February 24, 2014 | What began as a well-intentioned effort to halt the wanton slaughter of elephants has resulted in sweeping restrictions on the U.S. trade in elephant ivory. As part of the Obama administration's broader strategy to combat wildlife trafficking, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on February 11 announced new regulations prohibiting all imports, even antiques made partly or entirely of the material. The rules, say dealers in historic works of art, denigrate cultural heritage while failing to stop poachers, who will likely find ready markets for ivory elsewhere in the world.
The regulations also limit exports to objects that are demonstrably one hundred years or older, apparently preventing an American dealer or institution from selling an inlaid Ruhlmann cabinet of 1926 to a European client. Selling documented antique ivory across state lines remains lawful, as does intrastate trade in objects imported lawfully prior to 1990 or 1975, depending on whether the ivory is…» More
February 20, 2014 | The Italian Renaissance taste for classical art fostered a revival of bronze statuary, wealthy connoisseurs collecting both antique statuettes and new works by artists like Donatello and Verrochio. Likewise, the nineteenth-century fascination with Renaissance art created an even larger market for bronze sculpture. Post-Civil War American sculptors, many European-trained, followed suit.
Cupid by Frederick William MacMonnies (1863-1937), 1895, balances gracefully on a globe while gesturing teasingly to lovers. Signed and dated "F. MacMonnies / 1895" on back of globe and with the French foundry mark on the base. Bronze; height 26 ¼ inches. $50,000. Hirschl and Adler Galleries, New York.
Weighty and rich in appearance, bronze is primarily an alloy of copper and tin, sometimes lead or zinc. Because the alloys are stronger, have a lower melting point, and are easier to mold into intricate shapes, bronze is better suited to casting than pure copper. Ancient Greeks and Romans fa…» More
January 28, 2014 | Sotheby's set a record on Saturday, January 25, with the sale of the Ralph O. Esmerian Collection of Folk Art. The 228 lots reached a total of $12,955,943 eclipsing the previous record set by Sotheby's in 1994 with the sale of the Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little Collection.
Saturday's top lot was the 1923 figure of Santa Claus by the Brooklyn-born artist Samuel Anderson Robb, which sold for $875,000, more than three times the pre-sale estimate of $150,000 to $200,000. A rare carved pine pheasant hen weathervane once in the collection of the influential folk art dealer Edith Gregor Halpert achieved $449,000; and Ruth Whittier Shute and Samuel Addison Shute's c. 1832 portrait of Jeremiah H. Emerson of Nashua, New Hampshire, realized $665,000. The c.1816 double portrait of John Bickel and Caterina Bickel from Jonestown in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, painted by Jacob Maentel reached $401,000.
Santa Claus by Samuel Anderson Robb, New York, c. 1923. Sotheby's New York.
January 9, 2014 | We asked exhibitors at the Winter Antiques Show to highlight one exceptional object in their booths and describe it as they might to an interested collector. Here are the things they chose, along with some of their comments.
Edward or Edvard Olson, the carver of this Uncle Sam that dates from about 1925, was born in Sweden in 1887. After coming to the United States he worked for twenty-four years as a machinist at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington. The carving of Uncle Sam comes with a period photograph showing Olson at work carving a small horse alongside his Uncle Sam.
Several months ago we got a telephone call from a Dutch notary. The notary asked if I remembered a certain lady for whom we had done an evaluation fifteen years ago. As I did remember her, I was asked to make an appointment at the notary's office. Once there he explained that my late father was mentioned in her will. She so appreciated our k…» More
December 16, 2013 | December 18
"Decisive Moments: Photographs from the Collection of Cheyre R. and James F. Pierce"; Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu, HI
"The American West in Bronze, 1850-1925"; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
"‘Workt by Hand': Hidden Labor and Historical Quilts"; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.
Bars quilt, circa 1890, Pennsylvania. Cotton, wool. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. H. Peter Findlay,photograph by Gavin Ashworth, on view at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.
"The Netherlandish Miniature, 1260-1550"; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
"The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute"; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
"100 Works for 100 Years: A Centennial Celebration"; MontclairArt Museum, NJ
"Venice: The Golden Age of Art and Music"; Portland Art Museum, OR
"History's Shado…» More
by Émile Jacques Ruhlmann (1879-1933), 1926. Macassar ebony, amaranth, and ivory. Metropolitan Museum of Art. By Cynthia Drayton» View All