Malibu Seen

OBJECTS OF DESIRE

From Americana to Empire, if there was a beautiful sight to behold, you’d find it at the Los Angeles Antiques Show. An artsy crowd gathered at the Barker Hanger to eye the best of the best from dozens of galleries and dealers from around the world.

Guests sipped creative cocktails crafted from pineapple juice and triple sec while servers made the rounds with duck quesadillas, skirt steak skewers and yellow tail sashimi. The booths were just about as stylish as the objects on display with exotic blooms, parrot tulips, carnation pompoms and kumquat garlands.

It was a stylish crowd to be sure and fashionistas dressed accordingly in ruffled plisse jackets, Cavalli animal prints and vintage Chinese silks. The guys in the creative crowd weren’t about to be outdone, sporting lime green bow ties, eye-popping plaid jackets, chic specs and French berets.

Diane Keaton arrived in her trademark Annie Hall style in a crisp white shirt, a pair of white men’s trousers and floppy hat while Michael Eisner dressed for comfort in kakis and a gray cashmere hoodie.

But the real show was the breathtaking art all around.

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“They have amazing things this year,” marveled famed Malibu decorator Erika Brunson. “Look at that Japanese screen, and this American folk art is splendid too.” Brunson also admired an impressive pair of large golden lions that once graced a Synagogue in Philadelphia in the 1930s.

Every year, the Los Angeles Antiques show becomes the ultimate high-end swap meet. There isn’t anything you can’t find here-French statuary, Russian icons, Georgian chairs, Pacific Rim swords, exotic opium bottles, limited edition books, vintage toys, even ruby and diamond tiaras that looked like they came straight out of Buck House. Better still? It’s all for sale.

Glass lovers were all agog over Geoffrey Diner’s extraordinary collection of Tiffany lamps from Washington DC. We couldn’t take our eyes off an exquisite azalea flower lamp in vibrant pinks, greens and reds. “There are only about three or four known, that makes them very special,” owner Geoffrey Diner explained. “The shade is really rare. It came out of a private collection.” Asked the price, Diner waved his hand casually and replied, “oh about 500,” and I knew he didn’t mean dollars.

Another stunning piece was a spectacular iris lantern in brilliant shades of sapphire blue and emerald green. Priced at $850,000, it would light up the life of any collector. “Tiffany was one of the greatest designers in American history and this is Tiffany at his best,” noted Diner. “He was really hung up on nature and you can really see that relationship in his work.”

Jewelry junkies headed for New York’s Kentshire Gallery with its exquisite array of baubles from divine deco bracelets to major ’80s bling. Disney devotees checked out vintage Mickey Mouse dolls. “That one dates to 1930,” said Steven Weiss, pointing out an early rag-doll version. “You can always tell by the pie eye.”

But whether you were looking for classic toys or treasures from Tiffany, the Los Angeles Antiques show is an art-lovers extravaganza.

The Opening night preview party helped raise money for P.S. Arts, a nonprofit organization that helps make up for funding cutbacks by restoring arts education in public schools.

lot of love!and fun.

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