The dazzling array of curious objects bewitches all who enter the carefully curated De Vera shops and Giovanna Battaglia appears to be among those spellbound by the splendor. Gio featured the photograph above on her blog with the caption, “Surrealism Eccentricity. Best outfit: The Invisible Dress :-) From One of My Favorite Stores in NY, De Vera.” Located at 1 Crosby Street and 26 East 81st Street in New York City, De Vera is the outlet for the obsessive collections of the curious Federico De Vera, owner, curator, and dealer. He explains his occupation: “We each have our own curiosities, our own knowledge, likes and dislikes. In my case, I make things. I show them. I present them. The way I do what I do is the way I communicate my life, my personality… It’s the rarity of an object for me, and the beauty of it… Each one of these objects in my store, they don’t belong to me permanently. They are just passing through.”
Opening the doors to De Vera’s cabinets of curiosities reveals a fanciful mélange of the old and the new; rare treasures ranging from the jewelry of De Vera’s own design to art, religious artifacts, historic antiques, and curious oddities. This awe-inspiring assortment is collected from all over the world: Venetian glass, Japanese lacquer, ivory carvings, 18th century religious figures, Victorian insect samplers, Renaissance and Georgian jewelry, Tuscan landscape stones, butterflies, and birds’ nests, to mention but a few of the precious objects. In his jewelry design, De Vera references the natural and the macabre, masterfully crafting his singular beauties using materials such as rose-cut diamonds, Roman intaglios, branches of Sardinian coral, Georgian brooches, and baroque pearls.
To learn more about this fascinating man and his collections, you might attempt to locate two rare books: De Vera Objects which collects Don Freeman’s photographs of De Vera’s home and stores accompanied by essays by Ronald S. Lauder, Michael Maharam, and Diane Dorrans Saeks; and De Vera Jewelry featuring single pieces and still lives composed by De Vera and photographed by Anita Calero with essays contributed by Lori Goldstein, Paul Smith, and Bruce Weber.
De Vera photographs courtesy of deveraobjects.com, giovannabattaglia.com, habituallychic.blogspot.com, and jessicalynnwilliams.com.