Born in the USA

With TEFAF at the helm, this year’s au­tumn fair at New York’s Ar­mory is larger and of­fers more trea­sures than ever

Country Life Every Week - - Art Market -

THERE were fewer Amer­i­can col­lec­tors at the TEFAF Maas­tricht Fair than usual this year and, al­though there was Amer­i­can buy­ing at LA­PADA, I sus­pect that the same may be true of the early-au­tumn fairs in Lon­don and Paris. Euro­pean deal­ers head­ing for New York to ex­hibit at the new Tefaf-or­gan­ised event at the Park Av­enue Ar­mory from Oc­to­ber 22 to 26 are trust­ing that ‘not trav­el­ling’ will not equate to ‘not buy­ing’.

As I have men­tioned be­fore, re­ces­sions and times of po­lit­i­cal tur­bu­lence are gen­er­ally good for the tra­di­tional art and an­tiques trade and the USA is likely to be in a febrile con­di­tion even after Novem­ber 8, so a cer­tain de­gree of con­fi­dence is jus­ti­fied. In Fe­bru­ary, after 28 years, Anna and Brian Haughton, or­gan­is­ers of the au­tumn In­ter­na­tional Fairs at the Ar­mory, trans­ferred own­er­ship to TEFAF, so this event is both a con­tin­u­a­tion and a new be­gin­ning.

With 94 ex­hibitors, it will be larger than for some time and many are Maas­tricht veter­ans, not all of whom have pre­vi­ously shown in New York. Oth­ers are re­turn­ing after a time away. About two-thirds are Euro­pean, in­clud­ing at least 25 from Lon­don.

Like its pre­de­ces­sor, but not Maas­tricht, which in­cludes a some­times vari­able con­tem­po­rary ele­ment, this fair will range from an­tiq­uity to the early 20th cen­tury and a sec­ond new event or­gan­ised by TEFAF and its part­ner Artvest, a New York in­vest­ment ad­vi­sory ser­vice, will be launched next May to of­fer Mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary art.

Koop­man, the Chancery Lane sil­ver dealer, is al­ways able to find pieces that tickle the palates of par­tic­u­lar au­di­ences and, here, it does so with a tureen by Paul Storr (1771–1844), who is one of the com­pany’s spe­cial­i­ties. A group of pieces by him will in­clude the oval tureen on a stand (Fig 1), which was pre­sented in 1799 by share­hold­ers to Thomas Will­ing (1731– 1821), the first pres­i­dent of the First Na­tional Bank of the United States in Philadel­phia, then the in­fant coun­try’s cap­i­tal. Al­though Will­ing had voted against the Dec­la­ra­tion of In­de­pen­dence, his part­ner Robert Mor­ris was known as the ‘fi­nancier of the Rev­o­lu­tion’. Sound bank­ing prac­tice, no doubt.

An item shown by the arms and ar­mour spe­cial­ist Peter Finer also has a tan­gen­tial con­nec­tion to Philadel­phia. A buffe is a pro­tec­tor for the throat and lower face that fits be­tween a hel­met and cuirass. This one (Fig 2) was made in about 1586 as part of an ar­mour gar­ni­ture for the Elec­tor Chris­tian I of Sax­ony by the last of the great Augs­burg ar­mour­ers, An­ton Pef­fen­hauser (1525–1603). Most other el­e­ments of the gar­ni­ture, in­clud­ing the hel­met, are still in the Dres­den Ar­moury (or, de­light­fully, in Ger­man, Rüstkam­mer) but one piece, a vam­plate—the round plate that pro­tects the hand hold­ing a lance—is now in the Philadel­phia Mu­seum of Art.

A mar­ble bust of Lt-gen Sir Her­bert Tay­lor (1775–1839) (Fig 3), which will be with To­masso Broth­ers, shows him, dis­creetly, in Ro­man ar­mour, but he must have been as ac­com­plished a diplo­mat as a soldier. He was aide-de-camp to the Duke of York, pri­vate sec­re­tary to Ge­orge III and Queen Char­lotte, mil­i­tary sec­re­tary to the Duke of Welling­ton, ad­ju­tant­gen­eral of the forces and pri­vate sec­re­tary to Wil­liam IV and aide-de-camp to the young Vic­to­ria. De­spite the no­to­ri­ous dif­fi­cul­ties of Ge­orge IV with the rest of the fam­ily, Tay­lor also re­mained on good terms with him.

The bust is by Samuel Joseph (1791–1850) and the choice of proud Ro­man at­tire was not only pro­fes­sion­ally ap­pro­pri­ate and fash­ion­able, but per­son­ally, too, as, on re­tire­ment, it was in Rome that he died.

The cur­rent 12th Earl of Shaftes­bury could be ex­cused a touch of im­mod­esty about his achieve­ment in bring­ing back from near death St Giles House, the fam­ily seat in Dorset. Vir­tu­ally aban­doned in 1954, it was on the reg­is­ter of Build­ings at Risk in 2001, but, 10 years after the Earl’s ac­ces­sion in 2005, it won the His­toric Houses As­so­ci­a­tion and Sotheby’s Restora­tion Award. Alas, over the decades of aban­don­ment, much of the best fur­ni­ture was sold off and, at today’s prices, there could be lit­tle chance of get­ting much of it back.

Fig 3: Bust of Lt-gen Sir Her­bert Tay­lor. With To­masso Broth­ers

Fig 1: Oval sil­ver tureen (1799). With Koop­man

Fig 2: Buffe (about 1586). With Peter Finer

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.