This year, we at The Magazine ANTIQUES were very pleased to once again have a booth at the Winter Show art and antiques fair in New York City. You’ll recall that we had a booth at last year’s edition of the show as part of the celebration of the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the magazine. We met lots of friends, old and new, sold signed limited-edition prints of the cover art for the January/February 2022 issue by Andrew LaMar Hopkins, and found some new subscribers.
The primary mission for our booth this year was to promote our podcast, Curious Objects, which has entered a new season with a more robust, multi-voice and -viewpoint format. The design scheme for the booth was the brainchild of the podcast’s host, Ben Miller. One corner of the booth was staged as a mock recording studio, with a microphone and, on the walls, acoustic panels mixed with Curious Objects “album covers” designed by our art director, Martin Minerva, and based on jazz LPs from the 1950s and ‘60s. It looked pretty cool.
The idea behind Curious Objects is that collecting art is about telling stories—every work of art has a who, what, where, and why to it. Around the booth we placed vitrines holding the kinds of curious objects you might hear about on Curious Objects. Several galleries and dealers graciously provided works of art and design to put on display. Hirschl and Adler sent a circa 1840 portrait of a gentleman about which very little is known for certain, offering an exercise in how to read a painting for clues. Levy Galleries contributed a pair of Queen Anne side chairs passed down by members of the fascinating Gay family of Massachusetts.
Egyptian influence was on display. The jewelry dealers at Kentshire loaned an Egyptian revival necklace while Didier Ltd.—a London gallery specializing in jewelry by artists—sent a cobra-shaped necklace designed by Red Grooms following an illness-ridden trip to Egypt in 1985. James Robinson Inc. provided a pink-and-green English glass vase of about 1900 that looked like it was decorated by Jackson Pollock for Easter. Michele Beiny sent a Sèvres porcelain wine cooler that was part of a gift from Louis XVI to Joseph II of Austria, Marie Antoinette’s brother. Silver gallery S. J. Shrubsole—where Ben has his day job as director of research—provided another royal gift: a silver statuette given by Queen Victoria to Prince Albert depicting his favorite greyhound, Eos. Shrubsole also sent another curious pet-related item—a pair of silver-mounted horse ears, which once belonged to a speedy gelding named Puppet, with matching ear-shaped containers. We thank all these galleries for their kind assistance. One thing about the Winter Show: it is long—ten days in all. Our special thanks go to three friends of Ben who helped us with manning the booth: artist and Columbia University teacher Thomas Lollar; jewelry specialist Nadine Schimmelpenninck; and Raphael Machiels, a student at the Bard Graduate Center.
Last, Henry Haye’s collection of the Jamaican art deco furniture designed by Burnett Webster and carved by Alvin Marriott—featured in our January/February issue—was given a showcase booth. I was delighted to see these amazing works of design in person. Haye’s representative, Charleston dealer David Skinner, presented the pieces and they were the talk of the Winter Show. The furniture was not for sale—Haye wants to keep the collection intact and place it all together with a museum—and apparently representatives of several institutions who saw the pieces showed interest. I hope this all works out. Webster and Marriott’s work deserves a wide audience.