COLLECTING
Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & Luxury
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 […]

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 […]

Monkey stealing a banana. Articulated monkey pendant is encrusted with pavé Champagne diamonds and is carrying a Yellow Sapphire Banana. Courtesy of Marc Alary.

  Pluralism of styles does not warrant innovation. In present-day fashion, product, and jewelry design we mostly see repetition: revivals made contemporary with minor updates in cut, color, and size. Jewelry, by definition a means to personalizing an outfit, suffers from a similar malaise. The field lacks creativity and compensates for it with great numbers […]

Lara Knutson. Soft Glass, 2010. Courtesy of the Corning Museum of Glass.

Historians organize our experiences in neatly defined historic movements. Romanticism, the intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century, found expression in artistic and literary works that deeply impacted the Western world until about 1850. Romantic works stemmed from heightened emotions and man’s aesthetic experience in the world. In turn, […]

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, […]

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 […]

Axel Salto ceramic vase for Royal Copenhagen.

Today, for each luxury house, the public can recall both the name of its brand and that of its celebrity designer. Think of Raf Simmons for Dior Couture (fashion), Paloma Picasso for Tiffany’s (jewelry design), or Jean-Claude Ellena for Hermès (perfume). This was not the case at the beginning of the 20th century. A time […]

Fornasetti enamelled brown glass, 1937. Courtesy of Alexandre Biaggi.

Call it name-dropping, call it trend-setting, brand-cladding is an art for urbane New Yorkers. These global nomads, whether local or international, are well versed in the language of brands. They show a flare for branded apparel, define their lifestyle according to branded neighborhoods, and consume branded art by means of branded funds and trust accounts.  […]

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 […]