S.F. Fall Antiques Show serves up fine art

The San Francisco Fall Antiques show, a grand and glorious tradition, is the oldest, continuously operating antiques show and sale on the West Coast.

Beginning Wednesday and running through Sunday, 70 dealers from across the United States, Canada and Europe will showcase a vast array of furniture and fine and decorative arts _ including ceramics, textiles, rugs, prints, photographs and glass _ in the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason.

It's a one-stop shop that's got something for everyone, from cognoscenti looking for that unique piece to visitors who can glean invaluable ideas for their homes.

“It's very popular,” says Laura King Pfaff, chairman of Bonhams & Butterfields. “People put it on their calendars early.”

The charity event, which benefits Enterprise for High School Students (a group devoted to providing job, counseling and other support for teens) begins Wednesday night with an exclusive gala preview party. The show is open to the general public Thursday through Sunday.

Lisa Beth Podos, executive director of the event, says the show exemplifies diversity, with everything from modern design classics from the first half of the 20th century to additional representation from international galleries, including Jackson Design AB from Stockholm, one of the leading designers in the world, in attendance for the first time.

Other highlights are San Francisco’s Fraenkel Gallery, one of the top galleries for photography, along with a Native American dealer and an ethnic graphic dealer. From the Hamshere Gallery in London, there is dog-themed art and jewelry.

Podos says of the show and sale, “The quality is the same as the New York Winter Antiques Show, but we're looking to make it slightly more accessible; there's a broader range of price points. You can buy one single piece and have it change the way your space and your life feel. Anyone can walk in the door and walk away with something. We hear from dealers it's their favorite show to do. And the show is a 100 percent charitable endeavor.”

The event also includes a special exhibit on loan: “Taste for the Twentieth Century: Modern Design Classics from San Francisco Collections” features iconic designs by legendary Carlo Bugatti and Frank Gehry, Frances Elkins chairs, Art Deco lacquers by Jean Dunand and other important 20th century works.

A lecture series hosts experts and features the West Coast launch of books including “John Fowler: Prince of Decorators” by John Wood and “Entertaining at the White House with Nancy Reagan” by Jonathan Joseph and Peter Schifando. .

Michelle Goss, chairwoman of the gala preview, calls the event one the top three antiques shows in the country.

Podos says her goal is to make it one of the top two.

IF YOU GO

San Francisco Fall Antiques Show

Where: Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, San Francisco

When: Preview at 7 p.m. Oct. 24; show from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 25-27 and noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 28 

Tickets: $15 general admission; more for added programs

Contact: (415) 989-9019 or www.ehss.org

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