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Wednesday, 07 May 2014 11:58

Brimfield Antique Show will Open on May 13

It's almost time for the May installment of the Brimfield Outdoor Antiques Shows, a thrice annual event that draws antique lovers from near and far to the tiny town of Brimfield for six days at a time.

The May show - known as the largest antique show of the three - opens Tuesday, May 13 and runs through Sunday, May 18.

What is usually farmland transforms into a giant outdoor antique sale, featuring thousands of dealers on 23 fields selling almost everything imaginable - giant Ronald McDonald heads, garden items, 1950s dishes, postcards from various eras, music equipment, furniture, vintage jewelry and clothing and more.

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Bonhams raked in a total of £4.2 million ($7.1 million) at its fine jewelry sale on April 30 in London, on the back of its top three lots doubling and tripling their estimates.

The star of the sale was an exquisite Colombian emerald ring, of 10.49 carats and set between diamond shoulders, that brought $610,039, or more than triple its high estimate.

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A new world auction record price per carat for any sapphire was set tonight at Sotheby’s New York, when an Exceptional Platinum, Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Ring sold for $5,093,000 / $180,731 per carat (est. $4/5 million). The square emerald-cut Kashmir sapphire weighing 28.18 carats is one of the finest sapphires ever to appear at auction, described by the American Gemological Laboratories (AGL) as “a gem of singular importance.”

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The Louvre announced that it will reopen its 18th-century decorative arts galleries on June 6 following an eight-year restoration and reinstallation. The Parisian museum’s sweeping collection of more than 2,000 decorative objects will be dispersed among 35 newly-renovated galleries in the north wing of the Louvre’s Cour Carrée. The galleries, which boast 23,000 square feet of exhibition space, were originally expected to reopen last year. Before this extensive restoration, the galleries had not been significantly updated since they were installed in 1966.

The Louvre’s collection of royal furniture, decorative bronzes, rugs, tapestries, gold and silver ware, porcelain, jewelry, and scientific instruments, will be grouped into three stylistic movements: the reign of Louis XIV and the Regency (1660-1725), Rococo (1725-1755), and the return of classicism and the reign of Louis XVI (1755-1790). The galleries also feature a number of period rooms including a drawing room from the nearby Hôtel de Villemaré, which was acquired by the Louvre in the 1800s but has never before been displayed in its entirety. Before being reconstructed in the museum, the room underwent a lengthy conservation.

Jannic Durand, director of the department of decorative arts at the Louvre, said in a statement, “We wanted to achieve a happy medium between period rooms and exhibition galleries. Each object benefits from being in relationship with other objects. In some cases, this means creating a period room so our visitors can understand how people lived with these objects or so they can appreciate holistically the elegance and refinement of the 18th century. In other instances, it means curating display cases devoted entirely to porcelain, silverware, and even some pieces of furniture to underscore the history of techniques and styles.”

The Louvre worked with the celebrated interior designer Jacques Garcia to create the new spaces for its collection of 18th-century decorative arts. The project was funded entirely by the patrons of the museum, including a $4 million donation from the American Friends of the Louvre.

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Edward Dolman, the former Chief Executive and Chairman of Christie’s, has announced that he will leave his current post as Executive Director and Acting Chief Executive of the Qatar Museums Authority. Dolman will return to the auction world in July when he assumes the role of Chairman and Chief Executive of Phillips.

During his three-year tenure with the Qatar Museums Authority, Dolman oversaw the construction and opening of several new museums. He also presided over the state’s collections, spearheaded new acquisitions, and organized exhibitions.

Phillips, which sells contemporary art, design, photography, limited edition prints, and jewelry, was founded in 1796 by former Christie’s employee Harry Phillips. The auction house is currently owned by the Russian luxury goods company, the Mercury Group.

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Christie’s announced that it will sell the late billionaire philanthropist Edgar M. Bronfman Sr.’s substantial art collection, which includes works by Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Egon Schiele, Milton Avery, and Henri Matisse. A selection of works from the collection will be offered during the auction house’s Impressionist and modern art evening sale in New York on May 6. The remaining 230 items, including decorative objects, jewelry, and antiquities, will be sold this year during sales in London, Hong Kong, and New York. Bronfman’s collection is expected to fetch more than $34 million. 

Highlights from the collection include Picasso’s “Mangeuse de Pasteque et Homme Ecrivant,” which is expected to bring $7 million to $10 million; a seascape by Matisse titled “Femme Aupres de la Fenetre,” which is estimated to fetch between $3 million and $5 million; and Monet’s “L’Escalier,” which is expect to garner between $1.5 million and $2.5 million. Most of the works being offered at Christie’s once hung in Bronfman’s Manhattan penthouse, which is on the market for $65 million.

Bronfman, who passed away in December, helmed the Seagram Company for 23 years before retiring in 1994. He also led the World Jewish Congress and helped establish it as the world’s preeminent Jewish organization.

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Monday, 17 February 2014 11:58

First Annual Boston Design Week Announced

Tony Fusco and Robert Four, the arts promoters and producers behind Boston’s marketing and PR agency, Fusco & Four/Ventures, LLC, are adding Boston Design Week to their roster of annual art and design shows. They are also the producers of the Boston International Fine Art Show, the Ellis Boston Antiques Show, and AD20/21, which will anchor events in the new Boston Design Week. Fusco said, “The goal of Boston Design Week is to increase public awareness and appreciation of all aspects of design and foster recognition of the vital role design and creative industries play in our lives. We want to offer the public an opportunity to explore architecture, urban design, interior design, fashion, graphic design, product and industrial design, and studio design such as furniture, decorative arts, sculpture, textiles, jewelry and more.”

The 10-day citywide design festival, which is scheduled to take place March 20-30, 2014, will include over 60 design events, exhibitions, lectures, receptions, behind-the-scenes tours, and other activities throughout greater Boston. Highlights include the American Society of Interior Designers annual awards gala on March 20 at the Mandarin Hotel; the Boston Preservation Alliance’s 2014 forum, which will take place on March 20 at the Modern Theatre in Downtown Crossing; and ongoing open houses, lectures and special sales in Park Square and on Newbury and Boylston Streets.

AD20/21: Art & Design of the 20th and 21st Centuries will take place March 27 through March 30 at the Cyclorama, Boston Center for the Arts, during Boston Design Week’s final days. Now in its seventh year, the show and sale will present modern and contemporary fine art, jewelry, vintage and contemporary studio furniture, sculpture, photography, fine prints and more.

For more information visit

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On March 29, 2014, the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA will present the exhibition ‘California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way.’ The show will include over 250 mid-century modern design objects by pioneering designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Richard Neutra and Greta Magnusson Grossman. Organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, this exhibition is the first major study of California mid-century modern design and the Peabody Essex Museum will be the show’s only east coast venue.

Works on view, which will include furniture, textiles, graphic design, ceramics, jewelry and architecture, will be contextualized within the creative climate of California and the social and cultural conditions that existed between 1930 and 1965. the exhibition will be divided into four thematic sections--Shaping, Making, Living and Selling--and will explore the origins of modern California design, the materials used, and how the movement proliferated worldwide.  

‘California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way’ will be on view at the Peabody Essex Museum through July 6, 2014.

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This spring, Huguette Clark’s collection of musical instruments, Gilded Age furniture and rare books will be sold at Christie’s. The trove of approximately 400 objects is expected to bring over $50 million and will be divided among two sales in May and June. Before the auction in New York, highlights from the collection will go on view at Christie’s London and then at various locations throughout Asia.

Huguette was the daughter of U.S. Senator and copper tycoon, William A. Clark. Beginning in 1930, Huguette led a largely reclusive life and when she passed away in 2011, she left behind an estate worth nearly $300 million. The proceeds from the upcoming auction will go to the estate, which will most likely be distributed between art institutions and distant relatives.

In 2012, 17 pieces of jewelry from Clark’s collection were sold at Christie’s including a rare pink 9-carat diamond that fetched approximately $21 million, nearly twice its pre-sale estimate.

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In November 2015, Chicago’s Field Museum will debut ‘The Greeks,’ a major exhibition of Greek antiquities organized in collaboration with the National Hellenistic Museum, the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Over 500 artifacts will travel to Chicago from 22 Greek museums making the show the most comprehensive exhibition about Ancient Greece to visit North America in nearly 10 years.

Works on view will include a celebrated bust of Alexander the Great, statues of Archaic-period Kouroi, and jewelry from famous tombs. ‘The Greeks’ will go on view in Ontario before traveling to Chicago and then moving to the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C.

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