COLLECTING
Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & Luxury
Kaleidoscope. Designed by Sonia Delaunay, ca. 1923. Courtesy of Eberhard B. Talke Antiquariat.

The 53rd Annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair is an elaborate affair of over a hundred exhibitors crammed under the roof of the Park Avenue Armory. The fair that opened on Thursday is closing on Sunday April 14—there is still time to visit. And while everyone is lamenting the demise of print and book cultures, […]

Charles Fréger, "Wilder Mann" Certi, Czech Republic. Courtesy of the artist.

  Wilder Mann opened in New York on Thursday at the fourth floor gallery of La Maison Hermès on Madison Avenue. The show consists of a series of photographs that document folk costumes of traditions that have survived in several European countries (Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Greece, Bulgaria, Italy to name just a few). It is […]

Shoe by NoritakaTatehana

Contrary to other accessories, such as hats or bags, women’s shoes exhibit a great degree of mechanical malfunction. This stems from the shoes’ impossible structures, contorted shapes, and dizzying heights, all of which render them unfit for everyday use. That’s not necessarily bad. Certain models of luxury watches are known for unprecise time keeping. Luxury […]

Pierre Sterlé. Bracelet, 1950s. Courtesy of Sotheby's London.

If the world of high jewelry had a scent, this would be Jicky by Guerlain. Jicky, permeator of dreams and private moments, exudes old world elegance and simplicity just like finely set precious stones do. It is modern and evolving, evocative of new technology and seeker of excitement in new materials and techniques. As all […]

An illustration to the Ramayana Mewar, circa 1710. Courtesy of Bonhams.

As Asia Week New York just kicked off, fervor for the numerous works exhibited at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Bonhams is rising. Auctions are scheduled for the upcoming week. A collaboration among auction houses, independent dealers and major cultural institutions, such as Asia Society, Japan Society, Rubin Museum of Art etc., Asia Week aims at celebrating and […]

Rotende de Cartier. Courtesy of Cartier.

Granulation, an advanced technique of working with gold, involves the careful manufacture, sorting and soldering of a dizzying number of miniscule grains of gold on to an object’s surface. (Oxford Dictionary of Art) Most people associate granulation with Etruscan jewelry even though the technique is known to have been applied by Mesopotamians and Greeks as […]

Jean Fouquet. Bracelet, 1927. Courtesy of Hancocks.

Art Fairs are the millennials of art patronage. They proliferate rapidly, embrace life, art and technology in their 2.0 versions, and have no time to spare. Nurtured in times of privilege, they are overly specialized and exclusive, trendsetters in a post-modern culture that fosters breadth of knowledge rather than depth. In a calendar year, art […]

Bulgari, Serpent Tuboga, 1975. Courtesy of Bulgari.

The problem with good art is that it makes bad art look worse. Good design makes bad design implode by lack of ideas. Great execution brings out the clumsiness in everything else. Contemporary Bulgari designs pale by comparison to their early slithering predecessors. The latter are part of a small-scale curated exhibit at Bulgari’s flagship […]

Golden necklaces, 2012. Courtesy of Zolotas.

The story of the oldest luxury firm in Greece, Zolotas, resonates with me because the founding family came from my hometown in Central Greece, which the family’s two sons, Lambros and Efthimios, left for Athens. By the end of the 19th century, the Greek capital had made considerable strides in refinement and cosmopolitanism. While destined […]