The Woven Art of Antique Uzbek Ikat

Antique Russian Silk Ikat Wall Hanging. Silk with cotton lining, Uzbekistan, Russia, 1880.  H:  75"  W:  60"Antique Russian Silk Ikat Wall Hanging. Silk with cotton lining, Uzbekistan, Russia, 1880.  H:  75″  W:  60″. Alexander’s Antiques, Gallery 43/212.935.9386

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 it 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.

An Unusual Antique Silk and Cotton Russian Ikat Jacket. Very rare colors, cotton lining and beaded trim. Silk and cotton, Uzbekistan, Russia, 1860.  H:  49"  L:  70"

An Unusual Antique Silk and Cotton Russian Ikat Jacket. Very rare colors, cotton lining and beaded trim. Silk and cotton, Uzbekistan, Russia, 1860. H:  49″  L:  70″. Alexander’s Antiques, Gallery 43/212.935.9386

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 the process of tightly binding bundles of thread in a desired pattern before dyeing. The bindings 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 cloth.

Woven Ikat from Central Asia made of silk and cotton, Uzbekistan, 19th century.  5 1/2 ft  x 4 ft

Woven Ikat from Central Asia made of silk and cotton, Uzbekistan, 19th century. 5 1/2 ft  x 4 ft. Les Looms, Gallery 59/212.752.0995

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 the ikat featured here, contact Alexander’s Antiques and Les Looms.

Antique Russian Ikat Jacket. A fine Antique Russian ikat jacket in natural silk, geometric motif with beaded trim. One of many in the collection. Silk and cotton lining, Uzbekistan, Russia, 1890.  H: 50" L: 67"

Antique Russian Ikat Jacket. A fine Antique Russian ikat jacket in natural silk, geometric motif with beaded trim. One of many in the collection. Silk and cotton lining, Uzbekistan, Russia, 1890. H: 50″ L: 67″. Alexander’s Antiques, Gallery 43/212.935.9386

Antique Russian Silk Ikat. Long, narrow antique Russian silk ikat. Silk, Russia, 1880's.  L:  144" W: 18"

Antique Russian Silk Ikat. Long, narrow antique Russian silk ikat. Silk, Russia, 1880′s. L:  144″ W: 18″. Alexander’s Antiques, Gallery 43/212.935.9386

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The Manhattan Art & Antiques Center Welcomes New Gallery, The Antique Toy Shop

Bisque head trainer with poodle , Pull along automata , France 1890

Bisque head trainer with poodle , Pull along automata , France 1890. The Antique Toy Shop, Gallery 13/theantiquetoyshop@yahoo.com

The Manhattan Art & Antiques 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.

Blink a Gear Robot with original box , Taiyo , Made in Japan , 1960

Blink a Gear Robot with original box , Taiyo , Made in Japan , 1960. The Antique Toy Shop, Gallery 13/theantiquetoyshop@yahoo.com

A veritable Santa’s treasure bag of classic toys: cars, planes, 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.

Large Celluloid Santa Claus , Petitcollin , France 1930

Large Celluloid Santa Claus , Petitcollin , France 1930. The Antique Toy Shop, Gallery 13/theantiquetoyshop@yahoo.com

Gallery owner, Jean-Pol Ventugol buys single items as well as complete collections. His exceptional finds range from ex-shop stock to barn finds. To inquire about any of the toys featured here or to see more pieces, contact theantiquetoyshop@yahoo.com. Don’t hesitate to ask for an appointment!

Blink a Gear Robot with original box , Taiyo , Made in Japan , 1960

Mechanical Chimes Trooper Robot Astronaut, Asc , Made in Japan 1950. The Antique Toy Shop, Gallery 13/theantiquetoyshop@yahoo.com

ST1 Robot with cart , Strenco , Made in Germany 1950

ST1 Robot with cart , Strenco , Made in Germany 1950. The Antique Toy Shop, Gallery 13/theantiquetoyshop@yahoo.com

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CNN Profiles Manhattan Art & Antiques Center Dealer, Robert Llyod, the World’s No.1 Guiness Art Dealer

Original advertisement art for Guinness Beer, England, 1949.

Original advertisement art for Guinness Beer, England, 1949. Robert Lloyd/Gallery 63. 212.750.8752/rlloydinc@aol.com

Vanessa Yurkevich of CNN Money reports, “Meet the world’s No.1 dealer in Guinness art,” Manhattan Art & Antiques Center dealer, Robert Lloyd. See original prints from his collection HERE. [Robert Lloyd/Gallery 63 - 212.750.8752/rlloydinc@aol.com]

Robert Lloyd, a New York antique dealer, holds an unusual distinction: He is the world’s largest dealer of Guinness advertising art.

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 say exactly how many he bought, but he said he has sold a couple hundred and has about 125 left.

The paintings are all single originals — there are no copies.

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250th Anniversary of Baccarat, the Crystalworks of Royalty

baccarat colored crystal

Selection of colored crystal glasses, Intertrus Gallery; Gallery 60/212.888.4885

This year marks the 250th anniversary of Baccarat, the undisputed paramount crystalworks in the world. Founded in 1734 in the town of Baccarat, Lorrainne with the permission of Louis XV of France, the Baccarat company began its illustrious reign as glassmakers to royalty. In 1823, Baccarat received its first royal commission, which was followed by requests from around the world, “including Tsar Nicholas II, the emperor of Japan, and various maharajahs.”

Colored crystal Baccarat piece

Colored crystal Baccarat piece, Intertrus Gallery; Gallery 60/212.888.4885

Perhaps most popularly known for their lovely millefiore works, Baccarat’s real legend was built on masterworks such as the 1840 “Zenith chandelier,” which paved the way for a magnificent era in Parisian lighting, and the reign of colored crystalworks from renowned Baccarat designer George Chevalier, which began in 1916, and ushered Baccarat into modern times.

selection of baccarat crystal glass set

Selection from hand-etched crystalworks set, Intertrus Gallery; Gallery 60/212.888.4885

Etched crystal glasses

Etched crystal glasses from set above

The magnificent pieces in this post are representative of Chevalier’s aesthetic. From kings to stars, Baccarat began to design for celebrities such as Josephine Baker and worked with artists such as Salvador Dali. Baccarat works have graced royal dining rooms, lavish parties, and sanctified museums around the world, encompassing the entire spectrum of the upper echelons of society for over two centuries. To learn more about the exquisite pieces featured in this post, reach out to Intertrus.

Baccarat decanter

Baccarat decante, Intertrus Gallery; Gallery 60/212.888.4885

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10 Antique Textiles and Tapestries From Around the World

antique-russian-ikat-jacket

1. A fine Antique Russian ikat jacket in natural silk, geometric motif with beaded trim. Silk and cotton lining, Uzbekistan, Russia, 1890. [Alexander's Antiques: Gallery 43/212.935.9386]

It’s Textile Tuesday in the online art world. We’re celebrating with 10 exemplary antique textiles and tapestries recently added to our website. Textiles, which are defined as “yarns woven or knitted to make fabric,” likely dates as far back as 100,000 years ago to the felt textiles created by Stone Age peoples. The cotton, silk, and linen textiles we know today first began to appear in India, Egypt, and China around 5000 B.C. Since then, diverse peoples in every corner of the world have employed various styles of textiles to adorn themselves and their homes. The basic techniques of weaving, however, have remained relatively the same over time, so when you look upon an antique ikat jacket or an Aubusson tapestry, you’re looking at a tradition that has been passed down through centuries, a crucial way for people to express their cultures and relationship to the world.

Verdure Tapestry Pillow. 18th century Aubusson tapestry fragment/pillow. Wool and silk, France, 1750.

2. Verdure Tapestry Pillow. 18th century Aubusson tapestry fragment/pillow. Wool and silk, France, 1750. [Les Looms: Gallery 59/212.752.0995]

Antique Chinese Silk and Cotton Wall Hanging. With floral motif. Silk, China, 1880.3. Antique Chinese Silk and Cotton Wall Hanging. With floral motif. Silk, China, 1880. [Alexander's Antiques: Gallery 43/212.935.9386]

Large Antique Paisley Hand Woven Shawl. A fine antique rectangluar had woven pasiley shawl with small black medalion in the center. Kashmere wool, 1850, India.4. Antique Kashmere Paisley Hand Woven Shawl. A fine antique rectangular hand-woven paisley shawl with small black medallion in the center. Kashmir wool, 1850, India. [Alexander's Antiques: Gallery 43/212.935.9386]

Verdure Tapestry Pillow. 18th century Aubusson tapestry fragment / pillow. Wool and silk, France, 1750.5. Aubusson Tapestry Pillow. 18th century Aubusson tapestry fragment / pillow. Wool and silk, France, 1750. [Les Looms: Gallery 59/212.752.0995]

Antique Russian Silk Ikat Wall Hanging. Silk with cotton lining, Uzbekistan, Russia, 1880.6. Antique Russian Silk Ikat Wall Hanging. Silk with cotton lining, Uzbekistan, Russia, 1880. [Alexander's Antiques: Gallery 43/212.935.9386]

Framed 18th Century Tapestry Picture. Original 18th century French tapestry depicting a hunter in the wilderness. Wool and silk, Frnace, 1860.7. Framed 18th Century Tapestry Picture. Original 18th century French tapestry depicting a hunter in the wilderness. Wool and silk, France, 1860. [Les Looms: Gallery 59/212.752.0995]

Antique Russian Silk Ikat. Long, narrow antique Russian silk ikat. Silk, Russia, 1880's.8. Long, Narrow Antique Russian Silk Ikat. Silk, Russia, 1880′s. [Alexander's Antiques: Gallery 43/212.935.9386]

An Unusual Antique Silk and Cotton Russian Ikat Jacket. Very rare colors, cotton lining and beaded trim. Silk and cotton, Uzbekistan, Russia, 1860.9. An Unusual Antique Silk and Cotton Russian Ikat Jacket. Very rare colors, cotton lining and beaded trim. Silk and cotton, Uzbekistan, Russia, 1860. [Alexander's Antiques: Gallery 43/212.935.9386]

French Brocade. 18th century brocade, silk, France, 1780.10. 18th century French Brocade. 18th century brocade, silk, France, 1780. [Les Looms: Gallery 59/212.752.0995]

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“Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire” at the Met

Death Becomes Her, Anna Wintour Costume Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Death Becomes Her, currently on view at the Anna Wintour Costume Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

As the year wanes in fits of rain, fog, and dramatic gray skies, an apropos exhibition to catch is the The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire” (October 21, 2014 – February 1, 2015). A slight but atmospheric show, this is the first fall exhibition in seven years at the Met Costume Institute, which recently reopened in May as the Anna Wintour Costume Center. Taking its cues from this fashion legend, “Death Becomes Her” is a meticulously staged, dramatically lit show that pays particular attention to details. Mourning dress in the 19th and early 20th century, as it turns out, was all about the details. The exhibition, which tracks the aesthetic and cultural evolution of mourning attire over the century, highlights the ways in which mourning clothes bore social and political cues in Chantilly lace and satin folds.

Death Becomes Her, The Met

The shifting from deep black to glossy black to browns and grays indicated that the woman was coming out of mourning, and in an age when marriage was inextricably tied to money, eligible again. In the 19th century, a woman in mourning was a dangerous woman–in other words, a desirable woman. A widow, who has sexual experience, no marital restraints, and potentially an independent fortune, was indeed becoming at a time when the questions of death, money, and sex echoed even louder than they do now.

Death Becomes Her, The Met

Death Becomes Her, The Met Death Becomes Her, The Met Death Becomes Her, The MetDeath Becomes Her, The MetDeath Becomes Her, The Met

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NEW Vintage & Antique Finds: Meissen Porcelain Figurine of an Original Sketch Comic

18th Century Meissen Commedia Dell'arte Porcelain Figurine by J. J. Kandler, Germany, 18th century

18th Century Meissen Commedia Dell'arte Porcelain Figurine by J. J. Kandler, Germany, 18th century. Alexander's Antiques (Gallery 43/212.935.9386)

Oh, to be in love, and with yourself, no less. This exquisite 18th century porcelain figurine by the preeminent Meissen porcelain modelleur, Johann Joachim Kändler (1707-1775) depicts a member of a commedia dell’arte comedy troupe in the guise of an innamorata, a character in love with another character, as well as himself. Begun in 16th century Italy, commedia dell’arte was responsible for the advent of improvised performances based on sketches; in short, sketch comedy. According to Italian historians, this “comedy of craft” rose as a response to the political and economic crisis of the time in Italy, and as a consequence, became the first professional form of theater. The performers played outside on temporary stages, playing a variety of social “types.” The three main stock roles were “the servants (zanni), the masters or elders (almost always old men hence their Italian name, the vecchi) and the lovers (innamorati),” the latter of which is depicted here.

This exquisitely-painted jovial lover is marked by a wide, preening smile and numerous beauty marks spreading across a face framed by a flamboyant hat. Also take note of his extravagant pants featuring finely detailed playing cards, perhaps referring to his profession as a “player” upon the stage. Johann Joachim (J.J.) Kändler, whose work can be seen in museums around the world, was best known for such figures of Italian Comedy, which gave “a more evocative sense of this form of theatre than most illustrations.” The classic commedia plot is that of innamorati who wish to marry against the wishes of vecchi, and eventually with the help of zanni, end up doing so, but the conventional plot was simply background for the performers, who the audiences really came to see. Through arch and expressive performances, as indicated in this figurine’s stance, this craft was elevated to art. To learn more about this piece, contact Alexander’s Antiques.

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The Art World’s Black Friday: Art Basel Miami Beach

Jean-Michel Basquiat at Tina Kim

Jean-Michel Basquiat at Tina Kim. Source: news.artnet.com

The biggest party in the art world, Art Basel Miami is this weekend, December 4-7, on the glittering shores of Miami Beach. Featuring over 250 leading galleries across the globe, Basel draws over 70,000 visitors a year intent on soaking in the whirlwind experience of  pop culture, soirees, and art. ArtNet has put together a helpful list of 10 Booths To See At Art Basel this year for those having trouble wading through the variety.

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NEW Vintage & Antique Finds: “Fauconnier Arabe À Cheval” by Premiere Animaliere, Pierre Jules Mène

"Fauconnier Arabe À Cheval" Bronze Sculpture by Pierre Jules Mène, numbered 704, silvered bronze, France, 1810-1879.

"Fauconnier Arabe À Cheval" Bronze Sculpture by Pierre Jules Mène, numbered 704, silvered bronze, France, 1810-1879. Alexander's Antiques (Gallery 43/212.935.9386)

Every time you come across a sublime 19th century animal sculpture, you’re looking at a work that owes a debt to French sculptor Pierre Jules Mène (1810-1879). Considered the “pioneer of animal sculpture” in his time, Mène belonged to the elite school of French animalières that included Pierre Louis Rouillard, Antoine-Louis Barye, and his son-in-law Auguste Caïn. The son of a metal turner, Mène learned to cast and chase bronze from his father, focusing on small bronze figures, “which explains why none of his works exist as public statuary” compared to some of his contemporaries. In 1838, he opened his own foundry with his son-in-law Auguste-Nicolas Cain, in order to cast his own work.

Initially, Mène focused on the domestic animal figures (cows, sheep, etc.), that were in vogue at the time. Due to the high quality of his work, his sculptures were very popular among the bourgeois and he made several editions of each sculpture, often to decorate the growing number of private homes. This spirited sculpture of an Arab falconer astride a magnificent rearing horse represents the shift in the mid-nineteenth century that many animalières made towards Orientalism, even as they continued to work with animal subjects. The energy and feeling in the visages of the falconer and horse are among the qualities that set Mène apart from his peers, save Barye. Mène was also known as the premiere lost-wax casting expert of his time, later surpassed only by Auguste Rodin. To learn more this bronze sculpture, contact Alexander’s Antiques

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Visit Our Dealers At The Pier Antique Show This Weekend!

pier-antique-showIndustry mainstay, the Pier Antique Show is going digital this year. Show producer, U.S. Antique Shows, the world’s largest producer of indoor antique shows, has partnered with The High Boy, a new, curated online marketplace for antiques, fine art and 20th century design, for the fall 2014 Pier Show, November 22-23 at Pier 94. You can enter a giveaway contest for a $1000 certificate towards future purchases by visiting the High Boy booth. The Pier Antique Show features more than 400 exhibitors of quality antique furniture, jewelry, decorative and fine arts, including six of our dealers.

1) Gallery 47

Ear clips, custom made by Sorab & Roshi, featuring diamonds and 5 types of coral set in18K gold, American, circa 1980s.  Diameter: 1-1/4"

Ear clips, custom made by Sorab & Roshi, featuring diamonds and 5 types of coral set in18K gold, American, circa 1980s. Diameter: 1-1/4″

Now a half-century 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. Gallery 47/212.888.0165/ken@gallery47.com

2) Melody Rodgers

Eisenberg original fur clip, handset marquis crystal stones in sterling silver.  A rare item in excellent condition.  Featured in the "Jewels of Fantasy" book, Chicago, USA, c. 1940.
Eisenberg original fur clip, handset marquis crystal stones in sterling silver. A rare item in excellent condition. Featured in the “Jewels of Fantasy” book, Chicago, USA, c. 1940.
A second generation owner, Melody Rodgers 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. Gallery #10A/212.758.3164/info@melodyrodgers.com

3) Treasures & Pleasures

Judith Leiber Magenta and Gold Leather Handbag with Cord Strap, USA, 1980"s.  7" x 5-1/2"

Judith Leiber Magenta and Gold Leather Handbag with Cord Strap, USA, 1980″s. 7″ x 5-1/2″.

Treasures & Pleasures offers fine jewelry, Victorian era to Modern, antique bronze and sterling silver picture frames, and a gorgeous collection of fine vintage beaded evening bags, including vintage Judith Leiber bags and rare skin bags. Gallery #35/212.750.1929/carole.tpleasures@gmail.com

4) Hoffman-Gampetro

18K Gold and Carved Agate Cameo Box, 20th century box set with a 19th century deeply carved cameo and lined with cabochon emeralds. 18K gold, carved agate and emeralds, box:  first quarter of the 20th century, agate carving:  19th century.

18K Gold and Carved Agate Cameo Box, 20th century box set with a 19th century deeply carved cameo and lined with cabochon emeralds. 18K gold, carved agate and emeralds, box:  first quarter of the 20th century, agate carving:  19th century.

Since 1978 at the MAAC, Hoffman-Gampetro has been an emporium of collectibles, objets de vertu, period jewelry and decorations. Gallery #37/212.758.1252/shop91@verizon.net

5) Robin’s Antiques

19th Century Viennese Bronze with Enamel and Lapis, signed “S. Weizss,” bronze, Austria, 19th century.

For over 100 years, this family-owned company has been known nationally and internationally.  Robin’s Antiques specializes in 18th, 19th and 20th century European Decorative Arts as well as Fine Arts. Gallery #62/#212.310.01/robinsantiques@gmail.com

6) Rosalie Clauson Antiques

Silver gilt and enamel circular box and cover with a painted floral scene, France, c. 1890.

Since 1980, Rosalie Clauson has specialized in a wide array of silver items ranging from the 17th to the 20th century and vintage picture frames. Gallery 17/212.888.9078/ezu12@yahoo.com

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