Published: November 6, 2012
The 24th edition of the International Fine Art & Antique Dealers Show reached across the globe to serve up a sweeping bounty of exquisite goods to meet discerning tastes at its weeklong run October 19′5 at the Park Avenue Armory. Leading dealers were recruited from America and Europe and brought their best offerings to appeal to discriminating audiences.
“A buoyant atmosphere prevailed throughout the seven-day event where excellent crowds, knowledgeable clientele and impressive sales were the hallmark. The fair attracted collectors, interior designers and museum curators from all over the world. Highly coveted and historically important pieces sold to discerning collectors and institutions, and audience response was extremely positive,” according to Anna and Brian Haughton, who produced the show.
Very much a traditional antiques show, the offerings were heavy on Continental antiques, while a smattering of the modern and ancient were a nice complement and much welcomed.
Among the many dealers here offering an international feel to their booths was Daphne Alazraki Fine Art, New York City, which offered an oil on canvas by Juan Pablo Salinas (1871‱946) titled “The Gathering,” along with French artist Leon Augustin Lhermitte’s pastel, “Lavandieres en Provence.”
A number of Dutch works were also featured from Salomon Van Ruysdael’s (1600‱670) oil on panel, “A River Landscape with a Cattle Ferry” to a Jan Van Os (Dutch, 1744‱808) oil on panel, “Shipping in a Calm.”
Highlights in the booth of Thomas Colville, Guilford, Conn., included a Charles Guilloux oil on canvas, “Evening,” 1895; Paul Cezanne’s watercolor and pencil work, “Le Vase et la Colonne,” circa 1890; and Pascal-Adolphe-Jean Dagnan-Bouveret’s “The Spectators,” 1877.
A star attraction at Hancocks, London, was an unusual 18K gold necklace with graduating styled fronds by Ilias Lalaounis, Athens, circa 1972, and another gold necklace in the Ancient Revival style by the same maker with dangling yellow gold acorns and bull’s heads suspended from a row of floral motifs, circa 1965.
Fine English goods were eye candy in the booth of Ronald Phillips, London, which included a pair of George II giltwood mirrors attributed to Benjamin Goodison. One of the circa 1735 mirrors retains its original mirror plate, beveled, and the other has an Eighteenth Century replacement. Another pair on offer here was a set of George III ormolu-mounted satinwood marquetry and giltwood side tables attributed to Mayhew and Ince, circa 1775. The makers were known for occasionally incorporating older parts in their commissions, so it is not surprising that the tops predate their bases (circa 1795) by about two decades but are used here for the first time. Another looker offered was a George II mahogany three-seater settee that is attributed to Wright and Elwick.
Among his sales, dealer Simon Phillips spoke of a rare and early Eighteenth Century George I gilt gesso mirror. “It has the unique feature of birds perched on the corners †unknown at this time,” he said. A rare and important early Nineteenth Century mahogany center table, a design by Thomas Hope and a George II walnut wing chair with vividly colored gros-point floral needlework were also sold.
International standouts at John Mitchell Fine Paintings, London, included a circa 1820 French School oil on canvas painting, “The Feathered Choir: A Scarlet Macaw, Robin, Cockatoo, Green Woodpecker, Golden Oriole, Pheasants and other birds in an exotic landscape.” A key sale here was Jacob von Ruisdael’s (1628‱682) “Landscape with Waterfall,” a signed oil on canvas measuring 21 by 17½ inches.
Thomas Coulborn & Sons, West Midlands, United Kingdom, offered a pair of Regency ormolu-mounted Blue John campana-form urns, England, circa 1810′0, from a private collection of a member of the Leicestershire nobility. Ripe with symbolism, the Blue John illustrates the wonders of the earth while the winged spirits and the cornucopias represent fertility and love. The urns are a mastery of poetic excellence and technical execution.
The Brian Haughton Gallery offered a diverse collection of fine ceramics and faience from a sublime Meissen teapot and cover in the manner of C.F. Herold, circa 1728″0, to a rarely seen Strasbourg pigeon tureen and cover, modeled naturalistically and painted in “petit feu” colors with brown beak and yellow eyes, dark grey and purple head and puce clawed feet, circa 1748‵4. The avian pair came out of a Continental collection assembled before 1939. Another statement serving piece was a rare Saint Omer faience boar tureen and cover, circa 1751‸8, whose hues of manganese, red and dark browns could withstand the grand feu firing temperatures. Among sales was a very fine Vienna Du Paquier silver mounted tankard, circa 1730.
Several silver specialists were on hand, and each had some wonderful treasures to offer. J.H. Bourdon-Smith Ltd, London, featured an unusual Victorian figural salt in the form of a vivandiere, made in 1866, London, by C.F. Hancock. Civilian vivandieres were dispatched to service military regiments, selling wine, food and sundries to the troops. The dealer also showed one of the rarest Irish coffeepots he had seen, an engraved 1765 pot made by Richard Williams depicting a tea drinking scene. Standouts in the booth of the Silver Fund, San Francisco, Calif., included a Boucheron clock by Haas Neveux & Co. of Geneva and Paris, sterling silver and enamel, circa 1925, along with a non-silver item, a monumental female nude bronze by Doris Caesar. S.J. Shrubsole, New York City, offered a pair of George III antique English silver entree dishes and covers by Paul Storr, London, 1812.
Lovely smalls from India were showcased at Samina Inc, London, which offered a jade spittoon, Mughal or Deccan, Seventeenth Century, carved from nephrite jade with delicate handles, in a poppy and acanthus leaf design, and a jade haldili amulet pendant from Rajasthan, North India, Nineteenth Century, decorated with a tree of life design.
Highlights on offer at Shapero Rare Books, London, included a pair of large terra and celestial globes by Willem Janszoon Blaeu, Amsterdam, circa 1630; a set of six NASA photographs titled “Space Race †NASA,” circa 1969‷2, and a gorgeous set of 270 hand-colored plates bound in red morocco leather from Georg Wolfgang Knorr titled “Recueil de monumens des catastrophes.”
Frank Partridge, London, offered a late Louis XV ormolu-mounted tulipwood and amaranth regulator clock, 90 inches tall, circa 1770; a set of four Eighteenth Century oil paintings of the four bas-reliefs from the Fontaine des Quatres Sai sons that was made in 1739‴5 by Edme Bouchardon, and a pair of George III giltwood, scagliola and white marble pier tables designed by Robert Adam, circa 1770.
Gallery Lefebvre, Paris, showed Gaston Priou’s (1899‱982) mixed media composition, “After Bathing,” circa 1930, and a lovely pair of “Temple” consoles by Libor David (b 1947) in bronze and marble.
James Robinson, New York City, featured an eclectic mix of sparkling items from jewelry to silver to glass, including an Albert I period Art Deco glass vase by Val Saint Lambert, Liege, Belgium, circa 1930; a George II period silver coffeepot on stand, Isaac Cookson, Newcastle, 1742 with the arms of Coxon/Carr; and a Nineteenth Century gold pin in the form of a basket.
Specializing in bamboo and textile art, Tai Gallery, Santa Fe, N.M., showcased works by several contemporary Japanese bamboo artists, including Tanabe Kochikusai’s “Flying Dragon,” Fujitsuka Shosei’s “Tide,” and Yufu Shohaku’s “Moon Reflects on the Lake.”
Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts, New York City, featured a corner of its booth devoted to two works by Ben Shahn, a key artist of the Twentieth Century committed to justice, who became known for his political and social commentary. Arts and Crafts standouts filled the remainder of the booth and included two Grueby floor vases in its iconic matte cucumber glaze, circa 1901, one at 27½ inches tall and the other at 22¾ inches; a pair of Tiffany Studios lamps, circa 1910, and a two-door cabinet, model no. 525, by Gustav Stickley. The frontispiece of the booth, the circa 1901 cabinet from Stickley’s Eastwood (N.Y.) Workshops, is noteworthy for the original green stain on its interior and the simplicity of its design.
Todd Merrill, New York City, offered a Marc Fish “Mollusque” low table in sycamore, glass and copper that winningly marries Victorian naturalism with a future-forward thinking a la Jules Verne along with a rare wall-mounted two-door forged-front console by Paul Evans, 1972.
A standout at Daniel Crouch Rare Books was De Wit’s sea atlas in original color, Amsterdam, circa 1680, while MacConnal-Mason Fine Paintings, London, featured Frederick Waters Watts’ monumental painting, “Dedham Lock,” 42 by 58 inches, circa 1850.
Keshishian, New York City and London, featured a garden Tabriz carpet from Persia, late Nineteenth Century, 13 feet 2 inches by 9 feet 4 inches, which has soft tones in the field and border and balance each other harmoniously; a fetching Brussels tapestry, “America” from “The Continents” series, mid-Eighteenth Century, workshop of Jan Frans van der Borght, 9 feet 6 inches tall; and a rare Arts and Crafts Donegal (Ireland) carpet, designed by Gavin Morton and G.K. Robertson, circa 1900.
Many dealers reported strong sales early on in the show, including Jerome V. Jacalone Fine Art, New York, which sold a painted oak figure of St Catherine of Alexandria, Netherlandish, first half of the Sixteenth Century, and at Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York City, a notable sale was a side chair in the aesthetic taste attributed to Herts Brothers, about 1880. Selling for six figures, the chair boasted elegant carvings and mother-of-pearl and mixed metal marquetry.
Martin Levy of H. Blairman & Sons, Ltd, London, said, “The fair was very well attended and there was a buoyant atmosphere throughout. We made sales of furniture and works of art to private collectors and museums. Among items sold were a set of shelves designed by Ernest Gimson; ceramics and glass designed by Dr Christopher Dresser and a walnut side chair attributed to Giles Grendey, circa 1730.”
Koopman Rare Art, London, reported a successful fair selling decorative objects and collector’s items. Among the sales the dealer wrote up was an important pair or Regency silver four-light candelabra made by Paul Storr. The candelabra were from the Picton service and date to 1813, 28 inches tall.
Murano glass was selling well at H.M. Luther, New York, which sold a rare 18-arm silvered metal and colorless glass chandelier by Napoleon, 1928, and a set of ten glass Patchwork ceiling/wall lights by Venini.
Maison Gerard, New York City, sold a pair of armchairs by Maxime Old (1910‱991) and a rare Pierre Cruège seven-light floor lamp with original glass cylinders, while Whitford Fine Art, London, found eager buyers for a stirring mix of works ranging from midcentury French and British artists to stars of Cubist and postwar abstraction to signature Pop Art and sculpture. The latter gallery’s sales were led by a 1928 gouache, “Composition Abstraite,” by French Cubist painter Georges Valmier to a Cubist art collector, and an Alexander Calder silk print from 1947 that was a wonderful early collaboration of art and fashion. On the last day of the fair, Whitford sold a pair of Fernand Leger gouache works from 1941 to a new client.
Douglas Dawson, Chicago, Ill., enjoyed vigorous sales across the board, including fine terracotta figures, Chancay Culture, Peru, circa 1000‱200, which were collected in the 1950s by a well-known Peruvian painter.
The October 19 preview party was attended by more than 1,000 guests and raised more than $1 million for the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
For more information, www.Haughton.com or + 44 20 7389 6555.
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