January 22, 2010 | There is no arguing with the idea that the Winter Antiques Show, which opened last night at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, is the BIG one. Now in its fifty-sixth year, its seventy-five dealers from around the world are showcasing some of the very best in the decorative arts, painting, and folk art. There is a lot to see, and some of it is huge. We've picked out a few that are hard to overlook. You really can't miss James and Nancy Glazer's majestic copper elk right inside the entrance. Standing ten feet high, it was made about 1903 by the W. H. Mullins Company of Salem, Ohio, and originally topped the Elks Club in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Across the aisle, Todd Prickett of C. L. Prickett has an exceptional Boston block-front chest-on-chest (c. 1775) that's almost eight feet tall-and was included in Luke Vincent Lockwood's seminal Colonial Furniture in America of 1913.
It might seem that Gerald Peters Gallery has only five objects on offer, they are so enormous, but there are several smaller pieces as well. The centerpiece, of 1914, is a fourteen thousand-pound, nine-foot-tall urn carved by Paul Manship from a block of Tennessee marble with a neoclassical frieze of Indians hunting buffalo and engaged in intertribal warfare. On the booth walls hang Manship's Four Elements, four of eight parcel-gilt bronze reliefs he did for façades of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company's old headquarters in downtown Manhattan (the other four are in the Philadelphia Museum of Art). All eight were detached during AT&T's removal from the building in the 1980s. Considerably smaller but equally powerful is the gallery's collection of British Championship Animals, modeled by Herbert Haseltine in 1925.
January 15, 2010 |
What: German turquoise ground porcelain snuff box, 18th century
Where: Christie's New York (January 12 & 13, Interiors)
Sold For: $8,125
This gilt-metal snuff box is the epitomizes the rococo taste—the delicate turquoise color imitates porcelain made for Louis XV, and it has been formed in an organic shell-shape that is emblematic of the style. The interior depicts a mother pug and her three puppies—one of the most popular dogs in the 18th century that were depicted in numerous works of art during the period including a painting of Louis XIV and his heirs by Nicolas de Largillierre, and numerous portraits by Boucher.
January 8, 2010 |
What: Map of the state of Georgia by Daniel Sturges, 1818
Where: Brunk Auctions (January 2 & 3)
Sold For: $55,000
This 50-panel map took over twenty years for Daniel Sturges—the Surveyor General of Georgia, who also designed the state's great seal—to complete. It was reportedly used by the Marquis de Lafayette in 1825 during his tour of, what were then, all of the nation's twenty-four states.
December 30, 2009 |
What: 200 One Dollar Bills by Andy Warhol, 1962
Where: Sotheby's New York (November 11, Contemporary Art Evening Sale)
Estimate: $8-12 million
Sold For: $43.7 million
A large-scale masterpiece from Warhol's first series of silkscreened paintings, 200 One Dollar Bills was also from the artist's second earliest group of serial works. Originally from the collection of Robert and Ethel Scull, the work was last sold in 1986 for $385,000.
What: The Pearl Carpet of Baroda, Gujarat, India, c. 1865
Where: Sotheby's Doha (March 19, Arts of the Islamic World)
Estimate: Upon request (bidding reportedly started at $5 million)
Sold For: $5.4 million
Comprised of over 2.2 million pearls and beads, and about 2,500 table and rose cut diamonds, the Pearl Carpet of Baroda—a tour-de-force of the Mughal style—was commissioned by the Maharaja of Baroda, Kunde Rao, for the tomb of Mohammed at Medina. Known for his passion for jewels, the Maharaja also owned the 128-carat Star of the South diamond.
December 30, 2009 | When visiting the International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Fair in New York in October, I was struck by the imposing arms and armor on display in the booth of Peter Finer of London—enormous poleaxes, a beautifully ornamented Italian half suit of armor, a bronze cannon on its field carriage. It made me stop and wonder idly about how you might display such things at home, and then quickly brought to mind an article Antiques ran a year ago about the rise and fall of William Randolph Hearst as a collector. Among the most dramatic of Hearst's holdings were the legions of suits of armor he displayed in the vast Gothic style armory he created in his New York apartment in the early twentieth century. Most were among the treasures sold after he was beset by financial woes in the 1930s.
Pickle Dish, American China Manufactory (Bonnin and Morris), Philadelphia, 1771-72. Soft-paste porcelain with lead glaze; height 4 3/16, width 4 1/2» View All