Sunday, November 10, 2013

Antique Textiles in San Francisco

As many of you know in my other life as an antiques dealer I'm privileged to share one week a year each
October with some of the best and brightest antiques dealers in the world at the San Francisco Fall Antiques Show presented by Enterprise for High School Students. This year the show ran October 24 through 27 and now home for a week or two I've had time to organize some photos and thoughts on the show and some of  superb antique textiles displayed .

This year's theme for the show was "Jazz Moderne, Art Deco and the Avant Garde"  and the huge stylish faux urns lining the entrance and centering a Pierre Chareau floor lamp circa 1928 exemplified it.

Textiles in the show carried forward the theme as well with this wonderful and whimsical 1920s-30s Belgian tapestry featuring fish swimming through sweeping waves  from 

As a quilter my eye was really taken by these small quilts made of scraps of indigo dyed cotton by the Miao ethnic group in southern China in the 19thc. I long to take all of those Asian indigo cottons I've been collecting and adapt this little quilt to an applique'd block.

This piece below reminded me of Brenda Papadakis' "Dear Jane" quilts with their small appliqued squares in many varied patterns. Again, from the Miao people of southern China.

Speaking of quilts Jeff Bridgman of  Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques and Flags of York County, Pennsylvania showed  this very large antique quilt sewn entirely from souvenir flags from the 1876 Centennial celebrations in Philadelphia. The center featured printed cotton images of George and Martha Washington. The date 1876 is hand embroidered over the portraits. It is in a remarkable state of preservation.

I've always loved early English embroideries from the 17th and 18th centuries. This wonderful example shown by Mallett of London included wool and silk embroidery, stumpwork, and amazing beadwork. It dates from the Charles II period, mid 17th century. 

Our stand's next door neighbor Xanadu on Maiden Lane in San Francisco featured some exquisite Asian pieces including this gold thread and silk woven robe  from a Japanese Noh theater costume for a phoenix bird.

And finally, Frank's Fisherman San Francisco's iconic Fisherman's Wharf showed a collection of English "Woolies". These are framed woolwork embroideries done by English sailors on those long 19th c. voyages. I especially loved the graphic quality of this one with its panoply of signal flags.

Oh, just have to brag a little - here is a photo of our own Richard Gould Antiques stand - no antique textiles for us this year, but lots of antique English and European ceramics, objets de virtu and Chinese export porcelains.  Our gorgeous flowers - orchids, peonys and roses were done by 
San Franscisco's Paul Robertson.

Check out Off the Wall Fridays at


  1. Thanks for the tour of the show! So much to see and enjoy...

  2. Wonderful post! Nice "shout out"-- we look forward to working with you again this coming season.
    Sarah Glanville
    Paul Robertson Floral Design