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The Spring Show NYC April 28 - May 2, 2011
April 22, 2011  | 
When the Spring Show NYC, opens its doors on April 28 to May 2 at the Park Avenue Armory, a diverse array of art and antiques will greet collectors and art aficionados of all tastes. From ancient artifacts to fine furniture to modern masterworks on canvas and mid-century decorative arts, fairgoers can count on finding a stellar piece to suit their style. Young collectors are also welcomed with a selection of exceptional items accessibly priced to suit the budding enthusiast. Most importantly, all works on display have been carefully vetted for authenticity in accordance with the strict standards of the Art and Antique Dealers League of America. Here we present a brief survey of some of the show’s most extraordinary pieces, spanning more than 2500 years in age.

Dating from the 6th century BCE, an important large Egyptian bronze statue of a kneeling Pharaoh ($950,000) from Royal-Athena Galleries is the oldest work on offer by far. This extremely rare figure has been modeled in the henu pose, a traditional gesture expressing jubilation. Only four other kings in this pose are known. Douglas Dawson exhibits an ancient wooden ossuary in the shape of a water buffalo ($110,000) carved by the Toradja people of Sulawesi, Indonesia. This huge example is covered in bas-relief geometric carvings in a Neolithic style.  Fast-forwarding to the Middle Ages, Engs-Dimitri Works of Art offers a 16th-century Flemish feuilles de choux (cabbage leaves) tapestry, adorned with fifteen animals and a solitary figure amongst verdant foliage. Also fit for hanging is The Penitent Magdalene ($325,000), an oil on canvas by Italian painter Onorio Marinari (1627-1716) at Robert Simon Fine Art.

Fine examples of furniture from this period can be found at the booths of several dealers. At Hyde Park Antiques, a Queen Anne, Japanned secretaire cabinet dates from 1710, while Clinton Howell Antiques offers an exceptional English rococo carved and gilded mirror frame in the style of Thomas Johnson ($275,000), circa 1755, which stands eight feet tall. Also from England is a pair of George III green-painted open armchairs, circa 1790, with pierced backs adorned with an unusual motif of a quiver and arrows, available at Kentshire Galleries.  Collectors of Continental furniture should visit the Dalva Brothers, where they will find a Louis XVI roll top desk, by A. L. Gilbert, with an adjustable fall-front for use while standing. Its delicate marquetry depicts scenes of classical ruins and townscapes with details in ivory and mother of pearl. Philip Colleck offers a Danish carved gesso and giltwood mirror frame ($34,500) with original gilding, backboard and plate all in excellent condition from 1720. An expansive (approximately 77 inches by 92 inches) and extremely rare tile picture of liveried servants from Valencia, Spain circa 1770 is at Carlton Hobbs. Adding to the mix is a Chippendale block-front kneehole desk in mahogany ($175,000) from George Subkoff, a rare piece from early America, circa 1760.

A broad array of 19th century fine and decorative arts from around the world will be up for the taking. Small-scale decorative arts offerings include a hard-to-find Leeds pearlware model of a stallion ($85,000), circa 1820-30, from Earle Vanderkar of Knightsbridge, while Yew Tree House presents an impressively-scaled English tavern sign of a retriever in painted iron and copper. Spencer Marks, Ltd. brings an elegant, Aesthetic Movement sterling silver and mixed metal water pitcher by Tiffany & Co. ($95,000), fashioned in the Japanese taste. No less graceful is a Manchu woman’s tien tzu headdress ($34,000) from the late Qing dynasty, embellished with kingfisher feathers, pearls, Peking glass, jade, agate, coral and quartz, at Jon Eric Riis. And lovers of Americana will want to head straight to Jeff Bridgman American Antiques, where they can purchase a rare hand-sewn, Civil War-era American flag, which features 34-stars arranged in the highly sought-after “great star” pattern.

Large-scale decorative arts offerings include an impressive Italian micro-mosaic tabletop on giltwood base ($65,000), the top depicting a partial view of the Roman Forum. Likely crafted in the Vatican Workshops circa 1820, it is available at European Decorative Arts Company. At Charles and Rebekah Clark Antiques, a Classical parlor suite in bird’s eye and figured maple veneer from Philadelphia, circa 1825, comprises a sofa, four chairs and a pair of footstools. The set is attributed to Michel Bouvier, ancestor of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and a furniture supplier to the White House. At O’Sullivan Antiques, an extremely rare English mahogany circular extension dining table, designed by Robert Jupe and complete with its original leaves, is circa 1840 and a further display of superb craftsmanship and technical mastery.

Fine art aficionados will find a Jean Baptiste Camilles Corot oil on canvas, Souvenir de Coubron; Soleil Couchant, at Rehs Gallery. And from Schiller & Bodo, an oil on panel from 1882, Il m’aime un peu, beaucoup ($95,000), by Belgian painter Jan Van Beers, thought to be one of Europe’s first photo-realists. Avery Galleries exhibits a work by American painter Philip Leslie Hale, “The Top of the Morning” (1898), of quality and provenance rarely found in works by Hale on the market today. Finally, fellow American artist William Lamb Picknell’s Paysage, “A Winter Day in Brittany” from 1881 can be seen at Thomas Colville Fine Art. The painting was Picknell’s entry to the Salon of 1881, following his most famous picture, “The Road to Concarneau”, now at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

The show’s roster of 20th-century pieces highlights the remarkable aesthetic shift that took place over the last hundred years in Europe and America. From the turn-of-the-century you’ll discover exquisitely ornamented furniture, like Charles Cheriff’s “Le Grand Bureau”—a magnificent, Belle Époque sculptural writing desk and accompanying chair by Francois Linke, which netted the Gold Medal at Paris’ Exposition Universalle in 1900. And from the same year, a walnut table with bone, copper and ebony inlay ($96,000) by Carlo Bugatti from Alexander Cohane. At Pierre/Famille, a precious 30.26 carat cushion-cut Cape diamond, dating from 1900 and set in a modern 18K yellow gold mount. It’s a wonderful example of early 20th-century stonecutting skill.

No less eye-catching is Questroyal Fine Art’s charming Impressionist pastel by Child Hassam, “Hollyhocks, Isles of Shoals” (1902), which beautifully showcases one of Hassam’s beloved subjects: the garden of friend and mentor Celia Laighton Thaxter.  Holster Fine Art offers a unique bronze sculpture forged just after the end of World War I, Soixante – Quinze (1920), by American veteran Herbert Haseltine. The work depicts one of the guns, a French 75mm rifle, used widely throughout the war. In contrast, a peaceful watercolor scene from 1924 by Carle Michel Boog, Concert in Central Park ($85,000) is available at N.P. Trent Antiques. Similarly serene is French Fauvist painter Louis Valtat’s Vase de Roses, an oil on canvas from 1938 at Abby M. Taylor Fine Art.

Mid-century modern will get its due too, with a rare sculpture by Harry Bertoia in iron and bronze from the 1950s. On view from Lost City Arts, the piece relates to a larger work, “Gold Tree”, that was produced in the early 1950’s and exhibited in the American Pavilion at the Brussels World Fair in 1958. At Vojtech Blau Helice (c. 1970s), is a colorful wool tapestry, designed by famed French artist Sonia Delaunay, whose work is currently on view at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum

UNDER $5,000
The Spring Show NYC welcomes the next generation of collectors with a selection of pieces priced to suit the budding enthusiast’s budget. At Royal-Athena Galleries, a 5th-century BCE Greek polychrome terracotta figure of a standing female ($4,500) bears purple edging along her chiton. Robert Simon Fine Art, offers a Madonna and Child oil on canvas ($5,000) attributed to Pietro Faccini dates from the 16th century.

From the 18th century comes a fine George III mahogany carving of an eagle on a custom-made modern ebonized wood stand ($4,800), available at Philip Colleck Ltd., while a circular Chinese export famille rose tureen and cover ($5,000), at Earle Vanderkar of Knightsbridge. An 18th-century Dutch Delft wall plaque in the Chinoiserie style, adorned with butterflies, birds, storks and a dog, is on display at Engs-Dimitri. European Decorative Arts will offer a late 18th-century French snuffbox in gold and gilt-metal.  19th and 20th century works include a beautifully detailed, Parian porcelain figural group from Charles and Rebekah Clark Antiques, illustrating Charles Bell Birch’s Wood Nymph, and a rare pair of British Regency pearlware obelisks in a sky blue hue ($3900) from Clinton Howell Antiques. Perfect for gift-giving is a pair of antique English gold acorn earrings ($4,500), circa 1870, at Kentshire Galleries. From George Subkoff, a pair of American cast-iron sunburst andirons ($2,500) is stamped with the seal of Bradley & Hubbard of Meriden, Connecticut, circa 1880.  San Francisco’s Rick Scott brings a rare late 19th-century Italian tiger’s eye and onyx veneered box, set in a harlequin pattern and mounted in a gold-plated copper frame ($3,995). A second flag from Jeff Bridgman American Antiques, bears 13 stars in the “Betsy Ross” pattern ($2,850) sewn around the turn of the last century. Flower lovers will admire Hayley Lever’s Lily ($4,000), an oil on board from Questroyal Fine Art. And from Ghana, a 17-inch-tall, 20th-century flywhisk handle in gold foil over wood ($2,800)is at Doug Dawson. Finally, a panel sculpture by Harry Bertoia at Lost City Arts measures nine feet square and exemplifies Bertoia’s use of meltcoat bronze during the early 1950s.