I'm an antique dealer. I buy and sell original period vintage ‘objets’ and jewellery.
University studies at Brown University in International Relations ending with my GG degree at New York’s G.I.A., post-graduate studies in finance at New York University, and a ‘license’ in law from Nanterre Université Paris X have not led me into the business world but into the world of second-hand jewellery dealing because of an affinity with design.
I buy and sell original period vintage ‘objets’ and jewellery which was made by French jewellers from about 1900 to 1950 for the ‘objets’ and from 1900 to 1970 for the jewellery. Most of the items are signed by the retailers although some are not because of lack of a proper space to appose the signature. The signature one sees the most is Cartier because the production of the firm’s three branches – Paris, London, and New York – was tremendous, much greater than its competitors. The other great creator of the period 1900-1930 was the workshop of Verger Frères who supplied Boucheron, Van Cleef and Arpels, Janesich, Lacloche, Ostertag, Black, Starr and Frost, Charlton, Tiffany and many other retailers in the USA of jewelry and fashionable items from Europe.
I perform restoration work of the decor as well as the function of pieces for clients whose pieces have been damaged over time whenever restoration can be done effectively.
I have a historical approach in buying and selling these pieces. These ‘objets’ correspond to a style not only prevalent during a period in the 20th century but particular to a House or creator. The Belle Epoque or Edwardian period from 1895 to 1918 with the guilloché enamel which Fabergé with wonderful effect; the Art Deco period from about 1915 to 1930 so rich in the use of exotic decors, precious hardstones, and enamel; the less precious Modernist period from 1930 to 1945; and the post-war period ending in the 1960s with free-form ‘objets’.
The value of the jewellery is for the most part associated with the value of the stones which compose the piece. The value of the jewellery I deal in is based on the design and signature, the materials used, and not from the value of a central stone.
Insurance valuations can be done.
I strive to build collections of these ‘objets’ following the client’s theme. As a reputable antique dealer, I contributed greatly to building Cartier’s vintage corporate collection of clocks, ‘objets’ and accessories. This fabulous collection is exhibited in major museums all over the world in order to show the history of the firm and to promote the brand. I tend to deal in mid-market to up-market pieces as these are the pieces with a decor and the down-market pieces are too plain to be collected.
My auction records and experience in ‘objets’ enables me to trace the history of some pieces, identify correct and incorrect signatures, identify modern copies of jewellery, spot fakes, identify plain pieces that have been ‘embellished’ or pieces that have been modified, as well as pieces that have been signed by a retailer at a later date than their manufacture although they were originally made by another House or for an anonymous retailer.