Monday, February 1, 2010

56th Annual Winter Antiques Show

With the holidays and travel I let January slip me by but I am back and rejuvinated from the break. This past week I attended the 56th annual Winter Antiques Show at the Park Avenue Armory. This is one of my favororite events as you can take in so many areas and disciplines under one roof.

Americana at the booth of Nathan Liverant

Inspired garden installation from Barbara Israel Garden Antiques

Arms and armor in the booth of London dealer Peter Finer

In all it was an inspired collection of exhibitors where one could satisfy most collecting habits at a variety of pricepoints. But as my readers know by now, I have a particular fondness for tracing the ebb and flow of art as it passes from one hand to another and how that illuminates the workings of an often complex art market. With this in mind, I was not let down when I made it to the booth of the Manhattan gallery Lost City Arts.

Lost City Arts

Lost City Arts was largely filled with choice works by the craft icons Harry Bertoia, George Nakashima and Paul Evans. But it was a particularly horizontal Bertoia Sculpture that got my wheels spinning.

I recognized it immediately from the Collection of Robert Isabel sold at Sotheby's in December. It has distinctive oxidization patterns to the base that I recalled when it was on display at Sotheby's. The Isabel sale was a great success and this lot performed quite well making $92,500 against a conservative estimate of $50,000-70,000. Well, if it slipped through your grasp at the auction it can still be yours via Lost City Arts but it will cost you...$180,000 to be specific. This is why I always encourage collectors to attend auctions especially if they have been comfortable paying retail in the past. It can definitely provide more bang for your buck and thus for your collection as a whole.

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