Chic as Sin: Designer Anthony Hail

 
Tony Hail, right, with Andy Warhol in 1981. Steve Ringman/ San Francisco Chronicle

Tony Hail, right, with Andy Warhol in 1981. Steve Ringman/ San Francisco Chronicle

With The San Francisco Fall Show, the bay area's premier art and antique fair around the corner, (October 3rd to 6th), Coupar wanted to acknowledge one of the city's great arbitrators of taste, Anthony Hail. Known as "Tony," the designer and antiquarian passed away in 2006 but is still remembered for his discerning eye. The 2013 Christie's auction of Hail and his partner, Chuck Posey's estate included an eclectic mix of antique European furniture, Russian chandeliers, Chinese ceramics and lacquerware along with Old Master paintings. There was nothing new.

While the designer lived and worked in San Francisco for four decades, his upbringing in the American South and Denmark informed his aesthetics. A formal Northern European neoclassicism infused both his color palette and his selection of antiques. The quintessential Southern gentleman and world traveler, Hail collected an array of friends including Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, David Hicks, and Gore Vidal. Where ever and whoever he was with, he would spot the most exquisite examples of antiques and objets d'art. When he particularly admired a piece, Hail would say, "That is chic as sin."

A Pair Of Danish Walnut Klismos Chairs First Half 19th Century with later close-nailed red leather upholstery from the estate of Anthony Hail, image from Christie's

A Pair Of Danish Walnut Klismos Chairs First Half 19th Century with later close-nailed red leather upholstery from the estate of Anthony Hail, image from Christie's

 
Eight Chinese Longquaun Celadon Wares Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) from the estate of Anthony Hail, image from Christie's

Eight Chinese Longquaun Celadon Wares Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) from the estate of Anthony Hail, image from Christie's

 
David Hockney, Gregory, Arizona Biltmore ink on paper, Drawn in 1976 from the estate of Anthony Hail, image from Christie's

David Hockney, Gregory, Arizona Biltmore ink on paper, Drawn in 1976 from the estate of Anthony Hail, image from Christie's

 
Tricia Kerr