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Portrait of a young lady attributed to Ruth Henshaw Bascom (1722–1848). Pastel and pencil on paper, ca. 1830. 16 3/8 x 12 3/8 inches. Courtesy of Frank and Barbara Pollack, Highland Park, IL. Exhibiting at the Winter Antiques Show

“Americana Week has the largest gathering in the country of quality American antiques, major collectors, and knowledgeable exhibitors,” states Frank Maresca of Ricco/Maresca Gallery. Although officially proclaimed Americana Week, festivities actually span twelve days with four or more events running simultaneously. Five of the shows are leading national events within their specific fields, and in addition to Americana, collectors can expect to find antiques and fine art from international sources. Visitors will find these shows exciting opportunities to shop for the finest antiques and spot emerging trends in collecting, design, and decorating.

Since September 11, collecting interest has intensified for items that make American patriotic statements, and dealers have bought aggressively to expand inventories in this area. Dealers also report that there is strong interest for top-of-the-line antiques as some collectors choose to put money from the stock market into tangible assets.


Now in its forty-eighth year, this is the premier American antiques show. “There is nothing else like it,” notes Barbara Pollack. A balance is struck between decorative and fine arts specialists in American, English, Continental, and Asian antiques. Known for masterpieces, the prices are appropriate to quality and rarity. The Winter Show’s preview party is the major social event of Americana Week.

King Kong; Anonymous, 1933–1935; Wood with polychrome; 17 3/4 x 10 1/2 x 6 inches. Courtesy of Ricco/Maresca Gallery. Exhibiting at the American Antiques Show.

Attendees can expect to find sought-after icons as well as new discoveries. Beth Cathers of Cathers and Dembrosky notes, “We bring all fresh material and very strong examples. This year we are presenting two rooms from the Adirondacks outfitted with 1901 Gustav Stickley furniture. Many of the eighteen to twenty pieces are forms that have never been seen on the antiques market.”

Traditionally located at the Seventh Regiment Armory, this year’s show has been moved to the Americas Hall in the recently renovated Hilton New York.

The American Folk Art Museum is presenting its inaugural American Antiques Show featuring the finest dealers in American folk art and related antiques. As Michael Malcé of Kelter-Malcé notes, “It is very exciting to participate in what will become the major folk art event in the country.”

In his enthusiasm to bring both expected and unusual items to the show, Stephen Score notes, “I can be smitten by a commonly found object that has wonderful color, wear and integrity as well as objects of aristocratic beauty. I hope to have a range of objects such as these from the easily affordable to the bite-the-bullet-and-ultimately-be-glad.”

“The Other Armory Show attracts every architect and designer in greater New York, as well as collectors,” remarks exhibitor Judith Milne. “People come to the show looking for trends. The diversity of merchandise is reflected in the diversity of prices. One can find things from a couple hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars.”

Soup tureen and undertray with “Rose Wreath” design, attributed to the factory of Marc Schoelcher, Paris, ca. 1815; glass goblets, 4 from a set of 9, France, ca. 1840. H. 13 1/4 in.; H. 6 in. Courtesy of Fenichell-Basmajian Antique Ceramics and Glass, New York. Exhibiting at the Ceramics Fair.

The show takes its name from its venue of the past seven years, the 26th Street Armory (since September 11, recovery forces have used the site). Whether held at the armory or another location, show promoter Leanne Stella notes, “This is a very important show to dealers and customers, and we will do everything in our power to have the show go on.”

“The Ceramics Fair is the finest in the Western Hemisphere, with a critical mass of specialists in ceramics and glass that makes it a tremendous event,” remarks exhibitor Jill Fenichell of Fenichell-Basmajian. “The wonderful thing about the fair is that the porcelain aficionado can find things under $500, as well as rare and extraordinary pieces reaching into five and six figures.”

Rob Hunter, exhibitor and editor of Chipstone Foundation’s new ceramics journal, delineated a special aspect of the fair, now in its third year. “This show is distinct in that the promoters have a keen interest in the academic side of the field, as demonstrated by the lecture series. In breadth and professional reputation, it is the finest series associated with any American antiques show.”

“The Outsider Fair is the premier national show for outsider art. It exceeds expectations every year,” notes Aarne Anton of American Primitive Antiques. For ten years the Outsider Fair has been an electrifying show, with commotion centered on artist debuts. Exhibitor Ann Nathan notes, “When a newly discovered artist hits the market, everyone wants to be there. Collectors are avid and competitive.”

Carolyn Walsh of the Sailor’s Valentine states, “Most of the activity is in the $1,000 to $15,000 range. Works by some emerging artists are priced at $100 dollars while pieces by leading artists such as Bill Traylor and Henry Darger may be as much as $80,000.”

In addition to the shows, galleries hold quasi-public events by invitation, while collectors host private gatherings at apartments, posh clubs, or hotels. Israel Sack, Inc., is hosting an always well-attended by-invitation party at their Fifth Avenue galleries. And, Ricco-Maresca’s bash, held during the Outsider Fair, is traditionally packed with over a thousand celebrants.

Manhattan galleries, such as Hirschl & Adler, also host special exhibitions. Liz Feld of the firm notes, “In honor of our fiftieth anniversary in 2002, we will have an eighty-item exhibit, Of the Newest Fashion, featuring the best in American décor.”

Dealer Anthony Werneke will feature American furniture, English delftware, early brass, and drinking glasses and decanters at a select venue this year. For details, call 845.856.1037.

Winter Antiques Show
*New location: Americas Hall, The Hilton New York, at 6th Avenue between 53rd and 54th Streets
*Preview Party: Saturday, January 19, 5–9 pm: Philanthropist $2,000; Benefactor $1,000; Collector $500. 6–9pm: Patrons Reception $350
*Young Collectors Night and Silent Auction: Thursday, January 24, 6:30–9:30 pm. Connoisseur $250; Supporter $125; $150 at the door
*Dates: Sunday, January 20– Sunday, January 27
*Hours: Sunday and Thursday, Noon–6 pm; Monday– Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Noon–8:30 pm
*Admission: $16 (includes catalogue)
For the latest information, call 718.292.7392 or visit www.winterantiquesshow.com

American Antiques Show
*Location: Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street
*Preview Party: Wednesday, January, 16, 5–9 pm: Platinum $750; Gold $2,500/4 people. 6:30–9:30 pm: Silver $300; Americus (collectors under 40) $150
*Dates: Thursday, January 17– Sunday, January 20
*Hours: Thursday and Friday 11–9 pm; Saturday 11–8 pm; Sunday Noon–5 pm. Friday:
Americus Fest, 6:30–9 pm (included in fee for Wednesday’s Americus ticket)
*Admission: $15 (includes catalogue)
Information update: Museum phone 212.977.7170 or visit www.folkartmuseum.org

Other Armory Show
*Location: 26th Street Amory at Lexington (subject to availability, alternate site possible)
*Dates: Friday, January 18– Sunday, January 20
*Hours: Friday and Saturday 11–7pm; Sunday 11–5pm
*Admission: $12
For information, call 212.255.0020 or visit www.stellashows.com

New York Ceramics Fair
*Location: National Academy of Design, 1083 Fifth Avenue at 89th Street
*Preview Party: Wednesday, January 16, 5–9 pm, $75
*Dates: Thursday, January 17– Sunday, January 20
*Show Hours: Thursday 11–7 pm; Friday 11–8 pm; Saturday 11–7 pm; Sunday, 12–6 pm
*Admission: $15 (includes catalogue)
*Lecture Series: 15 lectures extending over 4 days (1 lecture $10; 2 lectures $15; 3 lectures $20; 100 seats, reservations recommended)
For information, call 310.455.2886 or for lecture reservations, call 301.933.6994

Outsider Art Fair
*Location: Puck Building, corner of Houston and Lafayette streets
*Preview Party: Thursday, January 24, to benefit American Folk Art Museum; 5:30–9 pm: Benefactor $500 (also includes seminar ticket); Supporter $200; Americus (for those under 40) $100, 6–9 pm: Friend $75
*Dates: Friday, January 25– Sunday, January 27
*Hours: Friday Noon–8 pm; Saturday 11–7 pm; Sunday 11–6 pm
*Admission: $15
*Lecture: Uncommon Artists, $35
For information, call 212.777.5218 or visit www.sanfordsmith.com.
For preview tickets, call 212.977.7170

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