Enduring Love: April Birthstone Spotlight on the Diamond

Rare Tiffany & Co., Schlumberger diamond leaf-shaped brooch, American, c. 1960"s.

Rare Tiffany & Co., Schlumberger diamond leaf-shaped brooch, American, c. 1960″s. Samuel Saidian & Sons.

Derived from the Greek word “adamas” meaning “invincible,” April’s birthstone, the diamond, is thought to be the hardest substance on earth, making it a natural fit for the gemstone that best symbolizes enduring love.

Mario Buccellati eternity band, 18K gold and diamonds, Italy.Mario Buccellati eternity band, 18K gold and diamonds, Italy. Botier Inc.

The most popular gemstone for engagement rings, the April birthstone is also the traditional gift for the 60th wedding anniversary, a landmark anniversary that certainly warrants a marker of lasting love.

Art Deco brooch, featuring square-cut rubies, baguette and round-cut diamonds set in a platinum spray.  American, c. 1920-1930.Art Deco brooch, featuring square-cut rubies, baguette and round-cut diamonds set in a platinum spray.  American, c. 1920-1930. Clifford Baron Gallery.

Remarkably simply in composition,” yet unique in its ability to reflect and refract light in bursts of color, Ancient Hindus, finding the diamond washed up after thunderstorms thought it to be created by bolts of lightning and named it “vajra,” meaning lightning.

Panther, 18K white and yellow gold, yellow sapphires, and black diamonds, unknown origin, 1960's-1970's.

Panther, 18K white and yellow gold, yellow sapphires, and black diamonds, unknown origin, 1960′s-1970′s. Brian Stewart Gallery.

While transparent diamonds have traditionally been the most popular variety for jewelry, colored diamonds, such as black and yellow diamonds, are gaining popularity. The color of the diamond depends on the impurities embedded inside it.

An extraordinary antique English diamond, gold and silver necklace, Victorian period, circa 1880An extraordinary antique English diamond, gold and silver necklace, Victorian period, circa 1880. Alexander’s Antiques Gallery.

Some individual diamonds even have their own storied past, such as the “Koh-i-Noor” (“Mountain of Light”), a 5,000 year-old stone passed through Indian Rajahs to the crown of Queen Victoria. See our own extensive collection of antique and vintage diamonds here.

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April 2014 Mahattan Art & Antiques Center Highlights

april-2014-art-antiques-newsletter

Spring is finally in the air! Celebrate the start of the new season with the most recent art and antiques added to our online inventory, including objects for Easter and Passover.

The Manhattan Art & Antiques Center is located at 1050 Second Avenue at 56th Street, New York, NY. We’re open Mon-Sat 10:30 AM to 6 PM, Sun 12 noon to 6 PM. You can reach us at 212.355.4400 and info@the-maac.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for art and antique highlights.

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Visit Our Dealers at the Pier Antique Show 2014

Alexander's Antiques at the Manhattan Art & Antiques Center, exhibitor at Pier Antique Show 2014

Alexander's Antiques at the Manhattan Art & Antiques Center, exhibitor at Pier Antique Show 2014

The acclaimed Pier Antique Show kicks off this weekend at Pier 94, March 29-30, 2014. Dubbed “New York’s largest antique and art collecting event,” the Pier Show features over 400 exhibitors of the highest quality antique furniture, jewelry, decorative and fine arts. These Manhattan Art & Antiques Center dealers are participating in this year’s show.

Melody Rodgers

melody rodgers galleryMelody Rodgers, a second generation owner, offers a constantly changing collection of visually enticing and highly individual pieces. Featuring fine, faux and fashion jewelry from the 17th century to this moment.

Treasures & Pleasures

treasures and pleasuresTreasures & Pleasures offers fine jewelry, Victorian era to Modern. Antique bronze and sterling silver picture frames. Fine vintage beaded evening bags, vintage Judith Leiber bags and rare skin bags.

Gallery 47

gallery 4750 years in business, Gallery 47 features fine 20th century jewelry from Cartier, Tiffany and Van Cleef & Arpels in addition to commercial Lalique and Baccarat perfume bottles.

Josie At Place

josie at place

Josie At Place Inc., offers a fine selection of antique and estate jewelry and unusual objects of art.

Alexander’s Antiques

alexanders antiquesFor 5 generations, Alexander’s Antiques has been specializing in Art Deco, 18th, 19th and 20th century chandeliers, lighting, sculpture, clocks, ivory, furniture, paintings, jewelry and decorative objects.

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Whitney Museum Bienniel 2014

From left: a painting by Laura Owens, sculptures by Sterling Ruby, and paintings by Jacqueline Humphries in the 2014 Whitney Beinnial

"From left: a painting by Laura Owens, sculptures by Sterling Ruby, and paintings by Jacqueline Humphries in the 2014 Whitney Beinnial" Credit: Walter Robinson Source: artspace.com

We here at The Manhattan Art & Antiques Center may focus on the old but we still appreciate the new. Putting another spin on the Whitney Museum‘s usual offering of avant-garde contemporary art, the 2014 Whitney Biennial presents three floors of art, each curated by a different external curator–from New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia. As Donna De Salvo, Chief Curator at the Whitney, says: “There is little overlap in the artists [the curators] have selected and yet there is common ground. Together, the 103 participants offer one of the broadest and most diverse takes on art in the United States that the Whitney has offered in many years.” This is also your last chance to see a Biennial in the Whitney’s historic building at 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street before the Museum moves downtown to its new building.

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From the Sea: The March Birthstone Spotlight on Aquamarine

march-gemstone-aquamarine

Derived from the Roman word “aqua,” meaning “water” and “mare,” meaning “sea,” the serene March birthstone, aquamarine, certainly does recall the clear blue of the ocean. The ancient Romans believed that aquamarine was sacred to Neptune, the God of the Sea, having fallen from the jewel caskets of his sirens and washed ashore. Early sailors wore aquamarine talismans, engraved with the likeness of Neptune, for protection.

Large emerald cut aquamarine and diamond ring, circa 1950. Gallery: Samuel Saidian & Sons.

In the Roman era, in addition to granting prosperous voyages and protection from perils at sea, the aquamarine was thought to have other properties, including the power to heal various illness. Soothsayers called the stone the “magic mirror” for aiding their ability to see the future. Due to its tranquil color, the stone is also said to “cool the temper.”

A diamond, 18k gold, and aquamarine brooch by Jean Schlumberger; Tiffany & Co., France, c. 1989.A diamond, 18k gold, and aquamarine brooch by Jean Schlumberger; Tiffany & Co., France, c. 1989.

Perhaps for this property of promoting level-headedness as well as its association with safe journeys, it’s considered a symbol of security and thought to reawaken love in long-standing relationships, making it a perfect stone for any anniversary although it is traditionally the wedding anniversary gift of the very long-standing 19th wedding year.

Tiffany & Co., antique brooch with a 19 ct aquamarine and 8 cts of diamonds, 18k yellow gold and platinum, American, circa 1890.Tiffany & Co., antique brooch with a 19 ct aquamarine and 8 cts of diamonds, 18k yellow gold and platinum, American, circa 1890. Botier Inc.

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“Rising Spring” by Artist George Arthur Gaskell

English oil on canvas, "Rising Spring" by George Arthur Gaskell, signed and dated 1897.

English oil on canvas, "Rising Spring" by George Arthur Gaskell, signed and dated 1897. Gallery: Bella Antiques

After an endless winter, New York City is finally experiencing the first signs of spring, and we’re thinking of “Rising Spring” by English artist George Arthur Gaskell. This lovely oil painting of a classical muse, draped in flowers, invoking the spirit of spring from the murky skies, is one the most renowned works by the popular 19th century artist. We can only hope nature heeds her call! See a detail view and learn more about the painting here.

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The Armory Show 2014

Stelzmann_The_Armory_Show_Modern_2011

Stelzmann The Armory Show Modern 2011. Source: wikimedia.org

The Amory Show, “America’s leading fine art fair devoted to the most important art of the 20th and 21st centuries” is back for its 16th year, March 6 – 9, 2014, at Piers 92 & 94. For the duration of this important annual art event, the show also promotes Armory Arts Week to celebrate New York City’s incredibly diverse art output and institutions. See here to buy tickets for The Armory Show at the Pier, and see here for Armory Arts Week events.

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March 2014 Mahattan Art & Antiques Center Highlights

march-2014-art-antiques-newsletterWarm weather is just around the corner! See our highlights of the month, and the new items added to our website here.

The Manhattan Art & Antiques Center is located at 1050 Second Avenue at 56th Street, New York, NY. We’re open Mon-Sat 10:30 AM to 6 PM, Sun 12 noon to 6 PM. You can reach us at 212.355.4400 and info@the-maac.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for item highlights.

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Art Dealers Association of America Presents The Art Show

adaa the art show

2013 ADAA The Art Show. Works by Wim Delvoye at Sperone Westwater's booth. Photo: Micah Schmidt. Source: blouinartinfo.com

The Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) presents the 26th annual Art Show, a “thoughtfully curated solo, two-person, and thematic exhibitions by 72 of the nation’s leading art dealers.” The Art Show is on view March 5 – March 9 at the prestigious Park Avenue Armory. Tickets are available here. See a full exhibitor list here.

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The Lost Art of Ghana Movie Posters

The Lost Art of Ghana Movie Posters, The Manhattan Art & Antiques Center, Main Floor

Ghana Movie Posters Exhibition, Gallery 30, Main Floor of The Manhattan Art & Antiques Center

The Manhattan Art and Antiques Center is proud to present an exclusive exhibition of Hemingway African Gallery‘s collection of hand-painted movie posters from Ghana, on view until March 31, 2014. As Brian Gaisford, owner of Hemingway Gallery states, “While the Hollywood movie industry is famous for spending literal fortunes on their film fare and its subsequent promotion, not everyone has the means to promote movies with such gross excess: enter the lost art of the Ghana movie poster.”

ghana movie poster anaconda 3During the videocassette boom in Ghana in the 1980s, small-scale mobile theaters began to flourish around the sub-Saharan country, providing entertainment as they passed through villages. The showings often took place in social clubs, houses, or outside in the warm night. The theaters sometimes only consisted of chairs, a generator, a VCR and a television. Artists were hired to create large, colorful posters and given full creative license to attract the viewing public.

ghana movie poster the bat

To attract as many bodies as possible, the artists often added “elements that weren’t in the actual films, or without even having seen the movies.” The result was a body of highly unique and imaginative one-off pieces. The posters were created on large canvases, often on flour sacks. Artists used oil paints for flexibility and rolled up the pieces for easy transport to the next show. Bursting with energy and a unique exuberance, the pieces began to garner Western attention.

ghana movie poster bulletproof

Today, with much easier access to VHS, DVD, and the internet, the mobile cinema has largely died out in the country, and with it, the quality of the posters that advertised the events. The few outfits that continue the practice do so with much less interesting photocopied images announcing the show. Hence, Hemingway African Gallery’s exhibition represents a fascinating look at a cultural relic of the recent past.

ghana movie poster moving target

According to The Wall Street Journal, collectors in the avid market that has sprung around the movie posters pay “$1,800 to $2,500—sometimes up to $15,000—for a vintage poster,” according to Glen Joffe, owner of Primitive Inc. gallery in Chicago. Three exhibitions of Ghanaian posters are planned for this year in galleries around the country. The Manhattan Art & Antiques Center’s show is the exclusive current show in New York. Contact Hemingway African Gallery here.

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