Now that The Winter Show, the stalwart of antique shows, has eliminated the “A” word from its name, it might appear that the future use of this word might be in jeopardy. And designers are voicing their opinions. According to Thomas Jayne, “It’s cooler to be an antiques show than to be a polyglot,” adding, “The addition of antiques to a room imbues a depth and texture that’s unmatched. It’s the contrast of antiques juxtaposed with the more modern elements that makes the room extraordinary.”
Whether on the hunt for an ancient Aztec serpent god, a killer Carlo Bugatti parchment cabinet or a Navajo chief’s blanket, you’ll find that the AADLA Fine Art & Antiques Show, which has no plans of abandoning the word antiques, is a singular one-stop design source for trendsetting designs. As pros and design lovers alike know all too well, this jewel box of a fair is where handsome antiques and quirky objects mingle with silky Persian carpets, shapely Chinese vases and other beautifully hand-crafted creations—ancient, antique and contemporary. A big part of the draw is the deluxe mix of styles that reflects today’s more eclectic vibe.
“It's that rare chance to see Old Masters rub shoulders with Bugatti or an 18th-century English inlaid pedestal dining table,” says Brian McCarthy, whose design firm boasts a clientele of international tycoons and tastemakers.
Decorating today is all about “the mix,” the mix of periods and styles that makes interiors more interesting and exciting, observes Ellie Cullman, principal of the renowned Cullman & Kravis design firm. “The AADLA show is all about these exciting juxtapositions—the alchemy that happens when old meets new. My team and I are delighted to shop this important fair, sure that we will find treasures for both our traditional and contemporary interiors alike.”
Says Harry Heissmann, whose lush floral design collaboration with Park Avenue florist, Anthony Ortiz, graces the entranceways of the show. “AADLA is the place to be when you’d like to experience firsthand why it is so important to use antiques in your interiors—they lend an instant unique personality and style to any project. Besides, they are such fun to collect!”
Here are some highlights and why they were selected by each of the twenty-six dealers:
*What: Study of Three Athletes by Francesco Salvator Fontebasso (1707—1769)
Why: In exemplary condition, this rare and exquisite work in pen and dark brown ink over black chalk on account ledger paper was created by a well-known follower of Giambattista Tiepolo.
Where: Richard A. Berman Fine Art, Booth 12
*What: Navajo Blanket
Why: This Third-Phase blanket for a Navajo Chief has unusual tufts of wool on all four sides and dates from 1875—1880.
Where: Marcy Burns American Indian Arts, Booth 9
*What: Tazza, circa 1852—1860
Why: A rarity on the market, this tazza by famed master goldsmith, jeweler and lapidary craftsman J.V. Morel (1790—1860) was inspired by the treasures in the Galérie d’Apollon in the Louvre.
Where: European Decorative Arts Company, Booth 19
*What: Portrait of a man in turban
Why: This 19th century painting is in the French School, circle of Delacroix
Where: Framont, Booth 5
*What: Fleurs, gants et chapeau, circa 1914, by Louis Valtat
Why: This painting in a hand-carved period frame depicts a typical French entrance where the gentlemen of the house enters, and because Valtat cleverly employed a textured technique, the orange flower jumps out most effectively.
Where: Galerie Rienzo, Ltd., Booth 3
*What: Fawn, 1910, by Rembrandt Bugatti
Why: Italian sculptor Bugatti (1884-1916) produced a series of images of the deer family, the most famous of which being his Mes Antilopes, a life-size unique piece, but in his smaller studies of fawns in bronze evidenced the fragility of nature.
Where: GRAHAM | SHAY 1857, Booth 16
*What: Pembroke table, circa 1785.
Why: The sublime color matching of the mahogany satinwood and various inlays. When this inlaid-mahogany and satinwood piece was made, the red, green and yellow of the top were quite gaudy, but two-plus centuries have softened those hues into a sophisticated design.
Where: Clinton Howell, Booth 17
*What: Regency Cabinet, 1808
Why: This early 19th-century Japanned and parcel-gilt cabinet was a gift from Elizabeth Robinson to her young daughters, Mary and Jane, who would become aunts to children under the care of a governess, aka as novelist Anne Brontë.
Where: Hyde Park Antiques, Booth 4
*What: 18th-century pear-shaped vase
Why: The only other known lemon-glazed vase of this century is in the collection of Taiwan’s Palace Museum.
Where: Imperial Fine Books and Oriental Arts, Booth 22
*What: Love-Lorn Lady, circa 1850
Why: From among the creations of the Kangra school it is the paintings of love-lorn women, virahini nayikas, which are most touching. The lover has gone on a journey and in his absence his beloved suffers the pangs of separation. This gouache artwork is heightened with gold on paper.
Where: Kapoor Inc., Booth 16
*What: Bench, circa 1780—1790
Why: This neoclassical painted wood bench from the Villa dei Marchesi Tornielli has all its original paint and caning—an extraordinary condition given its 200-plus years in existence.
Where: L’Antiquaire & The Connoisseur, Booth 20
*What: Bust of Saint Marguerite, circa 1460—1470
Why: Sculpted of lindenwood, this head of a young saint embodies the feminine ideal of the late gothic period, with a high curving forehead, a small mouth, and a pointed chin.
Where: Christine Magne Antiquaire, Booth 7
*What: Important and rare ebonized walnut and parchment cabinet decorated with inlay, pewter, bone and copper by Carlo Bugatti (1856-1940)
Why: Though Bugatti worked with ceramics, musical instruments, silverware, and textiles like Bugatti, he is best known for his furniture, and this important rare cabinet is of ebonized walnut, circa 1900.
Where: Milord Antiques, Booth 18
*What: An extremely rare 19th century silk Farahan Sarouk rug
Why: Measuring approximately 4 by 6 feet, this rare mint-condition rug is the first silk version we have come across in the 55 years we have been in business.
Where: Nemati Collection, Booth 24
*What: Kettle stand, circa 1755
Why: The epitome of restrained elegance, this English George II kettle stand is a particularly fine example, in dense beautifully figured and deep-colored mahogany. Perfect proportions, untouched surface, deep rich color, dense heavy wood, and completely untouched makes this piece that rate 100 and the provenance confirms its exceptional quality.
Where: Michael Pashby Antiques, Booth 13
*What: Alcove vase, circa 1820
Why: This rare, highly decorated English mason’s vessel in the Trailing Lily pattern is, at 36 inches, in a most unusual shape.
Where: Janice Paull Antiques, Booth 23
*What: Design for a round ceiling in watercolor, gouache with pen and ink
Why: This is a rare example from the Franco-Russian School of the neo-classical style, created around 1790, perhaps for a Russian Palace near St. Petersburg.
Where: Charles Plante Fine Arts, Booth 1
*What: Vintage and out-of print reference books on the fine and decorative arts including antique furniture, silver, jewelry, ceramics, architecture and period decoration, with a good selection of 20th century design and interior decoration titles.
Where: Potterton Books, Booth 6
*What: Setter and Pups, by Thomas Hewes Hinckley (1813-1896)
Why: Painted in 1843, this oil on canvas is an important work in the context of American Art as it not only reveals a truly developing national style without the influence of the English artistic tradition but also masks a false sense of tranquility soon to be broken by an impending civil war.
Where: Red Fox Fine Art, Booth 11
*What: A spectacular Victorian period Brooch
Why: Mounted in silver and gold and with accents of demantoid garnets, this spectacular diamond spray piece was made by Garrards & Co. Ltd., circa 1870 and is in pristine condition.
Where: James Robinson, Inc. Booth 14
*What: Sunburst pins, early 1900s
Why: They’re set in three antique diamond sunburst pins that also fit onto a tiara and can be worn both ways.
Where: Pat Saling Fine Jewelry, Booth 21
*What: Les maries a l’ane vert, 1967, by Marc Chagall
Why: Brides and grooms repeatedly appear in Chagall’s art, and the bride in a white gown in this work in oil and brush and ink on canvas is a touching ode to young love. Where: Schillay Fine Art, Booth 9
*What: Oil No. 3 by Raymond Jonson
Why: Jonson (1891–1982) produced three oil paintings in 1938, the year he commenced his long teaching career at the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque and founded the Transcendental Painting Group of abstract artists.
Where: Schwarz Gallery, Booth 2
*What: A Rare French Industrial Automaton clock
Why: Once wound, the animation movement of this rare 1910 automaton clock in the shape of a car, will drive the wheels of the car for approximately three hours.
Where: Sundial Farm, Booth 25
*What: Stele of Quetzalcoatl, 1350—1520 CE
Why: This piece is the lid for a ceremonial reliquary and the engraving is of Quetzalcoatl, the Mesoamerican deity related to gods of the wind.
Where: Throckmorton Fine Art, Booth 15
*What: Mocha jug, circa 1800—1820
Why: One of the best examples of mocha that one can find, this remarkable English pottery jug with both painted and molded multiple color bands has it all—size, color and drama!
Where: Earle D. Vandekar of Knightsbridge, Booth 10
*What: Regency Burr Oak and Ebony Center table
Why: Unabashedly English in nature, this very fine early 19th-century English table, in the manner of George Bullock, has a quarter-veneered burr top with ebony string inlay and ebonized beaded molding and scroll and pineapple carving.
Where: Yew Tree House Antiques, Booth 8
Sums up Thomas Jayne on the AADLA Fine Art & Antiques Show: “Even if you don’t collect antiques, experiencing the show is a fascinating way to see and touch things that have stories to tell
The AADLA Fine Art & Antiques Show opens at Wallace Hall, Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, 980 Park Avenue at 84th Street with an early VIP breakfast preview on October 25th starting at 9:30 a.m. Show hours are Friday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Monday, 11:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission price is $20.00 per person with complimentary return passes for the duration of the show.
About the AADLA
Founded in 1926, The Art and Antique Dealers League of America, Inc., now with 86 members, is the oldest and principal antiques and fine arts organization in America. The mission of the league is to bring the members of the art and antiques trade closer together and to promote a greater understanding among themselves and with the public, and generally to devote itself to the best interests of dealers and collectors of antiques and works of art. For more information, visit: www.aadlafair.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org