CANVASES, CARATS AND CURIOSITIES

M.S. Rau’s Antiques, Art and Jewels for a New Year

Welcoming in a new year is always a cause for celebration — an occasion to look hopefully toward the future while honoring traditions of the past. Collectors of fine antiques know the value of traditions, and they appreciate the histories and stories that antiques carry with them. Taking inspiration from these traditions, we have developed a curated collection of some of our favorite items with unexpected new year associations. Read on to learn about our most popular antiques, fine art and jewelry for the new year.
 

Countdown to the New Year

Clocks are an essential symbol of the new year and an even more potent symbol is a year-going regulator clock, which beautifully demonstrates the pinnacle of precision clockmaking. While regulator clocks are known for their incredible accuracy, year-going regulators are exceptional in their mechanical proficiency. They possess the ability to run on a single wind for an entire year — an amazing feat of mechanical engineering that makes them some of the most fascinating and rare clocks available.
 

Year-Going Regulator Clock by Jean-Aimé Jacob and Adam Weisweiler, circa 1830

 

Year-Going Regulator Clock by Jean-Aimé Jacob and Adam Weisweiler, circa 1830

 

 

New Year’s Baby

J.C. Leyendecker was the preeminent artist of the golden age of American Illustration during the first half of the 20th century and inspired an entire generation of illustrators who came after him. With the help of Leyendecker’s cover illustrations, the Saturday Evening Post became the best-selling magazine in the country by 1913. His holiday covers for the publication were his signature, and his New Year’s Baby series was especially popular, helping grow the Post’s circulation.
 
Although Leyendecker’s works fell into obscurity in the years following his death, the 1980s and 90s, saw a resurgence in demand for his unique brand of illustration. In 1999, a U.S. Postal Service stamp featuring one of his legendary New Year’s Babies was developed to ring in the new millennium. Because of this renewed interest, Leyendecker is now recognized for the impact he had on American Illustration, advertising and American art as a whole, and his works are coveted by museums and collectors alike.
 

Ringing in the New Year by J.C. Leyendecker, circa 1947

 

Ringing in the New Year by J.C. Leyendecker, circa 1947

 

 

Chinese New Year

Jade has been valued for its beauty and symbolic powers for millennia, with objects having been found as early as 5000 BC. Considered the most valuable of all precious stones, it is pervasive throughout Chinese decorative arts. Today, Eastern and Western buyers alike are drawn to jade as never before. And in this Chinese New Year, jade holds particular importance as a symbol of prosperity, success, and good luck. Confucius wrote a thesis on the virtues of jade over 2000 years ago, which came to serve as a metaphorical standard of living well. Because of this virtuosity of character, jade was used to form only the most important of objects.
 
There is also an essential gift-giving tradition for Chinese New Year — any gifts must be wrapped in red paper since the color red represents wealth and prosperity within the culture. Honoring this tradition demonstrates that you wish good fortune to the loved ones you are giving gifts to and signifies a hopeful new year to all.
 

Jade and coral koi fish mystery clock, circa 1915

 

Jade and coral koi fish mystery clock, circa 1915

 

 

Carved jade, coral and diamond pendant by David Webb

 

Carved jade, coral and diamond pendant by David Webb

 

 

The Year of the Tiger

In the Chinese zodiac, 2022 is the year of the tiger. The tiger is known as the king of the beasts in China and a symbol of good luck, so why not incorporate that inspiration into your style in the coming year? Tiger’s eye is a variety of quartz and a member of the chalcedony (cat’s eye) gemstone family. When polished, it displays beautiful bands of golden color throughout, resembling the stripes of a tiger. It is said to clarify thinking and aid in making sound decisions and reduce anxiety, an excellent resolution for anyone in the new year!
 

Tiger’s eye and diamond ring by David Webb

 

Tiger’s eye and diamond ring by David Webb

 

 
[Image: 31-4530_1.png]Tiger’s eye and diamond ring by David Webb

 

Tiger’s eye earrings by David Webb

 

 

Pantone Color of the Year: Very Peri

Another way color can inspire you in the new year is with Pantone’s always anticipated color of the year. For 2022, Pantone has given a bluish-purple named “Very Peri” the honor, and it exudes a cool, calming and joyous attitude. It is a beautiful pale jewel tone with an intensity of hue that was popular in Art Deco jewels and the decorative arts — a style that still enjoys popularity today.
 

Purple geometric vase by Camille Fauré (https://rauantiques.com/products/purple-geometric-vase-by-camille-faure?variant=39646790779015), circa 1925

 

Purple geometric vase by Camille Fauré, circa 1925

 

 

Reverse crystal flower bracelet by Raymond Yard

 

Reverse crystal flower bracelet by Raymond Yard

 

 

Handsel Monday

From the 14th to the late 19th century in rural Scotland, the first Monday after New Year’s Day was known as Handsel Monday, and it was an occasion for giving tokens of appreciation, usually small monetary gifts to one’s children, servants or delivery people. These gifts served as tokens of good luck for the coming year.
 

1804 Draped Bust 13 Stars Reverse Dime AU 55

 

1804 Draped Bust 13 Stars Reverse Dime AU 55

 

 
In the new year, M.S. Rau is looking forward to continuing to bring you a carefully selected collection of works from a diverse array of artists and makers who have defined the fine and decorative arts over the centuries. To view our entire collection of one-of-a-kind art, antiques and jewels, browse our website.

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