The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 29, 1998 · Page 348
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 348

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, March 29, 1998
Page 348
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THE PALM BEACH POST RESIDENCES ADVERTISING SECTION SUNDAY, MARCH 29, 1998 19 Dealers long for daring buyers at antique shows Syrie Maugham, England's white queen decorated the Fifth Avenue Williams house and the couple's place in Palm Beach so she would have snapped up a miniature silver-mounted Indian bureau bookcase in the booth of Matz & Pribell. The 36-inch-tall tabletop folly is costly ($35,000) and happily rare. The 1770 bookcase is, veneered in elephant ivory, etched like scrimshaw with inky images of Dr. Seuss-surreal topiary frees and oddly proportioned Georgian buildings. Also strange shaped is gilt-bronze and blue-enamel Russian mantel clock offered by Mory Linz-Einstein, the owner of a Paris shop, Galeria Epoca. The style of the tubby timepiece, which is encased in writhing tendril-like supports, can only be described as Antoni Gaudi by way of Walt Disney. "It was inspired by the peasant art of ancient Russia," said Linz-Einstein, who added that she bought the clock from a noble Russian family. She described it as dating from "before Pierre le Grand," referring to the 18th-century Czar Peter the Great Less expensive, at $25,000, but more certain in epoch is an 1872 third edition of the Rubaiyat of Omar Kahyyam. Offered by Bauman Rare Books, its splendor is protected by the original velvet-lined black leather presentation case. It is the binding, not the contents, that would have enthralled Mona. priced at $160,000. Glazed in orange, blue, yellow and red, the plaque depicts two mandarins taking tea in a seaside gazebo. "You hung it on a wall from a ribbon, like a picture," said Irene Aronson, who added that the plaque's dominant color, yellow, made for troublesome production: "It's hard to bake properly. If the kiln temperature is too high, the yellow pops off." Mona might have chosen for her husband Harrison's dressing room a pair of 712-by-6-inch, black-and-white English ceramic portraits of Tom Spring and Jack Langan, leading British boxers of the 1820s. Priced at $3,000 for the pair, they are sold by the Manhattan shop of Earle D. Vandekar of Knightsbridge. Harrison Williams died in 1953, but his marital successor, a German count who had been his secretary, would have appreciated the boxer portraits, too: Edward von Bismarck took a keen personal interest in male musculature. Forearms flexed and fists raised, Spring and Langan, who are stripped to the waist in the pictures, fought a bloody 75-round match in 1824 both men bare-knuckled. As John Richardson, the Picasso biographer, and Mercedes Bass, the socialite, mulled over a Wedgwood platter, Raul R. Vandekar, said: "Boxing was done without gloves then, so you can imagine the damage inflicted." Mona had a mania for all-white rooms popping items are few and far between. Barry Friedman, a dealer in decorative arts of the mid-20th century, called Mona "the wife of the architect of Rockefeller Center." Hanging in his booth is a 1933 gold-frame pencil study of Mona by Bernard Boutet de Monvel. The price is $6,500. Actually, Mona whose eyes of Caribbean blue and cropped silver hair led her to be dubbed the "rock-crystal goddess" had five husbands. And not one was an architect. Her biggest catch was the third, Harrison H. Williams, a utilities magnate, whose money was the engine of opportunity for Mona, a Kentucky beauty with a do-it-yourself English accent who became his second wife. She liked the rare, the exotic, the costly. Her shopping list would have included something Chinese, to coordinate with the Oriental wallpaper in her house or to remind her of the red-lacquer fence on her estate. Three mazelike windows for sale by Michael Goedhuis, a London dealer, certainly would have caught Mona's Orientalist fancy. Sternly elegant and constructed of age-ambered cedar, the windows, which are basically square trelliswork screens, are relics of a Ming dynasty villa. Each is priced at around $7,000. Mona would have craved, too, an 18th-century tile plaque cut into the shape of a pagoda at Aronson of Amsterdam. It is By MITCHELL OWENS New York Times News Service Muses have gone out of fashion, but given the largely unsurprising ways at the 43rd Winter Antiques Show, the exposition could have used a deity like Mona Strader Schlesinger Bush Williams von Bismarck de Martini. This socialite, who died in 1983 at 86, would be the customer of any dealer's dreams. During her heyday in the 1930s, a $700 million fortune insured that whatever Mona wanted, Mona got Too bad this avaricious sylph, best known as Mona Bismarck, is not around, checkbook ajar. Flaunt-happy plutocrats like her would spice up the antiques show, a once-bright exhibition that appears to be sliding into a blancmange. Perhaps the decline is due to timidity. Today's millionaires are simply not keeping up appearances, which might explain the show's emphasis on brown furniture. Camelback sofas can be dandy, but they are rarely what make shoppers hyperventilate. What antiques shows need are customers whose willingness to spend boldly inspires dealers to flush out rare fantasies. Or dealers who are willing to take a gamble, to stock something bizarre and pray for adventuresome clients to drop in. Like beacons of hope in a sea of French-polished veneer, a few of this show's dealers understand that nothing exceeds like excess, but for the most part the eye- miMMt it J?. 2 (Ml f fjnt'ii';;, w 'i ' ' 3 3' i bmim Bucknun K(hi(n.f1 427172 MB MM I '"new eSting tequesta GARDENS HUNT CLUB EXCELLENT P.B.G. IBIS COUNTRY CLUB WATFRFRONT LOCATION . , , . ., , , , i I ia v n ft Fabulous 4 Br 3 BA, scr pool- Large Pn" terrific 4 BR. 2.5 BA, 2 car garage Enjoy the view of the golf course Vj"5mi vate yard backs to Ballen Isles. Thousands in gaed community. Open from this beautiful 32 former mode ? t SSTJtt P2' m of $ in "PS neutral tone$ thr0USh0Ul fr5n with master bedroom on first with many upgrades Ora just listed long entry dme Lg eat-in kit. Din rm fami, home M has n kJ ju; needed but priced below less than his cost at $185,000. hasMcbuUfuIewsofLox. used! Call Only $232,000. ZvMs. Just reducd $179,900 ALICE FLEMING 622-0695. kathy Craft 627-6472 Agnes KunutyMM 166 Agnes KunutyM 166 I I c 71 r""'--."T-v -V I T fH NEW LISTING WATERFRONT JUNO BEACH - THE HOMESTEAD "THE LEGENDS SUNSHINE & PRIVACY HOME SINGER ISLAND xhis first class ocean front building is a Awesome 32 2nd FL Condo overlooking Tucked away but in the heart of PBG. ACTwtodv'i! dl kfl Beautlfu, 3BR:BA rc'V & v CouRC- 1 f"' I con:'m- aiUnP f' Uhni Cw coubb fci K.uhen-Aid appl.- condo in a very private and quiet loca- private elevator. Extended bung room, oramic vie & picture perfect pnv. wees; siimninf cx)uim ule fkwrv supcrxT land- DOn. Comer unit, very bright, in mint over 2100 sq ft of living area, total Almost new pristine 4Br2.Ba. hti pool t4p)ng: pnmc touthn tpwe; prrtettol kct- condition Only $ 1 74.000. CALL upgrade must see for $229,500 E exp. lots of extras. $00 , f Lr S: to vrwxc. A4,n? LMMY BICKMAN 863-746 VALOLIV A 6404539 Toby Coben 6S944S3 U 1 .01 ) EMMY Bl C"KM VN SJ-T I I . . . v .,. S "V . s

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