The Winter Antiques Show in New York City is an extraordinary annual event, showcasing exemplary art and antique dealers and their wares. There are so many outstanding offerings to see, ogle and understand that it can can literally make one’s head spin!
Louis Comfort Tiffany‘s more architectural chandeliers hold great appeal to me; this amazing example from Macklowe Gallery is a showstopper. My friend, New York designer Alan Tanksley, told me that this fixture is “My NUMBER ONE, MOST COVETED item in the Winter Antiques Show. Its’ beauty haunts me…”
While there are refined examples of Georgian and Regency furniture, antiquities and late 20th century masterworks (as noted in the New York Times article — the chronological cut off for pieces included in the show has been moved from 1969 to the present), I am drawn to items that have one foot in the period they were made, whenever that was, and yet still look appealing to a more modern eye – a foot in both camps as it were.
New York dealer Liz O’Brien, among many other great items, was showing this seemingly curious giltwood anglo-colonial chair; however on further inspection and discussion, I learned it was designed by the celebrated French designer Andre Arbus, with 2 examples of it ‘hiding in plain view’ in a fancy Parisian salon as shown in the monograph on his work.
Next I ventured upon Jim Oliveira and Sara Blumberg, whom I met two decades ago when they were just starting Glass Past. Now recognized as experts in the field of Italian Glass from 1870-1970 their offering never cease to amaze and inspire. Their accumulated knowledge is impressive. The Murano ‘Soffiato’ Vase was designed by Vittorio Zecchini c.1925 is a classic form reinterpreted in the early part of the 20th century.
Also from Glass Past is this later Venini ‘Zanfrico‘ Vase designed by Paolo Venini in 1956.
Peter Pap has been dealing exemplary oriental and tribal carpets for over 35 years, and is a fixture at the best antique shows in America. There has been an enormous interest in Scandinavian mid-century carpets in recent years, but leave it to Peter to show something remarkable: an unusually large carpet designed by textile artist Marianne Richter in Bastad, Sweden in 1949. Richter is considered one of the foremost textile artists of the twentieth century.
This startling example of a Windsor chair (one of a pair) was presented by Robert Young Antiques from London. What’s ‘wrong’ with this pair of curiosities is what makes them so ‘right’ — they have attitude! These remarkable chairs are an 1850’s adaptation of a chair type that dates back to the 16th century.
Gerald Peters Gallery presented a monumental lead garden urn (7′ high x 5′ wide!), one of four available. They were designed by the legendary American sculptor Paul Manship in 1917 for the gardens at “Immergrün” the enormous Charles Schwab estate in Loretto, Pennsylvania. Priced at $450,000 each, one could negotiate a better price on the entire set, or even a pair (that is if you have the perfect spot!)