Everyone was complaining as always that the Paris Biennal was very thin this year, due to all the furniture scandals that took place last year. There were fewer jewelers and more modern art booths. But I found six wonderful reasons to be happy when I had lunch at the center of the vegetal walls under the sunny Grand Palais glass roof.
Moussaieff , a newcomer in Paris, was by far the most expensive booth with exceptional stones that impressed everyone including other jewelers. Alisa Moussaieff, a Viennese expert, specializes in colored diamonds and semi precious stones like the 57,21 cts Paraiba tourmaline that ornates one of her diamond feather necklace. It was fascinating to hear Scottish aristocrat Violet Fraser, who now works for Moussaieff, describe the emeralds competing with blue diamonds. After living many years in Paris she has become the best ambassador for the Bond Street jeweler.
My heart also beat for Guillaume Féau‘s little monkey room, a very rare 19 th century copy of Chantilly’s singerie which furnishes Duc d’Aumale’s private apartments.The monkeys represent members of the court of Prince de Condé and were painted by Jean Baptiste Huet in 1735. This piece could have been commissioned by Duc d’Aumale himself since it was painted in 1860 when he was modernizing Chantilly. The whole room is complete with ceiling and six panels illustrating the lifestyle of the Condés. Card game, cherry picking, nail polishing, bathing, iceskating, etc. The asking price is 1 M€. There was also a paneled room painted in yellow which could have come from Madame de Pompadour’s Chateau de Bellevue in Meudon, was dismantled by Louis XV th’s daughters after her death. It dates from 1730 and was owned by the Patino and Wildenstein families.
Everyone was talking of course about the magnificent 16 th century tapestries of Maximilian’s hunts after Bernard von Orley at Galerie Chevalier which were being sold by Bill Gates. They used to be owned by the Mailly Nesles who inherited them from Duc de Berry. But there was also a sublime pale yellow bed designed by Jean Royère selling for 120 000€ at Jacques Lacoste, and a superb decor at Laffanour, Galerie Downtown where Jean Prouvé was well represented by a stunning book shelf and desk.
The porcelain stand of Röbbig in München was much praised and a new English jeweler called “G”, Glen Spiro had a few exquisite pieces. This 2017 Biennal might have been a slim one, it offered space to new exhibitors who were well worth discovering.
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