Published: October 12, 2010
Just over 1,200 tickets were sold and 1,000 people showed up for the gala preview party on Wednesday evening, September 29, for Avenue Antiques & Art at the Park Avenue Armory. “The weather was not in our favor for the opening and the first two days of the show, but the buyers came and we are very pleased with the overall picture,” Barbara Goodwin, show director, said.
Sixty-two dealers took part in this five-day show, “a number we are very comfortable with and right where we want to be,” Barbara said. She did indicate that the show might increase slightly in 2011, but only a few dealers more, and only if it brings a new interest to the show. All of the dealers at this fall’s show indicated a willingness to return next year.
The show, with 20 percent of the dealers coming from other countries, has a good number of painting gallery and jewelry dealers, with only a slight smattering of Americana. “We are hoping to increase this area of collecting in the future,” Barbara said.
New York City book dealer Imperial Fine Books set up an attractive booth that resembled a small library with mostly leather-bound sets of books lining wood shelves. Displayed in cases were some of the rare volumes offered, including three volumes of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations and Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol , illustrated and signed by Arthur Rackham.
Among the exhibitors who came over from England was William Cook Antiques, Berkshire, London, with a collection of furniture and accessories that included a William and Mary marquetry and oyster veneered chest of drawers, circa 1700, and a pair of French Nineteenth Century walnut armchairs and ensuite side chairs, circa 1860.
Ophir Gallery of Englewood, N.J., showed its collection from a prime spot at the front of the show. At the front of the booth, displayed on a pedestal, was “Les Violettes,” a patinated bronze and marble work by the French sculptor Francois-Raoul Larche. It was signed R. Larche and done by the Siot-Decauville foundry. A figural pair of andirons, circa 1900, by Henry Linder, New York (1854‱910), were by the Roman Bronze Works, New York. Six lamps, chandeliers and a pair of sconces were all by Tiffany Studios.
Michael Pashby Antiques, New York City, showed a selection of furniture, including a mid-Eighteenth Century elm and oak cricket table, English, circa 1750, that measured 22 inches in diameter and 26 inches high. A nest of two Regency rosewood game tables, also English, circa 1815, were neatly set up for a game of chess with red and white bone pieces.
“We had to cut back a bit on our display of andirons, fireplace tools and fenders this year as we have only a 20-foot booth,” Jim Gallagher of J. Gallagher Antiques, North Norwich, N.Y., said. So with part of his vast inventory left at home, he offered only about 35 pairs of andirons, all shined to perfection, many with matching tools. A pair of New York City andirons, with pierced gallery and spur and ball feet, complete with matching tools, was the rarest of the lot.
American Antique Wicker, Nashua, N.H., had a large and colorful booth to the right of the entrance to the show filled with sets of wicker and the necessary accessories to make any porch, sunroom or patio come alive. Several wicker sets were offered, generally complete with sofa, armchairs, ottomans, coffee and end tables and matching lamps. Wicker lemonade sets, complete with glasses and a pitcher, reminded all of the hot days of summer. Three large late Nineteenth Century paint decorated mirrors hung on the back wall, the center one elaborately painted with swan, egret and flamingo wrapped in foliage. Of special interest was an Italian polychrome decorated birdcage in the form of a castle, complete with five tin flags flying from towers and two figures standing guard at the front gate.
Haynes Fine Art of Broadway, Worcestershire, England, had a large painting, oil on canvas, of a lady with her cat titled “Beaute Etendue Avec Son Chat” by Swiss artist Fritz Zuber Buhler.
Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, Dillsburg, Penn., made the strongest showing of Americana in the show, offering his well-known collection of flags, some painted furniture and folk art. Of interest was a 35-star flag in a Great Star pattern with sewn stars in three different sizes. This flag dated from the Civil War period and was of silk. A large cow weathervane came with a Downtown Gallery provenance, and a number of game boards decorated the walls of the booth with the flags. An early paint decorated blanket box was in old red with strong black design.
Yew Tree Antiques, New York City, showed a large sailing boat model for the first time, complete with the original sails and extra sails stored below deck. It was built in Essex, England, by the owner of a shipping line that sailed cargo from London to the Orient and back. The boat dates circa 1830 and is a replica of one of the ships in his fleet.
Marion Harris, New York City, is known for having rare and unusual things and this time offered a selection of articulated artist’s models ranging in height from 6 to 39 inches. The oldest pair was from Germany, circa 1530.
“We are planning two shows for the coming year, both to be in the Park Avenue Armory, and our dates are March 9‱3 and September 21′5,” Barbara Goodwin said.
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