Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Winter Antiques Show - New York

I realize that the Winter Antiques show does not fall into the category of 'auctions' which is what this blog is mostly about. However, before one can comfortably bid on antiques or art of any era, having some idea of retail price range gives some confidence when setting a bid.

The Winter Antiques show is definitely at the high end (if not almost the top!) of the antique show offerings and thus a visit offers the great opportunity to attend a 'museum with price tags' as my mother used to call it. We find it lots of fun. Any time I see prices like $695,000 for a painting by Sir John Lavery I get a shiver down my spine. He's an artist I mostly do see in museums.

Not everything is quite as expensive as that, but we're rarely tempted to buy even at the lower end. Besides the fun of the visit, we use it mostly as an education on retail pricing. Today there was a painting of a racehorse at the Antiques show that was quite similar to one on offer at Doyle's. It was early 19th century, about the same size, and priced at $4,500. I went back to the Doyle's web site, and Lot 59 is estimated at $2,000 to $4,000. I flirted with making an offer to see if we could get it at the lower end, but decided not to this time.

The show itself is dominated by Americana, which is not generally our strong interest, but nice to see anyway. 

There are other periods represented as well, ranging from pre-Colombian artifacts to some quite contemporary paintings. We lingered over the Arts and Crafts, some mid-century modern, and particularly enjoyed the Art Deco offerings. 

We picked up a magazine at the show 'The Magazine Antiques', and their website has a good calendar of shows in the US that are scheduled for the coming months. You may find something near you.


If there are auction houses in your area, I'll bet they'll schedule sales around the same time since the shows create interest to buy!

1 comment:

  1. I attended the Winter Antiques Show as well. One of the items which I particularly liked was a Javanese carved head in wood, very similar in style to classic wayang figures. This head was the only Southeast Asian item on display; the rest were from Africa or Oceania. The dealer did not know much about the head, other than its obvious appeal. The price? $55,000.


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