Spring Show NYC reaps praise; opening night benefits ASPCA
NEW YORK – It was a not-to-be-forgotten evening for art lovers. At very same moment Munch’s Scream was bringing the highest price ever paid for a work of art, the Spring Show NYC brought its own impressive audience into the Park Avenue Armory to see what the 63 top-tier international dealers had to offer. Organized by the Art and Antique Dealers League of America (AADLA), the 4-day Spring Show NYC, which opened on May 3, has in just two years become for antiques and art enthusiasts as much a herald of a new season for beautiful things as the tulips, dogwoods, and redbud trees in nearby Central Park.
“The second year for the four-day Spring Show NYC has truly proven that it is really going places,” says Clinton Howell, president of the AADLA, noting the high interest generated by the show, evidenced by both attendance and sales. According to Howell, 90% of the dealers have signed on to return next year.
That enthusiasm was reflected in the turnout of more than 1,300 guests for the show’s Opening Night Preview on May 2, an event sponsored by luxury goods website 1stdibs and benefiting the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®). The Spring Show NYC lent further support to the organization via a novel approach. Thanks to participating dealers, a portion of the sale of animal-themed works at the show went to help the ASPCA® continue its mission.
A half-dozen photogenic ASPCA®-rescued dogs greeted Spring Show NYC guests who included Honorary Co-chairs Amy Fine Collins, Hilary Geary Ross and Wilbur Ross; Jonathan and Somers Farkas; as well as Connoisseur Committee members Michael Bruno, Mario Buatta, Robert Couturier, Ellie Cullman, Duane Hampton, Steven Gambrel, Geoffrey Bradfield, Bunny Williams, John Roselli, Dennis Rolland, Darren Henault, Christopher B. Boshears, Timothy Van Dam and Ron Wagner, Susan Gutfreund, Edward Lobrano, Jean Shafiroff, Deeda Blair, Todd Black, Ronald Bricke, Noel Jeffrey, Bennett Weinstock, Harry Heissmann, and John Robshaw. Also seen perusing the aisles were fashion personalities Carolina Herrera and Allegra Versace.
“Being the Opening Night beneficiary of the AADLA Spring Show NYC was once again a huge honor for the ASPCA®,” said Todd Hendricks, senior vice president of development for the ASPCA®. “We are grateful that we were able to participate and would like to thank everyone who made the event such a success.”
Throughout the Armory, acclamation for the event abounded from the participating dealers.
Stefanie Rinza, managing director of Carlton Hobbs, said: “Like last year, we were delighted with the quality and variety of objects on offer, as well as the clients who attended. The fair was particularly well marketed to new collectors, but at the same time we saw all of New York’s top decorators, and many of our important clients who had traveled here from out of town. We’ve already reserved our space for next year.”
Alan Stone of Hill-Stone, specialists in Old Masters prints and drawings, said: “Even though there was enormous competition because of the Munch sale at Sotheby’s on the night of the Opening, people still showed up in droves, and the evening went off very well indeed.” Hill-Stone sold Camille Pissarro’s Bord de l’Epte (à Eragny), a pastel signed and annotated by the artist, 1890, $105,000; a Rembrandt etching from 1655 titled Goldsmith; a Giovanni-Domenico Tiepolo work titled Family Setting Out for the Hunt; and a 17th-century Italian drawing that went for five figures.
“The Spring Show was all the things an antiques fair should be, relaxed and fun,” noted first-time participant Nicholas Grindley. “People seemed genuinely interested as opposed to just walking around and looking.” Grindley saw purchases for two Indian 18th-century ivory figures of Brahman bulls; a natural wood branch painted to resemble coral, from the 19th century; a pair of large Qing Dynasty hongmu square stools; a suite of American rug beaters from the early 20th century; a forged Japanese iron seaweed gatherer from the late 19th century; a round 19th-century keyaki wood step with two inset lifting handles; an 18th-century calligraphed paperweight; and an 18th-century Chinese malachite brush washer.
Said Michael Pashby, who presented fine English furniture: “Rarely have I seen a level of attendance that high on an Opening Night. And the astuteness and taste of the attendees was outstanding. Pashby sold a painting and a George II mahogany and inlaid chest-on-chest, circa 1760.
“Opening Night was spectacular,” said Lawrence Thompson of Sundial NYC, which focuses on fine antique clocks. “This is the first time Sundial has been at the Spring Show, so we have a bit of catching up to do. I spoke to many lovely people and got to know the crowd. I feel I was laying a very valuable foundation for future sales.” Among the sales Sundial NYC made during the Spring Show: A circa 1785 English mahogany musical and animated bracket clock, and a pair of circa 1900 giant musical carriage clocks.
Paul Vandekar of Earle Vandekar of Knightsbridge said: “I had very good sales on Opening Night — pottery, Chinese export porcelain, a French red marble urn from the 1830s. The Opening was such great fun, and there was a young crowd sporting good energy. And they loved what I had to sell, the mixture of it all!” Additional items sold include: A pair of Irish portrait miniatures by Nathaniel Hone, 1761; a portrait miniature of a young woman, signed C. Tridon, née Sattler, first half of the 19th century; a Darby botanical porcelain plaque from 1825; a Chinese export cache pot depicting pomegranates and bananas, circa 1750-75; a Chinese rose Mandarin cache pot; and three Chinese trade watercolors from 1840-1860.
Howard Rehs of Rehs Galleries had this to say about the Spring Show: “I was impressed that the clientele it draws are serious people who are truly interested, and very knowledgeable.” Rehs also feels that the economy is on the upswing. “I can tell people are beginning to feel comfortable about spending their money again,” he says, adding, “They know it’s not doing anything anywhere else.” Rehs Galleries realized several sales, including: Tangible Reprieve and Tough Choices, two oils by Timothy Jahn; Dusk’s Prelude to Evening with Moon, an oil by Ben Bauer; and The Constant Gardener by Guy Combes.
Susan Jacobson of Leo Kaplan Ltd., remarked: “The Opening was a lot of fun and very well attended. I saw a lot of people I was hoping to see. My feeling is that people came on opening night with the intention of getting a good first-look so they could come back later to buy.” For Jacobson, her intuition proved correct, with sales of a Paul Stankard Orb from 2012, five paperweights, and a rare 18th-century English teapot, circa 1760.
“We saw old clients, who brought new friends, which we always like,” said Wallace Bowling of Douglas Dawson, specialists in ethnographic arts. “The show had such a buzz about it.” Among the Douglas Dawson sales: A 19th-century Burkino Faso bracelet with figures, sold to Ball State Museum, Muncie, Indiana; a Warren Frederick platter with a natural ash glaze; and a 20th-century Nigerian crown.
William Luft of John Atzbach Antiques, specialists in Imperial Russian antiques and art objects, observed: “The Spring Show draws the kind of sophisticated crowd you find only in New York, and because of that, I had a lot of interest in my items” Reported sales include several Fabergé enamels, including a box, as well as pieces by Feodor Rückert, who worked for the house of Fabergé.
One of the most exciting Openings ever!” exclaimed Linda Bernell of Linda Bernell Gallery. “It was bustling with all of New York, extremely lively and exciting, and everyone was happy, with a smile on their face as they walked in. They were socializing but also very interested in the booths. Out of all shows, the Spring Show is the most elegant and has the highest level of excitement.” Among the paintings sold were: François Gall’s oil on canvas titled La Famille Gall sur la Plage de Trouville; two watercolor and ink works on paper by Paulémile Pissarro: Chaumière près de l’Orne and L’Orne à Cantepie; Le Village du Viadre by Bela de Kristo, dated 1955; and a mint-condition 1820s French Neoclassical ormolu clock with Psyche and Venus.
Mark McHugh of Spencer Marks commented: “It was a lively crowd, one who clearly loved the show and came with a great collector mentality. We were very busy. The attendees love the diversity of the merchandise at Spring Show. There’s something here for everyone.” Among the Spencer Marks sales: A silver Art Deco vase once owned by Andy Warhol; a Tiffany punch bowl with walrus-mask handles; an American silver figurative fish dish from 1884; an 1876 American trompe l’oeil silver plate; an English Regency sterling-silver epergne, circa 1819, by Rebecca Emes and Edward Barnard; and a Tiffany Aesthetic Movement coffee pot from the late 19th century.
To attract fledgling collectors, the Spring Show NYC invited the young members of 20 prominent cultural organizations for Arts’ Night Out, co-chaired by Emily Collins, Margaret Moore, and Abigail Starliper, on May 4th. More than 600 novice collectors attended.
The next Spring Show NYC is slated for April 24-28, 2013.
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