The beautiful city of Paris celebrates the end of summer with a glorious event that draws a discerning crowd of art lovers to the Grand Palais, the Biennale Des Antiquaires et de la Haute Joaillerie. From September 11th to the 21st, the Biennale will welcome 81 exhibitors, dealers and merchants, all members of the Syndicat National des Antiquaires (French Union of Antique Dealers), as well as prestigious jewelers who will bring their most precious artworks, antiquities and jewels.
Alfred de Dreux Hassan. Galerie Ary Jan.
Among the many categories of the Biennale are Archeology, Silverware and Goldsmiths, Decorative Arts, High Fashion Jewelry, Rare Books & Manuscripts, 17th to 19th centuries furniture & Art Objects, Porcelain, Old Paintings, Art from Africa and Asia, and Contemporary Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture. Reputed dealers such as Charles Guillaume, Dominique Levy, Frank Laigneau, Gallerie Boon, Marlborough Gallery and haute joaillerie firms, including Chaumet, Christian Dior, David Morris, Cartier, Chanel and Boucheron among others, will add a touch of history, grandeur and sophistication to the classic event.
The first International Biennale des Antiquaires was held at the Grand Palais, with the help of André Malraux in 1962. Since then, the Parisian landmark built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900, has hosted this extraordinary gathering of collectors, artists and dealers. In previous years, celebrated creators such as André Crivelli, Jean-Raphaël Millies-Lacroix, Pier-Luigi Pizzi, Jean-Michel Wilmotte, Christian Lacroix and Karl Lagerfeld have used their talent to transform this symbolic French heritage site into the splendid headquarters of the Biennale. See more of last year’s Biennale.
(L) Horse. Galerie Christian Deydier; (R) Christophe et Cie Paris & Emilie Reiber Jardiniere. Cigognes Chadelaud.
Every year, the event’s design is as anticipated as the objects in the exhibition. For its 27th edition, organizers have selected internationally acclaimed interior designer Jacques Grange to recreate the gardens of Versailles under the glass dome of the Grand Palais, with the help of gardeners from the Château de Versailles and Trianon. The talented artist, who has designed homes for Yves Saint Laurent, Caroline of Monaco and Francis Ford Coppola is a Chevalier des Art et Lettres and Chevalier de l’ordre de la légion d’honneur title recipient. “La Biennale 2014 is an imaginary garden leading to exceptional objects,” said Grange about his collaboration in this year’s event.
Inside the Grand Palais, there will be three pavilions connected through trellises and arbors that create a graphic play between fountains, groves and lawns. The Francis Kurkdjian house will build an olfactory fountain at the entrance, which will take visitors to the heart of the 18th century through the Bouquet de la Reine, the inspiration for their legendary fragrance.
Chanel. Collier Sunset
As is to be expected from the French, who consider gastronomy part of the art de vivre, a select group of award-winning chefs will succeed one another in the direction of the kitchens, which will be managed by Parisian caterers Potel & Chabot. Some of the chefs featured at the Biennale are Guy Martin, Jean-Michel Lorain, Soun Chieu and Gilles Tournadre among many others.
If you are in the French capital between the 11th and the 21st of September, you should not miss the 27th Biennale des Antiquaires, whether you are a collector or not. The exquisite pieces and extravagant decorations at the Grand Palais are sufficient reasons to indulge in a truly unforgettable experience. ■