San Francisco Fall Antiques Show 2011

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The Fall San Francisco Antique Show! What Fun!

It is in the lovely location of historic Fort Mason on the bay looking across at the Peninsula and Alcatraz Island!

It is in this big building which is like a warehouse;but great effort is made to  make the interiors dramatic and feel unlike a warehouse!

My husband  Adam Bianchi was getting our tickets at the entrance

This gorgeous table was part of a trompe l’oeil   exhibit!  There is a reflection on the glass; but it is so exquisite!

Some really interesting shoes!!! I’m finding those leopard with the red heels if it kills me!

an interesting statue! 

I love the simple flower arrangements that looked like they were just gathered in the garden!

a truly gorgeous screen!  I wonder what the back is like!

I love the tapestry, the vargueno but most of all I adored this guy:

I think he is smoking opium!

this is my friend for many years; the lovely and so knowledgable and nice Christianne Engs!  We only had one photo; so my eyes are closed!  Oh well! She has exquisite taste and exquisite things!  Her store is on La Cienega in Los Angeles. Engs-Dimitri Works of Art.


I loved this painting!

and this bust and beautiful mirror!

This was a wonderful European painting! OOPS!  (The Devoted Classicist  has correctly called this an antique  hand -blocked wallpaper fragment!  The shine fooled me! It must have been lacquered!)

I was so busy seeing people and “visiting;  I really had a hard time focussing!

These lead eagles look really familiar!

and I love these  appliqués over the marquetry chests!

These garden gnomes  remind me of Lotusland!  Such character !

I’d like him peeking out from behind the bushes!  My dogs would bark for days!

Oh my gosh!  My favorite uber-decorator and neighbor and dear friend Bruce Gregga!!!  and his wonderful partner and shop partner William Laman! (everyone’s favorite shop in Montecito for everything you want desperately, and “don’t need”!) Anyone could buy anything in that store; as a gift to me, and could not go wrong!  And everything changes all the time! (Someone gave me twenty-five years of Architectural Digests.  I swear, Bruce Gregga was in 99% of them!! )  He is  “THE Decorator”!

My handsome husband Adam  and the business side of our business on the left; and a  wonderful old friend Owen Harper on the right.  How cute are they???

Adam grew up in San Francisco;  so it was “old home week” for him and he had a wonderful time!  He saw so many of his old friends!  Even a few who went to Choate with him he hadn’t seen for over 50 years! (Thank goodness he had so much fun!  I want to go back every year!)

I loved the shoe sign on the left (from a shoe store) and the framed old bathing suits I thought were totally charming!

This was my favorite booth……I have such a love affair with china and porcelain.  My very favorite thing in the whole  show is in this cabinet!  I love it so much I am going to do a whole post on it!  The dealer said in his opinion;  it was the most unusual and wonderful thing in the whole show!  and complimented me on my “eye”!  Can you guess?  (the picture is terrible because of the glass case; but he sent me exquisite pictures and close ups which I will share.   It is fascinating to me…and the one thing I hated leaving there!

here it is in a close up……still in the glass case and me at the camera!  Be still my heart! <

I love every single one of these completely lovely and impractical things.  I actually own an almost identical rectangular papier mache and abalone shell box.

Yes, Im afraid I would buy them all!

Gorgeous  porcelain.  so unusual!



this boiserie with inset oil paintings took my breath away!  We had some very similar to this in our house in Pasadena!  Brought over in the early 50’s by the lovely and talented Francophile who built our house there in 1956!  She built an exquisite “pavilion ” a copy of an 18th century one outside of Paris;  when everyone else was building “tract houses”!

I will write a whole post about that house!  It was a wonder!

more of the boisierie in the mirror…..with the lovely console and bust.

Lovely things all around!

More china!

and more!


There is the shoe again and the bathing suits!

the food was absolutely amazing!  Seafood especially!  Oysters, caviar, fresh crab and shrimp! A feast!

I love these antique canes……and I think those are andirons!  some people make exquisite and charming  umbrellas out of antique cane handles!

There was a pair of these urn appliqués.  I didn’t want to leave those there, either!

But absolutely the HIGHLIGHT!!!



Diane Saeks took this picture of us!

I couldn’t believe I was meeting Scot of “the adventures of tartanscot”,  “The Peak of Chic!!” , and Emily Evans Erdmans!  Oh wow!

Beautiful, handsome, fun and erudite!  Talented beyond !  and such wonderful company! And thank you Diane, for taking our picture!

We had such a “whee of a time!”

12 thoughts on “San Francisco Fall Antiques Show 2011

  1. The Devoted Classicist

    I love that painting (or is it a scenic wallpaper fragment) of the classical architectural setting!

  2. penelopebi

    I think you are right! What fooled me was the shine! I have never seen an antique wallpaper fragment lacquered; but that is what must have happened!
    I will correct it!

  3. penelopebi

    PS I have no idea why those funky lines are in the writing! If I can fix that I will; but I wrestled a whole week trying to get this out!

  4. Thoughts on Design

    What fun you must have had wandering about taking in all those gorgeous booths, catching up with old friends and such… The little garden gnomes spoke to me. I have the perfect spot for them amongst the ferns in the shade garden in our yard!

    I’m looking forward to reading your post about your former house in Pasadena.


  5. patricia gaye tapp

    thoroughly enjoyed this tour! pgt

  6. Heather

    Well, now THIS was exactly the high dose of true glamour (not a word that I use lightly) that I needed this morning! Oh, my. You looked stunning in your Chanel, Penelope and what incredible pieces you photographed. I truly hope that you will stick to your promise to write about your home with the boiserie–that is too good of a story to pass up.

    Wishing a lovely weekend!

  7. Janette@the2seasons

    I just discovered your blog through my favorite blog, French-Kissed, although I have already heard/read about you and your lovely home. We love all things French. My husband and I rode our bicycles from the English Channel (Normandy Beach) to the Mediterranean Sea in September. Yes, it included lots of mountains, but it was a magical trip. I was captivated by the beauty most of the time. I love these bicycle journeys because they allow me to see the real/not the tourist version of a country. I have been traveling to France for 35 years but really got to SEE it this time.

  8. Nella

    Dear Penny, thank you for taking us on this lovely outing with you.I too am smitten with china!! Must thank you also for meeting my niece Kim, she had a wonderful time at the book signing and fell in love with your home! Wish I could have been there with her, but I was away at the Breeder’s Cup in Louisville with my boys. Thank you again for your generosiy of heart, N. xo

  9. French Kissed

    Looks like a wonderful evening of beautiful things and beautiful people…and with the foot tape I told you about, you will be able to wear those leopard heels for hours in sheer comfort!…and I just have to say what a delightful evening it was at the book signing for Patina Style…thank you for opening your home for this event…glowing with its own lovely patina and it was such a pleasure to finally meet you in person. I got some gorgeous shots, so I hope you will stop by to take a look at the post on this most enchanted evening of Patina Style!

    All the best,


  10. Chic Provence

    Darn! I couldn’t make the Show this year, and looks like the best part I missed was meeting all of you!!

    But yes the show looks a stunner, as usual!

    a bientôt!


  11. Marisa/Stylebeat

    I so want to go to this show- it looks just amazing! You gave wonderful coverage so I feel like I was there!
    x Marisa

  12. Mel Gorans

    Did you read Michael Schroler’s review of Grant’s book? (You can Google it.) If so, what are your thoughts on it?

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