Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Winter Antiques Show

The best grown-up scavenger hunt ever, American Antiques Week in NYC, is on. My first stop, the Winter Antiques Show, was wonderful... especially for fans who don't have time to cull the smaller auctions & shows for significant pieces.

For those who have never been, its location -- the Park Avenue Armory -- is magnificent. It was constructed from 1877 to 1881 for the 7th Regiment, the first militia to respond to President Lincoln’s call for volunteers in 1861. The Regiment hired prominent design firms in New York to create the interiors, most notably Associated Artists, a collaboration among Louis Comfort Tiffany, textile designer Candace Thurber Wheeler, the Hudson River school painter & decorator Samuel Colman, and ornamental woodcarver Lockwood de Forest. The Library, with abstract stained glass by Tiffany and a fireplace, latticework, and wainscoting designed by Stanford White, is one of the most stunning spaces in Manhattan.

With the Armory as backdrop, the forced Spring blooms were a magnificent adornment of the show's entry hall (check out the ceiling...)

And after walking under those fabulous blooms, I'm in. I must admit that after hearing Leigh Keno (perviously of American Antiques, currently of Traditional Modern) & twin Leslie speak at an August Antiques Show lecture on Nantucket a few years back, and following Leslie around Sotheby's as he explained the provenance of a few key American pieces to some clients last year, I'd really hoped to see them here. Leigh had a prominent space and great pieces, but the man himself was, hmmm, perhaps shopping elsewhere?

Regardless, the show was packed with fabulous examples of Americana. My untrained eye, however, kept going back to this New England blanket chest. I love its fresh color, the simplicity of the design, and the incredible vinegar-based faux finish...

(Can you see that?  It says $48K)  Happily it was featured in the Catalogue, because a photograph of this fabulous piece is all I'll be cherishing...

1 comment :

  1. I'm heading over tonight. Always great fun. By the way, Keno is never in his booth. NE-VER.