Good times were had by all in attendance and good sales were recorded all around the floor during yet another outing of the highly popular Modern Show produced by Stella Show Mgmt Co. The event, a benefit for the Art Deco Society, opened on Thursday evening, February 23, for a gala preview that included not only a quality selection of antiques, but also a lively piano bar act and plenty of libations.
A large crowd made its way downtown to the 69th Regiment Armory at 26th Street and Lexington Avenue and sold tags began appearing soon after the show opened for preview. The booth of Schorr & Dobinsky, Bridgehampton, N.Y., was blanketed with sold tags within moments of the opening with its industrial look continuing to attract quite a bit of attention. A set of four aluminum chairs with a strong Deco look were the first to go, followed quickly thereafter by shelving units, tables, storage bins, lamps, cabinets and a hanging wall cupboard with a wire mesh lockable door.
Perhaps based on the perpetual success of Schorr & Dobinsky, the French industrial look was spreading around the floor like wildfire. Directly across the aisle, Eleanor and David Billet offered early wood and metal dollies as glass-topped sofa tables, some nifty industrial lighting fixtures, shelving and medicinal cabinets along with a selection of French Deco furnishings.
York, Maine, dealer Bob Withington was new to the show and hebrought his usual assortment of “heavy” items along with a newtwist to his merchandise line, modernist furnishings. Among theassortment was a nice looking pair of credenzas from the 1950s.”Don’t they have a great look?” queried the dealer. “I know whomade them, but I haven’t been able to find anything out about thedesigner.” The mahogany pieces with reed covered sliding doors hada distinctive look and had been made by Cambridge, Mass.,manufacturers Pine and Baker. The dealer was also partaking in theindustrial craze with an unusual circular steel cabinet withlocking doors, French, circa 1940, and also a neat pair of long andslender brushed steel tables that were displayed side by side as adining table or could be separated as a narrow console table.
“It just happened to work out that way,” was show manager Leanne Stella’s response to a question regarding the increased number of art dealers set up at the show. Management commented that it was purely coincidental that the increase in fine art offerings coincided with the opening of The Art Show that was taking place uptown, and another art venue that was being conducted at the Piers.
Among the art dealers new to The Modern Show was Elizabeth Moss Civiello, of Elizabeth Moss Gallery, Falmouth, Maine. Amidst a varied amount of works was a portrait of Pablo Picasso by John Hansegger. “You never see portraits of Picasso,” stated Civiello, “People always sat for Picasso, he almost never sat for other artists.” The $1 million price tag was testament to the rarity. The dealer also offered a wide variety of other works ranging from Modernist oils to a selection of artists representing Maine.
Stephen M. Foster Fine Art returned to the show with adiverse selection ranging from Jean Duffy’s oil on canvas “NatureMorte avec une Pipe” that the dealer had stickered at $40,000,Richard Murray’s colorful “Table Top Still Life,” 1978, at $55,000,and a William Sylvester Carter still life with flowers. One of themore interesting pieces in the stand hung on the outside wall, amodernist oil on canvas titled “Quadrant # 2,” 1970.
Giuseppe Concepcion of ProArte, Miami, was on hand with his usual lively and colorful selection of prints by Calder, Chagall, Matisse and Picasso. For this fair, the dealer brought along an interesting Red Grooms print depicting a young cowpoke atop a broncing bull while other cowpokes watched from their perches on a white rail fence.
Another of the veterans of the show was Long Beach, Calif., dealer Jeffery Winter who brought along a varied assortment of art. Jaroslav Brosik’s oil on panel “On the Way to the Factory,” 1930, was attracting attention, as was the oil “Portrait of a Boxer” by Carl Hugo Beetz, also circa 1930. A striking display of several “Automotive Element” design drawings from the 1950s, all watercolors signed by Peter Wozena, had also captured the attention of buyers at the show.
Early Pop Art books by Andy Warhol were among the numerousbooks attracting attention from the booth of Optos Books, New YorkCity. The Aspen series book produced in December 1966,volume three, was catching the eye of collectors.
Warhol included all kinds of items with the effort including packets of tickets and other unusual articles. Warhol’s Index (Book) was also included among the offerings as well as numerous Campbell Soup pieces. Less colorful, but equally enticing from the stand was a stellar assortment of reference books and first edition copies of a wide variety of titles.
Bayside, N.Y., dealer Joseph Cantara came to the show with a different look. Instead of a booth filled with Tiffany lamps and related materials, the dealer only brought a smattering of his normal stock. Instead, a colorful and eclectic mix of Fornasetti items were highlighted including the colorful transfer decorated plates, a tea set, banks, jars and other ceramics. In addition, period stools with vibrant fabrics, waste cans, trays, tables, ice buckets and a room divider were also featured.
Baxter and Leibchen, Brooklyn, N.Y., had an attractive stand filled with Swedish Modernist furnishings including a rosewood hinged dining table by Borge Mogensen and a set of six rosewood dining chairs by Kurt Ostervig. One of the more interesting pieces in the booth was a rosewood bar cabinet with white laminate front with circular bottle holder cutouts that had been designed by CFC Silkborg. An enticing credenza from the 1960s was also among the furnishings while accessories included a selection of copper pendants by Jo Hammerborg and teak ice buckets in small and large sizes that had been designed by Jens Quistgaard for Dansk.
Neil Ingber, Westport, Conn., also offered a good selectionof furniture from his stand with three pieces of Warren McArthurtubular aluminum furniture including two armchairs and a nicecircular table. A rosewood bedroom set from the 1940s and adesigner desk trimmed in white laminate from the 1960s also weregetting looks.
Jewelry was seen in several booths on the floor including Drucker Antiques, Mount Kisco, N.Y., who offered, along with an amazing selection of Jensen silver hollowware, a grand assortment of jewelry. Included in the mix was a Georg Jensen lapis and silver necklace and bracelet that had been designed in 1968 by Torun Bulow-Hube.
“She won all kinds of awards for this piece,” stated Janet Drucker, “She was Scandinavian and is regarded as a brilliant designer. She was the forerunner of body jewelry for women.” Among the awards presented to her for the bracelet and necklace was the Fornasetti and also the Grand Prix at the Milan Triennial.
New York City dealer Anita Traub also offered a niceselection of jewelry and assorted decorative pieces such as a niceFulper pottery vase and a pair of Lenci figures. Highlights fromher impressive assortment of jewelry included a Van Cleef &Arpels platinum and diamond brooch, a pair of Bulgari diamond andgold earrings, a Barry Kisselstein gold pendant and a Hammermansignature diamond and gold lion brooch.
Didier Antiques, London, also offered a grand assortment of jewelry including a couple of rare Jensen necklaces in gold.
Americana dealer Jeff Bridgman, Dillsburg, Penn., commanded a second look from everyone passing through the show. The only Americana dealer to exhibit, the booth jumped right out at passersby with a good selection of paint decorated furniture and a host of early American flags and campaign flags.
The next event for Stella Show Mgmt Vo will be the Triple Pier Antiques Show on March 18 and 19. For further information call 212-255-0002 or www.stellashows.com.