7 Hidden Gems From NYC's Winter Antiques Show and Ceramics & Glass Fair
Each January, antique loving New Yorkers bundle up and scurry to the Winter Antiques Show and the New York Ceramics and Glass Fair, held annually at what is colloquially called "January Antiques Week." Afterwards, everyone floods their Instagram with images of their favorite treasures.
But invariably some beauties get overlooked in the initial buzz.. Be sure you don't miss out! Here are 7 hidden gems from January Antiques Week that you must see.
1. America's Oldest Tea Pot
Believe me, this chipped porcelain teapot is a huge deal.
Archaeologists recently unearthed the c. 1765 vessel in the heart of Philadelphia where scholars carefully analyzed it. Astonishingly, they learned Americans possessed the secret to manufacturing hard-paste porcelain much earlier than previously thought, making this little teapot the earliest one made in America.
Why is this discovery so significant? It's important because Europe struggled to unlock the secrets of porcelain production just a few decades earlier. We have yet to ascertain how Europe's secrets got out, but archaeologists and scholars are still digging.
The teapot made its public debut at this year's New York Ceramics and Glass Fair. Settle in for a cuppa and read the rest of the post.
2. Hector Guimard's Fireplace and Chimneypiece
Paris' sexy, curvy metro subway stations are iconic, but do you know the architect? Hector Guimard designed the Art Nouveau stations, but of course, they were not his first architectural commission. That honor goes to Louis Coilliot who asked Guimard to craft this c.1900 fireplace. Guimard used his patron's invention, a unique enameled stoneware reconstituted from volcanic lava powder, to make the piece. It was offered by Jason Jacques Gallery at the Winter Antiques Show.
3. Quintessential Album Quilt
Quilts are back! AD featured interiors with quilts in their January issue following up in February with a collectors' guide proclaiming that album quilts, such as this c.1845 one above, are the most prized genre. No surprise that dealers David Schorsch and Eileen Smiles quickly sold this quilt at the Winter Antiques Show, along with most of their folk art filled booth.
Get your Americana on.
4. Winner of the Most Charming Award
Porcelain makers produced sample plates like these to market their range of colors and finishes. The plates would not generally be available for sale to the public. Since they are rather rare, Jill Fenichell's array of Limoges sample plates at at the New York Ceramics and Glass Fair captured my heart. How fun would it be to set a table with them!?
5. Bar Cart Beauty
It's 5:00 pm in the late 1800's and you are ready for a strong cocktail. (It's five o'clock somewhere right?) Back then, someone might offer you the highly alcoholic beverage, absinthe. Fashionable hosts served the drink using a service like this one.
The large, one handled decanter, with a "shi-shi" dog resting on the lid, held the absinthe. You would sweeten your cocktail using sugar from the two-handled bowl.
But don't overdo it or you won't appreciate the exquisite coloration and Japanese motifs of this particularly special silver and enameled absinthe set. The turtles that act as feet for the tray are beyond delightful.
Designed by French engraver, Paul Legrand for Boucheron, this beauty was hidden in plain site under glass at the Jason Jacques Gallery.
6. Go Gryffindor
Admit it. Are you having a a Harry Potter moment? I know I did when I spied this c.1860 terracotta griffin at Barbara Israel Garden Antiques at the Winter Antiques Show. The griffin is one of a pair, so you can fly with a friend.
7. Millennial Palette Pleaser
You could design an entire room around the colors of these 20th century ceramics. That millennial pink is still hot. Husband and wife team Jacques and Dani Ruelland crafted the collection. He is known for his enamel work, while she excelled at shapes. Lebreton Gallery represents their work and presented it at the Winter Antiques Show.
Were you surprised by these gems? Did you spot other unsung treasures? Please let me know in the comments.
Photo credits: First image of teapot by Robert Hunter. Detail image of the Legrand absinthe set from the Jason Jacques Gallery website. All other photos by Lynn Byrne.