The 27th edition of the Biennale des Antiquaires, the premier showcase of art and antiques featuring treasures from the world’s greatest dealers. The Biennale des Antiquaires, which since the 1950s has guaranteed the influence of the antiques profession throughout the world, opens its doors from September 11 to 21, 2014 at the Grand Palais. 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 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. The selection of exhibitors has been made this year, for the first time, by the Biennial Committee, an international committee of fifteen members, including members of the board of the SNA (National Syndicate of Antiquities), curators, art historians and 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.
For its 27th edition, the Syndicat National des Antiquaires called on Jacques Grange, decorator with world-renowned talent. It reinterprets the gardens of the Château de Versailles and Trianon, under the prestigious glass roof of the Grand Palais. The size of the aisles throughout the three main alleys has been balanced to ensure that the visitor enjoys the same comfort in each and that every exhibitor can present objects or works in the very best conditions. The whole of this ephemeral museum that is The Paris Biennial is concentrated under the Nave of the Grand Palais.
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 2014
Masterpieces and ancient statues all under one roof of Biennale des Antiquaires 2014, Celebrating antiquities and fine arts, 86 internationally-renowned art and antique dealers converged under the iconic glass dome of the Grand Palais, presented more than 5,000 unusual and beautiful objects worth approximately $40 billion to 90,000 visitors.
Biennale des Antiquaires provided an international stage to exhibitors seeking to attract a small elite of wealthy collectors and connoisseurs from around the world. Handpicked galleries like Kraemer and François Léage from Paris, Gisèle Croës from Brussels and Marlborough from New York presented their rarest masterpieces, spanning archaeology and Asian art to 18th-century furniture and modern paintings.
Jewelry has always been a part of the Biennale ever since its establishment, it used to showcase more vintage jewels. Haute joaillerie was placed in the spotlight with 14 contemporary fine jewelry houses, including Boucheron, Bulgari, Cartier , Chanel, Chaumet, Dior, Piaget, Siegelson, Van Cleef & Arpels and Wallace Chan… displaying their ultra-luxury collections, many one-off creations.
A Biennale veteran, Cartier has been part of the exhibition since 1964 so it was only appropriate that in 2012 its creations were displayed on the largest stand of all, measuring an impressive 250 sq m. Featuring a staggering 150 jewels, Cartier’s Depaysement collection encompassed a diverse variety of pieces inspired by different landscapes, from the vibrant city to the stifling heat of the desert and the frosty Arctic.
Two years in the making, the collection included an awe-inspiring variety of stones and materials with a colour spectrum stretching from stark monochrome to dazzling emeralds, sapphires and aquamarines. More earthy tones of brown, orange and yellow are reflected in the Solar Tiger Bracelet with the animal’s watchful eyes made out of yellow-orange diamonds.
Bulgari made its debut at the Biennale with a collection bursting with the colour and cabochons for which the Italian jewellery house is so famous. The Elizabeth Taylor collection on display included Bulgari pieces bought for the screen diva by Richard Burton as well as three extravagant new jewels that were inspired by her legacy. Especially noteworthy was a necklace featuring a 165-carat sapphire on thick ropes of pink rubelites, mandarin garnets and emeralds.
The House of Boucheron has often incorporated the snake into its collections, and at the last Biennale it unveiled one of its most stunning creations yet: a diamond, opal and rock crystal Serpent necklace. While staying true to its rich creative heritage, the Parisian jeweller reworked icons such as the snake, chameleon and ivy into colourful jewels with a playful element.
Bright blue and green were the order of the day at Harry Winston, which stunned visitors with an unusually colourful display. The Water collection paired diamonds with vibrant sapphires and emeralds as well as turquoise and Paraiba tourmalines. Echoing the colour and fluidity of water, the Cabochon Fall necklace was particularly impressive, with fancy and pavé diamonds combined with brilliant- and pear-cut stones to create a free-flow effect.
Chanel indulged in a spot of stargazing for its ‘1932’ collection of 80 jewels, marking the 80th anniversary of Gabrielle Chanel’s Bijoux de Diamants exhibition of 1932. With motifs that included stars, comets and suns, as well as lions to represent Mademoiselle’s star sign Leo, the pieces were inspired by the original collection. The undisputed star was the Comete necklace, which coils gently around the neck, with a 15 carat white diamond at the heart of the shooting star.
Chinese jeweller Wallace Chan made his debut at the last Biennale with 50 breathtaking pieces inspired by the essence of Oriental and Chinese culture. Using real butterflies as his starting point, Wallace’s jewels captured the frailty of the insect’s wings with an astonishing attention to detail. The Whimsical Blue brooch from the Fluttery series is a case in point, with its body made up of three tanzanites set with diamonds, and wings consisting of carved icy jadeite, lapis, lazuli and sapphire.
Chaumet unveiled its high jewellery collection, 12 Vendome, named after its headquarters at 12 Place Vendome and inspired by the Maison’s very first muse, Empress Josephine. Over 40 pieces were on display, from classic tiaras to 1920s-style necklaces, including a tiara from the No 2 Collection with a mesmerising mix of emeralds, sapphires, rubies, purple jade and spinels surrounding a central opal.
With its largest collection yet, Piaget stunned visitors to 2012’s Biennale with an ambitious display of 59 pieces of high jewellery and 12 high jewellery watches. Based on the theme of feminine seduction, the delicate, youthful jewels in the Couture Precieuse collection included the Couture Precieuse diamond necklace, which resembles a collar made out of lace.
Van Cleef & Arpels is known for creating jewels with a story behind them, and the Palais de la Chance collection, which the brand unveiled at the Biennale, was no exception. From Egyptian scarabs and swallows to the colour green and swags of ivy, the pieces evoked enduring symbols of luck and hope. The Egyptian-themed Everlasting Light long earrings were particularly stunning, with their heady combination of green chrysoprase beads, a black opal, lapis lazuli, diamonds, mandarin garnet and turquoise.
Inspired by the costume jewellery Monsieur Dior designed for his couture collections in the 1950s, Dior’s Biennale jewels provided a flurry of colour and unexpected stone combinations. Entitled ‘Dear Dior’, the collection was very much a love letter to the past, with the reverse of each piece featuring a design from the House’s lace archives. With its flamboyant design and explosion of colour, the outsized Dentelle Opale d’Orient ring epitomised the collection.
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 27th 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 2014 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.