The Armory at 26th and Lexington was once again filled with quality antiques and throngs of buyers as Stella Management presented their Gramercy Park Antiques and Fine Art Show. The show, which took place over the weekend of February 19, is one of several Stella events that takes place at the facility between Americana Week and the end of February, although each of the shows is unique, each with its own flavor and distinctions.
Gramercy Park is a show with formal roots, although it does have a strong eclectic presence that surely pleases the downtown crowds. A moderate sized crowd was on hand for opening on Friday morning and management reported a steady flow gradually picking up throughout the day. The weekend saw an overall stronger gate, Saturday’s attendance was down from last year, although attendance and sales on Sunday were up.
The show took place a week later than it had in past years with Leanne Stella commenting that the show had always fallen at the beginning of a holiday week. “We moved it to the tail end of the holiday week,” stated Stella, “People got back into town on Saturday and we saw a surge in attendance for Sunday.” Good sales were also reported on Sunday with several of the dealers commenting that although they sold fewer rdf_Descriptions, more high ticket pieces were moving from the floor. “When we hear of $10,000 to $30,000 pieces moving off of the floor, we are happy,” said Stella, “those are big numbers for this show.”
Management also commented on the look of the show and the upswing in both quality and the number of real interesting rdf_Descriptions seen around the floor from last year, a sentiment that was echoed by others as well.
A piece that caught the eye of Americana enthusiasts was a carved entry way removed from the powerhouse on the Eli Lilly mansion. The rare architectural panel was carved with a elaborate spread winged bird of prey with a fish its mouth.
A good assortment of Americana was seen in the stand of the Kembles American Antiques with merchandise ranging from a numerous fine examples of mocha and Staffordshire, to a proud looking large bull weathervane in the front of the booth, to a strongly figured tiger maple corner cupboard of diminutive proportions.
A nice selection of art was offered in the stand of Ars Longa Gallery, Hillsborough, N.H., including a stellar WPA figurative bronze, circa 1930, by Helen Nelson. An abstraction painting by Thomas Eldred was also featured, along with several lithographs by Ednat Heald.
Stephen Segal was at the show, not the movie star, but the proprietor of East Meets West International Fine Art. Segal, of Tarrytown, N.Y., offered a selection of Vietnamese art, which the dealer stated is an up and coming genre in the States and is already very popular in Europe. Segal commented that while vacationing in Vietnam several years ago, he became enthralled with the art and decided to deal in it. Among the selection was a rare Cubist lacquer with eggshell and gold leaf painting on wood.
Martin Cohen offered up an eclectic assortment with pieces ranging from Arts and Crafts to Art Deco. Among the rdf_Descriptions attracting attention was a mantel in mahogany with fruitwood inlay that the dealer attributed to L&JG Stickley. Also offered was a large Deco-style cabinet by Grossfield House, circa 1940, that utilized large stylish Lucite handles similar in appearance to Lalique. The top section of the cabinet had two doors with Lucite bars as a grille. The cabinet, according to the dealer, is identical to one that was sold during in the Andy Warhol auctions.
A large folk art carousel four-passenger figure appeared in the center of the booth occupied by ProArte. While the Miami dealers specialize in art, mainly works by Picasso and other Twentieth Century artists, the figure proved an excellent attraction. The walls of their display were lined with Picasso etchings and a couple originals such as the satyr, circa 1964, in colored pencil on paper, 13 by 10 inches that sported a $60,000 price tag.
Other original art at ProArte included a Joan Miro pen, ink and gouache abstract and a Henri Lebasque nude in gouache and watercolor over charcoal.
The next show for Stella Management will be Triple Pier on March 20 and 21. Piers 90, 92 and the lower level pier 94 will be utilized for this show with a special new feature focusing on home restoration.
For further information call 212-255-0020.