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Fall Antiques Show Meets King Tut

March 2, 2010
Kirsty Gumina

San Francisco’s Fall Antiques Show has been around a long time, but not, perhaps, as long as the treasures on display as part of its “Egypto-mania: Nile Style in the Decorative Arts” theme this year. Among the gilded French dressers, mirrors and urns was an exhibition featuring an Egyptian Revival scarab and figurine of Osiris from the Palace of the Legion of Honor; an 18th-dynasty ebony chair from the Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose; and an English mahogany gueridon, after a design by Thomas Hope, loaned by philanthropist Ann Getty.

The exhibition, curated by Maria Santangelo of the Fine Arts Museums, encircled the center courtyard, with a singular vitrine setting the theme at the entrance of Fort Mason. It was all by design, to tie in to the “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs” exhibition at the M.H. de Young Museum through March 28. Cross-pollination is smart marketing and good business, you see.

The preview party benefit gala drew hundreds for a luxuriously appointed night of browsing: caviar, Champagne, vodka and assortments of lamb chops and salmon by McCall Associates catering for guests to nibble while contemplating which of the wares to buy. Choices included vendors such as Axel Vervoordtof Belgium, Steinetz of Paris and the Bay Area’s Imari Imports and Therien & Co.

Honorary chairs were Egyptian Consul General Hesham Elnakib and his wife, Dalia. Chairing the Connoisseurs Circle were Wendy and H. Richard Bingham; the Collectors’ Circle, Laura King Pfaff; the Designers Circle, Suzanne Tucker; and the Aficionados’ Committee, Summer and Brooks Walker III, to name a few of the many people involved in the event. The gala night preview had its philanthropic merits, too, as an annual fundraiser for Enterprise for High School Students, which helps educate and train young people for the workforce.

Photo: San Francisco Chronicle

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