Antique Shows Turn Up the Heat
At the First Flutter of Falling Leaves, Antique Shows Turn Up the Heat
Even though the calendar says autumn and the temperature makes it feel like summer, there was no better place to park for a few hours recently than the annual Armory Antiques, Art & Design show. Taking place at the end of September in Manhattan inside the cavernous Park Avenue Armory's Drill Hall, more than 60 premium dealers from the coast to coast, plus a few from as far away as London (Dinan and Chighine) and Tokyo (Mary Deeming), exhibited antiques, fine arts and jewelry dating as far back as the 17th century. Galleries including Cavalier, FraMont and Lynda Willauer were more close to home.
Shows that are as well-curated as this show are wonderful because when the foot traffic is light, there is nothing that stands between you and famous works of art such as the celebrated French Impressionist painters like Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir and Paul Gaughin, as well as works by Sir Winston Churchill, which turned up at the M.S. Rau Antiques booth. Modernists also figured prominently; works byJean Dubuffet were on view at FraMont from Greenwich. Works by Marc Chagall could be seen at Gilden's Art Gallery (London).
For dedicated collectors of sterling silver, or extravagant party-givers with sprawling dining rooms, then this show didn't disappoint. N. & I. Franklin's massive Duke of Leeds service for 24 arrived from London just in time for viewing. Dating from 1762, this George III fiddle thread and shell patterned flatware is attributed to silversmith Isaac Collard and is housed in a multi-drawer cabinet.
Back at the M.S. Rau Antiques booth, several curiosities including a WW II spy radio, a turn- of-the-century stock ticker and an original carousel horse from 1880, were on display along with a gorgeous, mid 1800s crystal decanter and game set—complete with a deck of cards, chips and a cribbage board--cleverly disguised a cigar cutter set up like a guillotine to snap off the tip of your stogie. And, on the scale of grandiose, just like the Duke of Leeds silver set, was a 19th century jewelry chest masquerading as a 7-foot-tall bureau, complete with enough shelves and drawers to stash hundreds of precious baubles.
While on the subject of jewelry, one of the country's premiere estate jewelers, Richter's from Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, brought out some of its vivid and vibrant David Webb and Jean Schlumberger treasures. Camilla Dietz Bergeron (www.cdbltd.com), specialists in fine antique period and estate jewelry, had impeccable examples of yellow gold bracelets and necklaces from houses like Cartier.
More treasures from this year's show can be found at www.avenueshows.com