Wendy Goldberg and Mavis Leno are celebrating another successful year hosting that annual awesome event-the Los Angeles Antique Show. Every year, the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica is transformed into an elegant antique-filled English garden.
As well-clad guests made their way into the entrance, they encountered 10-foot palms, impressive arrangements of pink and white roses, grand statuary, towering topiaries and glorious fountains. They sipped champagne and talked antiques while taking in the soothing sounds of a classical quartet. Further afield, there were massive helpings of fresh shrimp, baked brie, Machengo cheese and candied quince. Servers made the rounds with caviar Bellinis and pureed cauliflower soup shooters. But the food was just the beginning. The antique show is always a feast for the eyes as well the palate, with every imaginable creation under the artistic sun. We eyed rare finds like a pair of 17th century limestone lions from France, temple ornaments from the Yan Dynasty and ornately carved opium beds. There were signed works by famed modern masters like Mary Cassatt, Miro and George Braque. For a million bucks you could even take home your very own Monet. There were antler lamps from New York, a massive Old World apothecary, 1920s medicine balls, tennis racquets, sailboats, golf clubs and decoys. Not to mention Alfonse Mucha posters, Louis XVI gilt mirrors, art deco tub chairs and glittering estate jewelry. Speaking of glittering, local VIPS were out in force, including glam queen Candy Spelling, who was sporting more turquoise than the Cherokee Nation.
One surprising find came from a rare book corner where fairly recent coffee table fare came with hefty price tags. I even discovered that my $80 book of Venetian Palaces has appreciated quicker than beachfront property. The colorful libro was now going for an astounding $395. Why? I inquired. “Because it’s out of print,” explained bookseller J.P. Hayden of New York. “That makes it very desirable.” There were style books, kids books, architecture books and poetry of every conceivable kind. Price ranges went from upwards of $100 for a “very collectable” selection from Dr. Seuss to $10,000 for a complete set of La Monde fashion mags from Paris. The booksellers are doing a bang-up business and even some of our local luminaries are pitching in. “We love Cher,” Hayden cooed. “Every time someone photographs a coffee table book in her house, our phone rings.”
In addition to the dozens of art dealers, the Women’s Guild of Cedars Sinai managed to pull in an impressive amount of moola. The event raised $600,000 for the group’s important education, treatment and research programs.