COLLECTING
Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & Luxury
Decorative box of tortoiseshell with silver inlay. Courtesy of Maison Bonnet.

  Tortoiseshell has long been a controversial item mainly because it is produced from the shell of the hawksbill turtle, an endangered species. It has been used since antiquity for the manufacturing of instruments, such as the Greek lyre, decorative accents on Roman furniture, marquetry of thin inlays as in Louis XIV furniture, and small luxury […]

Silver smithing at Christofle on Madison Avenue. © Thomai Serdari

In our increasingly high-tech existence, we are progressively losing touch with the tactile side of life. This is particularly true in the US, a country detached from manufacturing. Americans value their homegrown service economy and the empowerment it warrants them in becoming avid consumers of goods and experiences. Even art schools is the US are […]

Koppel Pitcher 992. Courtesy of Georg Jensen

The beauty of the Koppel Pitcher for Georg Jensen stems from its simplicity. A single leaf of silver turned into this hollow silver container speaks mainly to those familiar with the complexities of silversmithing. This particular design, the achievement of Danish designer Henning Koppel (1918-1981), was introduced in 1952. It reduces the essence of the […]

National Archaeological Museum of Athens

Hublot’s movement “Homage to the Machine of Anticythera,” has been installed at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens next to the vestiges of the original treasure, the Anticythera mechanism that was retrieved from the sea in 1901. The Anticythera mechanism (a proto-computer) has been dated to the Second century BC. It was meant to describe […]

Exhibition view. Copyright Thomai Serdari.

Aristocracy comes with the privileges of leisure and luxury, and with gratifications as diverse as the colors of the rainbow. Nonetheless, the common belief that associates aristocracy with an inherent entitlement to freedom is mistaken. This is what one learns from “La mécanique des dessous, une histoire indiscrète de la silhouette,” the spectacular exhibit currently […]

View of "Alaïa" at the Palais Galliera, Paris.

The re-opening of the Musée de la Mode de Paris, also known as Palais Galliera, has created much anticipation for two reasons. The building itself, a Beaux Arts edifice completed in 1894, had been in need of major restoration. As for the mission of the organization, it too required a major revisiting to question what, […]

Suzanne Belperron. Citrine and rock crystal brooch, ca. 1930. Courtesy Valérie Danenberg

Suzanne Belperron’s work is well respected in France and gaining more renown in the US as well. As we have previously discussed her work, we were delighted to discover this unique brooch made of citrine, rock crystal and 18K carats gold. This piece, which dates to the 1930s, is extraordinary because of the quality and size […]

Minaudière by CHANEL, ca. 2012. Courtesy of Chanel.

The minaudière, a term coined by Estelle Arpels (wife of Alfred van Cleef, founder of the Maison Van Cleef & Arpels), entered both women’s vocabulary and their wardrobes in the 1930s.  Irresistibly handy, and literally made to fit in the palm of one’s hand, the minaudière, a small-scale handbag or clutch, was a clever upgrade […]

View of the Trompe l'Oeil exhibit at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.

  Trompe l’oeil, an art technique that refers to the optical illusion of the third dimension through painterly two-dimensional works of realistic imagery, has its origins in the ancient frescoes and mosaics. Trompe l’oeil has remained a constant in the works of ancient, Renaissance, and modern artists and continues to fascinate today even if the […]