Monday
Jul032017

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Part 2

I had a few free hours so I took a quick subway ride to the Met. This time, my plan was to try to see every room in the American Wing. Ha! I did not get very far. I spent too much time reading the description cards, which are really interesting. Most folks fly through the rooms but I want to learn while I am there, so I take my time. When I was a child and teeneager, I loved opulent things. Our High School American Culture Seminar took a trip to Boston back in 1975 and I was intrigued by the beautiful items in the various house museums. I would have loved  the trip I took to the Met this time. Here is a sample of the beauty:

Grecian Sofa, American Wing circa 1820-1825

Look at these legs! Imagine having this incredible sofa in your living room!

Lannuier Sideboard, American Wing, circa 1812-1819

Always good to examine a piece by Lannuier up close and personal.

Herter Brothers Arm Chair, American Wing, 1875

This stunning chair needs to be seen in person. An identical pair of chairs were placed in the White House during Ulysses S. Grant's term in 1875.

Severin Roesen, "Still Life of Fruit" circa 1855, American Wing

Astonishing display of fruit available in America during this time. Always good to study Roesen's style,technique, and breathtaking lovliness.

 

 

 

Saturday
Jun242017

The Metropolitan Museum of Art , Part 1

Well, Noonmark Antiques became a member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It made sense. Requested donations at the door are $25. a person ( although, you may pay anything you like, really!!! so there's no reason not to go!) I paid $50. for my daughter and I on Monday, and after a few days I  decided, "Why not become a member?" For a $100. membership, you get all kinds of benefits. You can bring a guest for free and get discounts in the restauarants and gift shops. Well alrighty then!

I went specifically on Thursday to become a member and then, with my newly gained sense of belonging, I decided to just wander around in rooms I had never seen instead of making a bee line for the Americana Wing and visible storage area, like I always do. Below are a few examples of remarkable objects and rooms within the Met Museum.

Tin Glazed Instand of Apollo and the Muses, 1584

Tin Glazed Inkstand of a Madman Distilling His Brains, c. 1600

Sampling of a Period Room

Remarkable marble console table. There were a pair.

Drop Front Desk ,circa 1787, attirbuted to no less than six artisans including Wedgwood and Sevres.

to be continued........

 

 

 

 

Thursday
Jun152017

Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts Including Americana Sale at Christies June 15, 2017, Auction Highlights

This was a treat for any ephemera enthusiast. I am glad I have the catalogue so that I can go back at my leisure and read through the offerings. Below are a few of special interest to me.

Lot 241 A 1777 broadside giving an account  of George Washington and his troops crossing the Delaware River and the ensuing battle in Trenton. The illustrated woodcut of a Continental soldier is quite thrilling. Estimate $40,000. -$60,000. Sold for $140,000.

Lot #275 The Earliest Obtainable Full Printing of The Star Spangled Banner in the Daily Federal Republican, Georgetown, September 1814. Somehow, I thought I had a shot at this. The Star Spangled Banner is dear to my heart. I wrote my High School term paper on this topic. It was my first research project. Hope springs eternal. I thought , possibly, this might pass under the radar. Oh no. It started at $2,000. and increment by increment ( which took about 15 minutes in hushed silence) ended at $135,000.Well done!

Lot #413 Coffee Anyone? A complete copy of the first herbal written and published in America by Johann Christoph Sauer Germantown, PA. The coffee page was posted in 1770. Folks cared about their coffee as much then as they do now. Estimate $6,000. -$9,000. Sold for $7,500.

 

Lot # 366 How to pickle barberries from The First Known Published Cookbook in America 1796. After reading this description, it hardly seems worth the trouble, don't you think? Estimate $5,000-$8,000.

Lot # 330 The Signature of Button Gwinnett, the Rarest of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence. Gwinnett emigrated to America and as a merchant, eventually settled in Georgia. He became interested in the movement toward independence, attended a meeting, and was named to the Continental Congress. He was present for the vote and signed the Declaration of Independence.Estimate $100,000. - $150,000. Sold $319,500.

Lot # 432 See above for description. Sold for $607,500.

 

 

Thursday
Jun152017

The Metropolitan Opera Guild Collection at Christie's, NYC June 15, 2017

Below are some highlights from the auction of items from the Metropolitan Opera Guild Collection at Christie's, NYC on June 15, 2017. I did not win Stravinsky's gold writing instrument ($1500.) though I did bid.

I heard through the grapevine that these were the last of the items available through the Guild. They were sold to raise money for the opera. Check out the catalogue. There were some amazing items sold today.

Lot # 51 A letter from Wolfgang Mozart to his father Leopold, explaining why he has not come to visit because of his very full performance schedule. The letter includes a list of concert dates and locations. Estimate $200,000.-$300,000. Sold for $260,000.

Lot #66 Franz Schubert Piano Sonata in A flat Major. Eight pages of manuscript and autographed by the composer. Estimate $350,000- $500,000. Sold for $390,000.

Lot #85 1 page manuscript of an ending to "Das Rheingold" one of the earliest bits of musical material introducing the public to "The Ring Cycle." Gives me goosebumps just to think....

Estimate $30,000. -$50,000. Sold for $75,000.

Afterwards, I happened upon our Auctioneer as she was being photographed for publicity. I told her that she is now my new favorite Auctioneer. She is friendly, interesting, bothered to know a bit about what she was offering, beguiling, and made personal contact with Internet bidders. She created a sense of in the moment reality with bidders from around the world right there in the room with us. In a word, Delightful. I failed to catch her name but when I find out, I will post it here.

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday
Jun132017

American Art at the Swann Auction Gallery, June 15, 2017

"Theshing Grain" by Dale Nichols,watercolor and gouache, 1946

Another warm day in NYC. I was getting cabin fever from avoiding the heat. I decided to check out the Swann Auction Gallery, which I've frequently seen advertised in the antiques newspapers. The address is 104 East 25th Street, a short distance from where we are staying.

The gallery is on the 5th & 6th floors of the building. There were a number of American works available, incuding a piece by Glackens ( which you can see on my Noonmark Face Book page) Ralph Blakelock, and the above painting, which was my favorite. I discovered later that apparently, this was a choice piece for Swann advertisers-they used it for their publicity post card.

The auction begins at 1:30 on June 15, 2017.