Last weekend, there were two spectacular art shows in South Florida - Art Wynwood in
Miami and the "Palm Beach Jewelry, Art, and Antiques Show" in Palm Beach. I went to
Miami on Saturday and Palm Beach on Sunday. What a fantastic weekend!
The Palm Beach Show claimed to have $5 billion worth of goods inside.
Here is the Convention Center with a stainless steel sculpture by Gino Miles in front.
There were several dozen of the grandest jewelry dealers in the world present; many came from
New York, and all brought their entire stores with them - counters, display cases, and safes.
There was no costume jewelry here, only precious gems. There were works by Cartier,
Van Cleef and Arpel, Bulgari, Bucellati, and every other great designer.
None of the necklaces I looked at were priced under half a million dollars.
The emerald ring that went with it was $11 million.
The emerald ring that went with it was $11 million.
Pair of emerald and diamond earrings. Ladies with checkbooks open lined the
counters of all the jewelers and tried the various necklaces and bracelets on before
buying them. But sales were brisk.
A pair of diamond bracelets, one with sapphires. I suppose my taste is good,
but nothing I looked at was under half a million dollars.
Emerald and yellow diamond necklace and earrings from
the early 20th century.
A sapphire and diamond necklace and earring set was available for
$1.5 million. The jewelers were all very nice and explained types of stones,
settings, and how to know I was getting the real thing. Several of the
jewelry dealers from New York were originally from India.
There was furniture of many kinds. This is a chest of boulle work. The style was
invented by a furniture maker for King Louis XIV in the 17th century, Andre Boulle.
Original 17th century boulle work is brass patterns inlaid with red and black tortoise shell.
This is 19th century boulle work with brass inlaid with ebony wood. They usually are made
in pairs, so what is brass on one piece is ebony on the other, and vice versa.
There were antique dealers of every kind. This dealer specialized in Chinese antiques.
The three sculptures are tomb figures from the T'ang Dynasty in the 9th century. The
two chairs and the two paintings are from the 19th century.
One antique dealer specialized in Tiffany glass. Most pieces, like this tulip lamp, were
designed by women artists in the studio, and then fabricated by men and sold under
Tiffany's name. The lamps here went for $49,000 to $150,000. This lamp
was offered for $85,000.
Entire room settings were brought by a number of dealers. All of the furniture and
furnishings here are in Art Deco style of the 1930s.
This is an Italian table top of the 19th century done in micro-mosaic and pietra dura.
The doves and fountain are micro-mosaic, meaning they are made of tiny pieces of
semi-precious stones each smaller than a grain of rice. Pietra dura means hard stone,
and the wedges of various colored marble around the circle display the technique
beautifully. These are special Italian techniques / styles.
Juan Ripolles. "Glass Figures." Spanish. Blown Glass.
There were a number of dealers in art glass, both older styles and also contemporary
artists. This gallery had works of about a dozen contemporary glass artists, all of
them very interesting. The gallery was from Murano, Venice, Italy.
A smaller Tiffany table lamp. This was available for $49,000.
One of my special discoveries at the show was John William Godward, a
pre-Raphaelite painter I had never heard of. Godward was enchanted with Neo-Classical
settings and costumes and idealized women. This was entitled
And right across the aisle in another dealer's booth was this Godward,
"An Offering to Venus." The lines and drawing are superb, and the colors
are rich and saturated. The canvases glow. Late 19th century.
The French artist Henri Matisse suffered severe medical problems
in his last years in the late 40s and early 50s. He could no longer
control the muscles in his hand to draw or paint with a brush. So he
improvised by taking a shears and pieces of construction paper and
cutting pieces out which he had an assistant arrange on the floor for him.
His cut-outs of the "Blue Nude" are some of the best.
The various "Blue Nudes" were made in 1952, and then prints were made
from them by Matisse's favorite printers. This is a print about 12x15 inches.
They were selling briskly for $39,000 each.
Some jewelers handled only older, historic jewels. This gold filigree necklace,
brooch, and bracelet were made in Rome in 1917. The case, handmade, was
original also. There was "Egyptian Revival," "Greek Revival," "Pompeian Revival,"
and a dozen others.
This lovely chest and sideboard were made in Austria in the 19th century. The panels on
the front of the drawers are ivory set in ebony and depict fairy tales, every-day scenes,
and historic events.
Hunting scenes dominate, as these chests are sometimes called "Hunting Chests."
"Severin Roesen. "Still Life with Fruit." German-American. 1854
Severin Roesen is perhaps the greatest still-life painter in the U.S. He came from
Germany but spent most of his life in the U.S. This is one of the finest of his works which
I have seen; sometimes there is a stiffness in the arrangement. But here all seems
natural and relaxed and space beautifully rendered.
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux. "Neapolitan Fisher Boy." White Marble. Neo-Classical.
This statue by Carpeaux is one of the most famous statues of the 19th century. It is
French, although it was made in Italy under Neo-Classical influences. A number of
versions exist; a large version is in Minneapolis; this one was about 2/3 life size.
One dealer handled nothing but Imperial Russian objects, pieces used by the
Russian czar or at the court. They were gorgeous; there were Faberge pieces.
These are three snuff boxes of gold set with diamonds. The top one was made
for the czar by Faberge.
Part of a dinnerware porcelain set. Each plate depicted a different member of
the Russian military or navy in proper uniform. All are edged in gold.
A beaker decorated in cloisonne enamel. Copper alloy wires were soldered to the
surface of the beaker and then ground up glass paste was painted in the little fields
between the wires, and the whole was placed in an annealing oven, where the glass
melted and fused to the metal. They look like glowing stained glass.
A Russian kovsh, a ceremonial drinking cup, made of cloisonne enamel. These cups
were specially made for banquets, and usually guests were invited to take their cup home
with them as a souvenir. The craftsmanship is the finest anywhere.
A cloisonne enamel beaker.
A cloisonne enamel beaker with peasant dancer of a particular region.
An imperial Russian snuff box in gold and diamonds. A snuff box is basically
a little container for your tobacco, but among aristocrats, the snuff box became a
symbol of wealth and status, and a snuff box could cost a fortune.
Three Chinese lokapalas, warrier guardians. These are glazed terra cotta figures
of the T'ang Dynasty in the 9th century and were placed in tombs to protect the deceased.
The Chinese emperor passed laws spcifying how many of these figuress each class in
society could have. Thus, peasants could have only two, whereas as a businessman
might have a dozen, and an aristocrat wold have several dozen of different types.
Great numbers of silver objects were available. I could have photographed only
silver all day, but I was content with this wine cooler and a couple of others. No
styrofoam for the 18th century aristocrat. Two candlesticks behind.
A close-up of the mother and child on the end of the silver wine cooler.
This emerald and diamond necklace was over $2 million.
Emerald and diamond necklace. Many of these pieces were "versatile" - you could
detach one or more parts and use them for something else. The large pendant here
could be detached and used as a brooch.
Sapphire and diamond necklace and earrings.
Emerald and diamond earrings. They cost $180,000 and were
of the finest stones and craftsmanship.
This dealer specialized in 18th and 19th century French furniture.
The circular table is decorated in pietra dura magnolias, and in the back on both
sides are cabinets of 19th century boulle ware.
A boulle ware cabinet. The decoration is cut brass inlaid with ebony wood.
A sideboard, mirror, and two candlelabra.