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 […]

Courtesy of MARKET Stockholm 2013

The proliferation of Art Fairs indicate the public’s increased interest in art, one that justifies the hefty price of dealers’ participation in the various venues. October marks the beginning of an active year ahead with a few fairs worth visiting. Below is a selection of off-the-beaten-path fairs.   Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain (FIAC) Oct 24-27, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Lapis Lazuli Desk Box. Courtesy of A La Vielle Russie, New York.

The infinite, the mysterious, and the inaccessible have always fascinated us. When combined with the clarity and beauty of a deep blue sky they provoke feelings of awe and desire. At least, that’s what we learn about the color blue specifically and the origins of our enthrallment with it in an article by Natalie Angier in […]

Artisan working on a Saint-Louis crystal set by Hermès. © Thomaï Serdari

Known to have operated since at least 1586, and continuously in production since the late 18th century, the crystal manufacture of Saint-Louis in France is still one of the most prominent in the world. The tradition of crafting crystal into exquisite objects that both serve a function and appeal to the senses is maintained and […]

R. Venturi & D. Scott Brown. Spots. 1993. Courtesy of V'SOSKE.

Cherry blossoms are long gone but the 28 flower buds, irregularly spread on a woolen “midnight navy” rug appeared for the first time today on La Guardia Place.  The rug, designed in a flat style derivative of Japanese art by American architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown (1993, 6’x8’, 100% wool), is one of […]

Schiaparelli and Prada at the Met, general view

or “An Impossible conversation with Thomas P. Campbell” Rather than give another descriptive review of the “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations” exhibit (currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) I will focus on the following quote by the museum’s director, Thomas P. Campbell, to identify the faults in his reasoning: “Given the role […]