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Magazine    January 2003

A Winter of Antiques

An English mechanical table made by Robert Jupe, circa 1830

Early 19th-century Austrian mosaic

European dealers are as bullish on America as ever, as witnessed by their strong showing at the nation's most prestigious East Coast antiques shows this month. Mallett, the preeminent suppliers of museum-quality English and Continental antique furniture, fine art and decorative accessories, not only is showing at the Winter Antiques Show in New York and at the Palm Beach International Art and Antique Fair, the high-brow firm will be hanging a shingle in New York, on Madison Avenue, this spring.

"The new shop in Manhattan reaffirms our view of the strength and importance of the American market" says associate director Jeremy Garfield-Davies. "We like to see our clients at the shows in San Francisco, New York and Palm Beach, but the Manhattan location will serve as a permanent shopfront for our business, especially now since people are traveling less." Mallett will be shipping to both the New York and Florida antiques estravaganzas a broad sweep of antique furniture, lighting, mirrors and other accessories. At the Winter Antiques Show, the firm's centerpiece will be an exceptionally big expanding round mechanical table that seats up to 12 people. One of largest the firm has ever had, the Mallett offering comes with two sets of leaves and is signed by Robert Jupe, the leading maker of patented expandable tables in the 19th century. (It is similar to the one pictured above, though much wider and more substantial, with lions paw feet to anchor the table's wide girth.) Coincidentally, Jupe's premises on Bond Street are just a block away from the Mallett shop.

Historical Design, specialists in silver, glass, ceramic and wood objects from the Art Nouveau, British and American Arts & Crafts, Art Deco, and early modern styles, was invited to exhibit for the first time in Palm Beach and given a prestigious spot, the first booth at the entry. The display will include an original mosaic panel by Leopold Forstner, who made all of the Gustav Klimt mosaics in the dining room of the Palais Stoclet in Brussels and whose work is in the collection of Ronald Lauder's Neue Galerie in Manhattan including a very large mosaic of Saint George and the dragon installed on the left entrance of the museum. While known for small silver pieces, such as a Josef Hoffmann silver-and-ivory teapot made for the 1925 Paris Exhibition, Historical Design also will be transporting to Palm Beach a set of elaborate Louis Katona wrought-iron entrance gates originally made circa 1925 for a salon on Fifth Avenue.

East Coast dealers specializing in American furniture and collectibles predominate the Winter Antiques Show in New York, with pieces such as a marked Herter Brothers rosewood parlor cabinet, made circa 1870 with hand-painted doors, offered by Associated Artists, a design firm co-founded by Louis Comfort Tiffany in 1879 and patronized by some of America's most prominent families.

Palm Beach's 60 exhibitors include 24 antiquarians from the United Kingdom, and a smattering from France, Belgium, Italy, the northern European countries and South America, and they will be bringing with them antique furniture, paintings, jewelry, antiquities, ceramics, textiles and objets d'art. Furniture highlights in Florida include a gilt bronze and mahogany fireplace and mirror believed to be part of the bedroom suite of the King of Prussia in the 1890s, offered by Adrian Alan of London, and a 1940s sideboard of flamed mahogany with ivory details and a marble top designed by Rene Joubert and Philippe Petit for D.I.M., offered by Valerio in Coral Gables.

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Winter Antiques Show
Seventh Regiment Armory
Park Avenue at 67th Street
New York, New York
January 17 to 26

Palm Beach International Art and Antiques Fair
International Pavilion of the Palm Beaches
Okeechobee Boulevard and South Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach, Florida
January 30 to February 9
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