COLLECTING
Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & 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 […]

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 […]

Biosymbol, golden cuff with rubies. Courtesy of Lalaounis.

Gold and precious stones have always fascinated man. Classifiers of power, prestige, and status, gold and gems have increased their value when an artist crafts beautiful objects with them. This is what Greek jeweler Ilias Lalaounis (1920- ) has been doing since he entered the family business in the 1940s. His eponymous company was formed […]

Jean Etienne Liotard. Portrait of Mademoiselle Jacquet, bet. 1748-1752.

A portrait of the lovely Mlle Jacquet is coming up for auction at Sotheby’s Paris on June 21st. Mlle Jacquet was an actress and singer with the Royal Academy of Music  in Paris. Her portrait is signed by the most famous pastel painter of the eighteenth century, Jean Étienne Liotard. Liotard (1702-1789), was born in […]

French carpet of the period of Louis XIII. Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Luxury is best understood as an exercise in technical prowess, imagination, and conceptual adeptness. These three active ingredients are present in any effort that is showcased as what a specific group of people, or culture can produce. This is probably why the most luxurious products throughout history were developed to provoke the admiration, awe, and […]

Ferdinand Parpan. A Bronze Figure of an Elephant, 2000. Courtesy of Christie's.

Legend has it Henri Matisse spent endless hours sketching and re-sketching swans until he managed to reduce his design to the magnificent and most powerful graphic work, an etching, that is known today as The Swann (Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, 1931-1932). For the untrained eye it is hard to comprehend why abstraction takes so […]

Courtesy of Sotheby's Paris

“A work of art must in its modest sphere elevate the soul by its beauty.” Jean Puiforcat Very few people have patience for history. Most find it boring, futile and irrelevant. I challenge these views. For evidence, I present you with the example of Louis Victor Puiforcat, a French metal smith of the 18th century, who […]