Chai Style Home: Jeweler and Collector Above the Clouds
Jonathan Shapero welcomes us his mid-century modern styled home filled with a lifelong collection of art and antiques.
After 35 years with the Atlanta newspapers, Marcia currently serves as Retail VP for the Buckhead Business Association, where she delivers news and trends (laced with a little gossip).
Lucky is the guest who will be entertained at Jonathan Shapero’s Buckhead condo cum salon or his Buckhead salon cum living room. The artsy entrepreneur who grew up in South Bend, Ind., first established himself in the Atlanta design culture in 1995 where he still operates at the Scott Antique Market, as well as his very private, by appointment only, jewelry space on Miami Circle.
Here we are invited into his gracious Buckhead condominium among his well curated mid-century pieces, which he terms, “art and furniture collected over a lifetime.”
Grab a look into Shapero’s rarefied air.
Jaffe: Why did you select a Peachtree Road high rise?
Shapero: I like the safety and security of the 39th floor. I have 1,850 square feet with views facing east-to-west, 180 degrees. On a clear day, you can see Big Canoe. Breathtaking at every window. I bought this in 2001 and gutted it, which took a year, literally took out the walls, ceiling, and floor, now honed travertine extending out to the balconies.
Jaffe: How did you get started in the jewelry business?
Shapero: I was in Sarasota (1987) working for friends who needed help with their growing jewelry business. Then, later while living in Tampa, in 1995, I started commuting, doing business at Scott Market before moving here, “lock stock and barrel.”
Jaffe: What are your most treasured furnishings?
Shapero: I inherited my parents’ white sofa, Paul Frankel cocktail table, and black lacquer side tables. The sideboard was my first real investment piece at age 26. There is also art glass and a collection of Judaica. I collect American and Murano art glass. In the entrance is a solid brass torchiere from the Guggenheim family. The bedroom is done in charcoal also with an amazing view to the west. The side table and lamps were my parents’, who in 1959, hired a designer from Columbus, Ohio, Sam Schwartz, who loaded them up with incredible furnishings. I like classic pieces, like my mother’s English Sheffield silver tea service.
Jaffe: When asked what you like about your art, your reply was, “All of it.”
Shapero: Everything here was selected by me over 40 years. Back of the great room, the very unusual and vibrant “Lucky Frog” is by Scott Causey, of Sarasota. It’s really the most colorful art I have. Causey builds the piece out of clay then breaks it with a rubber mallet and reassembles after glazing each piece as a patchwork of color and design. By the TV is a Jennifer McCurdy unglazed natural white porcelain bowl from Martha’s Vineyard. French artist J Boulage created the painting, which is actually made with markers, bought at auction. Parts from different life segments come into play here: My dad liked Al Capp and read “Li’l Abner” to me, so when I found this 1974 original story board, I thought it was very sentimental.
On top of the sideboard is a pair of Mercury art deco glass lamps, a find at Scott Antique Market.
Jaffe: There are some well positioned pieces in your foyer.
Shapero: The 6-foot-tall steel and glass sculpture, “Caduceus,” is one of a kind by Virginia Hoffman. It was very challenging shipping it up here. The nine squares were the result of a sculpture artist putting a canvas on the floor which had remnants of melted bronze, which later he stretched over wood. It’s from former Woody Woodward Gallery done by a SCAD student.
Near the entrance are two Ben Smith wood blocks acquired at auction. He is really my only Atlanta artist. “Man Playing a Lyre” (1966) and “Jester” (1971) wood block is well known. The wood secretary dates to 1870 in Fitzgerald, Ga.
Jaffe: Some edgy original artsy posters?
Shapero: Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love were clients and gifted me this signed poster. My company was the first corporate sponsor of the Sarasota Film Festival, thus the poster of old Hollywood, Danny Kaye, Bridgette Bardot, Elizabeth Taylor, et al. Then there’s the Joan Altabe (Sarasota, 1985) “Man on a Surfboard” near the living room window, outdoor art made from marine plywood.
Jaffe: How do you use your kitchen?
Shapero: I have hosted many fundraisers for charities and art organizations. The open kitchen works well for that. But my favorite evening is dinner for four and a game of hand and foot canasta. My family recipes include sweet and sour baked chicken, meat loaf and baked salmon. The secret is to not over cooking fish. Eight minutes max. When I renovated the kitchen in 2002, for six months, I lived with a small refrigerator and microwave in the bedroom, but it was worth it. The Italian Bisazza glass tiles are varying brown, black and silver forming a mosaic backsplash. Appliances are GE Monogram. I have several pieces by Alice Sanders, of Sarasota. She weaves her own fabric of wool, then applies multiple layers of house paint resulting in unique art. Occhi Blue (“Blue Eyes” in Italian); below that is her representation of trying to remember phone numbers.
Jaffe: What happens on Miami Circle?
Shapero: I was in Cates Center for 20 years, then last year moved to Miami Circle in the same building as Interiors Market. The goal was a French style salon in black and white. It’s European flavored with black walls and mirrored furniture, an old English library table, black velvet Lucite legged chairs, all very eclectic. Catherine Deneuve’s champagne poster (1980) is on the wall. I specialize in diamonds, custom new and estate jewelry, and all things in fine jewelry. After 35 years, I’ve seen it all with clients from Audrey Hepburn to Jacqueline Onasis. Many Jewish families and their children!
- Chai Style
- Marcia Caller Jaffe
- Jonathan Shapero
- Scott Antique Market
- Miami Circle
- Big Canoe
- Paul Frankel
- Guggenheim family
- Sam Schwartz
- English Sheffield
- Lucky Frog
- Scott Causey
- Jennifer McCurdy
- Martha’s Vineyard
- J Boulage
- Al Capp
- Virginia Hoffman
- Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love
- Interiors Market
- Audrey Hepburn
- Jacqueline Onasis
- Catherine Deneuve