Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Rare and Unusual Bauhaus Tea Service On View at Primavera Gallery

The Museum of Modern Art in New York is not the only place to see decorative objects produced by the Bauhaus. While the exhibition, Bauhaus 1919-1939: Workshops for Modernity, does include beautiful examples of metalwork created by the avant-garde art school, our own gallery exhibition, Art Deco Revisited, also features a special Marianna Brandt designed tea service (ca. 1924) that was executed by the Metallwerkstatte at the Bauhaus in Weimar.

This four piece tea service includes a teapot, a cream jug, a sugar basin and a tray. The set is made of brass and copper with wooden handles. The construction of this tea service, along with the materials used, is exemplary of the work that was produced by the Bauhaus. The form as well as the some of the design attributes such as the “X” feet, the lids and the finials are very similar to other works specifically designed by Brandt but the rectilinear and angular handles, not seen in other objects of this nature, make this tea service very rare and unusual.

Marianna Brandt (1893-1983) joined the Bauhaus metal workshop in 1923, during which time it was under the guidance of László Moholy-Nagy, the Hungarian- born artist and graphic designer. However, prior to joining the art school, in 1917, Brandt had opened her own design studio. Moholy-Nagy’s influence on her work can be seen in the severe geometric forms of the household objects, such as ashtrays, lamps and tea and coffee services, which she designed. Moholy-Nagy recognized the young designer’s talents immediately and she soon became his assistant. In 1928 she succeeded her mentor and became the department’s first female director. Her involvement with the Bauhaus ended in 1932. While she was mostly unemployed during the war, she taught in various institutions in Dresden and Berlin during the late 1940’s and 1950’s. Some of her designs are still produced today by companies such as Alessi and Tecnolumen.

This tea service is central to our exhibition on Art Deco because it demonstrates the different strands of this important movement that took place in the early part of the twentieth-century. While the Art Deco period if often associated with glamorous, expensive and luxurious interiors full of elegant furniture made of exotic woods and classically inspired glass and ceramics, there was also another more somber and functional feature of this movement, which was influenced by Constructivist and Cubist art. The Brandt tea service embodies this latter category. We invite you to visit us and explore the beauty of this time period and the works of the many talented designers who contributed to it.

Bella Neyman, Associate Director, Primavera Gallery

This article is copyright- protected, and may not be excerpted or reproduced in any form without the consent of Primavera Gallery NY.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Primavera Gallery will be having an exhibition entitled ART DECO REVISITED, which will run from November 12, 2009 through February 28, 2010. We will be showing beautiful examples of furniture, glass, ceramics, metalwork, sculpture and works on paper that showcase various aspects of the Art Deco movement, as well as a few selected examples of later pieces that were influenced by Art Deco.

We were motivated to put together this exhibition not only because Art Deco has been an important focus of our gallery for the past 40 years, but also because there is so little coming onto the market now, and with the recent focus on contemporary design, we feel that young collectors, who do not have a great deal of opportunity to see fine Art Deco pieces, may be overlooking this great design period.

Included in this exhibition will be furniture by Jean-Jacques Adnet, Andre Arbus, Jules Bouy, Adolphe Chaneaux, Jean Pascaud, Eugene Rollin, Süe et Mare, Maxime Old, and Raymond Subes, a fabulous dressing table by Paul Iribe that was made for Madame Spinelly, when he designed her fabulous Paris apartment, and a great cheval mirror/dressing table by Jules Leleu.

Glass by Daum Frères, André Thuret, Aristide Colotte, and Italian glass from the 1930’s.

Silver and metalwork by Desny, including a very rare complete example of their iconic cocktail set, Jean Desprès, Daurat, Jean Dunand, Claude Linossier, and Tétard Frères.

Ceramics and porcelain by Jean Mayodon, Émile Decoeur, Edouard Cazaux, Maurice Gensoli, Celine Lepage, Sèvres, Jean Besnard.

Sculpture by Alfred-August Janniot and Pierre Traverse, works of art by Cassandre, Jean Dupas, Raphaël Delorme and Jean Lurcat.

Jewelry by Raymond Templier, including a spectacular piece in 18k white gold set with turquoise and onyx. Striking pieces by Jean Desprès, a beautiful brooch in the Persian taste by Tiffany & Co. in platinum, onyx and coral, a Marcus and Co. articulated bow brooch in platinum, diamonds and pearls, several pieces by Suzanne Belperron, Cartier, and, of course, our beautiful jewels from all periods.

We welcome the opportunity to talk with you, and hope you will visit the gallery to see and enjoy this elegant and exciting show.

Audrey Friedman

This article is copyright- protected, and may not be excerpted or reproduced in any form without the consent of Audrey Friedman at Primavera Gallery NY.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What's Hot in Jewelry Now

Anyone who has been following the prices of jewelry at auction for the past ten years or so has likely become aware of several trends. Firstly, the pieces that seem to generate the most interest and sell way over their estimates are not the diamond and jewel-studded pieces of conventional design, but rather the exciting, interesting pieces of period jewelry, often with few stones of value. Signatures are in demand, with pieces designed by the important houses and designers commanding ever increasing prices.

Jewelry buyers are becoming increasingly aware of the superiority of design and craftsmanship that period jewelry has to offer. Today’s savvy buyers are quite sophisticated regarding the value of great design and workmanship. Even un-signed jewelry, especially French pieces, were, up until the late 1960’s, beautifully made -- routinely of a quality that today is rarely found even in expensive pieces from the best houses. It’s just too expensive to make jewelry the way it was made before.

We are also seeing heightened interest in earlier jewels. We can’t keep up with requests for fine and unusual early rings, earrings and necklace, from the 18th and 19th centuries, and the clients for these pieces are young women.

There is also strong interest in more “modern” jewelry -- the 1950’s and 1960’s, both for the classics these periods produced, such as the enameled animals of David Webb, to the more extreme designs featuring raw crystals, spiky designs and heavily textured gold of Andrew Grima or Arthur King.

The more extreme designs influenced by studio jewelry, and using unusual, often rough stones and experimental gold techniques are still inexpensive, and we have a number of young, artistic clients who find these pieces exciting.

We are constantly approached by stylists for all the important magazines asking to borrow jewelry for editorial shoots. They have been asking for interesting pieces in yellow gold from the 1930’s and 40’s, as well as Art Deco. Yellow gold is definitely back in fashion again. Earrings are hot items - hoop earrings are particularly in demand right now, as are long gold necklaces and bangle bracelets. How true it is that “what was old is new again.” ‘80's shoulder pads are back, and so is stylish jewelry of all periods.

Images top to bottom: Cartier, Paris Coral and 18k Gold Rose brooch, ca.1950, Diamond and Emerald Serpent ring, ca. 1925, Antique Diamond necklace, ca. 1885 , Arthur King Baroque Pearl and 18k Gold brooch, ca. 1960, Hermes 18k Gold Floral link necklace, ca. 1960.

Audrey Friedman

This article is copyright- protected, and may not be excerpted or reproduced in any form without the consent of Audrey Friedman at Primavera Gallery NY.