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Magazine    December 2000



FRENCH FANTASY

Every two years the French put on a spectacular antiques show in Paris at the Carrousel du Louvre, a large exhibit hall where this year 120 dealers from ten countries displayed their best wares against a backdrop of four continents as they might have looked in the 18th century. Unlike at other antiques fairs, dealers at the Biennale are low-key in terms of closing a sale, and most transactions took place at the end or after the 17-day event from September 15 to October 1.

Some of the most decorated stands were those of Belgian Gisèle Croës, an expert in Shang, Han and Tang bronze figures who commissioned architect and countryman Marc Corbiau to design her space (upper left); Paris dealer Bernard Steinitz, who celebrated the diversity of the 18th century with ornately carved gilt decorative pieces as well as straightforward wood furniture (lower left); Jacques Perrin, whose grand view of the 18th century was presented by designer François-Joseph Graf (lower right); and Carolle Thibaut-Pomerantz, who displayed five rare wallpaper panels from 1804 depicting the voyages of Captain Cook.

Twentieth-century decorative arts were quite popular this year, with an entire leather-walled smoking room designed by Jean-Michel Frank for the Guerlain family in 1935 (and containing furniture by Jean Royère and Emilio Terry) recreated by Jacques Grange for Galerie du Passage. Jean-Jacques Dutko offered a black marble table designed by Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann and produced by Raymond Subes, and Yves Gastou's stand included a 1937 gilt and hand-forged méridienne (upper right) by André Arbus.




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