Introduction to “Moti Mentali”

Moti Mentali – or movements of the mind – references a Renaissance concept most prominently associated with the writings of Leonardo da Vinci. It relates to the artist’s ability to portray the intentions of the subject and capture the interior thoughts through expression and gesture. The concept, however, does not…

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Posted on 2011 01 05 in Moti Mentali

What’s in a Leader

I suspect many of you in these politically charged times have reflected on the curious nature of leadership. I also suspect you have had more than your fair share of people weighing in on the topic. So I promise to spare you my opinions on Trump, Obamacare, Russian intrigues and…

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Posted on 2017 03 14 in Moti Mentali

Antiques are Dead! Long Live Antiques!

Not long ago, The Economist ran an article that painted a grim picture of the state of antiques (“Out with the Old” – December 2015). The world had developed irreconcilable differences with stuffy brown furniture and grandmother’s ornate silver. Too precious, too permanent for our casual, digital age. One seems…

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Posted on 2016 03 27 in Moti Mentali

How Does it Feel?

An Antiquary on Rock and Roll
Bob Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone turns 50 in 2015. It’s perhaps gathered a little moss over the decades but seeing as the original lyrics recently sold for $2 million dollars, I’d say it’s still rolling merrily along in our minds. A song…

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Posted on 2014 11 24 in Moti Mentali

The Porphyry Reader II: Great Books on the Great War

There will surely be an onslaught of musings on the First World War as we approach the centenary of its start. Almost as much ink as blood has been spilled over the who’s, what’s and why’s of it yet it still looms as something of a cataclysmic mystery. Somewhere…

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Posted on 2014 06 30 in Moti Mentali

Collected Wisdom

Letters to a Young Collector I’ve been collecting since I was a boy and have worked my way through many a collection over the years. In the process I’ve sought the advice of countless dealers, collectors and curators. Often, the counsel has been of a generic nature; well-intentioned but pithy…

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Posted on 2011 10 04 in Moti Mentali

Still Life with Twin Towers

A Collector’s Reflections on September 11th, 2001
The 10th anniversary of September 11th, 2001 is upon us. As an American and a New Yorker who vividly recalls the day – wondering if my soon-to-be wife was alive, sheltering friends in our apartment – it is a sobering occasion. It…

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Posted on 2011 08 28 in Moti Mentali

The Porphyry Reader

I make book recommendations with great hesitation, knowing all too well the dread I feel when a well-intentioned friend offers up a book I must read. Please, I think, no more reminders of the scowling stack at the bedside or of the generally sorry state of my literary neglect.…

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Posted on 2011 02 20 in Moti Mentali

On Wine

A Compelling Case

To love wine is to love life. I assume someone – some ancient Epicurean – scrawled that phrase in red wine on a tablecloth or inscribed it on a now-faded amphora. But if his identity is lost to time, I will happily take credit for it. Wine’s…

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Posted on 2011 01 03 in Moti Mentali