Thursday, 16 October 2014

PAD Fair 2014 London - Best of Decorative Arts, Fine Art, and Furniture

It's a busy week in London with two fairs to choose from. 
Frieze Art Fair is also on but 
I decided to go to the PAD Fair  today in Mayfair.
Frieze is an event in Regent's Park where modern art dealers hold court but I stopped enjoying it a few year ago so decided a mix of fine art, decorative arts, and furniture was a better bet. 

Private galleries from Europe display their finest wares and the items that will be copied by IKEA in a few years time like this multi-limbed brass lighting fixture.

There are modern reproductions of furniture inspired by antique mid century furniture that had brass accents which I love.

Brass pipes reconstituted as a console which 
I might get my builder to recreate.

Mirrors with enamel and brass detail.

Some galleries display all their exquisite chatchkes that are available for purchase if you have a big enough budget.

But what I realized is that lighting makes everything look better and beautiful objects look priceless.

This particularly drew me in as I love antiquities.

The problem is that this sort of direct museum lighting is also very expensive...

Some things were beautiful such as this ancient mosaic that was reframed but you would have thought the frame could have highlighted the piece better so one must not have automatic 
dealer knows best mentality.

I found chairs that I will purchase when I win the lottery.
These are from Gustave Serrurier-Bovy who was a Belgian designer and architect. 
He was one of the creators of the Art Nouveau movement. 

This probably explains why I fell in love with these chairs at first glance. The accents up close were flawless.
The chairs were apparently upholstered in white originally.
The pair of chairs were asking £120,000 but there are only 6 editions and the other pairs are in museums.

They were still available at Oscar Gaf and 
they had so many other beautiful artefacts.

The other runner up to favorite stall was this range of furniture from James-Paris.

Furniture has been reaping huge financial gains in the auction world and now isn't just about lasting 10 good years of function but people are looking long term as artifacts.

I really liked the brass lights and danish shelving.  
I would have taken the tree trunk if 
they gave it to me in the mood I was in.

Such layouts weren't just for interior decorators but astute investors looking for versatile investments.
( I eavesdroped when I could.)

It was like going to a show home where everything was for sale except for the building itself.

Some pieces would be "THE" piece that rooms would be designed around such as this corner cabinet and mini tables.

A feature of this fair I adore is that one can be up close and really inspect and enjoy museum pieces without a glass 3 feet away.

The workmanship on this gold artifact could only be appreciated a few inches away.

Another item on my lottery shopping list was this ancient Persian alabaster iron vase.  I was very careful with my breathing walking around this otherwise I would have to be an indentured servant to the gallery for 5 lifetimes.

There were a few items that were very fashion victim-y.

I don't buy the whole limited edition for the sake of it business as was the case of this special mould acrylic side table by some artist.

And no this isn't part of the latest Anya Hindmarch bag collection but a pithy statement that will cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars that a crazed psychotic serial killer would do for free.

But where else do guests get to ponder their purchases on such pretty areas.

There was also fine art on show but
 I didn't take too many pictures of those as that was the standard range not particularly unique to PAD.
But I like this arrangement of art.

Most stalls were like the one below where everything was for sale - picture on the wall, stool and table.

There was something for everyone.
Used samurai armour anyone?

Benches that might be bought by some corrupt municipalities.

Can't you just see a bachelor financier coerced to buy this coffee table by his interior decorator/entourage.

I never thought an Egyptian mummy would be appropriate home decor until I realized that this would be a perfect replacement for a grandfather clock.

I have never seen an Indian headdress more beautiful.  
Each and every feather was perfect.

Standards are so high at the fair that a stall like this I would have normally been salivating over just didn't make me dizzy after the other chairs I saw.
There was a special rest area designed by the David Collins studio.

Piled up bottles of Ruinart champagne.

The outdoor area looked out on the remaining green 

of Berkeley Square.

The fair will be on for another couple of days so I would suggest you visit if you can.
It's also held in Paris in the spring time so 
do put that in your diary if you are near.


  1. I wish I was there with you, would've luffed it x

  2. We have our SOFA show in early November that Blue Booby is coming up for. A more modern focus but often interesting. I really liked all those pieces that caught your eye and couldn't agree more regarding the ancient mosaic in that frame that only drew attention to itself by the incongruity.
    Those GSB chairs are very nice and have that CR McIntosh/FLWright influence.
    You're on the money regarding the 'BANG' table.

    1. Well that's going to be a hoot! We all expect a full diary report please!!!

  3. Sigh Sigh Sigh. The furniture is SO STUNNING. Honestly, I know exactly what I'd spend my money on if I were a Russian Oligarch with some level of taste. Those chairs you picked out on insta and above are such perfection I could put them in any scheme and they'd look good (especially in my library). My next life perhaps...

    1. Oh and forgot to say - yes to lighting!! I think I probably bang on about it too much, but it does make everything look better and more "important" and gives mood and atmosphere to a room. I think people don't pay enough attention to it in general.

    2. I thought of you when I was there bc it's so up your street! Not too many stalls and not too cluttered and everything was such a good mix. Well your home is beautiful without those chairs but yes next life!

  4. Wow. What a stunning show. I know where to get you a sarcophagus that opens into a bar. Was anything affordable or is it all relative?

    1. I didn't ask the price after the chairs bc the few items that did have prices was always at least four zeros but who knew it could work in a home?? But museum quality meansuseum money but still fun to view up close!

  5. Does it make you wonder where they all came from and the history behind them...sarcophagus, stone heads etc. Had me thinking about the contested ownership of the Elgin Marbles.

    1. Like sausages one doesn't want to delve but let's face it the British and the French were the biggest grave robbers going...but having said that it ended up being safe as the last century was tough on art with all the wars. The other bits are probably nazi loot...but Oscar Graf had pictures and provenance of their objects which is reflected in their premium

    2. Yes, provenance would have been v interesting! Always think about where pre-loved items have been before. Think some of the pieces are rather hilarious though. Wonder what sort of person could live with them. As you say, probably clever interior designers were hard at work convincing clients - remember the aspirational character in "Wall Street" and his crazy beautiful decorator?
      Would have been so overwhelmed by this design fiesta that I'd have headed pretty quickly for the Ruinart! After spending an hour this afternoon in Canberra's best book store - have to confess have just ordered "Stuff..." by Carey Maloney from Amazon (much cheaper on-line sadly for local business!). Looks gorgeous - and great mix of wondrous things. Pammie

    3. Funny there weren't many cliched beauties but many distinguished and elegant ladies and men. It was a bit overwhelming because the lighting was so subtle that i was a little taken aback. I try and buy things at bookstores although they are closing down more and more but they rarely have what i want in stock so it makes shoppers have to be very patient indeed! But the subject of provenance in the art world is just so hard no?

    4. Absolutely, as the Oz National Gallery has recently found to its cost!
      I buy as much as I can at our lovely book store - but when their price is over $100 for a book - I do check Amazon. In this case much cheaper, even with postage. But I still bought two books there this afternoon.
      Think you'd love "Stuff.." Check it out on Amazon if you haven't seen it. Shows how people include their "stuff" (eg as in objects in your pics above or more) in their own homes. Pammie

    5. I do think their should have been a grace period because let's face it - the past century has been brutal. but I find it funny that France is so strict about their things leaving the country considering they have the worst record of pilfering art from the rest of the world. I do think legislation in art is still a legal field that is still untappedn largely ignored until there is a huge bust up usually involving huge sums and even larger egos. But yes I will check out stuff because that has been an issue ever since the reno!

    6. So interesting to see George Clooney's new wife, the international and human rights lawyer, along with her boss our Oz Geoffrey Robertson, in Athens to discuss the possible return of the Elgin marbles to Greece from the British Museum. And yes, about the French. Just one example, look at all the amazing things in the Louvre that Napoleon's armies took away from Egypt. Would make a big hole if these were returned. Pammie

    7. Think hell would freeze over first though! Pammie

  6. Some lovely pieces, I would have loved to tag along with you.
    "like sausages one doesn't want to delve" -- love!

  7. Wow so interesting and I'm laughing over the bachelor financier's coffee table.
    Lighting lighting... that's been a big discussion this week as we've gone over our designer's lighting plan for the new kitchen, now I want her to design the lighting for my whole house. It makes such a difference and I haven't a clue where to begin with it.
    Thanks for sharing Naomi I feel like I was there with you!

    1. While you have walls down and reno'd - now is the time! PS Heidi did a great post on lighting from last year I think that might be of help? Hope you get to join me one of these days Dani x

  8. I am wishing you a huge lottery win!

  9. You are so right about the lighting. Too bad we can't live in homes with good museum lighting. All of our stuff would look so much better. Saw an exhibit of metal fish by a local artist at a gallery. The lighting was perfect and it made me want to purchase one. But when I saw others like it in normal lighting I knew it wouldn't look right in my house.

  10. You London folk get all the interesting events don't you. £120,000 for those chairs, yikes, they're not my taste but of course there is something for everybody - I hope you win the lottery so you can show us how you would present them in your home. I kinda liked the table though - quite quirky. Enjoy the weekend x

  11. What incredible pieces. The antiquities are indeed divine!

  12. Oh I am living vicariously! Almost everything is just beautiful! I'm not established enough yet to justify purchasing wonderful interior design pieces but I can't wait for the day I do! I once stayed in Vienna at the home of my grandparent's dear friend. She had never married but travelled the world...she had even stayed with a tribe near the Kalahari Desert - when she was 65! She was the true definition of adventurer! An absolute inspiration. Her apartment was filled with the most wonderful curiosities that she had purchased on her trips...beautiful pieces of art, lamps, African many things. It was like living in a little museum! I love items that tell a story and have a history...ikea items are just so dull! (Though practical and cheap!)

    1. Ps. My pick is the mosaic....but out of that hideous frame!

  13. Love the English touch of mixing antiques and mid century with very modern, they have a gift. (and often with dark colors on the walls, esp in the bathroom. genius)
    yes that lighting to really get the best out of art is so tricky isn't it - and pricey. Despite that we thought we'd done enough lighting in our house - we haven't and there are loads of disappointingly dark corners


Thank you for dropping by!