Monday, January 22, 2018

WINTER ANTIQUES SHOW 2018: Review by Polly Guerin

Imperial Peter the Great Easter Egg
Wandering through the historic Park Avenue Armory at the press preview of the Winter Antiques show found me stepping over rugs just being  laid down, hammers nailing into place last minute hangings and the air electrified by the exhibitors putting final touches on their booths. Such was the case last week, when the Armory was being transformed into a spectacular showcase for the evening's gala opening ceremonies.
     The WINTER ANTIQUES SHOW, the leading art, antiques and design fair in America, now in its 64th year, offers a week-long opportunity, through January 28, to view a dynamic mix of works dating from ancient times through the present day. Each object at the fair is vetted for quality and authenticity.
       Image: Among the VMFA works on display are the Russian firm, Faberge's Imperial Peter the Great Easter Egg, which was present to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna by Czar Nicholas II in 1903. It was created to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of St. Petersburg. Workmaster, Mikhail Perkhin used gold, platinum, silver gilt, diamonds, rubies, enamel, sapphires, watercolor on ivory and rock crystal in its creation. Bequest of Lillian Thomas Pratt. (Photo: VMFA) 
Still Life with Daisies, Arles, 1888, Vincent van Gogh,
The Winter Antique show invites one institution to showcase its collection during the show and this year the major feature is the loan exhibition from the (VMFA) VIRGINIA MUSEUM of FINE ARTS,"Collecting for the Commonwealth Preserving for the Nation, Celebrating a Century of Art Patronage, 1919-2018, which is an annual benefit for the East Side House Settlement, a community-based organization serving the Bronx and Northern Manhattan with programs which focus on education and technology as gateways out of poverty and as keys to economic opportunity. CHUBB is the presenting sponsor of the Winter Antiques Show. Open Daily 12 pm-8pm, Tuesday 12 pm-4:30 pm and Thursday and Sunday 12pm-6pm. Daily admission is $25 (includes catalogue). Tickets can be purchased at

       I was drawn to other notable works including Still Life with Daisies, Arles 1888, by Vincent Van Gogh from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon. Photo by Travis Fullerton (c) Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  Then, too, there is cause to mention Paul Storr's stunning Figure of Hebe, Beauford Delaney's Marian Anderson, and George Bellow's Tennis at Newport.  Together, the exhibition's 48 varied works reveal as much about the museum's maturation as the patrons, who have shaped the collection.
Parisian Lady 1910, Kees van Dongen
 If you are into samplers, as I am, exhibitors at the Winter Antiques Show include Stephen and Carol Huber's rare and dynamic sampler by sixteen year old Jane Elliott of Chester County, exquisite technique, featuring a large red building and a profuse ribbon border. Then, too, Lillian Nassau, Tiffany Lamps include the rare Bat Lamp, c. 1906, on of the few elaborate models produced by Tiffany Studios.
          I particularly admired the charming portrait
Parisian Lady (La Parisienne) also referred to as La Dame au Chien, 1910, by Kees van Dongen (Dutch painter 1877-1968) from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, featured in the VMFA collection.  In this portrait of a fashionable Parisian woman, the subject's attenuated shape sits in playful contrast to her oversize plumed hat and diminutive frolicking pet.  
        Bernard Goldberg Fine Art's image of The Opera Singer, 1927, by Guy Pene du Bois, is also a most engaging portrait. Du Bois made a gift of the painting to friend and dealer Antoinette M. Kraushaar in 1927.. A superb pair of antique brooches, c. 1890, caught my eye at Kentshire. In the form of Birds of Paradise with diamond bodies and emerald, sapphire and ruby plumage the birds can be worn as a single brooch when joined at their beaks by a pearl which is contained in a concealed compartment, quite amazing to say the least! At A La Vieille Russie look for the two porcelain covered cups in the form of Turkish Ladies' heads with jeweled headdresses, by the Gardner porcelain Factory, Russian, 1770-1790, they are quite entertaining. For information on the Show lecture series visit
      Ta Ta Darlings!!! You ought not miss this show, it's packed with amazing, some never-before- seen objects and art works. The exhibitors are very friendly and really welcome your visit and inquiries.  Fan mail always welcome at Visit Polly's Blogs on fashion, poetry, visionary men or women determined to succeed on and clink on the direct links in the left hand column.

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