Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Word of the Day: "SCAGLIOLA"


Pronounced: "skal YOE luh"

An Italian faux painted "inlaid marble and stone" technique developed in 17th century Italy to imitate pietra dura (inlaid hard stones like marble) surfaces created in the Florentine Medici workshops; it is typically painted on solid slate and made of crushed selenite, marble, plaster of Paris, and animal sizing (i.e., glue). 

Although scagliola was conceived as a less costly alternative to pietra dura, antique examples of it today often fetch prices comparable to the inlaid stone technique.

About the Antiquarian

Buzz Kaplan is the founder of Kaplan & Co., an investment grade tangible assets consulting firm, and Executive Director of C. Mariani Antiques, Restoration & Custom in San Francisco, the largest U.S. wholesaler of high-end 17th, 18th, and 19th century European antiques.

It's like the Louvre, only with price tags.

Our specialty is 18th century Italian, French and English furniture, lighting, and accessories. For more than 30 years, our antiques have graced some of the world’s most luxe interiors and are regularly featured in major shelter publications including Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Veranda, Elle D├ęcor and Traditional Home.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What is an antique?

Generally speaking, an antique is anything that’s at least 100 years old. So that means I'm well on my way to qualifying. Kidding.

This "100-year-old rule" is both the common law definition as well as the definition employed by the U.S. Customs Service. If a piece was made after 1909, it's not an antique—it is, at best, an "antique in the making" (in the case of a fine reproduction). More typically, it's termed a "vintage" piece, a “collectible,” or simply "junk." And there's a lot of that going around these days.

Shown below: A 19th Century Italian Palazzo 68 Light Chandelier:
List price: $680,000 USD

I SWEAR I took this picture myself.