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Friday, March 9, 2012

Americana Week: Auctions and Shows

I somehow omitted publishing this draft, so here it is a bit later, but all the same:  

Each year, for one week or so, New York becomes the nexus of Americana; sales by Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Leigh Keno, combined with the opening of the Winter Antique Show, provide strong reasons to brave the cold and look through the sales. Although it’s an annual event, it is unlikely that we’ll see a week like this for a while, with so much material for sale, and of such quality.  In this year's Americana week, a walk through the galleries would have provided and opportunity to see:

The American Furniture Sales were generally good, with both major auction houses selling the bulk of their lots.  The sale at Sotheby's was wide ranging, and featured strong examples of furniture, some individual Audubon prints, and some exceptional metalwork.  The star of the show was a presentation bowl and ladle, attributed to Jos. Heinrichs that exceeded the 150-250K estimate to bring in 314K (as an aside, I've tried to link directly to the lots especially in the Sotheby's sale since I find the ecatalog platform they use to be frustrating, unnecessarily difficult, and time consuming.  That being said, you might still need to scroll down to view the lot.)  Christie's had some especially strong pieces, too including a chair from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, an early Boston arm chair that well exceeded its estimate, and a New York pier table with great gilding and carving.  

Sotheby's students are busy, having finished up working the Winter Antique Show, arguably the finest collection of dealers and antiques in the United States.  Working with dealers and as support staff, the students learn the industry from the ground up.  

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