New York City
by Lita Solis-Cohen
This Chelsea plate, painted with a blue anemone, hollyhock buds, foxglove leaves, a green-veined butterfly, and a lacewing butterfly, 1752, was $36,000 from Brian Haughton of London, who said he has never had a better or larger collection of Chelsea for sale. "The late Queen Mother loved Chelsea. Prince Charles has it all at Clarence House now," said Haughton, who also offered two rare, early oval Chelsea platters, one painted with grapes and the other with rhubarb and parsnips, for $46,000 each.
This Tiffany Magnolia and Wisteria four-panel landscape window had been exhibited in Masterworks of Louis Comfort Tiffany at the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., September 29, 1989-March 4, 1990. The exhibition traveled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and then to four museums in Japan. The center panes are clear glass, here backed with white paper. It was the show-stopper on the stand of Lillian Nassau LLC, New York City. Arlie Sulka said the price was under $5 million, and there was serious interest. Tiffany landscape windows made for domestic use are far rarer than those made for churches.
Kentshire, New York City, asked $375,000 for the rare pair of large Italian art glass and beaded urns on stands (possibly Venetian or Sicilian). They had been in Palazzo Brandolini on the Grand Canal in Venice when it was the home of John and Dodie Rosekrans. Dodie Rosekrans was a well-known socialite and arts patron during the second half of the 20th century. The urns are in front of a large polychrome 12-panel Chinese Coromandel screen depicting General Guo Ziyi in his manor, the reverse with 100 birds, all on a brown lacquer background, for $275,000. The William IV mahogany circular dining table with the maker's plaque of Johnson & Jeanes & Co., the top with radiating sections, and two sets of leaves creating three diameters, was $375,000. The 12 Sheraton mahogany dining chairs with brassbound leather-paneled crest rails and brassbound seats and tapering reeded legs ending in brass caps, circa 1795, were $185,000.
A show-stopper was this larger-than-life-size marble Roman Crouching Aphrodite, A.D. first or second centuries, after a Greek original from the mid-third century B.C.E., now lost. Phoenix Ancient Art, New York City and Geneva, asked $5 million for it. "There are examples in the Louvre, the British Museum, in Rome, and at the Metropolitan Museum in New York," said Hicham Aboutaam. He said it came from a Japanese collection and is in better condition than a similar one at the Met. Her arms and head had been carved separately and were lost.
The International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show is where the top collectors in the world convene. Sixty-six of them are passionate exhibiting dealers whose pursuit of quality is legendary. They will part with their treasures—at a price, generally a high one. Where will you find another?
Anna and Brian Haughton, the show managers, turn the drill room at New York City's Park Avenue Armory into an elegant, carpeted space, creating an atmosphere of optimal comfort for the study of works of art. The show has a quiet ambiance, except at the crowded preview party that benefits the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and raised more than $1 million this time. The party brings people of high wealth to the armory, and dealers hope it entices them to return to shop during the show's seven-day run.
The Haughtons' international show is the place to engage specialists in conversation about works of ancient art, the mysteries of porcelain manufacture, the architecture of furniture, the stylistic evolution of silver, and the connoisseurship of paintings, sculpture, and jewelry.
There are always more works of European art than American at this show. For the October 19-25, 2012, show, some of the show-stoppers came from the ancient world. There were inspiring works from Japan but very few from China. Two stands offered tribal arts. One stand displayed arms and armor, and two stands featured early globes and maps and books about exploration.
Five stands had silver, two of them specializing in 18th- and early 19th-century Georgian silver and two of them 20th-century silver, most of it from Denmark. Ten dealers offered jewelry, including watches. More than half a dozen dealers showed English furniture from the 17th through the 21st century, but just one dealer, Hirschl & Adler Galleries, offered 19th-century American furniture made in New York and Boston. American paintings were on four stands. Lillian Nassau LLC was the only dealer in Tiffany. Four of the more than one dozen art dealers had American paintings. Hyland Granby Antiques offered American and some British marine arts.
Twenty-four years ago, the Haughtons founded the International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show and introduced vetting and architectural show design to Americans. Brian Haughton, a London dealer in European porcelain, takes the largest stand at the fair, upfront and center, and fills it with a collection of museum-quality European porcelains.
As do many dealers, he offers an accompanying catalog. In his catalog, A Sense of Pleasure, Haughton and his brilliant assistant Paul Crane write about how Europeans perceived a vision of Cathay, creating a fashion for the exotic in the 18th century. The catalog illustrates the Meissen Chinese figures and Meissen figural Turkish sweetmeat stands that they showed at the fair. There were also Kloster-Veilsdorf figures of Turks playing musical instruments and Worcester porcelain Turks wearing jeweled turbans and ermine-trimmed coats. Haughton offered a Meissen incense burner in the form of a white porcelain seated pagoda figure, which was first in the collection of Augustus the Strong and is recorded in his first inventory of Böttger stoneware and porcelain in 1721.
For the gardeners among us, Haughton offered what he called the largest collection of Chelsea botanical plates he has ever had. One was painted with rhubarb and parsnips, another with anemones and hollyhock buds. And for the decorators there was a stunning Staffordshire pearlware dessert service with stylized blue lotus flowers on a deep coral-colored ground.
There were plenty of other "wow" moments at the 2012 international fair, including the crouching Aphrodite at Phoenix Ancient Art ($4.5 million), and at the stand of Tomasso Brothers Fine Art a marble bust of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius by the 16th-century French sculptor Nicholas Cordier, which was exhibited alone on the black-draped stand with a million-dollar price tag. The Tiffany Magnolia and Wisteria window at Lillian Nassau stopped everyone in their tracks. It could be had for less than $5 million.
So what sold? By noon of the first day, Ronald Phillips had sold a George II wing chair with early needlework upholstery, a mahogany center table from a design in Thomas Hope, a Georgian looking glass, and three Blue John urns. Todd Merrill found a buyer for an 8' long Cityscape sofa made by Paul Evans of mirrored metal and upholstered in tufted gray mohair that was sold through Directional in the 1970's.
Maison Gerard sold a pair of upholstered armchairs by Maxime Old (1910-1991). Jeffrey Beal Henkel had red dots on a pair of cast stone stools supported by monkeys. Hyland Granby Antiques sold a very large prisoner-of-war 116-gun vessel, the largest prisoner-of-war carving he ever owned.
On opening night London art dealer John Mitchell sold a small Jacob van Ruisdael landscape with a waterfall. Michael Goedhuis, London, sold two colored ink on paper scrolls by Lo Ch'ing (b. 1948), China All of a Sudden China!, 2012, each scroll 53.9" x 27.2". Whitford Fine Art, London, sold an Alexander Calder silkscreen print from 1947, a pair of Fernand Léger paintings in gouache from 1941, and several other Cubist and postwar works.
Hirschl & Adler Galleries sold furniture in the Aesthetic Movement taste, including a two-tiered square table of rosewood with brass, pewter, and copper inlay, attributed to A. & H. Lejambre, Philadelphia, circa 1880, priced at $80,000, and a mahogany side chair with mother-of-pearl, brass, copper, and pewter inlay, attributed to Herter Brothers, New York, circa 1880, at $100,000.
Lighting sells. H.M. Luther, New York City, sold a rare Murano 18-arm silvered metal and colorless glass chandelier, circa 1928, and a set of ten Murano glass patchwork ceiling or wall lights by Venini. Maison Gerard, New York City, sold a Pierre Cruege seven-light floor lamp. Koopman Rare Art, London, sold a pair of Regency silver four-light candelabra from the Picton service with Paul Storr's mark, similar to a pair at Windsor Castle. The asking price was $950,000.
The fair was not crowded with visitors during the week. The gorgeous weather on Saturday did not help. The right people came, including museum directors and curators, and business will continue in the months to come.
For more information, call (212) 642-8572 or check the Web site (www.haughton.com).
Earthenware cuchimilco figures from the Chancay culture, found in tombs in the Lima region of Peru, A.D. 1000, were $10,000 to $15,000 each from Douglas Dawson, who said he sold well.
|Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts, LLC, New York City, asked $95,000 for a large Grueby floor vase by Ruth Erickson. A smaller Grueby floor vase was $75,000. The pair of Tiffany lamps was $115,000. The 12½" x 9½" watercolor on paper by Oscar Bluemner (1867-1938), Summit, was $85,000.|
|The Haughtons are known for their elegantly simple fair designs that show off objects to their best advantage. Brian Haughton's own stand, at the front of the fair, was filled with European porcelains against ivory-colored cases and pedestals.|
|This 8½" x 11½" watercolor by Winslow Homer (1836-1910) had been purchased by Millicent Rogers for her son when he graduated from Harvard in 1953. It was $775,000 from Michael Altman Fine Art & Advisory Services, New York City.|
Resting Stag, Chinese, Eastern Zhou Dynasty, 6th to 7th century B.C.E., wood and lacquer, 28.5 cm high, was $600,000 from Gregory Ara Demirjian of Ariadne Galleries, New York City. It was one of the few pieces of Chinese works of art at the show.
|Shapero Rare Books, London, asked $1.2 million for a pair of Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638) terrestrial and celestial globes, circa 1630, and $15,000 for a set of rare photographs of the race to the moon in 1969-72.|
|A George II mahogany chest of drawers with serpentine-shaped top with figured mahogany veneer and molded edge, four graduated drawers, elaborate swan's-neck handles, later escutcheons, canted corners with applied carved fruit and leaves, and acanthus carved feet was $264,000 from Ronald Phillips Ltd., London. Ronald Phillips photo.|
|Eric Shrubsole, who will be 101 in April 2013, was at the show.|
Originally published in the January 2013 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2012 Maine Antique Digest