The 21st annual International Fine Art & Antique Dealers Show, which ran from October 16-22, 2009 at the Park Avenue Armory, New York City, drew record crowds. Highly coveted and historically important pieces sold to discerning collectors and institutions and audience response was extremely positive. The prestigious “International Show” – which is the flagship fair organized by Anna and Brian Haughton – has retained its position as the premier showcase in America for top dealers from Europe and the United States for more than two decades.
Rembrandt Bugatti, Italian, (1884-1916), ‘Puma’, 1911. Bronze, Hébrard foundry, Paris, 19 inches wide Sladmore Gallery
The 21st Annual Preview Party on Thursday evening October 15th benefited Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, raising nearly $700,000 for the charity. Among the roughly 1,000 partygoers who flooded the aisles of the Armory were New York’s most notable art collectors, philanthropists, and business and social leaders. The Preview Party offers patrons a first peek at the dazzling collection of fine art and antiques and the opportunity to support the hospital. Founded in 1946, The Society of MSKCC is a volunteer organization dedicated to promoting the well-being of patients and their families, while also supporting cancer research and providing public education on the prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer.
Most exhibitors commented on the consistently high caliber of people who came through the show and the new buyers in the market. In addition to the business done at the fair, many dealers expected that pieces would continue to sell long after the fair closed, to people they met at the show. Among the notable visitors to the International Show this year were Steve Martin, Bruce Willis and his wife Emma Hemming, Calvin Klein and Trudy Styler.
Sales were strong in several major categories and there was much dealing with museums, Throughout the course of the fair curators from museums and private collections revisited booths examining and discussing the purchase of a piece. Many of these dealings were concluded on the spot and others will take months to finalize.
Brian Haughton said: “The collectors who attend our fairs are generally highly sophisticated in their taste and are often extremely knowledgeable, but the vetting process, which we introduced to fairs in America in 1989, is an invaluable resource that gives buyers the extra security that they can buy with confidence. We believe our Vetting Committee members, some of the most prestigious experts in the world, continue to maintain the most stringent conditions in the industry.”
At the Opening Night Preview Party for Sloan-Kettering Bernard J Shapero Rare Books of London, UK, sold one of only seven known examples of the massive ‘Ricci Map’ to a philanthropist for a sum in the region of a million dollars. The map will be gifted to a major public institution in the near future and will remain in the United States.
The map of the world was made by the Italian Jesuit priest, Matteo Ricci in 1602 and shows the world with China at the centre. It is the first map in Chinese to show the Americas, and the first printed map to incorporate both eastern and western cartography.
The massive 12ft by 5ft wall map is printed on rice paper from six enormous wood blocks and designed to be mounted on a folding screen. It is one of only seven known examples. There is no other example known in either the US or China. It is the second most expensive printed map ever sold (the first was the Waldseemuller world map – the first to name ‘America’ – which is now in the Library of Congress).
Also on the Opening Night, London dealer Apter-Fredericks was delighted to sell the celebrated ‘Worsley’ chairs. The important pair of George III giltwood armchairs by the most famous 18th century English cabinet maker, Thomas Chippendale, was acquired by a New York private collector.
The chairs, circa 1775, have a fascinating provenance having been part of a suite of furniture supplied by Thomas Chippendale for the drawing room of Lord and Lady Worsley’s house, Appuldurcombe on the Isle of Wight, and they later belonged to the Maharaja of Baroda. The backs and seats of the chairs are covered in English 18th century floral tapestry and the asking price was in the region of $120,000.
Apter–Fredericks also sold a very rare carved mahogany kettle stand with hairy paw feet, circa 1760, to a different American collector, (asking price in the region of $180,000).
Agnew’s (London) sold exceptionally well at the fair. According to Julian Agnew, Chairman of Agnew’s, “the selection of works of art on our booth at this year’s Fair was as fine as I can remember, the result of a shift in the market towards private dealing and away from auction.” We showed an enormous variety of works of art from different periods but they were united by a single theme of high quality.” Agnew’s sold a group of Old master paintings and drawings from a very distinguished Australian private collection, many of them bought privately from Agnew’s over the last forty years and now back on the market for sale by private treaty.
Agnew’s sold some major paintings including Théophile Blanchard (1820-1849) entitled Vue Prise a Eu, dated 1846. The Château D’Eu was the Summer Palace of King Louis-Philippe ‘The Citizen King’ from 1830-1848. Agnew’s also parted with two much admired drawings: a stunning Horse Study, 1984 by Dame Elizabeth Frink (1930-1993), D.B.E.R.A. and a beautiful drawing by Jean-Francois Millet (1814-1875), Study of Reclining Female Nude.
English furniture and decorations at Ronald Phillips Ltd. (London) sold extremely well, including several pairs of important chairs, mirrors and decorations. Simon Phillips commented that they had a great fair and will continue to sell afterwards.
Clinton Howell Antiques exhibited at the fair with Donald Heald Rare Books (New York) and sold one of the fair’s most intriguing pieces: A rare and beautiful mahogany Johnstone and Jeanes patented expanding round dining table, having three sets of leaves, circa 1850. The mechanism for expanding the table was patented by Robert Jupe and John Johnstone in 1835. Johnstone and Jeanes formed a partnership in 1842. The center nut is stamped JOHNSTONE JEANES AND CO., PATENTEES, 67 BOND ST. LONDON. The table sold for in the region of $425,000.
Bernd Goeckler Antiques, New York, one of the fair’s new exhibitors sold an extraordinary set of fourteen solid oak Dining Chairs, by Alfred Porteneuve (1896-1949), France, Art Deco, ca. 1935-40. Porteneuve was cthe nephew of Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, whose company he controlled after Ruhlmann’s death. The chairs were priced $185,000. Bernd Goeckler also sold a Pair of Important Mirrors by Barovier & Toso, Italy, ca. 1950 for $120,000; a Pair of Important Barovier & Toso Sconces for $97,000; a Pair of Jules Leleu Sconces (1883-1961), France, ca. 1940 for $21,500 for the pair; an Edgar Brandt (1880-1960), France, Art Deco, ca. 1930 for $22,500, an Elizabeth Garouste (b. 1949) “Ramses” Floor Lamp for $28,000 and an Angelo Lelli Floor Lamp (Italy, Arredoluce), 1950s for $23,000.
Brian Haughton Antiques (London) sold English Regency porcelain; Italian Faience and items of continental ceramics. Major pieces of Faience are being considered by museums. He also sold a fine Yorkshire cream ware model of a Bay Stallion in ‘Pratt’ colors, standing in a strong naturally braced position, dated 1821.
Antique silver found favor at the fair with the silver exhibitors doing strong business. Lewis Smith, Director of Koopman Rare Art (London), commented that “business was very, very good indeed and far more buoyant than we ever expected.” Koopman said that new and old clients alike were actively buying and pieces by Paul Storr were especially in favor. Koopman sold a Paul Storr Silver Tray, an Entrée dish and Soup Tureen Suite.
Lillian Nassau (New York) showed and sold important Tiffany Studios mosaic and bronze items designed at the turn of the century by Clara Driscoll. She was the focus of the exhibition, “A New Light on Tiffany Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls” which was held at the New York Historical Society in 2007 and is now on view at the Stuck Villa in Munich until January 2010. Driscoll was the designer of many of the Tiffany Studios lamps and objets d’art that were produced in the early part of their production. She had worked in almost anonymity until this landmark exhibition revealed her role at Tiffany Studios. Sales from this group at the fair include a unique iridescent mosaic inkwell. Lillian Nassau sold other Tiffany items including a very rare enamel copper vase and a hanging lamp with a design of daffodils as well as a group of French studio pottery and a French art nouveau desk and chair. Eric Silver, Gallery Director commented “that this is probably the best fair we’ve ever had, anywhere. We did exceedingly well.”
Charles Ede (London) sold important pieces of antiquity including once of his star pieces: A Calyx crater, Greek, 5th century BC, to a private U.S. collector for in the region of $200,000; a sizeable Etruscan bronze stamnos of typical form, 5th century BC, for around $24,000 and a Roman marble statue of Ceres shown seated holding a cornucopia. She wears a high-girdled chiton and a veil over her hair, 1st – 2nd century AD. 26.9″ (68.5cm) high. Fractures at her waist and to the cornucopia repaired; nose and lower right arm and part of the cornucipa restored in the 18th century. Ex. Collection Earl of Pembroke, Wilton House. Asking price in the region of $200,000.
New Exhibitor Jason Jacques (New York) reported that it was a very positive show with “excited and curious collectors in our booth every minute for the first five days of the fair.” Jason Jacques did “brisk business to institutions, which is a good sign that they are once again actively on the hunt.”
H. Blairman & Son Ltd. (London) sold an important and well-documented armchair by Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928), oak, with rush seat, Scottish, (Glasgow), circa 1897.
Primavera Gallery (New York), specialists for over 40 years in the finest and most interesting decorative items, jewellery, furniture and paintings associated with the major design movements of the 20th and 21st century enjoyed fantastic sales at the fair. In addition to stunning signed pieces of jewellery, they parted with an important chest of drawers by Phillip Lloyd Powell (1919-2008, America, ca. 1960s in carved wood, 31.5 x 72 x 20 in.
Erik Thomsen (New York) a specialist in Japanese works of art was bowled over as a first time exhibitor at the IFAADS by sales and crowds. He had strong institutional interest in his pieces and sold to private collectors as well. He sold a major 17th century Rimpa school screen in the region of $100,000 to a New York private collector as well as a dozen Japanese gold lacquer boxes and signed masterpieces by bamboo artists.
Wienerroither & Kohlbacher (Vienna) are top specialists in classic Austrian modern artists, including works by the great names of early 20th century Austrian art, such as Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka and Josef Floch. The fair proved to be a great platform for Wienerrother & Kohlbacher who sold works by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Oskar Kokoschka in the first few days.
Nearly 100 museums curators attended the fair from institutions such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Baltimore Museum of Art, Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Arts, Design and Culture, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Art, Cooper Hewitt, The Forbes Collection, Kimbell Art Museum, Museum of the City of New York, Peabody Essex Museum, Clark Institute, Chrysler Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Jewish Museum, Morgan Library, Yale University Art Gallery, Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Gallery (Washington, DC), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Frick Collection, The Guggenheim Museum, St. Louis Museum of Art; The Detroit Institute of Art, Wadsworth Atheneum, Princeton Art Museum and the Fogg Art Museum.
The Haughton Organization has just announced a major new fair in London Art Antiques London, which is confirmed to take place. The fair will be held in a purpose-built marquee in Kensington Gardens, opposite the Royal Albert Hall, from the 9th-16th June 2010. One of the city’s most prestigious and central addresses, the location will provide a superb backdrop to one of the most exciting and glamorous art and antiques fairs ever held in London.
Haughton International Fairs were inaugurated in 1982 with The International Ceramics Fair & Seminar. The fairs are fully international, with around 300 exhibitors from 15 countries.