NEW YORK—The International Show has been an annual must-see event for antique and contemporary art collectors the world over.
This year, the consensus from the public has been that of admiration for the bright color scheme and floral displays that complemented the wide range of art works spanning over 2,000 years of culture.
There were many highlights among the objects d’art on display from 67 top dealers.
It was hard to miss the Phoenix Ancient Art display, which included a breathtaking ensemble of Etruscan jewelry dated circa 500 B.C.—the gold filigree and agate necklace was once in the possession of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, whose name it bears.
Not far from it, and historically related in style, was a gold necklace in the James Robinson Inc. display. The Victorian necklace was made in the 1860s by Carlo Castellani. Connoisseurs of Victorian jewelry will be familiar with Castellani’s gold work as he created some of the best Etruscan revival pieces of the time. Yet the necklace can just as easily be appreciated by anyone due to its simple lines while also demonstrating intricate workmanship.
“Everything about it, the detail of the clasp, the detail of the underside is just exquisite,” said James Bonan of James Robinson Inc., five-generations of dealers who have been at the Park Avenue store since 1912.
London-based fair organizer Brian Haughton, who also specializes in 18th century English and continental ceramic works, commented on the advantages of the International Show, saying that the works on display are of museum quality, yet unlike at a museum, visitors are able to purchase them.
He added that the vetting committee is composed of collectors, dealers, as well as museum curators to ensure the authenticity of the works on show. The committee members remain anonymous and curators choose to participate because they can share their expertise while also learning from the experience. “It’s a give and take,” said Haughton.
Overall, this year’s show has proven to be “a beautiful, eclectic mix of art,” in the words of Erik Thomsen of Erik Thomsen Asian Art. He commented that collectors are attracted to the clean aesthetic of Japanese art and design pieces, which can be easily harmonized with contemporary décor styles.
The works on display at the eponymous gallery span from the 6th to 20th centuries, with unusual lacquerware and basketry pieces. Thomsen remarked that currently, lacquerware collectors are less concerned about the age of the pieces—what they look for, instead, is quality and design.
Although the majority of pieces at the art fair were European, Asian art was featured as well alongside Asian-art-inspired works.
One such example was an unusual bright red gilt and silver, Japanned secretaire-on-chest dated circa 1690 in the Frank Partridge gallery. The secretaire was decorated with elaborate chinoiserie scenes depicting figures and fantastical beasts in landscapes.
Partridge, who is a fourth generation antique dealer explained, “It’s incredibly rare to get lacquer in this condition made in the 1690s.”
This goes for many of the works on display at the The International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show this year—a reminder that once the show ends, the art works currently under the same roof will be found in individual galleries all over the world.