January is chockablock with art and antiques fairs, but none is as beloved as The New York Ceramics & Glass Fair, which opens with its preview on Wednesday, January 17 and continues through January 21 at the National Bohemian Hall, 321 East 73rd Street. Year after year, it draws a celebrated roster of devoted collectors, museum curators and interior designers who are certain to encounter a superb mix that ranges from contemporary studio pottery by international ceramists to 18th-century Staffordshire with everything under the sun in between. Here are some of the highlights:
A rare set of 12 Royal Doulton cabinet-dinner plates—decorated around 1910 with hand-painted rose specimens in varying shades of pink, apricot and rose—is a standout at Elise Abrams Antiques. The plate borders have cobalt blue reserves and raised paste gold and turquoise “jewels,” and each plate is signed by the renowned Royal Doulton artist, Percy Curnock.
Every single inch of the storied Wedgwood creation known as Fairyland Lustre is painstakingly decorated. Jill Fenichell is showing a particularly fetching example of Fairyland: an almost 9-inch-round center bowl from around 1920 that features both a black sky and a day-lit sky.
Dating from 2015, at Ferrin Contemporary features Peacock 1 by Bouke de Vries incorporates a 20th-century Chinese porcelain bird as well as 18th-century Chinese porcelain fragments. Measuring 24 by 25 by 13.5 inches, this mixed-media work is not to be missed
Katherine Houston, the eponymous artist has created a series of what she calls mirages. “The concept began after I was the Della Robbia show at the Boston Museum of Fine Art and realized that ceramics could be enlarged by using segments,” Houston says. Her showcase three-piece work employs various themes, concentrating mainly on the Greek myths. One of the ceramics is polychromatic; the other two, shades of celadon and jade.
Leo Kaplan Ltd., offers lovers of beautiful things are advised not to overlook Swan Lake, an important Norwegian plique-à-jour enamel and silver footed coupe that was exquisitely confected by Thorolf Holmboe for David Andersen at the beginning of the 20th century.
A six-inch-tall vase by a Paul Nicholas grabs the spotlight at KPM Arts and Antiques LLC. Nicholas was the principal design maestro at the Galle glassworks, and pieces of this quality, intricately blown and decorated in 1920, rarely come to market.
Minnesota-born Mike Helke takes center stage at Lacoste Gallery with his piping-fresh 2017 stoneware work titled Pouring Pot with Green Spout. Still residing in his home state, Helke comes from the legacy of Bernard Leach through Mark Pharis, a former student of Warren MacKenzie.
Cliff Lee Porcelain presents Sea Foam Lava Lidded Vessel is a masterpiece of wheel-thrown, carved, sculpted, applied, high-fired porcelain—and it should be on every art lover’s checklist.
A high-fire hexagon box with blue waves glaze is the enchanting objet par excellence at Hideaki Miyamura.
A selection of 18th- and early-19th century gold and paste jewelry awaits the discerning appreciator at Moylan/Smelkinson/Spare Room. For the uninitiated, the display provides a tip-top introduction to paste jewelry, once worn by men and women when they travelled on holiday, and the highlight is a Vauxhall glass butterfly set in metal, made around 1860.
A Pascoe and Company Monkey Jug has been singled out for its eccentric color palette representing the KwaZulu Natal region. Sculpted in 2017 by Thulani Mntungwa, the unique two-foot-tall jug was painted by Nonhlanhla Nxumalo Vilakazi, a second-generation Ardmore Ceramics painter.
Polka Dot Antiques, directs eyes on Pilkington’s Royal Lancastrian Daffodil from a set of six very rare tiles. The design, by the polymathic Walter Crane, is very similar to book illustrations created by him, showing a strong Art Nouveau influence. It measures six inches by six inches and was made around 1900.
Presiosa/Berkana will feature fine Czech crystal embodied in a spectacular water lily, considered the most sacred plant in Egypt. This piece is meticulously cut and brims with brilliance and fine luster.
In her newest series Pomegranates, Brazilian-Israeli ceramic artist Martha Rieger created sculptural vessels that merge fragility and strength by combining the roughness of grainy black clay with the delicacy and elegance of white porcelain and 14K gold.
At Ian Simmonds, seals made in the mid-18th Century to ship Pyrmont Water are the focal point. Seals from similar bottles have been excavated in Williamsburg, Charleston and throughout the English colonies.
Mariko Swisher has long held a fascination for dogs and insect shapes and how they can be connected or woven into artwork. That fascination is reflected in The Form, a nod toward the pottery of Japan’s Jomon period but with an entirely new interpretation.
Large Japanese Arita blue and white porcelain chargers draw attention at Earle D. Vandekar of Knightsbridge. These rare and important chargers come from the Dutch East Indies Company (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, or VOC, with which they are monogrammed), and they date from 1670-1720.
Deep Blue Ripple by artists Michael Schunke and Josie Gluck is both technically successful and visually balanced; it presents a seamless, complex pattern of accumulated minutia within the blown form. Put it on your must-see list and head to Vetro Vero.
Rare is the slab cheeseboard porcelain, much less one finished with 24 karat gold, but the specimen at Michael Wainwright fits that description. It measures nine by 16 inches.
Tobacco Leaf pattern plates from the Quinlong Period (around 1785) deserve a special call-out at Maria and Peter Warren. About nine inches in diameter, each plate painted with large puce, flower surrounded by leaves in vibrant tones of blue, yellow and green
A Krautstrunk (from the German for “cabbage stalk”) is a type of beaker with a cup-shaped mouth and a barrel-shaped body decorated with prunts. This unique piece at Mark West was made in Germany between the 15th and 17th centuries and it stands five inches tall.
The New York Ceramics & Glass Fair, which is held at the Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street (between First and Second Avenues), opens on Wednesday evening, January 17, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Tickets are $90 per person. The fair opens to the public on Thursday, January 18 through Sunday, January 21, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person and can be used throughout the duration of the fair.
An essential adjunct to the New York Ceramics & Glass Fair is its extensive lecture program, which runs throughout the duration of the fair and is free with the purchase of a ticket. With a lineup of distinguished curators and experts, this year’s series will provide lively and thought-provoking panel discussions about the realms of clay and glass. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The New York Ceramics & Glass Fair is co-produced by Meg Wendy of MCG Events LLC and Elizabeth J. Lees Events. For more information visit, www.nyceramicsandglass.com.