Sunday, April 18, 2010

Idina Menzel: Is She Rachel's Mom?

Watch Glee Tuesday Night at 8:59 eastern and 7:59 central

I love Idina Menzel. Not only is she a Tony-award-winning actress and star of Wicked, but she is married to my favorite actor, the gorgeous Tay Diggs. They are going to tease us by not letting her sing right away, but when she does, it is sure to be a blow-out. I can't wait!
Idina Menzel, Lea Michele

Friday, April 9, 2010

Coming Up: The 2010 Philadelphia Antique Show

My favorite antique show is coming up on the 17th.

This is the best show in the country-the antiques are the best and the people who attend are interesting--Jon Bon Jovi and his wife were there last year.

 SJ Shrubsole of New York City, my favorite jewelry dealer, will be there. They have the most exquisite antique jewelry and silver--they have something for everyone and in every price range. Plus, the staff is nice and will spend time educating you, if needed. This is where I heard about jewelry camp.

My other favorite dealer is Lillian Nassau. This venerable old company has been selling Tiffany lamps for many years and is the place where collectors go for the best in Tiffany. Owner Arlie Sulka and her associate, Eric Silver can be seen frequently on Antiques Roadshow.
Check them out and if you are in the Philadelphia area this weekend, check out the show-you won't be sorry.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mexican Silver Part I: William Spratling

Spring is here and I'm back! I'm feeling bad that this is the first blog I have written since Valentine's Day. Sorry folks. My website at is taking most of my attention, but it seems to be finally paying off-I'm starting to sell. Also, I have set up a Gabriel Gibson Decorative Arts Fan Page on Facebook so check it out.

For months I have wanted to post on Mexican jewelry, but just had a hard time finding a place to start. It is a huge subject with many important and interesting people.  I mulled it over and decided to begin at the beginning with one of the leaders of the Mexican silver renaissance-William Spratling. If you aren't familiar with Spratling you are in for a treat. He was an amazing artist with many passions. His silver designs are some of the best of the 20th century and he is widely believed to be the father of the Taxco silver renaissance. Here is Part I.  

The above pitcher was the first piece of Mexican silver I ever saw. It was several years ago in New York at The American Antiques Show in the booth of Stella Rubin. Stella is a top dealer in quilts and jewelry and a good friend. Her eye for great objects is unparalleled in the antiques world and I expect her to always have the best. This sparkling silver and rosewood pitcher stopped me in my tracks. Obviously not American, yet it somehow seemed American in its classic simplicity. And, those perfect proportions--I immediately knew I had to investigate the artist that designed this beautiful object. 

William Spratling (1900-1967) grew up in Alabama, went to college at Auburn, where he fell in love with architecture. He obtained a teaching post at Tulane in New Orleans and there he befriended the writer William Faulkner. 

Spratling in the apartment he shared with William Faulkner on St. Peter Street in New Orleans.

He made this sketch of Faulkner in 1925.

Spratling was a fine illustrator and published several books and many articles on local architecture. More than 100 illustrations were featured in Old Plantation Houses in Louisiana

Spratling took his first trip to Mexico in the mid twenties to see the architecture. He fell in love with the country, its people and their arts. He was drawn back to it for three summers  before moving there permanently in 1929. Spratling was lucky to arrive in Mexico at a time when Mexico was in transition. 

Next: Part II
Spratling in Mexican and his role in reviving the Mexican silver industry