COLLECTING
Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & 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 […]

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 […]

Ora-ito. Arborescence Collection for Christofle. Courtesy of Christofle.

  In our culture of vanity and self-absorption, hoi polloi are mainly interested in fashion. Cladded in designer outfits and accessorized to the tilt, contemporary consumers re-define themselves based on the quantities of goods they acquire. Additionally, they seek to partake in the art world, even if tangentially. The Murakami and Kusama limited editions of […]

Archaic design for necklace (with dark red garnets in cabochon) and brooch (with malachite). Courtesy of Lalaounis.

For saturated tastes such as ours today, few are the luxury pieces that stand apart. As consumers we have become blasé precisely because the market is crowded with too many brands fighting for our attention. Print ads, promotional videos, short films, Facebook endorsements, and chatty tweets raise the volume of noise and confusion. To counter […]

Tiffany & Co. Vintage Minaudière. Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

For the last ten years, auction houses have been steadily increasing their presence in the field of vintage fashion and accessories. Increased consumption of luxury goods has paralleled the ups and downs of the market and, as a result, it has generated an entire new category of product placement at auctions. While the major auction […]

"Pippa" chair. Courtesy of Hermès.

“Luxe pauvre” (transl. impoverished luxury) has nothing to do with deprivation—on the contrary it refers to a most heightened form of an opulent aesthetic, one that, ironically, precedes minimalism by several decades. Jean-Michel Frank (1895-1941), the French aristocrat who found in design an outlet for his introvert nature, is still considered the master of this […]

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 […]