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Seller Story: Setareh Gallery, Los Angeles, CA


David Setareh left his home in Germany at the age of 18 after the Iranian revolution, destined for Los Angeles. He carried with him a collection of antiques and art from across the globe: paintings, sculptures, decorative objects, Judaica, rare books, musical instruments, luxury objects such as jade, silver – enough to establish a gallery shop in Westwood, which has since attracted collectors, dealers and friends from all over the world, making him an iconic figure in the industry. Three decades later, Setareh is ready to enjoy a well-deserved retirement traveling the globe and dreams of being gone from Los Angeles for several months at a time.

His son Aaron recalls growing up in the shop, learning the ins and outs of antique dealing and art appreciation. “It certainly piqued my interest, so now I am a History major at UCLA,” he says. “In class when we learn about the French Revolution or The Renaissance, and I see photos of the artifacts or art, I’m already able to recognize their historical context.” Not to mention, all of it looks like it could have had a place in his father’s gallery. “Recently, I watched a documentary of Versailles, and so much of it reminded me of the things in my dad’s shop.”

Most of Setareh’s collection is very opulent, drawing in clients such as The President of Israel a few years prior. “He’s a really cool guy,” remembers Aaron. The connection happened organically, through Setareh’s network of art and antique dealers in Europe and Israel. So what did Mr. President go home with? A sculpture of the Ten Commandments that he bought to display in the Beit HaNassi, the presidential residence in Jerusalem. “I went to visit once,” says Aaron. “It was on a tour that I saw a sculpture of the former President who was friends with my dad.” But as for the Ten Commandments sculpture? “He probably held onto that.” –Aaron Setareh

Seller Story: Setareh Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Seller Story: Setareh Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Vintage 14K Yellow Gold and Synthetic Multi-Stone Band

Vintage 14K Yellow Gold and Synthetic Multi-Stone Band

Final Bid:
$120
Impressionist Style Oil Painting on Canvas

Impressionist Style Oil Painting on Canvas

Final Bid:
$50
Collection of Antique Hand-Painted Austrian Porcelain

Collection of Antique Hand-Painted Austrian Porcelain

Final Bid:
$150
Vintage Eisenberg Rhinestone Costume Brooch

Vintage Eisenberg Rhinestone Costume Brooch

Final Bid:
$50
Vintage Lifton Violin

Vintage Lifton Violin

Final Bid:
$120
Antique Ceramic Hookah Pieces with 19th Century Shah of Iran Portraits

Antique Ceramic Hookah Pieces with 19th Century Shah of Iran Portraits

Final Bid:
$16
Antique Hand-Knotted Sarouk Persian Area Rug

Antique Hand-Knotted Sarouk Persian Area Rug

Final Bid:
$450
Chinese Rose Medallion Porcelain Bowl

Chinese Rose Medallion Porcelain Bowl

Final Bid:
$46
Hand-Painted Enamel Bowl with Lid

Hand-Painted Enamel Bowl with Lid

Final Bid:
$160
Pair of Antique Silver Candlesticks

Pair of Antique Silver Candlesticks

Final Bid:
$92
Antique 14K Yellow Gold and 1.10 CTW Old European Cut Diamond Bar Brooch

Antique 14K Yellow Gold and 1.10 CTW Old European Cut Diamond Bar Brooch

Final Bid:
$650
Vintage Oil Painting on Canvas

Vintage Oil Painting on Canvas

Final Bid:
$235
Collection of Coxon Belleek Dishes

Collection of Coxon Belleek Dishes

Final Bid:
$212
Persian Ghom Hand-Knotted Pure Silk Area Rug

Persian Ghom Hand-Knotted Pure Silk Area Rug

Final Bid:
$2,100
14K White Gold and 1.25 CTW Diamond Heart Pendant

14K White Gold and 1.25 CTW Diamond Heart Pendant

Final Bid:
$300
Vintage Sterling Silver Vanity Brush Set

Vintage Sterling Silver Vanity Brush Set

Final Bid:
$61
Persian Parquetry Trinket Box

Persian Parquetry Trinket Box

Final Bid:
$90
Antique Russian Imperial Brass Samovar

Antique Russian Imperial Brass Samovar

Final Bid:
$111
Framed Vintage Tapestry

Framed Vintage Tapestry

Final Bid:
$165
Pair of Antique Gilt Bronze Empire Style Bronze Candelabras

Pair of Antique Gilt Bronze Empire Style Bronze Candelabras

Final Bid:
$651
Orientalist Themed Watercolor on Paper

Orientalist Themed Watercolor on Paper

Final Bid:
$51
Antique German Sterling Silver Repoussé Basket

Antique German Sterling Silver Repoussé Basket

Final Bid:
$726
Porcelain Napoleon "Bataille de Wagram" Cabinet Plate

Porcelain Napoleon "Bataille de Wagram" Cabinet Plate

Final Bid:
$65
Burlwood Humidor With Sterling Silver Inlay

Burlwood Humidor With Sterling Silver Inlay

Final Bid:
$225
Lawrence B. Smith Co. Silver Plate Basket

Lawrence B. Smith Co. Silver Plate Basket

Final Bid:
$20
Antique Sevres Porcelain Trinket Box

Antique Sevres Porcelain Trinket Box

Final Bid:
$200
10K Antique White Gold and Rose Cut Diamond Drop Earrings

10K Antique White Gold and Rose Cut Diamond Drop Earrings

Final Bid:
$205
Antique German J.L. Knoedgen Beer Stein

Antique German J.L. Knoedgen Beer Stein

Final Bid:
$170
Set of Miniature Israeli Plaques

Set of Miniature Israeli Plaques

Final Bid:
$85
Antique Russian Kuznetsov Porcelain Ram-form boxes

Antique Russian Kuznetsov Porcelain Ram-form boxes

Final Bid:
$130
Antique Bernardaud Limoges French Porcelain Serving Platter

Antique Bernardaud Limoges French Porcelain Serving Platter

Final Bid:
$160
Antique English Crystal Compote with Camel Motif

Antique English Crystal Compote with Camel Motif

Final Bid:
$277
Sterling Silver and Inlaid Malachite Demi Parure

Sterling Silver and Inlaid Malachite Demi Parure

Final Bid:
$80
Antique French Bronze Statue

Antique French Bronze Statue

Final Bid:
$575
Hand-Knotted Bidjar Persian Accent Rug

Hand-Knotted Bidjar Persian Accent Rug

Final Bid:
$434
Ornate Antique Hungarian Urn by J. Fischer

Ornate Antique Hungarian Urn by J. Fischer

Final Bid:
$225
Vintage M. H. Wilkens & Sohne 800 Silver Bowl

Vintage M. H. Wilkens & Sohne 800 Silver Bowl

Final Bid:
$251
Pair of Antique Danico Urns

Pair of Antique Danico Urns

Final Bid:
$85
Antique English Silver Plate Repousse Trinket Box

Antique English Silver Plate Repousse Trinket Box

Final Bid:
$200
Vintage Handpainted Earthenware Majolica Dinner Plates

Vintage Handpainted Earthenware Majolica Dinner Plates

Final Bid:
$42
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Seller Story: Setareh Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Where does the shop’s inventory come from?

“Three or four times a year, my dad travels to places like London, Dusseldorf, and Vienna, where he meets with dealers who save the best picks for him. 18th or 19th-century art is what we picked up in Vienna last year, in addition to artifacts with more of a historical significance. We found silverware from the Holocaust. Nothing that makes me happy to see, but the cultural weight of these items and their history are so rich.

Are there any antique finds that will absolutely never be for sale?

His favorite piece is a 1811 Swiss violin with lion form scroll motif on the top; it is marked as being presented to someone by the name of Emma T. Price by a William B. Crossley of Wilmington Delaware at Milford, 1892. It has been solicited by many auction houses but he will never sell it!

Were there any other high-profile clients that would walk into the shop?

He has a network of influential friends and customers from around the world, including Lord David Alliance of England, the renowned industrialist. I remember Saudi princes visiting and my dad would sit them in a chair, and show them different pieces. He would never upcharge them based on their social status or wealth, my dad was very fair in his pricing.

Cadillac

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