Sure, the San Francisco Fall Antiques Show is the West Coast's premiere and oldest, continuously running antiques fair. However it's the opening preview party which is hands down the swellest in this country and beyond...
... from the hallowed caviar and lamb chop stations to the glittery scions and starlets of SF society gracing the aisles. This year's theme was "Seaworthy"...
... and architect Andrew Skurman designed the monumental waves based on the Great Wave by Japanese artist Hotusai that greet one on arrival. (Skurman, a devoted classicist, has just published his first monograph. I guarantee the cover will make you need to purchase the book. )
The William Racke Studio realized Skurman's design here. They and many others donated their services so that as much money as possible would go to the benefitting charity Enterprise for High School Students, which prepares and trains students for employment and higher education. In celebration of the America Cup which the city is hosting in 2013, the fair showcased all things nautical.
This vitrine of specially loaned objects includes a pair of mid 17th century Sicilian shellwork "Fantastic Gardens" from Ann Getty's collection, precursors of Tony Duquette whimsy.
Obsolete, a Venice, CA gallery, showed an installation by artist Ron Pippin of 120 ships. A mechanical cow sculpture with disturbing tail was also on view in their stand.
I attended the opening with my good friend Deb Hatch, on the right in a Giants scheme of orange and black. She also was paying homage to Swan Babe Paley with a Giants kerchief tied around her evening bag. On the left is dynamo Lisa Podos, the director/maestro of the show.
As the evening was the kickoff of the world series and San Francisco is full of rabid Giants fans, Lisa and her team were clever and set up a viewing area complete with hot dogs and pretzels.
Deb's pick of the show was the Renaissance poesy rings at medievalist Les Enluminares.
The simple bands of gold are engraved with charming inscriptions such as "Youres I am" and "De Boen Coeur" on the interior.
Santa Barbara dealer Sullivan Goss showed some striking California tonalist oils and
it's always a pleasure to see the textile treasures of Kathleen Taylor and the Lotus Collection.
Steinitz of Paris had one of the most spectacular stands, taking an early 18th century Kentian paneled room as its surround.
It's all in the details and so even if I won't be taking this fabulous marquetry Mexican cabinet home with me, I can certainly replicate this striking arrangement of succulents in its interior.
In addition to wonderful things, there were also wonderful people galore...
including my jewelry advisor and mentor Suzanna Allen above and
Olivia Hsu Decker, power realtor, whose stunning vintage Dior jacket was the European cousin to my antique Moroccan caftan.
Mark your calendars for 2013 - I'll meet you at the chocolate covered strawberries!