Antiques season in New York
Winter Antiques Show
This year's fifty-sixth annual Winter Antiques Show will feature six new exhibitors—including two who specialize in early twentieth-century decorative arts, New York's Liz O'Brien and Lost City Arts—to complement the always stunning array that is the show's signature. Its loan exhibitions are also always remarkable in the way they transform a very small space into a lively gallery that conveys the essence of the subject at hand: this year it is the collections of Historic New England. The oldest, largest, and most comprehensive regional heritage organization in the country, Historic New England comprises thirty-six historically and architecturally significant properties, as well as a collection of more than 110,000 objects spanning four centuries. A full lecture program over the course of the show will cover topics related to Historic New England's collections as well as a wide variety of other subjects. A keynote address entitled "Things of Beauty" will be delivered by Peter J. Gomes of Harvard University on January 22. As always, the Winter Antiques Show is a benefit for East Side House Settlement in the Bronx.
Winter Antiques Show · Park Avenue Armory, New York · January 22-31 · www.winterantiquesshow.com
American Antiques Show
While some things are changing at the popular American Antiques Show this year—namely a redesign of the lobby and floor plan by Ned Jalbert Interior Design (Jalbert is also an expert in American Indian art and one of the show's exhibitors) and six new dealers—the show remains the only all-American antiques show held in New York during "antiques week" and features the eclectic mix of fine, decorative, and folk art objects that draws throngs of new and experienced collectors alike. As always, proceeds benefit the American Folk Art Museum, and the ticket price includes two-for-one admission to the museum as well as complimentary shuttle service between the show and the museum. There is also an extensive educational series for collectors, including a panel discussion on the state of the art market, a tour of the show with the museum's curator, Stacy C. Hollander, an appraisal day, and, for museum members, a visit to a private collection.
American Antiques Show · Metropolitan Pavilion, New York · January 21-24 · www.theamericanantiques show.org
New York Ceramics Fair
The most specialized of the three major January shows in New York is the New York Ceramics Fair. What it may lack in terms of razzle-dazzle is more than made up for in the depth and quality of ceramics on offer and the scholarship of its loan exhibitions. This year's loan show is a preview of Art in Clay: Masterworks of North Carolina Earthenware, a major exhibition organized by Luke Beckerdite, Johanna Brown, and Robert Hunter, and co-sponsored by the Chipstone Foundation and by Old Salem Museums and Gardens in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It is scheduled to open at the Milwaukee Art Museum in the fall of 2010 before traveling to the Horton Museum Center at Old Salem and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum at Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia. The ceramics fair preview will feature a menagerie of rare and highly prized press-molded figural bottles—a full range of animal forms, from squirrels to bears to fish, in a variety of sizes. The master ceramist Michelle Erickson will present a live demonstration detailing the making of a Moravian squirrel bottle, and Johanna Brown will present an overview lecture on Moravian ceramics.
New York Ceramics Fair · National Academy Museum, New York · January 20-24 · www.caskeylees.com/NY_Ceramics/NY_Ceramics.html
Christie's and Sotheby's
The January calendars at Christie's and Sotheby's include several noteworthy single-owner sales in addition to the major annual auctions of American furniture and decorative arts. On January 23, Sotheby's is offering Chinese export porcelain from the private collection of Elinor Gordon, the esteemed and beloved dealer in Chinese porcelain who died in July at the age of ninety-one. On offer will be approximately 260 lots of Chinese export porcelain and ten China trade paintings, many of which were illustrated in her 1977 book Collecting Chinese Export Porcelain. Highlights include several good pieces of armorial porcelain, rare European subject wares, an impressive group of animal and bird models, and a very strong group of wares made for the American market.
On January 26 Christie's will offer objects from the collection of Benjamin F. Edwards III of Saint Louis. Before his death, Christie's sold Edwards's vast Chinese Imari collection in three consecutive January auctions in 2002, 2003, and 2004. The objects in this year's sale—valued at about $6 to $9 million—are from his collection of English silver, English furniture, Dutch Delft, Chinese export wares, and Oriental carpets.
The personal collection of the respected longtime dealer Peter Tillou is the next on the block at Christie's, on January 28. With more than 250 items—including old master paintings, European furniture, African and Oceanic art, Asian art, porcelain, glass, and minerals—the collection is an eclectic mix of rare and important objects that reflect Tillou's long career as a prominent dealer, antiques expert, and devoted collector.
Sotheby's · Important Americana · January 22-23 · Chinese Export Porcelain from the Private Collection of Elinor Gordon · January 23 · Previews January 16-22 · www.sothebys.com
Christie's · American Decorative Arts, Silver, and Chinese Export Porcelain · January 21, 22, and 25 · Previews January 16-25 · The Collection of Benjamin F. Edwards III: Silver, Furniture, Delft, Brass, Export, and Carpets · January 26 · Previews January 16-25 · www.christies.com
The fourth annual Master Drawings Week in New York kicks off with a preview on Friday evening, January 22, and runs through Saturday, January 30, with twenty-two Upper East Side dealers showing a broad spectrum of drawings. Based on the highly successful Master Drawings London (which will take place this year from July 3 to July 9) and timed to coincide with the old masters sales at Christie's and Sotheby's, the event was initiated to allow dealers and collectors to survey nearly everything on the market at a given time in more relaxed and intimate settings than stands at art fairs can afford.
Among this year's more eagerly anticipated presentations is the collaboration being mounted by the New York antiques dealer Carlton Hobbs and the London-based fine arts specialist Jean-Luc Baroni at the Carlton Hobbs Gallery. In the Grand Manner will showcase rare antique furniture and historical objects from Hobbs's inventory alongside drawings from Baroni's, including masterworks by Parmigianino, Federico Zuccaro, Domenico Beccafumi, Francesco Maratta, Eugène Delacroix, and Francesco Salviati, among others.
Master Drawings New York · January 23-30 · www.master drawingsnewyork.com
In the Grand Manner · Carlton Hobbs Gallery, New York · January 22 to February 2 · www.carltonhobbs.com
Images from above:
Carolina Parrot by Robert Havell Jr. (1793-1878) after a watercolor by John James Audubon (1785-1851) for The Birds of America (London, 1827-1838). Courtesy of Arader Galleries. Wall plaque, possibly Salem, Massachusetts, c. 1880. Courtesy of Allan Katz Americana, Woodbridge, Connecticut. Owl bottle, Salem, North Carolina, 1804-1840. Old Salem Museums and Gardens, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; photograph by Gavin Ashworth. Tilt-top tea table attributed to Richard Butts, Philadelphia, c. 1775. Courtesy of Christie's Images. Portrait of a Lady as Flora by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770), c. 1762. Courtesy of Jean-Luc Baroni, London, at Carlton Hobbs, New York.