The 26th edition of the Biennale des Antiquaires, the premier showcase of art and antiques featuring treasures from the world’s greatest dealers, opens its doors from September 13 to 23, 2012 at the Grand Palais. The Biennale des Antiquaires, which since the 1950s has guaranteed the influence of the antiques profession throughout the world Closely intertwined with that of the 19 th and 20th-century universal exhibitions, the Biennale des Antiquaires is a Parisian feast of antiques, fine art, jewelery and other miscellaneous objects of desire.
For its 26th edition, this year’s set was designed by Karl Lagerfeld, with the intent of creating a miniature Paris inside the impressive Beaux Art exhibition hall. With the theme of a giant hot air balloon, it reinterprets the desire for exploration and the unknown in old Paris of the Belle Époque. The fantastical scenography emphasise the immensity and the splendour of the glass roof, which will be like a protective sky, that the visitor immediately feels enveloped by the atmosphere as soon as he enters the Grand Palais.
The 26th Biennale des Antiquaires with 122 galleries displaying some of the world’s most exquisite fine jewelry, art, and antiques. The Beaux Arts architecture of the Grand Palais, with its high-arched glass ceilings, is the perfect setting to highlight the art and jewelry exhibited within. alongside the world’s most exclusive antique and art dealers including Cartier, Chanel, Harry Winston, Boucheron, Piaget, Van Cleef and Arpels, Dior and for the first time ever Bulgari and Chinese jeweller Wallace Chan. All of these houses have created their most refined jewels for this event which is the most important high jewellery client event.
For art lovers from across the world, the Biennale des Antiquaires has been a must-attend event for more than half a century and quintessentially representative of the French “art de vivre”. Exhibitors the best of their private collections in rows of stands, each crafted to project a cocktail of prestige, exceptional taste and a discreet blanket of opulence.
The Biennale des Antiquaires aims to identify and activate artistic practices that challenge the established values of art. It bring together more than 80 of notable participants, galleries and leading art, design and antique dealers, and high-end establishments (jewellers and watchmakers). For over 60 years, Biennale des Antiquaires has been a landmark international event. La Biennale presents museum-quality works covering 6,000 years of history from all continents and all disciplines.
Global competition has brought some big changes to the latest edition of the venerable art fair La Biennale Paris. Equipped with a Biennale Committee, as well as the independent Vetting Commission (CAO), one of the most exigent in the world, it guarantees not only the selection of the participating galleries but also the highest level of authenticity, trust and transparency for the collectors.
The Biennale des Antiquaires closely intertwined with that of the 19 th and 20th-century universal exhibitions. This fair see the creation of a new service for visitors, with independent experts on-hand for amateurs, collectors and exhibitors, ready to assist them where necessary when buying pieces during the fair. The general layout of The Paris Biennial is optimized to enhance visitor comfort and the discovery of exhibitors and their works. There was a more eegant staging and a revamped layout, and this new design put all participants on an equal footing, thanks to a well-thought-out layout that allow for an enjoyable visit and make the works on display easier to view.
Biennale of Paris
Biennale des Antiquaires is one of the most prestigious fairs in the world, ranking alongside other major international art events. Each edition attracts the main players in the art market, dealers, and prominent collectors, who gather together at this unmissable event. It is a very high-end fair and a unique opportunity to discover some rare items carefully selected by the various exhibitors. The participants and the cultural institutions help further the international reach.
Stepping inside the history of humanity, taking a leisurely stroll through what man has done best in this world: art and creation. A showcase of culture, savoir-faire and heritage, the Biennale des Antiquaires is the France of Louis XIV and his successors in Versailles, that of the Belle Époque and the Art Deco era, that of Le Corbusier, Monet and Cartier, a France that set the tone for the rest of the world.
The Biennale has made of Paris the guardian of a certain idea of France, a symbol of luxury, its antiquarians tirelessly persevering to keep alive the appeal of rare métiers performed by generations of cabinetmakers, goldsmiths, lacquer artisans, marquetry craftsmen, bronze workers, sculptors and upholsterers, who take their time to achieve perfection through activities where originality and scarcity are the watchwords.
Biennale des Antiquaires constituting a national heritage, being a historical exhibition, prestigious from the exceptionality of its displays and the attention offered to artworks. Henceforward, this legacy must meet the expectations of the new generations of collectors with a passion for contemporary art, decorative arts, design and the tribal arts.
Cross-collecting interests are a notable trend of the 21st century, the Biennale des Antiquaires once the traditional home of French decorative arts and antiques, the fair now boasts nearly 5,000 works, which spanning millennia and media, and increasingly welcomes contemporary art.
The divide, once very marked between buyers of ancient arts and those whose interest was exclusively focused on contemporary art, have withered away over time. Different periods and styles now coexist harmoniously in the exhibitions of collectors and art lovers. Biennale des Antiquaires seeks to reflect this evolution and offers a broader view of the heritage to visitors and collectors
La Biennale Paris aspires to stand at the intersection of artistic eras by exposing art from the antiquity to the 21st century with the aim of uniting all art connoisseurs across the spectrum, while according a special focus on the preservation of harmony and balance in the exhibition.
Highlights of Biennale des Antiquaires 2012
Biennale des Antiquaires provided an international stage to exhibitors seeking to attract a small elite of wealthy collectors and connoisseurs from around the world. Masterpieces and ancient statues all under one roof of Biennale des Antiquaires 2012, Celebrating antiquities and fine arts, 122 internationally-renowned art and antique dealers converged under the iconic glass dome of the Grand Palais, presented unusual and beautiful objects.
For the occasion, the designer will create a contemporary world within the Grand Palais, an exhibition hall and museum located in the center of Paris, to serve as a backdrop for the thousands of objects of art that will be presented at the event. Among the highlights this year, jewelers including Cartier, Chanel, Van Cleef & Arpels and Dior will be showcasing their creations for one of the most important events of the year.
American vintage fine jewelry expert Siegelson is also taking part in this year’s fair, with a stunning and rare collection of vintage jewels. Also exhibited is an astounding collection of antiques and fine art, from original paintings by masters such as Picasso, Cézanne and Renoir, to artifacts dating to the 3rd millenium B.C.
The Galerie Chadelaud has brought art and furniture from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries over from its showcase in the Louvre des Antiquaires in the nearby Palais Royal. Paris notables Galerie Steinitz and Galerie Félix Marcilhac are joined by prestigious galleries from around the world who have set up their most coveted pieces for onlookers and buyers alike.
The first and only Asian jewelry to be invited to the Biennale des Antiquaires, Wallace Chan draws on years spent working on Buddhist art, for pieces with strong symbolism. A former sculptor, turned cameo artist, the Hong Kong designer has created a collection of 50 pieces inspired by key animals from the Eastern philosophies, like a jadeite cicada brooch, or a scorpion necklace. The A Drop Into The Ocean necklace features diamonds, sapphires and a superb 379.21 carat aquamarine at its bright heart.
For her first collection as head of design at Boucheron, Claire Choisne plundered the archives of the century-old house, to find elements that have marked the label’s history like snakes, crystal and transformable pieces. She came up with 10 small collections of pieces that come together to form the L’Artisan du Rêve collection, each of which echoes and archive piece. They include this snake necklace, with opal and quartz scales reproduced carefully through the meticulous work of Boucheron craftsmen.
Eighty years have gone by since Gabrielle Chanel’s 1930 fine jewelry collection, and for the Biennale des Antiquaires, the house revisits this collection featuring the symbols that were so dear to Mademoiselle Chanel. Here, a lion strides across a comet on a white and yellow gold diamond sautoir, or head piece.
After the minimalist charm of the My Dior collection with its canework-inspired cuff, Victoire de Castellane has gone back to her high-color roots for the Biennale, with the Dear Dior line inspired by exoticism and travels in the Far East. Garnets, spessartites and stones of many colors come together in pieces inspired by the hallowed salons of the house of Dior on Avenue Montaigne. Victoire de Castellane went back to the days when Monsieur Christian Dior would drape his girls in jewelry just before they walked out onto the catwalk, with this piece that is just as carefully worked on the back at the front, featuring a design using the lace motifs that featured in Christian Dior couture pieces.
Bulgari is set to present a new fine jewelry collection at September’s Biennale des Antiquaires, concentrating on emeralds and sapphires. The square and cushion-cut gemstones go up to 180.98 carats on a yellow gold, diamond, sapphire and emerald necklace, and the Serpenti design features strongly, with snake-like scales in pink gold covered in brilliant-cut diamonds.
A regular at the Biennale des Antiquaires since 1964, Cartier has put together a spectacular collection for the 26th Biennale. Very few images have been released so far, but we know that the Tristan Auer-designed Cartier installation will include around 148 pieces of fine jewelry, as well as 12 precious objects from the Cartier Tradition line. We’re expecting some surprising pieces, like this pink kunzite cuff, with a concealed diamond watch.
Harry Winston pays homage to the eternal diamond for the 26th Biennale, a signature of the label. As a river of diamonds on a supple bracelet, or striking on a ring, the gem is at its most exceptional set on the Wave necklace as a 60.14 carat stone. The label will also show 146.71 carat pear-cut sapphires and is preparing to unveil a new fine jewelry collection at the event, inspired by nature.
Chaumet drew on 1920 headdresses for its Joséphine Aigrette line, and for the upcoming Biennale des Antiquaires, egret feathers feature on a diamond tiara from the 12 Vendôme collection, and again on the Aigrette, alongside diamonds, tourmalines and tanzanites, with a white Ethiopian cabochon opal, straight from the Roaring Twenties.
Van Cleef & Arpels opens the doors of its Palais de la Chance for the Biennale, collecting different symbols, animals, and motifs to create pieces inspired by secular tradition around the world, in three different collections: La Bonne Etoile, La Nature Porte-Bonheur and Les Légendes de la Chance. Unicorns, ladybugs and four-leafed clover are represented with intensely colored stones, translating local customs and beliefs into a poetic world vision.
Invited to show at the Biennale for the first time in 2010, Piaget marks its second Biennale with the Couture Précieuse line. Inspired by the finesse of haute couture, diamonds are woven into lace-like structures along the edges of a white gold necklace. Amongst the 59 pieces of jewelry and 12 watches on show, many are inspired by the world of menswear – we spotted a pair of earrings, whose elliptical sapphires and rubies reminded us of military-style frogging.
Since 2010, Biennale des Antiquaires has offered its privileged guests an exceptional program of private tours focused on the rare and the excellence. This event represents an opportunity to look towards the future with optimism and not to relish in the past. The 26th edition Biennale des Antiquaires with pride regarding its past accomplishments and confidence in its ability to renew itself and preserve the trust of exhibitors as well as visitors.
Biennale des Antiquaires embody a novel ambitions and herald a new era of international recognition for France from the Grand Palais venue in Paris. The event uphold its distinctive features: a limited number of galleries on display so as to widen the exhibition space thereby welcoming more furniture, paintings and exceptional objects, promote a beautiful scenery and host a unique dinner with nearly 800 guests amid exceptionalartworks.
Hosted by the exhibitors and the SNA, the 2012 Gala Dinner was hosted by six national and international ambassadors: influential women, representatives of luxury, life skills, and art lovers. Nearly 800 participants attend this memorable dinner, among which stand personalities from the world of art and culture, media, corporate bosses, politicians or collectors.
Organised by the SNA, this exhibition is one of the most prestigious art gatherings in the world. A fair that brings together some of the leading art, design and antiques dealers, along with master jewellers and watchmakers. Founded in 1901, the SNA (short for French: National Union of Antique Dealers) is one of the oldest associations of art dealers in France. Its role is to defend the profession of antique dealer before the public authorities and to promote the profession in France and abroad. It has almost 300 members who share the principles of Authenticity – Quality – Honourability. The SNA stands by its professional members and remains determined to defend the French and International art market.
The ‘Biennale de Paris’ was launched by Raymond Cogniat in 1959 and set up by André Malraux as he was Minister of Culture to present an overview of young creativity worldwide and to create a place of experiences and meetings. The event took place every two years from 1959 to 1985, but gradually lost its attractiveness for the media, in particular due to the lack of renewal and competition from other contemporary art events in Paris.
Several projects have been developed and several teams have followed one another to bring it back to life. In 2000, the Biennale resumed and, after four years of organization, in 2004, the fourteenth edition was set up. From 2006, she moved towards a different form, delocalized and extended in time, and which were more market-oriented. The long-running Paris Biennale used to have overly advanced concepts, such as no collection, The situation change and replaced by a new art, antiques and luxury crafts fair at the new editions.
For a long time, La Biennale Paris hosted historic galleries. To this day, among the most prestigious galleries are still ran during this event. International ones are less present in general. New ones have been created over the past ten years to revitalize artists from the beginning of the 20th century. The SNA sought to welcome these newcomers as they constitute an important component of the future French art market.
As a non-traditional event, La Biennale Paris is not solely subjected to the rules of a trade fair, thereby allowing it to provide firmer requirements on the origin of its proposed pieces, ultimately to the benefit of all visitors. One of La Biennale Paris’ prerogatives is to build ties with several Parisian events focused on showcasing the French refinement and whose attention is focused on defending and valuing our sacrosanct crafts and traditions. These events are intended to form complementary partnerships in the coming years.