Unconventional Antiques Weekend a Thrilling Success
On January 21–22, 2022, the Decorative Arts Trust guided nearly 30 intrepid travelers to myriad sites in New York City. Most notably absent: January’s annual Winter Show.
The Winter Show announced their postponement in late December due to COVID-19 Omicron-variant-related restrictions, and Trust staff and governors hastened to determine a path forward. The Trust’s busy spring schedule (which includes events at Colonial Williamsburg’s Antiques Forum in February, Study Trips Abroad in March and May, and a Symposium in April) eliminated the potential of gathering a group for a rescheduled Winter Show.
Therefore, the Trust decided to brave the chilling temperatures to enjoy the hospitality of generous and knowledgeable hosts at a variety of antiques dealers, Sotheby’s, and a private collection.
At S. J. Shrubsole on Friday morning, President Tim Martin and Director of Research Benjamin Miller delved into the wonders of silver. They shared the stories behind a 16th-century spoon, a rare English ciborium, and a Tiffany & Co. coffee pot.
Michele Beiny Gallery wowed participants a marvelous collection of ceramics, porcelain, and glass from Meissen to Sèvres and beyond. Participants were able to examine exquisite objects closely with expert insights from Michele Beiny and Nick Stagliano.
Following a delicious lunch at Home Kitchen, groups toured two sales at Sotheby’s: the Important Americana Sale and the William K. du Pont Collection. Brock Jobe, Emeritus Professor of American Decorative Arts at Winterthur Museum and new President of the Decorative Arts Trust’s Board of Governors, analyzed Finlay chairs, a Japanned high chest, and a Chippendale desk. Alexandra Kirtley, Montgomery-Garvan Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Trust Governor, led the group through highlights of the du Pont sale, including antique rifles and an impressive collection of inlaid furniture from southeastern Pennsylvania.
The day concluded with a lively reception at Bernard & S. Dean Levy Inc.’s new gallery space in Chelsea, with insightful remarks from Frank Levy. The Trust extends a special thanks to Board Governors Ralph Harvard and Margize Howell for their assistance with lunch and reception festivities.
Saturday morning began with a visit to Olde Hope Antiques, where Ed Hild shared histories behind the folk art in the space, including furniture, weathervanes, clocks, and hooked rugs.
Participants enjoyed some free time to shop at KRB NYC, designer Kate Rheinstein Brodsky’s fun, colorful store featuring antiques interspersed with newer items, and Creel and Gow, a seller with an eclectic selection of decorative objects and natural curiosities from a variety of cultures.
After a delectable lunch at Orsay, the program concluded with a lovely tour of the private collection of Trust members Frances and Leo Bretter in their stunning Park Avenue apartment. Frances was a distinguished research associate in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s American Wing and co-author of The Met’s volumes on early 19th-century New York cabinetmakers Charles Honoré Lannuier and Duncan Phyfe. Their collection focuses on furniture by Phyfe and his contemporaries as well as prints of New York views, period lighting devices, English ceramics, and American, English, and Irish glass.
The Trust thanks all those who braved the weather and the city’s ever-changing regulations to join us for this enjoyable program. We look forward to bringing another fabulous Antiques Weekend to fruition in 2023!
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About The Decorative Arts Trust Bulletin
Formerly known as the "blog,” the Bulletin features new research and scholarship, travelogues, book reviews, and museum and gallery exhibitions. The Bulletin complements The Magazine of the Decorative Arts Trust, our biannual members publication.