The inaugural Spring Show NYC roared into town for its five-day run with a benefit preview for The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®), on Wednesday, April 27. Organized by the Art and Antique Dealers League of America (AADLA) and sponsored by 1stdibs, the inaugural fair met with a resounding thumbs-up response from the exhibitors, collectors, interior designers, and curators.
According to Michael Franks, CEO of The Art Fair Company, which produced the Spring Show NYC, 90 percent of the dealers reserved for the 2012 edition with only 7 spaces available. "There is a waiting list of top-notch dealers from which the AADLA can choose to further elevate the stature of their show," said Franks.
1,495 people made their way to the opening night of the show, despite traffic grinding to a halt in the vicinity of the Park Avenue Armory due to President Barack Obama's visit to the Upper East Side. To set the festive mood for the occasion, visitors entering the Armory were met by two enormous floor to ceiling rear projection screens featuring the singing and dancing in a Busby Berkley musical from the 1930s. Irresistible rescue dogs lined the entrance and greeted visitors as they made their way into the main exhibition hall.
Once inside, the fair-goer was instantly struck by the spectacular vaulted ceiling which integrated the structure's intricate metalwork with the show's design scheme, carried out by Swedish designer Lars Bolander. Adding to this visual tour de force were the individual stands themselves. Each one was painted in a bold color selected by the individual dealer.
"I'm thrilled with the opening," said Clinton Howell, president of the AADLA. "It was more than any of us anticipated." Continental furniture specialist, Leon Dalva, concurred and said "the crowd included collectors and connoisseurs who knew what they were looking at." He and the majority of dealers said that this fair brought in many new buyers whom they never met before. "It was a fabulous opening and enjoyable to see a new affluent crowd," said carpet specialist Peter Pap.
Stefanie Rinza, managing director of Carlton Hobbs, said the evening was a great success with a tremendous amount of buzz and energy. "We are very impressed with the caliber of the clientele we are meeting here," she said. Carlton Hobbs concurs." We are most impressed with the high level of quality and the broad variety of pieces on show here."
First time exhibitor Alexander Cohane, a twentieth century decorative arts specialist, said that he "met many of my important clients on opening night and that there was a very good mix of people who attended." Kim Hostler of Hostler Burrows, another twentieth century exhibitor, said: "We had a great opening with the some of the best decorators in the city, some of whom brought their clients. I've sent out 20 emails of pieces to a nice mix of residential designers."
Bold-face names seen perusing the aisles were Honorary Co-chairs Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, fashion designer Valentino, Beth de Woody, The Edge from U2, "King's Speech" director Tom Hooper and Tara Subkoff, Chloe Sevigny, the New York Post columnist Cindy Adams, Leigh Keno, and Michael Bruno, founder of 1stdibs.
Top interior designers included Mario Buatta, David Kleinberg, John Roselli, Susan Gutfreund, Lars Bolander, Maureen Footer, Timothy Van Dam and Ron Wagner, Joanne DePalma, DeBare Saunders and Ronald Mayne. Brett Beldock, Tom Scheerer, Matthew Patrick Smyth, Juan Pablo Molyneux, Alex Papchristidis, Noel Jeffrey, Michael Reynolds, Samuel Botero, Michael Simon, Ronald Bricke, Mariette Himes Gomez, Dennis Rolland, Thomas Hamel, Ellie Cullman, Tony Ingrao, and Bennett Weinstock.
To attract budding collectors, the Wednesday evening benefit preview was followed up with a lively Arts' Night Out reception for the young patrons of 19 prominent cultural groups on Friday evening with over 350 people in attendance. Emily B. Collins, who works at Clinton Howell Antiques, co-chaired the event with Margaret Moore, and Abby Starliper. "We were very pleased with the turnout," said Collins. "We received great response to Arts' Night Out and have a great foundation on which to build for next year."
Steady sales were reported in all the collecting categories. Here is a survey of the transactions during the five-day show: At silver specialist Spencer Marks, the Pomfret Altar Vases: American Arts & Crafts Silver and Gold Altar Vases Arthur J. Stone and Herbert Taylor, Gardner, MA 1915 were taken for consideration by a major American museum. According to Mark McHugh, the vases were in storage for 70 years. "We owned them for a few years and waited for the right venue to introduce them to the public," he said. Also sold were a pair of Austrian Wienner Werkstatte silvered metal vases by Josef Hoffman, Vienna, mid-1920s and a Monteith bowl by S. Kirk & Sons, 1868-90.
Enthusiasts of English and Continental furniture and decorative arts were enticed by the offerings at a number of galleries. Michael Pashby reported brisk sales including a late 17th century oak and fruitwood coaching table, circa 1680, an English George II mahogany chest of drawer by John Pardue, 1740 and a mid-18th century elm and oak cricket table. At Jayne Thompson Antiques, a Welsh oak dresser base, circa 1740, was sold.
A pair of unusually designed George III green-painted square-back open armchairs with pierced backs decorated with quiver and arrow motif, over caned seats on tapering square legs, circa 1790, at Kentshire Galleries, while a pair of English Sheraton satinwood cabinets with rosewood banding, were snapped up by a collector at Philip Colleck Ltd.
Charles Cheriff Galleries sold a highly important late 19th Century pair of Marquetry Pedestals with exceptional gilt bronze mounts of lion heads and paws, by Zwiener Jansen Successeur.
And at N.P. Trent, a pair of Veneto Rococo console tables, circa 1750 and a 19th century blackamoor candelabra were sold.
At Yew Tree Antiques. Kevin Kleinbardt reported several sales including a portrait of an English Springer spaniel painted as a three-dimensional wood-carving, 1860; a 17th century Child's Diminutive boarded settle, and a 17th century refectory bench from Oxford University. Across the aisle Patrick Bavasi also reported good sales including a Regency occasional table, a Regency Japanned étagère, and numerous decorative objects including English brass door -stops and an English leather footrest.
At Clinton Howell Antiques, a pair of stunning ivory and mahogany Japanese lamps, circa, 1950 and a French Art Deco Double-Armed Snowflake-shaped sconces with Beveled Mirror Glass, circa 1940 were sold, while George Subkoff sold a set of four terra cotta carnival molds, as well as an Austrian burl walnut two-drawer miniature chest with saber shaped legs, circa 1810-1820. An English partners desk, circa 1755, was purchased at G. Sergeant, and Janice Paull reported a buyer for an early English Staffordshire dinner service, circa 1795.
Paul Vandekar, of Earle Vandekar of Knightsbridge, Inc, reported sales of a number of important works, including a Superb English Woolie of a Royal Navy Ship, Circa 1865-70; a wonderful British Sailor's Woolwork Picture, The Superb of London, Signed Guernsey, E. Pill & dated 1882; and a Flight & Barr Worcester Sea Shell Decorated Inkwell, Shell painting by Samuel Smith, circa 1800-05, while a bird enthusiast purchased a spectacular set of 18 framed Engraving of Birds, after Catesby's The Natural History of a Carolina, Florida & The Bahama Islands, by Johann Michael Seligmann, Nuremberg, (1749-76).
Snuff-boxes were snapped up Rick Scott's stand. Among them an early 20th century padlock shaped as a violin, an Anglo-Indian water buffalo horn box, circa 1850, and a Chinese export lacquer decorated tea caddy.
American furniture and decorative arts aficionados headed to Jeff Bridgman American Antiques , where an avid collector purchased a rare Cradle of Liberty patriotic crib quilt, circa 1861, signed by Amelia Johnson, while Charles & Rebekah Clark, sold a classical mahogany work table, from Boston, circa 1825.
Asian art collectors discovered that there was much to entice the eye. Orientations Gallery sold a magnificent lacquer scholars stationary box which was a gift from the Meji Emperor to an imperial princess, 1912 and a magnificent early 20th century antique obi to an internationally renowned fashion designer, while at Jon Eric Riis - his own design of black freshwater pearl and metallic thread tapestry sold. Naga Antiques, sold an early 20th century two panel Kyoto lacquer standing screen of gladiolas as well as a selection of Japanese lacquer boxes, bronze sculptures and vases. Peter Rosenberg of Vallin Galleries reported sales to a new client who picked up a 19th century Japanese Bronze Buddhist Pagoda, and an 18th century cast iron bronze image of a standing Parvati. E & J Frankel a number of pieces were purchased, including Scholar and Painter, by Zhang Daicheng , circa 1931, Laohu , by Wang Fangyu , 1981, pieces of the rare wood Zitan and Huanghuali (golden rosewood), and porcelains from the Sung (960-1279) and Kangxi dynasties (1662-1722).
Collectors of twentieth century decorative arts headed to Lost City Arts for a Totemic sculpture by Duane Hatchett, c. 1965, a Bertoia son ambient sculpture, circa 1965, a Zero Quattro chandelier from Italy, 1972 and a 1970s maquette by Duane Hachett. A pair of Italian walnut gilded copper and pewter inlaid pedestal tables by Carlo Bugatti, circa 1900 was purchased by a collector at Alexander Cohane's stand, while Geoffrey Diner sold a Danish chair by Mogens Voltelen, circa 1934.
Fine art collectors were lured by a wonderful array of paintings and drawings. At Questroyal, New York City Women, by Reginald Marsh (1898-1954) and Newburyport, Massachusetts, circa 1888-1890, by Martin Johnson Heade were sold, while Lisa Schiller of Schiller & Bodo reported selling a painting by Edmond Charles Kayser called Interior with Cacti & Two Cats. Thomas Colville sold a set of three watercolor paintings, by John LaFarge. A Study for Love disguised as Reason, by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1868, was sold at Hill-Stone, while at Avery Galleries, Summer by the Ocean, by Lillian Westcott Hale, circa 1920, and Jeanniepant a contemporary painting by Jamie Adam was purchased. Brock & Co. sold Iris, a pencil on paper, circa 1937, by Henrietta Mary Stone.