Published: November 12, 2007
As shuttle buses pulled up in front of The Gramercy Park Antiques Show, dropping off some customers and picking up others, dealers inside the 26th Street Amory facility barely batted an eye as they dealt with the ever-changing and steady stream of customers. “We had a lot of people utilize the shuttle buses,” stated show manager Irene Stella, and the customers that came down on the shuttle from the International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show seemed genuinely pleased with the quality of the merchandise displayed around the floor.
The Gramercy Park Antiques Show, a colorful, diverse and lively event, conducted by Stella Show Mgmt Co., opened for a three-day run on October 19. A well-rounded list of 73 dealers exhibited at the event, displaying a wide range of merchandise. Much of the merchandise offered was meant to complement the wares being offered uptown at the upper-end International show.
A moderate-sized crowd was on hand for the 11 am opening on Friday, and an initial burst of sales was witnessed in several of the booths. The crowd swelled over the course the morning and by midday the aisles were packed with prospective clients.
As with most Stella events, this show is genuinely a fun event with lots of affordable, eye-catching material ranging from Orientalia to Americana, along with a large assortment of categories in-between.
One of the more interesting booths was that of The Elegant Patrician, Weston, Conn., and New York City. A large professional roulette gaming table that listed a provenance of Meyer Lansky was attracting attention, $35,000. Lansky, recognized as an American gangster, who with Charles “Lucky” Luciano was a formative player involved in the development of the “National Crime Syndicate,” had established gaming operations in Florida, New Orleans and Cuba in the 1930s.
Also displayed by the dealers was an intricately inlaid Nineteenth Century mahogany bookcase-cabinet that was marked $50,000, a set of ten George Nakashima chairs, $35,000, and an unusual freestanding gilt and carved standing figure of Buddha that had reportedly sold at Christie’s in 1984 for $15,000, yet was stickered at $8,500.
Mixing formal and folk, New York City dealer Harvey Weinstein displayed a selection of Tiffany lamps presented alongside early American folk art. Lamps seen in the booth ranged from a colorful Tiffany Crocus leaded glass shade on an organic base to a large 18-inch multicolored Dogwood lamp. Suspended above the display was a Handel hanging globe lamp with vibrant jungle bird decoration, while mixed in below was a Black Hawk horse weathervane and a pair of primitive watercolors depicting the Sweals family of Maine. Numerous paintings also adorned the walls, with a Johann Berthelsen snow scene depicting Fifth Avenue attracting attention.
While the assortment of Georg Jensen silver in the booth of Drucker Antiques, Mount Kisco, N.Y., is always impressive, the selection on the display went beyond the ordinary and was described by Bill Drucker as “stellar. This a historically important object,” stated the dealer in regard to a rare champagne bucket that had been presented by Jensen in 1919 to Frederick Lunning, the person responsible for bringing the silversmith to America. The rare piece remained with Lunning until 1945, when it was presented as a wedding gift to his daughter. Displayed alongside the cooler was a pair of pomegranate candlesticks that Jensen presented to Lunning on his 70th birthday.
African arts were featured by Kim McKesson, a dealer that listed both Michigan and Tanzania as his home bases. The highlight of his display was a pair of late Nineteenth Century Nyaturo ancestral figures in the form of a dancing couple, $40,000. Other objects included a set of Ethiopian spirit posts and a Bameleke hat from the region of Cameroon.
A diversified selection of material was displayed in the stand of Kairos Gallery, New York City. Items ranged from utilitarian trays and pottery vessels to intricate carvings of religious figures. The walls in the booth provided stark contrast in the way of an offering of art by the likes of Oscar Bluemner, who was represented with “2 Views of Hackensack Bridge,” $4,800, and “Dundee Lake,” $2,400, both graphite on paper drawings that listed a provenance of Hirschl & Adler.
An appealing oil titled “Brother and Sister” by Frederick Samuel Dellenbaugh, $26,000, and a striking oil on Masonite titled “Nude by Window” by Joseph Tomanek, $22,000, were also among the offerings at Kairos Gallery.
Parisian dealer Philippe Meunier was on hand with a good selection of majolica and Palissy wares, with a large oval platter designed by Luneville and decorated with fish amid waves priced at $8,200.
Also displayed was a large platter with crab decoration by Alfred Renoleau, a Louis XVI Minton majolica baluster-form urn and cover and a large decorative wishing well form by Delphin Massier that the dealer called “Happy Frogs.” The humorously designed piece featured numerous frogs of various sizes looking on as four larger frogs with mandolins strummed their instruments and sang.
Saugerties, N.Y., auctioneer/dealer North River was at the show displaying a diverse assortment of materials that included a monumental oil on canvas depicting a spread-winged American eagle that measured nearly 7 feet long, $5,500. Displayed under the painting was a colorfully paint decorated Continental architectural bench with a Eastern Block winged eagle crest in the central panel, and hanging on the wall off to the side was a nice zinc eagle with paint decoration.
Textiles are always popular at the show and the selection presented by Grandview, N.Y., dealer Michelle Fox was highlighted with a patriotic assortment that included both fabrics in red, white and blue, as well as a selection of flags. A rare hand stitched homemade 45-star flag from the Spanish American War period was featured, commemorating Utah becoming the 23rd state to join the Union on July 4, 1896. The dealer also displayed a nice framed patriotic World War I era fan that unfolded into a flag.
The award for the most eclectic and colorful booth went to Praiseworthy Antiques, Goshen, N.Y. The dealers filled one entire wall with vibrantly decorated Bloomingdale’s shopping bags emblazoned with graphic designs ranging from Calder-like abstractions to a Modernist view of the Statue of Liberty. Coincidently, many of these bags are already incorporated into a collection being assembled by the Smithsonian.
The next Stella event will be the Pier Show and a new event for the promoter, “Others.” The shows will take place on Pier 92 and 94 on November 17 and 18. For information 212-255-0020, or www.stellashows.com .
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