October 21, 2013 | By Laura Beach
Yorkshire calendar and almanac
Calendar and almanac, probably York or Ripon, Yorkshire, England, c. 1425. Ink, tempera, and gold leaf on parchment, each page 6 by 4 1/8 inches.
WHY: Priced in the six figures by Les Enluminures of Paris, New York, and Chicago, this calendar and almanac of about 1425, with prognostications in Latin, illustrates the English monarchy from William I to Henry VI and depicts the history of the world from Adam's creation to St. Thomas Becket and Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, beheaded in 1322. Renderings of local saints suggest a Yorkshire origin for this gilt- and tempera-embellished ink on parchment document, which notes solar and lunar eclipses and predicts events such as the harvest, disasters, and war. The work sold to a collector at Masterpiece London.
TAKEAWAY: "This manuscript testifies to the emergence of a class of private book owners, among them prosperous landowners and country doctors, in northern England at a time when the…» More
September 9, 2013 | A full-length portrait by the celebrated Revolutionary-era painter John Trumbull of Alexander Hamilton, then secretary of the treasury under President George Washington, has joined the permanent collections of both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, thanks to a gift from the painting's former owner, the global wealth manager and investment bank Credit Suisse. Each institution owns a half share of Portrait of Alexander Hamilton, which is currently on view in the new American Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum. In subsequent years, the museums will each exhibit the painting for a two-year period. As the greatest known portrait of Hamilton and one of the finest civic portraits from the Federal period, the painting is a splendid addition to both collections and demonstrates how institutions can enrich access to art by working together.
In December 1791 a committee of five New York merchants, some of whom were members of the recently found…» More
September 9, 2013 |
Like most editors I am interested in everything, but that doesn't mean I don't have opinions. I have, in fact, far too many of them, so I like it when some of my prejudices get rearranged, as they were early last spring when Eleanor Gustafson and I visited the Philadelphia home of John Whitenight and Frederick LaValley featured here. Ten rooms with aesthetic movement furniture, two hundred glass parlor domes, automata of a smoking monkey and a Renaissance nobleman strumming a mandolin, rare conservatory plants, and other Victoriana? Deeply cuckoo I figured. I was wrong.
All great collecting is, I think, a form of autobiography, and the more sincere it is, the more successful. "No one lives like this anymore," a friend said when I showed him my snapshots of the rooms. Also wrong. No one ever lived like this, and that is exactly what won me over. I admire everything about the Whitenight-LaValley house, but what I love most is its boldness and sincerity-the take it or leave it…» More
August 30, 2013 |
Clock by Asa Munger (1777–1851), 1817, Herkimer, NY.
Click to listen:
Courtesy of Nathan Liverant and Son Antiques.
Video by Gary R. Sullivan and Kate Van Winkle Keller.
For more information on musical clocks, see our September/October 2013 issue for an article by Gary R. Sullivan and Kate Van Winkle Keller.
August 20, 2013 | On a recent afternoon at the Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene, Jake Spetalieri, the proprietor of Catskill Coydog Vintage furniture, was offering a few rainy day specials, including a blue nubby vinyl-covered late 1960s settee for $345 (normally $450) and a sleek, surfboard-shaped white-topped coffee table for $250 ($100 off). The sky was threatening to open any minute, but a crowd was still browsing the aisles of some eighty-five vendors selling everything from neon beer signage, fondue pots, jewelry made from vintage typewriter keys to vintage clothing, Ball jars repurposed as soap dispensers, and of course, furniture. Spetalieri is one of the regulars at the Flea, launched in 2008 by Jonathan Butler and Eric Demby. The market has become the primary venue and breeding ground for the handmade, vintage, artisanal, and small-batch culture that the world now understands as signifying Brooklyn. The Flea is now testing how well this sensibility plays outside the borough with the…» More
by Émile Jacques Ruhlmann (1879-1933), 1926. Macassar ebony, amaranth, and ivory. Metropolitan Museum of Art. By Cynthia Drayton» View All