French and English, to the Indian subcontinent and its island neighbor, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). “The ebony furniture, with its low-relief carving, looks extraordinary in a modern setting,” says Pasricha. Continue reading

    Design: Labor of Love

    Intrigued by the idea of transforming inexpensive materials into original and highly decorative artworks, the Swiss Art Deco artist Jean Dunand mastered the painstakingly meticulous technique of dinanderie. This method of hammering forms out of a sheet of metal such as brass or copper, which was then laid over a shaped mold, became the foundation for Dunand’s early creations. Continue reading

    Collecting: Training Wheels

    When Donald Kaufman was a boy in Massachusetts in the 1930s, he wished for a pedal car but never got one. As an adult, though, he fulfilled his childhood desire more than 200 times over, by amassing one of the greatest collections of pre-World War II toys, including 200-odd pedal cars, over almost six decades. This month, Kaufman, a 78-year-old retired toy company executive, is selling it all through Bertoia Auctions of Vineland, N.J., a specialist in pre-World War II toys that will disperse the hoard (which exceeds 10,000 objects) in at least five sales, the first of which will be held March 19–21. Continue reading

    Design: Living Color

    When Raoul Dufy’s intricately carved woodcuts first debuted in 1911, as illustrations for Guillaume Apollinaire’s book of poems Le Bestiaire ou cortège d’Orphée, the quality and importance of the French artist’s technique went relatively unnoticed by his contemporaries. Yet one man, the couturier Paul Poiret, recognized Dufy’s gift for innovation and would later offer him an opportunity to expand his talents through textile design—where Dufy would make a vibrant impact on the world of fashion. Continue reading