Chinoiserie, International Connoisseurs, and Caviar

The Fall Show opens with dazzle and delight in San Francisco



Fort Mason Festival Pavilion.


The bayside Fort Mason Festival Pavilion provided the dramatic background for the glittering opening night gala of The San Francisco Fall Show on Wednesday, October 11. A glamorous international coterie of antique and art dealers and their favorite collectors dashed in through the mist to appraise, admire, and acquire paintings, dazzling jewels, gilded mirrors, and decorative objects of delight.

Among the connoisseurs sipping Champagne and enjoying the Beluga and Kaluga caviar from the woman-owned Caviar Co. were Thomas Campbell, Laura Camerlengo, Denise Hale, Martin Chapman, Stefanie Rinza, Martin Muller, Vanessa Getty, Yurie and Carl Pascarella, Ken Fulk, Kendall Wilkinson, Suzanna Allen, Nina Campbell, Hannah Cecil Gurney, and Danielle Beaulieu.

“It feels so cosmopolitan this evening,” said show director Susan Engel. “We’ve got dealers from Tokyo, London, Los Angeles, Paris, Montreal, Palm Beach, and New York.”

Decorator Penelope Bianchi flew in from Montecito, where she lives adjacent to Oprah Winfrey. “I’ve been attending this San Francisco show for more than thirty years,” she said. “You can find elegant Italian antique furniture and arcane pieces like rare handwoven rugs, ethnographic arts, and obscure Americana.”

Joining the Francophile crowd among the ornate and exquisite wares of Paris top dealer Benjamin Steinitz were Dede Wilsey and Trevor and Alexis Traina, fans of Chinoiserie, neoclassical statuary, and rare porcelain.


Paintings, jewels, mirrors, and objects of delight were on display.


“I have my eye on the Chinese porcelain urns that flank the entry,” said Trevor, a noted collector of contemporary photography. “I admire the vibrant colors and the elegant silhouette.”

Interior designer Suzanne Tucker, who chaired the event, chatted with honorary chair Lauren Santo Domingo, who had just arrived from New York. “There is no distance I would not travel to see beautiful things,” said Santo Domingo, who recently completed decorating her family residence in Cartagena, Colombia.

Designer Elizabeth Martin admired the eclectic and original collections of Los Angeles dealer Philip Stites. “Everything Philip selects is a masterpiece,” she said, indicating a 1970s gold-flecked blown glass light by Venini and an elaborate 17th-century Irish stone fountain.

At the Grand Entry, a quartet of vignettes showcased de Gournay hand-painted and bejeweled wallpapers designed by Nina Campbell, Lauren Santo Domingo, Benjamin Dhong, and Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen.

On the lecture roster of the four-day show, speakers included Mitchell Owens, American editor of World of Interiors; Stellene Volandes, editor-in-chief of Town & Country; design book authors Emily Evans Eerdmans, Scott Powell, and Newell Turner; and designers Paul Wiseman, Brigette Romanek, Alfredo Paredes, Jean Liu, and Noz Nozawa.

Funds raised from the event will benefit the city-owned Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.




LEFT: Thomas Campbell and Phoebe Campbell. RIGHT: Ella Brittingham, Penelope Bianchi, and Poppie Brittingham.


Linette Dai, Kate Pryce, Noz Nozawa, Krista Coupar, Emmi Lim, and Margaret Ruffo.


LEFT: Barbara Brown. RIGHT: Alexis and Trevor and Traina.


Susanna Allen and Suzanne Tucker.


LEFT: Vanessa Getty. RIGHT: Michael Supland and D’Art Wolf.


Christopher Lawrie, Karen Caldwell, and Jarrod Baumann.


Marcela Lembi, Samantha Bechtel, Francis Golet, and Elizabeth Zambricki.


LEFT: Dede Wilsey, Lauren Santo Domingo, and Suzanne Tucker. RIGHT: Yurie Pascarella, Carl Pascarella, and Danielle St. Germain.



October 20, 2023.

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