Signs of recovery at Haughtons’ New York fair
15 drop-outs but 21 newcomers for the fine art and antiques event
By . Market, Issue 207, November 2009
Published online: 03 November 2009
new york. There were signs of market recovery at the Haughtons’ 21st International Fine Art & Antique Dealers fair at the Park Avenue Armory, New York, from 16-22 October. “Some dealers have said they’ve seen clients they haven’t seen in two or three years,” said Anna Haughton, who reported a sea change in mood from June when dealers were “apprehensive”.
It was a dramatically different-looking fair, with 15 drop-outs and 21 newcomers—including Paris-based Lefebvre and Steinitz, antiques dealers Finch & Co and Michael Lipitch, and picture dealer Waterhouse & Dodd. Gone were the multi-million-dollar impressionist and pointillist paintings, long the mainstay of the fair, with a shift towards the decorative.
For some, sales were surprisingly strong, and $700,000 was raised at the vernissage to benefit charity—though that was down from previous years when it grazed the $1m mark. More than 1,000 attended the opening, with glitterati including Evelyn Lauder, billionaires Donald Marron and Wilbur Ross, Warner Music chairman Lyor Cohen, along with a cache of interior and fashion designers such as Mario Buatta, Tory Burch and Mary McFadden.
During the opening, London dealer Bernard J. Shapero Rare Books sold a massive 1602 world map showing China in the centre, by Italian Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci, for around $1m to a long-time American client, who is donating it to an institution. “We would not have made this sale a year ago and this indicates there’s enormous confidence for something fresh to the market,” said Bernard Shapero, who reported further sales totalling more than $150,000.
“It’s a good fair,” said Harry Apter of Apter-Fredericks, who sold a Chippendale 1750 tripod table for $180,000, a Regency Gillows cabinet for $200,000, a pair of George III giltwood armchairs for $120,000, an 1840 English crystal chandelier for $120,000, a pair of Matthew Bolton perfume burners for under $100,000 and other items.
French and Italian antiques from the 1920s and 1940s were popular. Manhattan-based Maison Gerard sold a Jules Leleu 1926 desk for $78,000 as well as a Leleu 1925 bedroom set, while New York dealer Bernd Goeckler sold a set of 14 upholstered chairs by Alfred Porteneuve for $185,000.
Antiquities sold at a feverish pace for Phoenix Ancient Art of Geneva and New York, which corralled six different bids for a first-century Roman female figure, pegged at $800,000, and made strong sales including a ceramic oinochoe-shaped head vase, 450BC, for $300,000 and an early Roman bust for $120,000. Nearby Charles Ede of London reported almost 20 sales, including a Greek krater, fifth century BC, for $200,000. “I brought 65 items so the hit ratio is more than decent,” he said.
Lewis Smith of London silver dealers Koopman Rare Art reported 27 sales: “All went to Americans except one, and they’re not speculators,” he said. “For us, the market is still sputtering and the mood deliberative,” said James McConnaughy, vice president of S.J. Shrubsole, reporting 15 sales including Paul Storr 1820 entrée dishes.
As for pictures, Agnew’s sold a Tiepolo wash drawing of The Adoration of the Magi, around 1740, for $275,000 and a Guercino drawing for $475,000. Wienerroither & Kohlbacher sold a number of works on paper including an Oskar Kokoschka flower picture for $150,000 and an Ernst Ludwig Kirchner for more than $100,000.
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