NEW YORK—A smorgasbord of stunning fine art and antiques, brought to New York’s Park Avenue Armory by more than 60 of the top dealers in the world, is being glamorously staged for the large crowds of collectors expected to flow through on Oct. 18–25.
The key to success for The International Fine Art & Antique Dealers Show, which is considered America’s top international art and antiques event, is a combination of elements.
First there’s the doubly great location. New York City is known as the crossroads of the world, and the venue itself—the Park Avenue Armory—is part palace, part industrial shed reminiscent of a 19th century European train station. The armory is undoubtedly grand with 55,000 square feet of space.
On top of that, organizers Brian and Anna Haughton have a flair for creating a unique yet elegant event, and years of experience pulling together the best of the best dealers. Meanwhile, the strict vetting process reassures buyers and is the glue that holds it all together.
Founded in 1989, this world-renowned show is responsible for introducing New York to its first vetted fair. Vetting, a stringent quality and authenticity filter, makes sure buyers will get what they pay for, and it keeps the standards and reputation of the industry high.
The opening night reception on Thursday, Oct. 18, will give ardent collectors a first-dibs peek and a chance to raise serious cash for The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, starting at $5,000 a ticket.
For those who don’t have the golden tickets, we can offer a sneak peek at some of the works that they’ll be running their eyes and fingers over. Doors open to the public on Friday, Oct. 19, at 11 a.m., with a $20 admission fee.
The works of art span continents and millennia, from antiquity to contemporary, including furniture, paintings, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, glass, clocks, watches, arms and armor, rare books, manuscripts, jewelry, objets de vertu, Fabergé, silver, antiquities, maritime pieces, and ethnographic art.
A standout sculpture. A magnificent 17th century marble bust from Rome of the emperor Lucius Verus (A.D. 130–169) is presented by Tomasso Brothers Fine Art from London. The company’s website says that the Bernini-era work is “inspired by an ancient prototype and typifies the resurgence of a taste for the antique prevalent among the illustrious families of Rome during the lifetime of Bernini.” It stands quite tall at 35 inches high.
“Its early date is confirmed by the unmistakably Baroque flamboyance in the shaping and carving of the hair and of the tunic covering the military cuirass … It is interesting to note that Bernini, although the practice was known in ancient times, was the modern sculptor believed to have re-introduced the full and deep carving of the iris. The fluidity of the leather tie securing the cuirass is also typical of Roman Baroque sculptors from the circle of Bernini.
“The important provenance of this impressive bust reflects the high degree to which generations of cultured connoisseurs and collectors have esteemed and regarded the sculpture,” according to the website description.
Incidentally, an exhibition of Bernini’s clay models and sculptures opened earlier this month at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A fabulous vase. Designed by William Burges in 1867 and manufactured in 1871, this 19th century “robin’s egg” turquoise glazed vase and cloisonné lid is mounted with English silver gill mounts and is embellished with rubies and emeralds. The lovely little treasure stands 7.5 inches tall, and the design drawing for it is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. You’ll find this vase at the H. Blairman & Sons Ltd. booth from London.
From the Japanese Palace. This item is an exceptionally rare white Bottger Meissen porcelain incense burner in the form of a seated Chinese pagoda figure from the Japanese palace, circa 1750–1720. Once part of a six-piece set at the palace, it went on to belong to Augustus II (Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony, King of Poland). This piece is presented by the Brian Haughton Gallery, a porcelain specialist and the founder of the show.
Saturday, Oct. 20: 11 a.m. – 7.30 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 21: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 22: 11 a.m. – 7.30 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 23: 11 a.m. – 7.30 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 24: 11 a.m. – 7.30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 25: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
$20 (Tickets available on the door).
The Park Avenue Armory, Park Ave. at 67th St., New York
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