Monday, January 24, 2011

Around Town....The American Antiques Show

The fact that it ranged from 5 to 17 degrees this weekend didn't stop me from being out and about the city! Last week I had seen an article on the American Antiques Show, a benefit for the American Folk Art Museum in NYC. So Sunday I set out donned in my floor length fur coat (yes, it was THAT cold) and fuzzy hat and headed to the show. 

Influenced by a mother that loves art (Art History Major, Masters in Art, has dragged me to museums all over the world) I have been a huge fan of PBS's "Antiques Roadshow" for years. We'll be watching simultaneously in different cities and I'll call my mom to express my shock at some unassuming trinket being worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and asking her to scour our house for something to present at the next show. You never know. 

I wasn't sure what to expect at The American Antiques Show. I entered the pavilion and was confronted by one booth of all antique silver pieces, a plethora of quilts at another, and another of antique grandfather clocks. This might be a long afternoon... But I pushed on and found some really unique pieces and learned about art movements that I'd never heard of before and saw price ranges on pieces from $1,200 for a wood carving to a collection of twelve Early 18th century dining chairs for $325,000. While I appreciate the design and singularity, I wouldn't allow anyone to dine on them! 

The photos enclosed in this post were a few of my favorite items. One is a rather ornate trolley car done in the style of Tramp Art, a unique art form surrounded in a bit of mystery. The origins are unclear but some say it was the art of wanderers creating art forms out of cigar boxes with primitive tools (i.e. pocket knives) and used in exchange for room and board, among other things. The pieces at the show ranged from elaborate mirrors and highly detailed tables to small embellished boxes but the details were quite impressive.   

As a dear friend loves to point out, I'm apparently fascinated with American Flags. The Jeff Bridgman booth was obviously one of my favorites at the show. My favorite piece was a commissioning pennant (c. 1837-1845) that was mounted in a zigzaging, bee sting fashion that sold during the show. If only I'd gotten there earlier....there were a lot of 0's on that sale price though.

A series of late 19th century wood carvings caught my eye - and one in particular that had two women fighting over a man with the caption "A Good Man Is Hard To Find". Glad to know things haven't changed much over the years!

A respite from the cold and an interesting and educational experience...all in all The American Antiques Show was a great Sunday adventure in NYC.

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