32 BrewsterConnections – Spring 2010 33 www.brewsteracademy.org
Hoopes: Have you always been interested in
antiques? Did you grow up surrounded by
them? Cedric: The answer is yes to both questions.
I was raised around antiques all of my
life. My parents – also antique dealers (now
retired) – taught me how to appreciate quality,
and I loved learning about styles, periods, and
everything else I could absorb. I remember not
being able to run around the house as a child,
but don’t worry – we had a yard!
Hoopes: Where did you get your training?
Was any of it formal, and if so, how important
was that knowledge? Cedric: I feel extremely
fortunate in having known from a really early
age what I wanted to do in life. At age seven
while living in Palm Beach, my parents loaned
me a small sum of money with which to make
purchases – it wasn’t much but I think I was
hooked from the start. Part of the deal was that
whatever profit was made would have to be
reinvested. I loved doing this so much that I
even started putting my own pocket money in
the pot. Of course, at that age, I had my parents’
guidance in purchasing the right piece, but I
was the one who got to point out what I liked.
The piece would eventually be placed in my
parents’ gallery to be sold.
While I was at Brewster my own inventory of
antiques was definitely piling up – and part of
the reason I ended up at Stetson University was
to be closer to my growing business. Eventually
I was renting a space out of my parents’ gallery
and had my own clients, and I was driving back
home every Friday to take care of my clients and
client, but I do it less than you may think.
Hoopes: When I think of antiques, Florida
doesn’t necessarily pop into my mind. Perhaps
in West Palm Beach it’s different as you seem
to be doing very well with your gallery and
your restoration shop – antiques must be
popular in West Palm. Do you cater mostly to
the wealthy? Has the recession slowed business
a tad? Cedric: The season down here brings
a wonderful mix of people. You always think of
old people living in Florida but clients of mine
like Donald Trump, Céline Dion, and Rush Limbaugh
– among others – appreciate living in a
formal rather than a beach-house setting. These
celebrities have done a lot in promoting the area
and have brought a new, younger crowd to the
region. Palm Beach has become an area known
for antiques – many clients are here on vacation
and have the time to visit galleries and ponder
over possible purchases.
Also, since the overhead of a gallery here is far
less expensive than having a gallery in Manhattan,
our prices are much more attractive to
As for the economic times we are currently
dealing with – my business is doing very well.
I work with one-of-a kind antiques of a certain
quality. Therefore instead of investors buying
stocks, they prefer buying something from me
they can enjoy without having the headaches
that stocks bring these days.
I still do make purchases in Europe but currently
with the unfavorable exchange rate of the dollar
against the euro it is a much tougher situation
for me. And so I made purchases this past summer
in Palm Beach and in New York from collectors
who suffered through the Madoff scandal.
Hoopes: Do individuals come to you searching
for a special piece or type of piece? Do
you hunt for individual pieces for individuals,
or do they simply look through your large
assortment? Cedric: I have learned that it is best
to make purchases not thinking of a particular
client, since most of the time that client can feel
pressured to purchase what I picked, and that is
really not the way I do business. In choosing any
piece, whether new or antique, I always feel that
the piece should speak to me.
Hoopes: Do you find that antiques are popular
with the younger generation? Have you found
pieces that you enjoy so much that you decide
to keep them for yourself? Cedric: When I started
with my first gallery – next to my parents’
gallery – it was funny when my parents’ older
clientele came in with their 40-year-old kids. I
ended up selling to the kids, as I was closer in
age and less intimidating. I also feel that having
a European background but having been raised
in America that I have a different eye than my
very traditional parents.
One could say that an antique is an antique but
since there are different styles in antiques and
purposes for each piece, I find myself purchasing
items for my own collection that are functional.
If you are going to invest in antiques, buy
pieces that you can use and you will find that
you will appreciate them even more. Antiques
should not be of the type just to be looked at,
but you should want to use it while it grows in
your heart as well as in value.
• There is not a part of my business I dislike.
The hunting and buying is fantastic and I
really love meeting the people who are selling.
Because of what I deal in, I buy from
people with old family lines, meeting with
them in their manors and grand estates, and I
have been in many castles. Some of the
stories I hear make the pieces come even
more alive to me. If only all of the pieces
could talk ... I would be listening intently!
• Restoration is another big part of my business
and possibly part of my success. It is
important to restore these pieces the oldfashioned
way. I have a large full-time restoration
facility nearby staffed with European
craftsmen using only European materials
and catering only to the pieces I have
shipped back from France.
• And of course, the other aspect is selling. I
have an amazing clientele from young,
affluent couples to the elite. It is always
great to purchase a piece from a home and
place it in its new home.
Subsequent to this interview, Cedric informed
me that he is building a new 20,000-square-foot
space just a mile from his rented 9,000-squarefoot
present location. He also mentioned that
he opens his refinishing workshop to clients for
restoring their own collections, using his staff of
four for expertise. l
Cedric may be reached at:
Cedric DuPont Antiques
820 South Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, Florida
A SENSATIONAL AND GRAND SCALE ITALIAN MURANO GLASS CHANDELIER. THE CHANDELIER HAS TWELVE 'S' SCROLLED ELECTRIFIED ARMS AND IS DECORATED THROUGHOUT WITH CUT AND SHAPED GLASS IN VARIOUS SHAPES. THE CENTRAL COLUMN'S LARGE DAGGER IS SURROUNDED BY TWO DIFFERENT LEVELS OF DAGGERS. THE TOP CROWN IS ELEGANTLY DECORATED BY LARGE SCROLLED LEAVES AND FLOWERS AMIDST HANGING LITTLE BELLS. EXCEPTIONAL QUALITY AND SCALE.
Louis XV Style
This monarch has his name coupled with the most extravagant of furniture designs, known as Rococo. A style that spread throughout Europe.
The term means ornamented with shells, scrollwork, and similar patterns.
It is noticeable principally for a generous use of curved lines, and an 'unbalanced' look. Out of its elaborate setting there is no doubt that, Louis XV furniture appears very showy, but when it is seen in the rooms for which it was designed, it takes its place unobtrusively in the decorative scheme.
The French had a liking during the eighteenth century for small tables and cabinets, chests of drawers (called commodes), large writing tables with leather-covered tops with rows of drawers beneath, and upright cabinets with drop-down fronts concealing a writing space. Veneering was the usual decoration, aided by parquetry and marquetry set off with ormolu mountings. When compared with the sophisticated outside appearance, most of the pieces exhibit very rough finishing of the woodwork not usually seen, and a glance at the inside or underneath of a piece will prove this.
Many of the small tables and cabinets are supported on delicately curved cabriole legs so slight that it is a wonder they can stand without breaking. Chests of drawers always have a slab of colored marble as the top, and many other pieces are similarly finished. Chairs and settees were carved usually of beech wood, sometimes finished with gilding, and sometimes painted in pale colors. Mirror-frames were gilt, and are often very like English ones of the same date.