Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cartagena Vacation

On our recent visit to our vacation home in Cartagena, Colombia, South America, the visual excitement started immediately upon arrival as we took in a myriad of colorful, graphic signs advertising local businesses and products. 

In the old city, the 500-year-old wall has protected the historic center architecture while making room for its share of traditional, Spanish influenced trade signs. 

Outside the wall is the gleaming Plaza shopping mall with more contemporary style signs, still retaining a Latin beat. Among my favorites is the wordless No Honking sign showing a vintage horn in a circle with a red line crossing it out.

The party bus poster comes alive with an image of a big bowl of fruit balanced on the head of a lady in classic local costume.

Postobon, a favorite soft drink, is well represented in frequent festive signs inviting you to quench your thirst while satisfying your craving for sugar. If you don't have a craving for sugar, try the agua mineral con gas (sparkling) or sin gas (non-carbonated).

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Winter Antiques Show - Part 2

A second visit to NYC's Winter Antiques Show offered another opportunity to enjoy more outstanding exhibits, and a chance to chat with friends.

Visitors to the show included veteran show manager Sanford Smith, chatting with dealer Barbara Pollack, Ms. Velvor Rhone wearing her dazzling Hermes scarf, and a very young, smartly dressed collector of the future.

Peter Fetterman Gallery of Santa Monica, CA, exhibited wonderful photographs, including one of Jean Paul Belmondo and the American actress from Marshalltown, Iowa, who won the hearts of the French, Jean Seberg. Jean's grandmother and mine were sisters, which made me her fourth cousin. My parents used to sell hearing aids and batteries to her parents, Dorothy and Ed Seberg at their drugstore. Other photographs, "Hats at a Father's Day Picnic" and "Models in the Window" also added striking images to the exhibit.  (see our facebook page for images)
Suzanne Courcier and Robert W. Wilkins, Yarmoth Port, MA, are the ultimate authorities in the world of authentic Shaker furnishings. A major sale of the show was their spectacular Shaker case piece with an intense chrome yellow painted surface.

Al Katz has significantly raised the level of folk art connoisseurship with his outstanding discoveries, such as this irresistible Tobacco Shop Trade Stimulator: "The Comical Bust" (Sold) now inviting visitors into his exhibit.

Hannah, Gigi and Arthur Liverant displaying a copy of their 2013 calendar, "The Swimsuit Edition"

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Winter Antiques Show, NYC, January 25-February 3, 2013

Cold winds and grim weather are no match for the warm and glamorous Winter Antiques Show at NYC's freshened up Park Avenue Armory. Blanche and I exhibited at WAS, as we are wont to call it, for 19 years! The show was in its heyday then, before NYC became nearly overpopulated with year round antiques and art shows. Originally started 59 years ago (No, Blanche and I were not there then) as a way to cast away Society's January blues and raise money for the East Side House Settlement, it soon became one of a few world class antiques shows. It is pure pleasure to visit the event now as an attendee, although it is hard not to see the well masked fatigue in the dealers' faces that only those who have participated in this 2-week marathon can imagine. Still the show of shows, the event, like Tina Turner, just keeps on rolling.

Edwin Hild of Olde Hope Antiques, New Hope, PA. is pictured in their booth filled with Americana treasures, including a pure form Windsor arm chair, an outstanding chest of drawers in original paint, and a smashing game board.
Elliott and Grace Snyder Antiques, South Egremont, MA., featured a bold theorum, New England, circa 1830, from a private collection.  An identical version, complete with a watermelon on a platter, is illustrated in Jean Lippman's American Primitive Painting attributed to the Holger Cahill Collection.
Elliott Snyder pretends he is not tired after a long day posting SOLD tags throughout his booth.  He is supported by a one-of-a-kind, elaborately veneered Vermont sideboard, made for the marriage of Sarah Smith, the daughter of a Revolutionary War General, circa 1817. The piece is signed Isaac Bucklan [later spelled with a d] Saxton River, Vermont. 
Frank and Barbara Pollack's booth always includes unusually beautiful American paintings, such as this charming oil on canvas portrait of a lovely young girl in an elegant white dress. Attributed to Thomas Ware, 1803-1826,  Pomfret, VT. A paper label affixed to the back of the portrait inscribed  "Harriet Newell Keyes. 1816-1832. Vershirre, Vermont", identifies her as the sitter.
Nathan Liverant & Son Antiques, Colchester, CT., the distinguished purveyor of 18th- and 19th-Century American furniture, paintings, silver and glass since 1920, provided importance and luster to the show, as always.

David S. Schorsch & Eileen Smiles, Woodbury, CT., exhibited one of our favorite pieces of textile folk art ever. Above the inscription "We's Free" two tiny figures dance among a peaceable grouping of wool applique animals and a little girl dressed in a pink dress of soft leather, probably a remnant of a kid glove. David, whom we have known since he was virtually a child prodigy in antiques, noted on the description tag that the piece, which we once owned, was published in our book, Crib Quilts and Other Small Wonders, 1981, E.P. Dutton, NY. Edited by Cyril I. Nelson.
Blanche photographed a happy, old home week moment, with youngsters Eliot(right) and Grace (seated) Snyder, and Barbara Pollack (center),  long time exhibitors at the prestigious show. The antiques business is rich with a wealth of knowledgeable experts in a variety of fields, people who also happen to make the best of friends.