NEW YORK CITY — The blizzard that blew through New York last week was no match for the Winter Antiques Show, which sizzled at the Park Avenue Armory despite the lingering cold. Celebrating its diamond jubilee, the grand dame of New York fairs kicked off its 60th season on Thursday, January 23, with a preview benefiting East House Settlement in the South Bronx.
“This is a candy store for big kids. The most important thing is having a great mix of dealers,” said Arie L. Kopelman, now in his 20th year as the show’s chairman. Edging further into the Twentieth Century with each edition, the 2014 presentation offered a bevy of beautiful objects, ancient to modern.
With little turnover from year to year, the 74-exhibitor fair welcomed only two newcomers: London jeweler Wartski and R & Co. (formerly R 20th Century), a New York specialist in Twentieth Century design. Wartski, which holds royal warrants of appointment to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, secured the loan of a diamond and sapphire tiara worn by Queen Victoria in her 1842 portrait by Franz Xavier Winterhalter. The tiara is a highlight of this year’s Diamond Jubilee display sponsored by Graff, Chanel, Tiffany & Co., and Bulgari.
The front of the Armory was devoted to a loan show of treasures from the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass. Since its beginnings as the East Indian Marine Society in 1799, this worldly institution has taken the long view, celebrating art and history past and present. Organized by museum staff, “Fresh Take, Making Connections” features more than 50 paintings, sculptures, textiles and decorative objects from PEM’s 1.8 million-object collection.
Sales were robust across the board through the fair’s first weekend. Allan Katz Americana wrote up a half dozen receipts, including one for Lady Columbia, a painted trade store figure of cast zinc made by William Demuth of New York, circa 1876.
Schwarz Gallery of Philadelphia parted with a diminutive oil on board painting, “Still Life with Teacup, Saucer and Bread” of 1900, by John Frederick Peto.
Joan Brownstein, David Schorsch & Eileen Smiles, and Elliott & Grace Snyder all sold folk portraits, eye-catching features of their displays.
Peter Eaton parted with a New England Queen Anne tea table with splay legs. Shoppers with long memories may remember it from the 1982 Roger Bacon sale.
Old Hope Antiques sold a circa 1790 paint decorated Pennsylvania blanket chest, while Nathan Liverant and Son parted with a circa 1770–1795 coastal Massachusetts or New Hampshire Chippendale maple desk on frame in original Spanish brown paint.
Stephen and Carol Huber wrote up a sampler worked by Anna Lobdell at the Philadelphia school of Ann Marsh in 1761.
A pair of circa 1905 Tiffany Studios table lamps with green parasol shades on a parasol bases were claimed at Geoffrey Diner, who also parted with a circa 1969 hickory and walnut George Nakashima dining table and a set of Nakashima dining chairs of the same date.
At Ralph M. Chait Galleries, fans of Asian art snapped up a pair of Chinese monumental glazed stoneware figures of foreigners riding foo lions. The sculptures formerly belonged to J.P. Morgan.
The Winter Antiques Show continues through February 2. Planned this week are lectures, book signings, a Young Collectors Night on Thursday, January 30, and the Experts Eye Evening on Friday, January 31. For details, contact East Side House Settlement at 718-292-7392 or 718-665-5250, or visit www.winterantiquesshow.com.
Video: The Winter Antiques Show:booths and special exhibitions
A video interview with Robert Aronson of Aronson Antiques at the Winter Antiques Show: