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NEW YORK, NY, July 01, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Carlton Hobbs, the eminent international antiques dealer, is very pleased to announce that they were awarded the Fair Patron's Award 2009 for the Finest Work of Art in Association with CINOA, the prestigious international federation for art and antique dealers. Presented by Sir Timothy Clifford at this year's Olympia International Art and Antiques Fair in London, Hobbs' winning piece was the Metamorphic Secretaire a Abattant Within a Cork Ruinwork Case.

"We are delighted that this extraordinary piece was selected as the recipient for this year's award," said Carlton Hobbs, "and are proud to own such a stunning, historically significant work."

The secretaire is a metamorphic masterpiece, where a sleek piece of furniture is disguised behind a singularly decorative facade, covered completely in cork designed to resemble an architectural ruin. A mechanism must be triggered in order to transform the piece and reveal the secretaire a abattant of polished mahogany with finely cast gilt-brass mounts beneath, lending it to a rare group of prized pieces of mechanical furniture especially popular in the royal or imperial courts of Europe. (Mechanism in action...) Carlton Hobbs worked in close consultation with a leading German expert in the applied arts, as well as two engineers, throughout the restoration of the secretaire, particularly for the reconstruction of the rising cornice.

It is thought to be the only existing example of a piece of furniture veneered in cork, consonant with the taste for rooms designed as architectural landscapes, often in ruin, referred to as "fictive architecture" or "l'architeture au pinceau" (architecture with the brush), where the painted simulation of columns, arches, etc. cloak the walls and ceilings.

The appeal of these rooms arises from the challenge they pose one's sense of reality by placing the spectator in a bucolic, romanticized atmosphere and evoking from him a feeling of total transportation. The present secretaire corresponds closely to this style of interior and would have fitted harmoniously into a room of this type. (More research...)

Carlton Hobbs is thrilled to have won the prize from among the 216 exhibitors showing, according to Art of England, "the most remarkable collection of international art and antiques for new and established collectors alike." There were a large number of extraordinary objects including an amazing pair of 17th century Nubian black marble busts with B. Steinitz; a 19th century ebony and marquetry cabinet built in the form of the Cathedral of Rheims, which took the ebeniste 17 years to complete, at Butchoff Antiques; and a breathtaking Louis XVI bed attributed to Ledoux and believed to have been supplied to Marie-Madeleine Guimard, with Pelham Galleries, to name but a few.

The company has previously participated at a number of other prestigious art and antique fairs, including:

The San Francisco Fall Antiques Show
The Antiques and Arts Paris Biennale
The Grosvenor House Art and Antiques Fair, London
The Winter Antiques Show, New York
The International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show, New York
American International Fine Arts Fair, Palm Beach

About Carlton Hobbs LLC
Carlton Hobbs is a noted independent dealer in rare antique furniture and historic objects. Founded in 1973 and headquartered in New York, in the former Vanderbilt Mansion, 60 East 93rd Street, the firm acquires researches and sells antiques to museums and discerning clients throughout the world.

Additional information about Carlton Hobbs LLC and its pieces can be found on the company blog at

Some of the world's leading museums and private collections now house Carlton Hobbs' pieces including, amongst others:

The Musee du Louvre

The John Paul Getty Museum

The Rijksmuseum

The National Gallery of Australia

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

The Boston Museum of Fine Arts

The Musee des Beaux Arts, Dijon

The Bowes Museum

Paxton House

The National Gallery of Greece


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