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Treasure hunt at the winter show

For almost 70 years the winter show – formerly the Winter Antiques Show – raised money for the East Side House development in the Bronx. This year, a late wave of Covid pushed it back from January to April, knocking it out of its usual home at the Park Avenue Armory (where it will return next year) and into a one-off residence in the former Barneys building on Madison Avenue.

This new location couldn’t be more appropriate as, despite the expanded new focus, visiting the Winter Show still feels more like browsing a luxury department store than visiting a traditional art fair. Individual traders have their specialties, but overall the event is a mad hodgepodge of offerings – from Tiffany lamps to 15th-century crossbows; Photographs by Frida Kahlo (Throckmorton Fine Art, Inc.3-04) and books about Bob Marley (thomas heneage art books, 4-11) to “water splash rings” of the 19th century (Les Enluminures, 1-11); from a memorable tapestry by Sonia Delaunay (Boccara Gallery, 4-19)to Nils Fougstedt’s incredible “Diana Chandelier” (Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts1-17); by John James Audubon (Arad Galleries4-16) to Chinese maps (Daniel Crouch Rare Books, 1-10).

So instead of going gallery by gallery, I rejoiced at the opportunity to stumble upon unusual objects rarely seen by the public, like these 13 – listed from the first stand on the fifth floor (5-01) down to the lobby.

1. First comes a wooden punu Mask from Gabon (Tambaran5-01) with sharp features, a ritual diamond on his forehead and hair clad in two round blades reminiscent of the Sydney Opera House. Though his face was originally painted white with kaolin, enough paint has worn off to leave him with the look of an actress sweating through her makeup—a perfect balance of delicacy and passion.

2-3 Insect-like bronze by English sculptor Henry Moore “Working model for a thin lying figure” (Bowman sculpture5-08) appears to be lying in all directions at once, with horizontal legs, vertical torso, and a protruding rectangular belly button. Behind, also in bronze, is a family as it appears giant paper dolls brought to solid, sensuous life, with elegant faces carved into their flat heads by the Russian artist/sculptor Osip Zadkine (1888-1967).

4. When they bought this 19th century one Tiffany coffee pot made of chased silver and delicate floral champlevé enamel, polished to a high gloss. But after finding a review of her debut at the 1893 Columbian Exposition that referred to the “muted tone of oxidized silver,” the dealers SJ shrub sole (5-11) used”Sulfur liver‘ to turn the pot back to a smoky gray.

5. Some might prefer the dewy blush of Edouard Vuillard’s roses in this booth (Richard Green5-13), or the pink haze that envelops a landscape by Pierre Bonnard. But neither grabs you by the collar as much as the thick black outlines and the frozen perspective Suzanne Valadon used in her 1932 painting “Bouquet de Fleurs on a Petite Table.”

6. The intricate wood carving on this 19th century Austrian hunting horn (Peter Feiner, 5-14) depicts medieval trickster hero Reynard the Fox on the gallows. Though more than a dozen anthropomorphic animals are crammed atop a horn less than 9 inches tall, their theatrical facial expressions are all perfectly clear, from Reynard’s cunning to the lion’s slightly silly outrage.

7. Serving wild boar in style in 18th-century Holland would have required anesthesia Faience boar’s head tureen (Michele Beiny, 5-15) like this one, with delicately painted tufts of purple-black fur, resigned eyes, and a skull that stands out when it’s dinnertime.

8th. This gorgeous blue and white baluster shape Plant pot, circa 1680 (Aaron of Amsterdam, 4-01), is one of only two known specimens of this type from its manufacturer. Be sure to look under the bouquet: each flower rests in its own hole.

9. In the early 1820’s an English silver company called Rundell and Bridge cast five editions of a “Shield of Achilles” designed by John Flaxman. Each gilded silver plate three feet long had rows of shepherds, warriors, oxen and lions crowding around one edge, while Apollo himself dashed from the center in a chariot four-horse. A shield bought by George IV in 1821 has been a centerpiece of English coronations for nearly 200 years; This one here (Koopman rare art4-03) belonged to the King of Hanover.

10 The Pre-Raphaelite painter John Brett from 1859 Portrait of his brother Arthur (Lowell Libson & Johnny Yarker, Ltd., 4-08) is remarkable for the vivid specificity of its textures. The younger Brett’s loose flop of his bow tie, the starch-white finish of his shirt, the downiness of his auburn hair, and the reflective glint of moisture on his sluggish left eye are all eerily alive.

11. In a booth stocked with Wyeth, Man Ray and Cassatt, it’s John Singer Sargents 1882 “Portrait of Henri Lefort” (Adelson Galleries, Inc.4-18) which wins the day with its unusually casual background, Lefort’s direct gaze and the sharp jabs of red Sargent in his signature and the bridge of his subject’s nose.

12. A beautiful mid-century A necklace (Macklowe Gallery, Ltd., 4-20) with diamond centered flowers of green peridots and colored citrines in cognac and yellow comes with a matching bracelet.

13. In front of the carpet dealer Peter Pap (Oriental carpets by Peter Pap1-03) Rediscovery of Frida Hansen “South” Last year in Maine, the majestic tapestry depicting 10 red-haired girls riding swans across a highly stylized, Japanese-looking sea had not been seen since it appeared at the Brooklyn Museum in 1931.

The Winter Show

Through April 10, 660 Madison Avenue, Manhattan; 917-420-0669, thewintershow.org. $30 for a day pass. The event benefits the East Side House development.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/01/arts/design/winter-show-barneys-antiques-design.html Treasure hunt at the winter show

Isaiah Colbert

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