WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. — As snowstorm Pax barreled up the East Coast February 12–13, wreaking havoc and bringing snow and ice to seemingly everywhere north of Atlanta, the Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show returned for its 11th year. Although Pax caused thousands of flights to be canceled and made driving dangerous, any worries that the weather might keep people from attending were soon dismissed as thousands flooded the show floor during the invitation-only, opening night preview party on Friday, benefiting the Hope For Depression Research Foundation.
Dealers were not immune to Pax’s meddling and to compensate for the inevitable travel delays, the Palm Beach Show Group left the convention center open for 48 hours straight leading up to the opening. Promoters and dealers alike worked through the night to prepare for the show, which ran February 14–18.
Attracting more than 180 dealers from around the world, the show made an impressive presentation. Everything came together beautifully, and dealers across the board raved about the Palm Beach Show Group, praising its efficiency, and professionalism in putting together what has truly become one of the premier antiques events on the calendar, consistently drawing an impressive crowd of knowledgeable and qualified dealers and buyers alike.
“The Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show is the largest vetted art, antique and jewelry show in US history,” boasted Scott Diament, president and chief executive officer of the Palm Beach Show Group. “It contains merchandise that spans the whole world, from Asian and European material to American material, and there are many exhibitors here from the United Kingdom.”
The entire opening night proved to be electric, as the floor was packed and full of excitement until the doors finally closed at 10 pm. On Saturday morning the show would not suffer any opening night hangover, as there was a line of anxious buyers out the door waiting for the show to open back up. A steady stream of new customers filled the aisles throughout the weekend.
“This show, the opening night is really quite amazing,” said Michael Cohen, chairman of the British Antiques Dealers’ Association (BADA), which was well represented with 11 of its members participating. “We do a number of shows throughout the world and the only show I can think of that has this many people at the opening is TEFAF Maastricht, so it was an extraordinary number of people to deal with on the first day.”
Diament spoke of the incredible diversity of the show, as it had a very noticeable international feel. “Something like 40 (exhibitors) who hail from the United Kingdom are participating in this event, but we also have dealers from Italy, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and the United States. It’s a very diverse group that showcases the fine arts for the last 5,000 years. Everything from ancient glass and sculpture to present day contemporary art is showcased in one place at one time.”
Diament explained that this year, more than any other, the Palm Beach Show Group had tried to focus the show on furniture and decorative items that could be used within a house setting. “The real estate market is back and so are the buyers. We brought over from the United Kingdom a tremendous selection of items you can’t see anywhere else,” he said.
Macklowe Gallery, New York City, offered a Jean-Desiré Muller French Art Nouveau ceramic fireplace surround (from the home of Yvette Guilbert), one of only five fireplaces of similar design known to exist today. It was commissioned by the architect Xavier Shoellkpf for actress Yvette Guilbert (1867–1944). Yvette was a French cabaret singer and actress of the Belle Epoque. She headlined at the Moulin Rouge in 1890.
Choice artworks seen at the show included a James Aponovich oil on canvas, “La Cucina, Panicale,” 2013, at Hirschl & Adler, New York City; Max Bezner’s marble sculpture, “Grace,” 26½ by 6½ inches, in the booth of McColl Fine Art, Charlotte, N.C.; and Sidney Richard Percy’s oil on canvas, “Heather in the Highlands,” at Rehs Galleries, New York City.
French clocks were spotted throughout the show, from a Napoleonic ormolu mantel clock, commemorating the return of Napoleon’s ashes to France, French, circa 1840, in the booth of M.S. Rau Antiques, New Orleans, La., to a Louis XV cartel clock, French, 1790, at Toulouse Antique Gallery, Inc, Hermosa Beach, Calif.
Asian arts were also well represented with Cohen & Cohen, Reigate, England, featuring a rare and massive Chinese famille rose yenyen vase painted with the eight immortals at the peach banquet with Hsi Wang Mu from the Yongzheng period. The circa 1730 work was a highlight in a booth full of Chinese Export porcelain.
There were a number of new dealers highlighting this year’s show, including Hirschl & Adler, Butchoff, Cohen & Cohen, Thalin & Thalin, Hatchwell and Philip Colleck. Hatchwell Antiques, London, celebrated its first show here on this side of the pond. The dealers show highly collectible aeronautical items, which proved to be quite a hit among show visitors, as their booth was seemingly never empty.
Busy booths comprised a common theme throughout the weekend as guests crowded the floor and kept dealers on their toes. Neil Kosekov, founder of the Parkland Companies. West Palm Beach, Fla., and a habitual opening night attendee, said, “I’ve been to this show many times and it keeps getting better every year.” This sentiment was echoed by Steven Beale, director of Trinity House, a BADA member based in London and New York City, who added, “Certainly the smartest the show has ever looked.”
For the third year, the show, in conjunction with the Hope For Depression Research Foundation, celebrated the Hope Designer Showcase, featuring room vignettes created by top AD 100 designers Scott Snyder, Jim Aman and John Meek of Aman & Meeks, Bruce Bierman, Campion Platt and Jennifer Post, exclusively using the art, antiques and jewelry from exhibitors on the show floor. Their goal was to demonstrate that with the products of creativity these treasures, some dated hundreds or even thousands of years ago, can be incorporated into and enhance their environment and lifestyle.
“Antiques and collectibles are becoming very popular in the design world, and instead of people knocking off these things and recreating them and replicating them, we want to offer people the ability to actually purchase and own a real piece of history, not a reproduction,” said Laurie Green of the Palm Beach Show Group. All of the designers were present during the preview party where they interacted with guests and shared their expertise. The showcase itself remained open throughout the run of the show allowing people to imagine these pieces in their own living room.
The Palm Beach Show Group will next conduct the Chicago International Art, Antique & Jewelry Show at the Navy Pier April 24–28. For additional information, www.palmbeachshowgroup.com or 561-822-5440.
A short teaser video taken during the opening night preview party of this year's Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show on Feb. 14. The show ran through Feb. 18 and full show review coverage is available in the March 7 issue of Antiques and The Arts Weekly.
Click below for a full video review of The Palm Beach Show Group's 11th annual Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show. The show featured over 180 dealers from all over the world and ran from Feb. 14 - 18 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.
Below: Director of Chicago Gallery Art, Greg Bloch, talks about a collection of Theophile Alexandre Steinlen drawings taken right from his sketchbooks. Steinlen (1859-1923) was a Swiss-born French Art Nouveau painter and printmaker. These sketches reveal an unusual glimpse into the creative process behind his work: