In the 19th century, in the desert oases along the Silk Road, the eye-catching art of ikat flourished. Likely one of the oldest forms of textile decoration, ikat is common to many cultures around the globe. The word "ikat" itself originates from the Indonesian language, where, depending on context, it means to bind, knot, thread, or cord. Before if became commercialized, ikat produced between 1800 and 1890 was considered a particularly unique and creative artistic practice, and among the Central Asian desert cities of the time, the most exemplary ikat came from the city of Bukhara, today known as Uzbekistan.
Of all the desert trading cities along the Silk Road, Bukhara had "the best economy, the most trade and the most surplus wealth," which naturally lent itself to cultivating the best artisans. Each stage of the elaborate Ikat process was performed by a specialized craftsman. Briefly, ikat employs "resist dyeing," which is a process of tightly binding bundles of threads in a desired pattern before dying. The binding can then be altered and the thread bundles can be dyed again to form glorious multi-colored patterns such as the ones showcased in this post. After the dyeing is finished, the threads are woven into the cloth.
Uzbek ikat were symbols of prestige, wealth, and power. It is said that a stranger walking through one of the desert cities in Central Asia could guess the status of a townsperson just by what they were wearing. It wasn't uncommon for the poorer members of society to add torn or discarded pieces of ikat to their outfits, as evidenced by old photographs. To learn more about ikat featured here, contact Alexander's Antiques and Les Looms.
The Manhattan Art & Antique Center is proud to welcome new gallery, The Antique Toy Shop, a time capsule to childhood memories from 1880 to the 1970s. The gallery offers rare and unique antique toys in original condition, mostly with their original boxes.
A veritable Santa's treasure bag of classic toys: cars, plans, motorcycles, robots, flying saucers, pedal cars, steam engines, toy soldiers, diecast models, automata, Disneyana, and more are to be found at The Antique Toy Shop, Gallery 13, on the street-level floor of the Center.
He has bought hundreds of paintings, once lost to obscurity in a London archive, that were original renderings of iconic Guinness posters displayed in pubs and college dorm rooms.
The paintings are by the English artist John Gilroy, who died in 1985.
Gilroy worked for S.H. Benson, an advertising agency that held the Guinness account from 1929 until the late 1960s. Gilroy designed thousands of posters for the beer giant's ad campaigns.
Lloyd, the antique dealer, came upon his Guinness obsession somewhat accidentally.
Nearly five years ago, he was at an antique show in Florida when he stumbled on a few of the original Guinness paintings.
Lloyd bought what the dealer had on hand but was thirsty for more. He went to London to see the rest of the paintings--and wasted no time snapping them up.
"I bought them from a very astute business man," said lloyd, declining to elaborate. "They were not on the market."
The paintings had apparently spent some 40 years stored away in a London building that had housed the offices of the S.H. Benson agency.
Lloyd won't exactly say how many he bought, but he said he sold a couple hundred and has about 125 left.
The paintings are all single originals--there are no copies.