October 26th, 2009
Amsterdam’s annual PAN fair is a veritable who’s-who in the art world here, displaying the country’s finest art, antiques, silver and estate jewelery. I must admit, the sparkling and shiny items always commandeer the majority of my attention.
Attracting more than 35,000 visitors, PAN Amsterdam appeals to everyone from young to old, museum curators to private art enthusiasts, and especially, interior designers. The twenty-two year running PAN Amsterdam prides itself on quality, with every object vetted for authenticity, artistic quality and condition by more than eighty experts. This strict judging process allows buyers to purchase with unfettered confidence. Alas, it wasn’t enough to compel my husband towards a certain Tanzanite ring.
Last year, PAN Amsterdam introduced a design pavilion featuring 20th-century furniture and lamps by leading national and international designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Charlotte Perriand, Isamo Noguchi, Gerrit Rietveld, W.H. Gispen and Grete Jalk. This made PAN Amsterdam the first general art and antiques fair to give vintage design a permanent, prominent showcase.
With so much to see, ogle over and add to your wish list, its not surprising that PAN Amsterdam is also a bit of a social affair where colleagues can mingle, friends can peruse side by side and of course, students and budding collectors can learn a great deal. The Young Collectors night was last Thursday, and was like a mixer among fine art with a DJ, passed hors d’oevures and attractive, young Dutchies dressed in their finest.
One of the booths was run by my husband’s good friend, Bertwin’s lovely wife Anne-Marie Verbeek. Her family’s gorgeous antiques and fine art company, Verbeek-Schuttelaar Antiquair, was one of the more impressive displays (and I promise that’s not from personal bias – I’d never even met her before). I easily lingered while my husband chatted away, adoring all the beautiful jewelery and silver from the likes of Cartier, Boucheron, Tiffany and Van Cleef & Arpels. Anne-Marie specializes in 1940s jewelery and Art Deco and will even personalize modern designs. Many of her pieces were absolutely exquisite. Her store is located right in Amsterdam in a charming canal house on the Keizersgracht – conveniently not far from where I live.
I highly recommend visiting PAN Amsterdam – though plead that you ask for directions to its location, the RAI, first. The warehouse style building is a bit out of the city and somewhat difficult to find. I declare the metro as the easiest way, not to mention the rare experience you’ll garner from having ridden the metro in Amsterdam!