This Week: New York’s Winter Antiques Show

January 22, 2018

By Richard Selden

Upon entering the Winter Antiques Show — in the massive Park Avenue Armory on Manhattan’s Upper East Side — one comes face to face with Miss Kaji Waki, in a blue silk dress and long black gloves. Not in the flesh, but in Robert Henri’s full-length portrait of 1909. Around the corner is Beauford Delaney’s blinding yellow depiction of contralto Marian Anderson, painted in 1965.

The two works are part of the Winter Antiques Show’s loan exhibition from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, “Collecting for the Commonwealth/Preserving for the Nation: Celebrating a Century of Art Patronage, 1919-2018.”

The loan exhibition is a treasure chest, but so are the booths of the 70 exhibitors, all of which showcase objects of museum quality.

Running through Sunday, Jan. 28, the 64th annual Winter Antiques Show coincides with Americana Week at the New York auction houses, but is no longer dominated by dealers in American furniture and decorative arts. This year’s offerings range widely in origin, type and time period, and there seem to be almost as many exhibitors from London as from the United States.

Here is a sampling (price given when available):

  • A George II mahogany double-chairback settee, c. 1765.
  • A carved folk-art panel showing Adam and Eve, c. 1880 ($7,500).
  • A pair of bronze cannon made in Seville, 1747.
  • A sapphire and diamond necklace by Fabergé, 1908, with later matching earrings.
  • An elevator surround from the Chicago Stock Exchange by Louis Sullivan, 1893 ($450,000).
  • A patent for a brick-making machine signed by President George Washington and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson.
  • A “Wisteria” window by Tiffany Studios, c. 1900 ($725,000).
  • A birdcage shaped like the Titanic, first quarter of the 20th century ($38,000).
  • A South Arabian alabaster stele, 3rd century B.C. to 1st century A.D.
  • Two drawings and 11 prints by Mary Cassatt for “The Bath,” 1890-91 ($1,100,000).

The 2018 show, as always a benefit for East Side House Settlement, is dedicated to former Chanel President Arie Kopelman, now the show’s chairman emeritus after heading it for 25 years.


Image: If your home decor could use some historic weaponry, get in touch with Peter Finer at the Winter Antiques Show. Photo by Richard Selden.