Carlton Hobbs arrived in the antiques and art world from humble beginnings as son of the owner of Odds and Hobbs, a small antiques dealer on the King’s Rd. in London. At the age of nine, Carlton Hobbs sold his first piece of furniture at his father’s shop, and he has continued to prove his adroit ability to interest clients ever since. Today, Carlton Hobbs is a world-renowned antiques maven with primary headquarters in Manhattan, New York. He specializes in acquiring and researching British and European furniture and art from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
Art+Auction magazine named Carlton Hobbs one of the most influential people in the art world. Within the confines of the gallery, Carlton Hobbs LLC, art critics, collectors, and connoisseurs converge to enjoy his sumptuous exhibitions. The gallery contains a large collection of rare antiques that attracts designers and curators from around the world looking to enhance the homes and galleries of private collectors, celebrities, and museums.
Carlton Hobbs travels the world in an endless pursuit of the rarest and, often, most avant-garde pieces from varying epochs and origins. In 2009, Carlton Hobbs assembled the figural tableau On Tops exhibition in his gallery. Each of the 40 table tops mounted on an antique base was a piece of art in itself; origins ranged from ancient Rome to the early 20th century. Constructed from glass, fossilized wood, and an array of stones including jasper, marble, and lapis lazuli, many of the pieces were commissioned by European aristocracy to symbolize their wealth and prominence in society.
The tops displayed mosaics of geometric shapes and materials that personified the technical complexities and aesthetic perspectives of their originating periods. Some of the pieces also possessed a sense of whimsy, as in the case of the travertine table by Louis Majorelle, which used inlaid marble to imitate the look of wood. The table tops silently conveyed their own history as they sat in contrast and complement to one another at Carlton Hobbs’ On Tops show.