I love any object which has seen at least 100 winters. In my teens I remember getting all tingly walking into an antique shop in Cape May, or meandering the galleries in New Hope and Princeton.
Although I studied art history at Harvard, my life took me in different directions: three years as Registrar for a small conservatory in Boston; seven years in a castle in Austria as conference director for a foundation funding anthropological research; then ten years in Rio accompanying the professional life of my French husband and editing an English-language magazine.
In 1991, we returned to France. From 2003-2010, I had the chance to curate exhibitions for an American arts foundation in Paris. A few touched on vintage mode: “Balenciaga and Mona Bismarck: Perfection Partagée”, “Le Trousseau de la Reine de Mai: Marie-José de Savoie” (both co-curated with Hubert de Givenchy) and “Buttons” the life’s work of a passionate antique button collector. I was fortunate to collaborate on exhibitions with contemporary American artists like Barbara Prey, Timothy Martin and Kim Powell, as well as institutions like the Royal Botanical Gardens of Kew, the Pierre and Maria-Gaetana Matisse Foundation, the Fondation Bernardaud, the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka, the New York Historical Society and the Barbier-Mueller Museum in Geneva.
But…..in 2010, I decided to take the plunge back into the world of antiques, the field which gave me goosebumps years and years ago. Starting out with the original intention of French certification as a “commissaire priseur” (official appraiser?), I began courses at the prestigious auction house Drouot. I must say it was a humbling experience – there are probably more different types of French chairs than cheeses!
So, after traveling half way around the world, here I am – an American consultant on the French art and antiques market specializing in table arts. Over the years, I have picked up insider tips and expertise on the French antique scene, an area which can sometimes bewilder the foreigner or antique debutante…..hence, the blog the AntiqueQuery.