NEW YORK—With technology taking over so many aspects of our lives, a compelling New Year’s resolution might be to discover events like New York’s Winter Antiques Show, which celebrates history, heritage, and most of all, handmade artisan crafts. Or, if you’re curious about how world-class collectors, connoisseurs, and museum curators shop to augment their collections, then this leading art, antiques, and design fair is worth a trip—or at least (if you give in to technology) a visit to its website.
Visiting the Winter Antiques Show is similar to taking a visual history class of world culture. Each January, the show is held at the city’s Park Avenue Armory and highlights a mix of fine and decorative arts from antiquity to the present, with items from all over the globe.
Visitors will be able to see spears from the Ottoman Empire, antique needlework and cast iron toys, Chinese porcelain, Japanese ceramics and bronzes, sculpture, rare books and manuscripts, photographs, Oriental rugs, American folk art, fine miniature portraits, as well as vintage and estate fine jewelry.
Due to the convenience of the event’s location in New York, there are also exhibitors from the city, and from more than 50 other dealers in the United States.
Each object has been vetted for authenticity, date, and condition by a committee of 150 experts from the United States and Europe—all top experts in their fields.
From the moment you enter the building through a set of massive wooden doors and step onto the showroom floor, you will notice the sophisticated decor of the booths dramatized with lighting to complement the high-end art and objects on view.
This year, 70 exhibitors (dealers and galleries) are participating. A few noteworthy exhibitors dealing in antiques come from nearby, others from across the Atlantic.
Two English antique furniture dealers, Hyde Park Antiques from New York and Apter-Fredericks Ltd. from London, are interesting for their extensive collections of period furniture: Queen Anne era (1702–1714); the Georgian era, which spanned the reigns of Britain’s kings George I, George II, and George III (1714–1811); and the Regency era (1811–1820, sometimes considered to extend to 1837). All of these English furniture styles greatly influenced furniture design in the United States.
Hyde Park Antiques specializes in English antique furniture from the William and Mary era (predating and overlapping the Queen Anne style and transitioning to it from late Renaissance) through the Regency period. Clocks, chairs, bookcases, cabinets, desks, tables, and accessories like tea caddies reflect the lifestyle of these eras, with marquetry inlay, gilt, and rich woods like mahogany and rosewood.
Across the pond, in London, Apter-Fredericks focuses on 18th- and 19th-century English furniture. Besides advising members of the British royal family and the Victoria and Albert Museum, Harry Apter is one of the founders of The Masterpiece London, another internationally recognized art fair, held in June.
The exhibit will include Queen Anne, Georgian, and Regency pieces, with the works of Thomas Chippendale and Thomas Sheraton on view. Ornate carvings, inlays, and rich woods are the hallmarks of the Apter-Fredericks collection.
Founded in 1881, Aronson of Amsterdam is showing early and rare objects in the classic blue and white colorways produced by the Delft factories in the 17th century. Delftware was inspired by Chinese porcelain, which became fashionable among the upper classes as collectibles. When about 1650 Chinese porcelain became scarce, pottery manufacturers in the Dutch city of Delft filled the void with their own imitations, which were akin to Chinese porcelain but made from coarser clay. Delft pottery became so popular that it was sold and imitated by pottery and porcelain makers across Europe.
While most antique shows ignore children’s items, one exhibitor from New Jersey, Gemini Antiques Ltd., specializes in antique toys, soldiers, and mechanical banks, taking special care to add only world-class pieces to their collections.
Old Master Prints
Admirers of old master prints will be interested in Hill-Stone from South Dartmouth, Massachusetts. It is a private dealer in prints and drawings from the 15th century to the early years of the 20th century. The gallery’s extensive inventory includes German prints of the Renaissance, Dutch prints and drawings from the 17th century, as well as 16th-century art from Italy, France, and the Netherlands.
While the artists Hill-Stone represents may not be headliners, its drawings and prints are sought after by museums such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British Museum, the Louvre, the Fogg Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Getty Museum, among others.
The Winter Antiques Show runs through Jan. 28.
Isabelle Kellogg is a strategic consultant in communications and editorial content for fine jewelry, lifestyle, and life science clients.