Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Artful Gift Giving

It’s that time of year to keep an eye out for the perfect gift for everyone you hold dear (maybe even including yourself!). There is nothing more timeless or unique than an antique or vintage work of art– whether it’s a sculpture, a painting, or a handblown Murano glass accessory. The soul and sentimentality of these pieces is unmistakable, not to mention their beauty. We’ve gathered some of our favorite art available in our gallery right now, that are sure to be favorites this gift-giving season.

Framed pictures are always a thoughtful way to share special memories with your loved ones. Add an extra “wow” factor with one of our vintage handblown Murano glass frames attributed to Venini.


Give the gift of luck, wisdom, and strength in the form of an elephant. These beautiful creatures are always a favorite, and make a unique accessory.

Does someone you know need a new centerpiece or flower vase? Look no further, because the island of Murano has perfected the art of show-stopper bowls and vases. Just let the flowers know they might have some competition.


Sculptures make an excellent office, desk, or bookshelf accessory. We have a diverse range of materials and styles, from a vintage bronze panther to an antique bust of Beethoven.


You can’t go wrong with an original painting or photograph. Whether over the hearth, in the entry, or anywhere else, these special pieces are sure to bring joy each day.


Bring light into your loved ones’ lives with a pair of Murano glass lamps or sconces! These fixtures are works of art in their own right.


Art is a personal and shared experience, and it incites conversation and engagement between those around it. It is the gift that keeps on giving, and is sure to be the perfect expression of love and appreciation this holiday season. We at Jean-Marc Fray Antiques wish you all the joy this time of year brings!


Posted by Lauren Gunn at 06:34:44 AM
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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Art Deco: The Era of Glamorous Modernism

Symbolizing a time of great change worldwide, Art Deco is often synonymous with bold, geometric architecture and luxurious, extravagant graphics. Spanning from the beginning of World War I to the beginning of World War II, the style affected design, both commercial and independent, on a massive scale and continues to be seen in fashion, jewelry, and furniture today. Ultimately, the Art Deco style is a pastiche of many styles, all coming together in a desire for modernism. There were many influences, from the geometric forms of Cubism, bright colors of Fauvism, the craftsmanship of Louis XVI, and the exotic influences of Asian and Egyptian art.

The Waldorf-Astoria Exterior, Incollect
Waldorf-Astoria Main Lobby, Incollect

Named after the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts) held in Paris in 1925, the movement grew in prominence and connection with the rise of decorative arts. These arts and artists flourished while major producers of luxury goods throughout Europe began designing modern products. This modernizing of goods made way for the Art Deco movement to expand beyond the high-end to mass produced goods as well. As it grew, the style combined exquisite craftsmanship and expensive, luxurious materials with modernistic forms. It was a design style, but it was also a life style.

Chrysler Building Exterior, James Maher Photography
Art Deco Elevators of the Chrysler Building, James Maher Photography
Vanity Fair Cover by Georges Lepape, 1910
Chicago World’s Fair Expo Poster, 1933
London Underground Poster, 1924
Art Deco Buffet, Jean-Marc Fray Antiques

Though Art Deco art was in high demand, the American skyscrapers marked the high-point of Art Deco architecture. As the tallest and most recognizable buildings in the world, these pinnacles of design radically changed the skyline of major cities. Most dramatically, the Chrysler building in New York City, completed in 1930, used the newest building methods to create what was termed a “Cathedral to Commerce.” The Chrysler building was soon followed by other well-known structures such as the Empire State building and Rockefeller Center.

Art Deco Living Room, Impressive Interior Design
Art Deco Room by Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann, Art Deco Style

As one of the first major international style movements, Art Deco changed the face of many major cities, only ending with World War II and the demand for strictly functional, unadorned modernism. Art Deco furniture used only the best materials, such as exotic woods, ivory, and mother of pearl. Each piece was designed for beauty and functionality, meeting the demands of a modern world. The Art Deco patterns and geometric designs were present in the furniture as well. At Jean-Marc Fray, our Art Deco pieces have the fantastic high-quality and decorative elements of the period. From engraved mirrors, stylized dining tables, and buffets with sunburst marquetry, these pieces are striking in their beauty and modern elegance.

Art Deco Mirror, Jean-Marc Fray Antiques
Art Deco Macassar Dining Table, Jean-Marc Fray Antiques
Art Deco Sculpture by Rochard, Jean-Marc Fray Antiques

Visit our gallery or search our website for more Art Deco finds!

Art Deco Movie Theater, Messy Nessy Chic
Posted by Cecilia Chard at 05:10:23 AM
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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Merci Mille Fois!

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” 

-Marcel Proust

As we reveal our newly arrived collection of European luxury furnishings and fine art, we also embrace the jubilance of our community from Austin, Texas to Nice, France, Murano, Italy and beyond. Our creative and diverse alliance of designers, collectors, and enthusiasts is awake with talent and vision. This spirit fosters our continued ventures as brothers, Jean-Marc and Jean-Noël, scour Europe hand-selecting authentic antiques, coveted designer pieces, hand-blown Murano glass, and decorative arts for our gallery.

By keeping abreast of regional fine artists, like Marissa Starr, we endeavor to stay connected to up-and-coming contemporary artists. Her new series of work entitled, The Merge: Land, Water and Sky, explores the realism of Nature in a trinity of earthly manifestations juxtaposed against the wonder of childhood. These contrasting elements coalesce in an unanticipated harmony over a palette of sage, teal, indigo, tangerine, canary and eggshell. The textures of these works are alive with grit, oil, and crayon on panel. For a full representation of Starr’s latest series, please visit our online art gallery here. A special ‘Thank you’ to our local community for coming out to celebrate “The Merge” with us!

Painting by Marissa Starr MS56

Marissa Starr, The Merge – Sky, 2017

Speaking of celebrations, after two decades of bringing daring and exquisite designer imports from Europe, Jean-Marc Fray Antiques continues to thrive because of YOU. This Thanksgiving we wish you the warmth of friends, family, and positive relationships which are the enduring gifts of our lives. To you, we are ever-grateful…


Posted by Deanna Ashley at 04:01:03 AM
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Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Pierre Bergé, The Man Behind the Icon

Goodbye Pierre Bergé

The names Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent have been, for the most part, synonymous throughout the past half-century. They were responsible for establishing a fashion house that has become nothing short of legendary. Even before their felicitous meeting, as a young man Bergé had met poet Jean Cocteau and had been a huge supporter of his companion, artist Bernard Buffet’s, work. His commitment to the arts could not have been more brilliant than the talent and innovation he encouraged in Yves Saint Laurent.

Pierre Bergé among Andy Warhol’s backdrop of 1974 portrait of Yves Saint Laurent.

1958 was  the year that brought them together over a dinner at Cloche d’Or in the young designer’s honor. Less than 3 years after Saint Laurent’s tumultuous departure from Christian Dior, together they launched Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture. The youthful couturier made the cover of the March issue of Paris Match magazine that year with his beloved model, Victoire Doutreleau, posed in a wedding dress. It has been said that, though Saint Laurent’s relationship with his model was platonic, he had once mentioned a desire to marry her.

Victoire and Saint Laurent

Bergé and Saint Laurent

Bergé expanded the fashion line with focused determination beyond couture to include prêt-à-porter. This was a confident and bold move for the industry. The label met it’s zenith, and Saint Laurent’s designs continued to command of the runway. Bergé pivoted in creative strides to maintain the business end of the fashion house.

Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent in 1970’s, Marrakesh.

The couple went on to purchase a home in Marrakesh, Morocco where Saint Laurent gathered much inspiration. Marakkesh became a muse itself and was frequented by artists and other muses such as Loulou de La Falaise, Fernando Sanchez, Betty Catroux, Andy Warhol, Paul and Talitha Getty, and others. Bergè told Paris Match in an interview in 2017 that, “It is in Morocco that Yves discovered color and orientalism.” Today the grounds are the sight of a second museum that will house thousands of articles of clothing and haute couture accessories, all carefully selected by Pierre Bergé.

Musee Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech

It is not until 1976, eighteen years after their meeting, that Bergé would depart their shared Paris residence on rue de Babylone for a nearby abode all his own. He could not free Saint Laurent from his plunge into drug and alcohol consumption. It was a bourgeois existence at times, with rumors of infidelities between them, including one said to involve one of Saint Laurent’s first models and muses, Victoire Doutreleau, and Bergé.

Loulou de la Falaise and Betty Catroux

Pierre Bergé, Talitha Getty and Yves Saint Laurent in Morocco.

Yet nothing would ever shatter their pact. Perhaps a difference in lifestyle is to blame, yet their commitment to the house of YSL never waned. After the loss of Yves Saint Laurent to a brain tumor in 2008, at age 71, Bergé decided to auction off their collection of art. Christie’s handled the sale of the Collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé in the historical Grand Palais. The auction yielded a total sum of €373,935,500, and was referred to as the, “sale of the century.

Collection Yves Saint Laurent et Pierrre Bergé Christie’s

Bergé offered a foundation and acted as a formidable catapult for the genius and vision that was Yves Saint Laurent. The synergy of this pair was something worthy of a lifetime. A love, an alliance that inspired something greater than themselves as individuals, a symbiotic union that the world of art and fashion shall be able to revere. Jalil Lespert who directed the 2014 film, “Yves Saint Laurent” described their relationship as “one of the greatest love stories of the twentieth century.”

Together at work their Paris office. 

On September 8, 2017, Bergé eventually succumbed of myopathy, a disease that weakens the muscles, in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. He was 86 years old. Goodbye celebrations to honor the life of this innovative businessmen, art collector, and entrepreneur were international. Anthony Vaccarello, Saint Laurent’s current creative director, dedicated his spectacular Spring 2018 show to Bergé under the sparkling lights of the Eiffel Tower. Bergé has departed barely a month shy of two museum openings to preserve the legacy of the Yves Saint Lauren’s contribution to fashion. One in in Marrakesh and the other in Paris.

Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris

A dedication of the museum could be viewed in his hometown and in Saint Laurent. The Yves Saint Laurent Museum, which continues with its sister museum in Marrakech, was the final project of Bergé. This article explores a different kind of auspicious meeting: a meeting that leads to expanding boundaries in the perception of style, individuality, fashion, ambition, and love. To indulge in more layers of the synergy fostered by these 2 dynamic figures, we recommend the 2010 documentary by director Pierre Thoretton, “L’Amour Fou.”

Yves Saint-Laurent with Pierre Bergé, Jemaa El Fna Square, Marrakech.
Posted by Deanna Ashley at 04:58:14 AM
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