In this day and age of constant change where everything is now digitized on plasma screens the desire for authenticity has never been more prominent. Antiques are one of the few things we have today that keep the spirit of beauty from times gone by alive with us.
“The authenticity of a thing is the essence of all that is transmissible from its beginning, ranging from its substantive duration to its testimony to the history which it has experienced.” Walter Benjamin 1939
At Hickmet Fine Arts, we have been been privileged to work with some of the most iconic pieces across the Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods. Our knowledge and expertise has been developed across 3 generations in the family, making us one of the most trusted dealers in this area today.
The Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods hold a special focus for us. With their captivating ornate styles and flawless compositions, the pieces in our collection always exemplify the stunning craftsmanship and eye for details these periods are known for.
Art Nouveau emerged during a time of industrialized revolution, its artists reacted against the emergence of mass production, and humanity’s supposed triumph over nature turning instead back to nature for their inspiration — not necessarily nature's beauty, but instead its vital force, its ever-changing life cycle. This idea of an uncontrollable world all around us was mirrored in the Art Nouveau’s fascination with psychology, symbolism and the supernatural.
“That which withers in the age of mechanical reproduction is the aura of the work of art, for the technique of reproduction detaches the reproduced object from the domain of tradition.” Walter Benjamin 1939
The Art Deco style on the other hand looked much more to the future and manifested across the spectrum of the visual arts: from architecture, painting, and sculpture to the graphic and decorative arts. Art Deco works are typically symmetrical, geometric, streamlined. Art Deco's pursuit of beauty in all aspects of life was directly reflective of the relative newness and of machine-age technology and the exciting new techniques it allowed artists to use.
At Hickmet Fine Arts the story and craftsmanship behind each of our pieces is as essential as the physical condition of the work itself. If we take ‘La Comete’ for example by Guiraud-Rivière, immediately we see the dynamism and optimism that defined the 1920’s, a period defined by the recent horrors of war and humanities hope and aspiration for a better future through the gifts technology brought at the time. As we look further into the piece we begin to glimpse hidden themes that connect the work to the Art Nouveau thinkers of the time - the female form symbolising creation and birth depicted as the harbinger of this new machine age.
For us this is one of the most exciting aspects in the trade, discovering these hidden stories from ages gone by. Antiques are one of the only records we have of these worlds, and we are constantly discovering new stories that we delight in sharing with our clients. This is what makes each of our pieces so original in its own right, giving it it’s own unique position in history.
“Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be. This unique existence of the work of art determined the history to which it was subject throughout the time of its existence. This includes the changes which it may have suffered in physical condition over the years as well as the various changes in its ownership.” Walter Benjamin 1939
At Hickmet Fine Arts, we believe that when you buy a piece from us, you’re not just buying an object, you’re acquiring a unique piece history.