An eighteenth-century Persian carpet is splayed out on the floor.
A 1925 Paris Expo piano takes pride of place.
A Tiffany chandelier dangles from the ceiling.
A diamond art-deco bracelet glitters in the low light.
Each of these beautiful objects was on view at the expansive Park Avenue Armory alongside hundreds of other expensive antiques this October.
The Avenue Antiques Art and Design Show, on view from October 10-13, was a study in luxury. Every item presented here from the 69 galleries exhibiting was one-of-a-kind. Not one gallery had lackluster or un-praise-worthy art or antiques available. With everything from Chagall oil paintings to 20th-century Mexican silver, Picasso glass sculpture to antique clocks, and rare coral bracelets to English porcelain to Art Deco furniture, there were many pieces to marvel at.
Many of the galleries that set up shop here transformed their spaces into mock-living rooms, combining their offerings of furniture with art and décor. Macklowe Gallery, one of the first stops in the Armory, set up their space as a dining room, with wooden Frank Lloyd-esque furniture surrounded by brilliantly-lit Tiffany lamps. Brenner Valdez Antiques and Interiors decorated their spot with vibrant orange wall coloring, oversized mirrors on either side of a massive floor-to-ceiling geometric painting of a horse and balanced by a living room setting of wooden chairs and side tables. Michael Pashby’s large study was furnished with English card tables, chests of drawers and a wooden backgammon set.
Some highlights of the fair included a delightful blue glass sculpture titled Il Volto by Pablo Picasso, on view at Sylvia Powell Decorative Arts of London; a lightly-colored landscape by Claude Pissarro entitled Ruisseau dans le Mamoir from Saddle River Gallery in New Jersey; David Webb jade jewelry from Richter’s of Palm Beach; a low-lighted wisteria lamp by Louis C. Tiffany from New York’s Macklowe Gallery; a photograph of Mia Farrow and FRank Sinatra taken by Harry Benson, on view at the Holden Luntz Gallery booth; and an amboyna wood piano designed by Maurice Defrene at Pennsylvania’s Calderwood Gallery booth.
These are the pieces you wish you could simply pluck up and place strategically in your Fifth Avenue apartment or Amalfi Coast villa. And, perhaps, many of the visitors did just that. But you don’t have to be rich in order to traverse the halls of the Armory for the AVENUE Show. Here, you could get one-on-one with the art and antiques, and gallery owners were on-hand to answer any questions you had. In fact, this may be less intimidating than visiting the actual galleries themselves.
While most visitors to the show were admittedly wealthy and the show certainly catered to the upper class (Woody Allen and Donald Trump were among the famous New Yorkers at the special opening night party), all visitors were welcomed throughout the four-day run. Various lectures and tours were also provided free of charge, including a Magical Jewelry Tour.
The AVENUE Antique Art and Design Show was a pleasure to travel through. With everything from glittering gems to handsome furniture and beyond, this is one stop you should certainly make on your future fall art circuit. We’re looking forward to next year’s show, in addition to other antiques fairs around town! Keep updated with all your art news right here, through the Art Examiner!