Nautical and Americana at Kaminski Auctions Summer Estate Sale, August 24

Brian Coole, view of Boston from Chelsea shore, circa 1850, oil on board

Lot# 2109 -Brian Coole, view of Boston from Chelsea shore, circa 1850, oil on board, Summer 2014 Estate Sale; Kaminski Auctions

On August 24, the flagship Massachusetts branch of Kaminski Auctions will be holding an exceptional summer estate sale. See below for more information. The New York branch of Kaminski Auctions is located on the main floor of The Manhattan Art & Antique Center, Gallery #28, 917.701.8162. Kaminski offers free expert appraisal service at the Center every Tuesday from 10:30 am – 5:00 pm.

Kaminski Auctions Annual Nautical and Americana auction this year will held August 24th, 2014, starting at 10:00am at their Beverly auction gallery, 117 Elliot Street, Rt. 62, Beverly, Massachusetts.  The sale features a fantastic selection of nautical paintings from several important marine artists including Brian Coole, as well as American artists James Fulton Pringle, Thaddeus Bannister, Charles Woodbury, A.T. Hibbard, Emile Gruppe, Chester Hardin, and Anthony Cirino.  There is also a pair of America’s Cup paintings of the Royal Yacht Squadron racing off Cowes, thought to be from the circle of Nicholas Matthew Condy (1815-1851).

Lot# 2107 -A.T. Hibbard (American 1886-1972), Provincetown, 1920, oil on artist board

Lot# 2107 -A.T. Hibbard (American 1886-1972), Provincetown, 1920, oil on artist board. Summer 2014 Estate Sale; Kaminski Auctions

A wonderful engraving by C. Mottram depicting Boston Harbor circa 1857 is estimated at $1,500-$2,500 and a second important engraving by Martins After Garneray, titled “Preche De La Baline – The Whale Fishery”, is estimated at  $1000-$1500.

Also included is an important portrait of John Appleton, merchant of Salem, circa 1800, from a Massachusetts estate. He is depicted seated before a table with a ledger and packet of letters.  The work is oil on canvas, and is signed, dated and inscribed on the reverse by the American colonial era painter Michele Felice Corne (American 1752-1845).  There is also a portrait of Warren Hastings, oil on canvas, labeled “Sir Joshua Reynolds.”

Lot# 2135 -Charles H. Woodbury (American 1864-1940), seascape, oil on canvas

Lot# 2135 -Charles H. Woodbury (American 1864-1940), seascape, oil on canvas. Summer 2014 Estate Sale; Kaminski Auctions

Ship model collectors will be interested in a builder’s model of the Santo Paulo for Grace Line Inc., produced by Boucher Lewis Precision Models. The piece is an exact replica and measures eighty five and three quarters inches long by twenty one inches high. It is estimated at $5,000- $7,000 while a Windsor Castle ship model circa 1950s is estimated at $200-$3000.

Important American furniture in the sale includes an 18th century block front Chippendale mahogany desk, with fancy interior, descended from the Governor Winthrop’s family. An early Queen Anne carved black walnut highboy by Samuel Sewall of York, Maine, circa 1755, will also feature in the auction. It is embellished with a cupid’s bow apron and forward facing rear legs, and is estimated at  $5,000-$7,000.

Lot# 2126 -Early Queen Anne carved black walnut highboy with cupid's bow apron and forward facing rear legs, intact wooden pins and sycamore secondary wood, circa 1755, Samuel Sewall, York, ME

Lot# 2126 -Early Queen Anne carved black walnut highboy with cupid's bow apron and forward facing rear legs, intact wooden pins and sycamore secondary wood, circa 1755, Samuel Sewall, York, ME. Summer 2014 Estate Sale; Kaminski Auctions

There is also a carved cherry wood Chippendale serpentine front four drawer chest with bracket feet, circa 1770-90, estimated at  $5,000-$8,000, and a circa 1840, Colchester, CT mahogany block front slant lid desk with original brasses on magnificent double ogee feet and curlicue base with heavy brass handles on the sides.  It is estimated at $3,000-$5,000. Also in the sale is a nicely carved Salem, MA secretary with elaborate finials and reed legs, including all original finish and hardware, circa 1800-10, and estimated at $3,000-$5,000.

English furniture and antiques are also well represented, as well as a large selection of Asian items including a Ming dynasty bronze buddha,a Chinese bronze censor, an 18th Century matched pair of Qing Dynasty carved ancestral arm chairs, and a carved Zitan screen with jade insets.

Lot# 2108-18th century, block front Chippendale Governor Winthrop desk, mahogany with fancy interior, with provenance to the Governor Winthrop family

Lot# 2108-18th century, block front Chippendale Governor Winthrop desk, mahogany with fancy interior, with provenance to the Governor Winthrop family. Summer 2014 Estate Sale; Kaminski Auctions

Preview for this exciting sale will be held Thursday August 21st through Friday August 23rd, 10:00am-5:00pm and 8:00 am on Saturday, August 24th, day of sale.  For more information or to sign up to bid go to our website www.kaminskiauctions.com or call 978-927-2223.

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NEW Vintage & Antique Finds: Buccellati Mermaid Fantasy Silver Centerpiece

stunning-detailed-and-highly-unique-sterling-3954-IMG_8849

Magnificent Sterling Silver Centerpiece by Buccellati, Sterling silver, Milan, Italy, 20th century. Gallery #65: Estate Silver/212.758.4858

Today in our NEW Vintage & Antique Finds series, we present a nautical fever dream from the incomparable high-end designer Buccellati. Easily Italy’s most renowned luxury jewelry brand, Buccellati brings an equally impressive stamp of “timeless eccentricity” to their one-of-a-kind silverware. It’s hard to imagine a more stunning example of their unique vision than this sterling silver centerpiece of a mermaid-driven sea chariot.

Fancifully ensconced on a nautilus shell, with a lobster holding her flowing locks aloft and flying fish pulling her chariot, the commanding mermaid drives her chariot through a sea teaming with marine life: clam shells, mussels, dolphin, coral, sea urchin, fish, sharks, swordfish, sea otters, starfish, an octopus, and a turtle. All we can say is: wow.

Buccellati has been “wowing” the world since the 18th century, when the founding family first established its design presence. To this day, the items in the company’s catalog are designed by members of the Buccellati family, and handmade by a select group of artisans. Many of their pieces hark back to Italy’s rich design history, borrowing elements from the Roman through Renaissance eras, including the plant and sea life found in Italian frescoes. To see detailed views and to learn more about this piece, click here.

Posted in Estate Silver, General Antique Store, NEW Vintage & Antique Finds, Silver, The Manhattan Art and Antiques Center | Tagged , | Comments Off

15 Fabulous Vintage Designer Handbags For Fashion Friday

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″. Gallery #35: Treasures & Pleasures/212.750.1929

Originating as a Twitter trend, Fashion Friday (or really, #FashionFriday) has spilled out across the blogosphere, making Friday not just the day to celebrate the start of the weekend (#TGIF) but the day to recognize the trends that shape our times. Naturally at The Manhattan Art & Antique Center, we ascribe to the philosophy of the great fashion maven, Coco Chanel, which is “fashion fades, only style remains the same.” In that spirit, we present 15 handbags and purses by designers who are ever in style. To see more luxury handbags that have stood the test of fashion time, visit Treasures & Pleasures.

Red Satin Judith Leiber Evening Bag, 1980s

Red Satin Judith Leiber Evening Bag with Butterfly Clasp in Red Rhinestones and Semi-Precious Stones, Original Shoulder Strap, USA, 1980's.  9" x 5"

Red Satin Judith Leiber Evening Bag with Butterfly Clasp in Red Rhinestones and Semi-Precious Stones, Original Shoulder Strap, USA, 1980's. 9" x 5"

Ferragamo Black Leather Evening Bag

Ferragamo black leather evening bag with the iconic Ferragamo bow, Italy, Contemporary.

Ferragamo black leather evening bag with the iconic Ferragamo bow, Italy, Contemporary.

Ruby-Beaded Silver Handbag, Neiman Marcus, 1960s

1960's Silver Leather Hand Bag with Ruby Beads Surrounded by Gold Thread Work, Retailed by Nieman Marcus, USA, 1960's.  8" x 5"

1960's Silver Leather Hand Bag with Ruby Beads Surrounded by Gold Thread Work, Retailed by Nieman Marcus, USA, 1960's. 8" x 5"

Judith Leiber Clutch/Shoulder Bag, 1980s

udith Leiber Clutch/Shoulder Bag with Semi-Precious Stone Trim, Brown and Black Lizard, USA, 1980's.  12" x 7"

Judith Leiber Clutch/Shoulder Bag with Semi-Precious Stone Trim, Brown and Black Lizard, USA, 1980's. 12" x 7"

Louis Vuitton Briefcase in Monogram Canvas

Louis Vuitton Briefcase in Monogram Canvas with Cowhide Double Handles and Trim, LV monogram canvas and leather, France, 2000's.  14" x 12" x 3"

Louis Vuitton Briefcase in Monogram Canvas with Cowhide Double Handles and Trim, LV monogram canvas and leather, France, 2000's. 14" x 12" x 3"

French Beaded Black Evening Bag, 1940s

1940's Beaded Black Evening Bag with Ornate Rhinestone and Beaded Center of Frame Opens Up to Reveal a Beveled Mirror. Rhinestones, beads, France, 1940's.  9-1/2" x 5"

1940's Beaded Black Evening Bag with Ornate Rhinestone and Beaded Center of Frame Opens Up to Reveal a Beveled Mirror. Rhinestones, beads, France, 1940's. 9-1/2" x 5"

Pucci leather handbag, 1960s

Circular shaped Pucci leather handbag, with green patent-leather trim, Italy, circa 1960"s.  Diameter:  5-1/2"     Depth:  2-3/4"

Circular shaped Pucci leather handbag, with green patent-leather trim, Italy, circa 1960"s. Diameter: 5-1/2" Depth: 2-3/4"

Rodo Black Satin Evening Bag

Rodo black satin evening bag with rhinestones, Italy, contemporary.  Length: 7"     Height: 4"

Rodo black satin evening bag with rhinestones, Italy, contemporary. Length: 7" Height: 4"

Pierre Cardin Beaded Evening Bag, 1960s

Pierre Cardin beaded evening bag, France, circa 1960"s.  Length: 8"    Height: 6"

Pierre Cardin beaded evening bag, France, circa 1960"s. Length: 8" Height: 6"

Giorgio Armani Taupe Lizard Purse

Giorgio Armani taupe lizard purse with asymmetrical shoulder strap, Italy, late 20th century.  Dimensions: 9-1/4" x 6-1/2" x 2-1/2"

Giorgio Armani taupe lizard purse with asymmetrical shoulder strap, Italy, late 20th century. Dimensions: 9-1/4" x 6-1/2" x 2-1/2"

Chanel Black Satin Evening Bag

Chanel black satin evening bag with pearl interlocking C"s, France, contemporary.  Height: 5-1/4"    Length: 11"

Chanel black satin evening bag with pearl interlocking C"s, France, contemporary. Height: 5-1/4" Length: 11"

Susan Bennis/Warren Edwards Lizard Clutch, 1980s

Susan Bennis/Warren Edwards lizard clutch with shoulder chain.  Italy, ca. 1980s.  Size 13.5" x 7", chain is 16"

Susan Bennis/Warren Edwards lizard clutch with shoulder chain. Italy, ca. 1980s. Size 13.5" x 7", chain is 16"

Bottega Veneta Purple Satin Evening Bag

Bottega Veneta purple satin evening bag, decorated with beaded butterflies and featuring a jeweled clasp, Italy, 21st century.  9" x 7" x 2.5"

Bottega Veneta purple satin evening bag, decorated with beaded butterflies and featuring a jeweled clasp, Italy, 21st century. 9" x 7" x 2.5"

Gucci Red leather Top Handle Purse

Gucci small canvas and red leather top handle purse, Italy, 2000s.  Dimensions: 9" x 3" x 7-1/2"  The MAAC Holiday Collection

Gucci small canvas and red leather top handle purse, Italy, 2000s. Dimensions: 9" x 3" x 7-1/2" The MAAC Holiday Collection

Posted in NEW Vintage & Antique Finds, Purses, The Manhattan Art and Antiques Center, Treasures & Pleasures, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

New York Antique Jewelry & Watch Show 2014, Featuring Our Dealers

new york antique jewelry & watch show 2014

In a scant seven years, The New York Antique Jewelry & Watch Show has quickly “established itself as a must-attend event in the heart of Chelsea” according to Dan Darby, US Antiques Shows group show director. Returning to the chic Metropolitan Pavilion, July 25-28, the Show gathers 100 of the industry’s top dealers, including the Manhattan Art & Antique Center’s Melody Rodgers, Gallery 47, and Botier Inc., to showcase the most stunning jewelry and watch collections from the Renaissance to the Modern Era.

Cartier Panthere ring, 18K yellow gold, tsavorites, onyx and enamel, France, 2010. Cartier Panthere ring, 18K yellow gold, tsavorites, onyx and enamel, France, 2010. Gallery #15: Botier Inc/212.371.2424

In addition to the usual glittering array of precious gemstones, this year’s show features “highly sought after collections from elegant global brands such as Cartier, Tiffany & Co., David Webb, Harry Winston, Patek Philippe and Van Cleef & Arpels, among others,” such as the stunning pieces showcased above and below from Botier Inc.

Patek Philippe & Co. 18K yellow gold and diamond "Ellipse" watch, Swiss, circa 1980s. Patek Philippe & Co. 18K yellow gold and diamond “Ellipse” watch, Swiss, circa 1980s. Gallery #15: Botier Inc/212.371.2424
Van Cleef & Arpels multistone bow shaped brooch, 18K yellow gold, diamonds, chalcedony, rhodochrosite, France, circa 1970-1980. Van Cleef & Arpels multistone bow shaped brooch, 18K yellow gold, diamonds, chalcedony, rhodochrosite, France, circa 1970-1980. Gallery #15: Botier Inc/212.371.2424

The New York Antique Jewelry & Watch Show is known for attracting attendees as diverse as the remarkable pieces on display, including “antique jewelry aficionados, seasoned collectors, fashion trendsetters, well-known celebrities, and socialites.” For this reason, dealers are known to bring a wide range of inventory so that antique jewelry, such as Melody Rodger’s romantic pieces below, is often showcased beside modern pieces.

Victorian Scottish Circle pin, etched silver, the bezel set with 6 Citrines and 1 Amethyst, Scottish, mid-Victorian, circa 1870.  Diameter: 2"

Victorian Scottish Circle pin, etched silver, the bezel set with 6 Citrines and 1 Amethyst, Scottish, mid-Victorian, circa 1870. Gallery #10A: Melody Rodgers/212.758.3164
"Sweet Pearl Heart" Art Nouveau necklace, open back heart with pin back, 14K gold and pearls, circa 1915.Pearl Heart Art Nouveau necklace, open back heart with pin back, 14K gold and pearls, circa 1915. Gallery #10A: Melody Rodgers/212.758.3164

Show times are Friday, July 25 from 1-7 p.m., Saturday, July 26 and Sunday, July 27 from 11 a.m.-7p.m. and Monday, July 28 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $20 for all four days. At the Show, you can visit Botier Inc. and Melody Rodgers at Booth #3023, and the elegant offerings of Gallery 47 below at Booth #2020.

Art Deco clock, bronze back with a silver front, set with marcasites, carved onyx, and carnelian, Germany, circa 1920s. Art Deco clock, bronze back with a silver front, set with marcasites, carved onyx, and carnelian, Germany, circa 1920s. Gallery #47: Gallery 47/212.888.0165
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. Gallery #47: Gallery 47/212.888.0165
Erte sterling silver Art Deco style bracelet, with 14K gold, onyx, pearl, and diamond, American, limited edition, #65/600, 1970s.Erte sterling silver Art Deco style bracelet, with 14K gold, onyx, pearl, and diamond, American, limited edition, #65/600, 1970s. Gallery #47: Gallery 47/212.888.0165

Posted in Antique News, Antique Shows, Botier, Gallery 47, Jewelry, Melody Rodgers, New York City | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

A Drink On Your Way Out: The History of Stirrup Cups

Stirrup Cup, sterling silver, hand made gilded interior, Italy possiibly Gucci.  5-1/4" high x 3-1/2" Diameter

Stirrup Cup, sterling silver, hand made gilded interior, Italy possibly Gucci. 5-1/4″ high x 3-1/2″ Diameter. Gallery #49A: Alter Silver Gallery/212.750.1928

Next time you see a foxhunt scene on film, keep an eye out for a cup with an animal’s head and no base. You’ll be looking at a stirrup cup, a glass of liquid courage (traditionally port or sherry) served to a person mounted on horseback just before they are about to leave for the hunt. The cup is usually handed to the huntsperson when their feet are already in the stirrups, and is drained quickly and handed back to the server.

Heywood Hardy - The Stirrup Cup

"The Stirrup Cup" by Heywood Hardy. Source: 19thcenturybritpaint.blogspot.com. Source credit: horse-canada.com

While mostly associated with 18th-19th century English fox hunts, the origins of the stirrup cup are not definite. Scottish hosts also offered “a parting cup” to guests on horseback as a farewell drink, calling it “dochan doruis,” which literally means “drink of the door.” Early stirrup cups were essentially footless wine glasses, but were replaced in popularity by beautiful, ornate silver versions in the shape of fox heads, such as the particularly detailed one featured here.

stirrup-cup

The silver stirrup cups were often engraved with mottoes from the hunt, and were made in two pieces that were soldiered together. While silver fox or hound versions are the most valued kinds of stirrup cups, less expensive and more fanciful versions were made of ceramic (usually of “Staffordshire” make) in the shape of the heads of dogs, fish, boars and beyond. To learn more about the stirrup cup above, contact Alter Silver Gallery.

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Exceptional Summer Estate Sale, July 27th, Kaminski Auctions

A rare 19th C. French gilt bronze mirrored plateau suite measuring 78 inches long.

A rare 19th C. French gilt bronze mirrored plateau suite measuring 78 inches long. Source: Kaminski Auctions

Next Sunday, July 27, the flagship Massachusetts branch of Kaminski Auctions will be holding an exceptional summer estate sale. See below for more information. The New York branch of Kaminski Auctions is located on the main floor of The Manhattan Art & Antique Center, Gallery #28, 917.701.8162. Kaminski offers free expert appraisal service at the Center every Tuesday from 10:30 am – 5:00 pm.

Kaminski Auctions July 27th estate sale features an outstanding array of fine art, silver, jewelry and Asian antiques.  Jewelry and silver items include a 14.25 carat square cut emerald ring, set with 18 round brilliant diamonds in platinum.  This exquisite ring is estimated at $30000-$35000. There is also a four plus carat Colombian emerald with two triangular side diamonds valued at  $5000-$10000.  A classic ladies Chopard 18K diamond and gold watch with a mother of pearl face and 34 total diamonds is another top jewelry lot valued at  $6000-$10,000.

The auction also features an important pair of antique Bohemian uranium colored cut glass decanters with enamel decoration bearing the emblem of Zill al-Sultan, the Qajar prince who ruled Isfahan, Iran’s former capital from 1874 – 1907.  These wonderful decanters were produced especially for the Islamic market.

Highlights of the sale include silver items from a California estate. There is a stunning Buccellati silver pitcher, signed “Buccellati Italy”, a rare 19th century French plateau suite measuring 78 inches long in mirrored gilt bronze valued at $20,000-$30,000, and a .800 silver equestrian trophy, inscribed ” Hong Kong Jockey Club, 1892, The Ashley Cup, valued at $6000-$12000, as well as a set of 12 English sterling silver plates marked “PS” valued at $8000-$12000.

Fine art in the sale features an oil on canvas titled “An Afternoon of Homework” by British artist John Thomas Peele (1822-1897), an oil on canvas of a mother with baby in a cradle by American artist Harry Roseland and a street scene by French artist, Henry Lesur.  California art collectors will not want to miss a wonderful work by Carl W. Peters (American 1897-1980), titled “Pier, Shacks and Sails”.

For Chinese collectors there is also a large selection of Chinese huanguali and zitan furniture, jade, Chinese porcelain and Chinese and Tibetan gilt bronze buddhas.

Other items of interest in the sale include a lot of miniature Medieval cast lead knight figures, which includes individual figures, vignettes, and dioramas, on oak wood stands, from the Higgins Armory Museum, Worcester, MA, valued at  $5000-$10000 and a rare violin, marked Gabriel Buchstetter, dated 1768 and estimated at $3000-$5000.

Preview for this exciting sale starts Thursday- Saturday, July 24th-July 26th, 10:00-5:00 pm and starting at 8:00am on Sunday July 27th, day of sale. The auction begins at 10:00 am at the Kaminski Auction gallery, 117 Elliott Street, Rt. 62, Beverly,Massachusetts.

For more information or to preview the sale and register online go to www.kaminskiauctions.com or call 978-927-2223.

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The Story of Humanity: Ancient Coins As Maps of Our Past

Seleukid Kings of Syria Coin; Aeolis, Kyme Coin; Sicily, Leontini Coin;Kings of Bithynia, Nikomedes III Coin

Heads of state (clockwise): Seleukid Kings of Syria Coin; Aeolis, Kyme Coin; Sicily, Leontini Coin;Kings of Bithynia, Nikomedes III Coin. Gallery #16: Pamyra Heritage/212.319.1077

The writer W.H. Valentine once wrote “There is nothing more fascinating than collecting coins, all history is summed up in them…they are the story of humanity.” The story of humanity: for many, this is the romance of antique coins–unlike many other relics of the past, ancient coins can pass through so many hands, great and small, to reach yours. In this post, we focus on the great–the figures who grace the four coins above–and the basic history of ancient coin collecting. In an upcoming post, we will cover ancient coinage at length, including mints of various styles and empires, grading coins and buying them.

Kings of Bithynia, Nikomedes III Coin, Diameded head of Nikomedes right, reverse:  Zeus standing left, holding wreath (off flan) and scepter; in left field, eagle on thunderbolt, monogram and date, 123/2 BC.Kings of Bithynia, Nikomedes III Coin, Diameded head of Nikomedes right, reverse:  Zeus standing left, holding wreath (off flan) and scepter; in left field, eagle on thunderbolt, monogram and date, 123/2 BC. 33mm, 16.37gms. Gallery #16: Palmyra Heritage/212.319.1077

Ancient coin collecting has been a popular hobby since medieval times, especially among European monarchs and even popes. Today, many new collectors are surprised to find you don’t need the wealth of a head of state to start an ancient coin collection. Some ancient coins are even less expensive than modern coins because the major rulers of vast empires issued a great quantity of coins across several centuries. As there were no banks in antiquity, owners buried their coins and hoards of them have been found where these great cities stood. The first coins were minted in the Roman province known as Lydia in Asia Minor in 600-700 B.C, not far from the kingdom of Bithynia, where later, Nikomedes III (pictured on the coin above) ruled from 127 BC to c. 94 BC.

Sicily, Leontini Coin, Laureate head of Apollo facing right; reverse:  lion's head facing right, four barley grains around, circa 446-422 BC.     25mm, 17.65gms

Sicily, Leontini Coin, Laureate head of Apollo facing right; reverse:  lion’s head facing right, four barley grains around, circa 446-422 BC. 25mm, 17.65gm. Gallery #16: Palmyra Heritage/212.319.1077

The coins classified as “ancient” are those struck in the first five centuries A.D., which is around 1200 years of coinage. The coin above from the Greek city of Leontini in Sicily is a well-preserved relic of one of the earlier centuries of coinage. The very earliest Greek coins are uniface (the design is only on one side with a punch mark on the reverse), but most ancient Greco-Roman coins feature the ruling emperor and mythological figures and symbols of the empire on both sides. The Leontini coin features Apollo, one of the most important Greek gods, with his head draped in laurel, a symbol sacred to this god and used in ancient Greece to signal honor bestowed upon poets and heroes.

Seleukid Kings of Syria Coin, Diademed head right / Zeus Nikephoros seated left, monogram below throne in exergue, 129-125 BC.     30mm, 16.3gm

Seleukid Kings of Syria Coin, Diademed head right / Zeus Nikephoros seated left, monogram below throne in exergue, 129-125 BC. 30mm, 16.3gm. Gallery #16: Palmyra Heritage/212.319.1077

The obverse (face) and reverse designs on ancient coins are the basis for the modern coins you carry in your pocket today. Just as in modern times, the devices of different cities represented sources of their civic pride. Therefore, coins were not just a “medium for exchange” but identifiers of their cities, and inevitably propaganda for the lands from which they originated. The imposing head of the Seleukid King on the coin above is indicative of the power of the Seleucid Empire, a major center of Hellenistic culture. On the reverse of this coin sits the father of the gods, Zeus Nikephoros, which translates to Zeus, who brings Victory, and so he did for a very long dynasty (312 BC-63 BC) until the empire was ultimately overthrown by the Roman emperor Pompey.

Aeolis, Kyme Coin, head of Amazon Kyme right wearing tainia, horse prancing right; one handled cup below raised foreleg, all within wreath, 165/55-145/0 BC.     32mm, 16.30g, 12h

Aeolis, Kyme Coin, head of Amazon Kyme right wearing tainia, horse prancing right; one handled cup below raised foreleg, all within wreath, 165/55-145/0 BC. 32mm, 16.30g, 12h. Gallery #16: Palmyra Heritage/212.319.1077

Ancient empires were often in tumult–in fact, some of the most rare and valuable coins are those of emperors who only ruled for a short time or usurpers who minted coins in a bid for legitimacy. The above coin is from Kyme, the most important of the twelve major cities comprising Aeolis, a region that exemplifies the changing tide of history in the classical age. Aeolis was founded by emigrants from mainland Greece, later became a center of the fierce Greco-Persian wars, and was finally merged into the Roman empire. Like all ancient coins, the Kyme coin is a record of shifting reigns and a stamp of what mattered most to people who once lived in empires that are no more. Thus, as the coins lose their original meaning they gain another meaning for us: they become maps of the past.

The predominant rare and ancient coin collection at The Manhattan Art & Antique Center belongs to Palmyra Heritage, Gallery #16. You can visit the Palmyra Heritage gallery page for coins and other antiquities, and reach them at (P) 212.319.1077 (F) 347.693.7728 (E) morris@palmyraheritagegallery.com

Posted in Antique History, Antiquities, Coins, NEW Vintage & Antique Finds, Palmyra Heritage, The Manhattan Art and Antiques Center | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

An Eternal Flame: July 2014 Birthstone Spotlight on the Ruby

ruby vintage and antique jewelry at the manhattan art and antique center

Vintage & antique jewelry featuring rubies at The Manhattan Art & Antique Center

Legend has it the ruby is lit by an inner flame that can’t be extinguished. According to ancient Asian lore, the ruby contained the “spark of life,” and was known as “the lamp stone”–an Emperor of China was even said to have lit his chamber with a ruby that “burned as bright as day.” We covered the basic history of the ruby in “A Drop of Heart’s Blood” last year but there’s plenty more to say about this stone that has been burning just as brightly in our collective imagination since antiquity.

iger brooch, 18K gold and enamel with ruby eye, Italian, circa 1960"s  Length: 2"Tiger brooch, 18K gold and enamel with ruby eye, Italian, circa 1960″s Length: 2″ Brian Stewart Gallery.

The ruby is a variety of the mineral known as corundum, the second hardest gemstone after the diamond. Only red corundum is a ruby–any other color is considered a sapphire. The rarest and most valued rubies are found in Burma and are known for their brilliant “pigeon’s blood” red color but valuable rubies are also found in Asia, Australia, Africa, and the United States. The best way to determine the worth of a ruby is by its color (it should be neither too dark nor too light) and its clarity–if it appears “clean” to the naked eye.

Cartier falconer brooch, 18K gold, coral, ruby, and enamel, France, 1930s-1940s.Cartier falconer brooch, 18K gold, coral, ruby, and enamel, France, 1930s-1940s. Botier Gallery.

Throughout its storied history, the ruby has been said to posses numerous mystical qualities, including bringing good fortune, protecting against evil, and even curing indigestion. However, as “an eternal flame,” the ruby’s predominant association has naturally always been with love and passion. In addition to being the July birthstone, the ruby is also the traditional gift for the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries. You can see more of The Manhattan Art & Antique Center’s ruby collection here.

Posted in Antiques, Birthstone History, Botier, Brian Stewart, Brooch, Jewelry, The Manhattan Art and Antiques Center, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Antique Summer: Vintage Cocktail Shakers

vintage-penguin-cocktail-shaker-1665-IMG_4497

Penguin cocktail shaker with original silver plate.  American, ca. 1928-1932. Height: 12″ Sooky Goodfriend Gallery

A couple of weeks ago, we covered A Global Collection of Vintage & Antique Chairs for summer home decor. With hot weather and Fourth Of July weekend upon us, our Antique Summer profile series continues with a collection of cool vintage cocktail shakers for the warm days ahead. See more artful antique and vintage cocktail shakers here.

Rare "Red Leg" cocktail shaker, glass with chrome shoe, England, circa 1920-1935.  Height: 16" high   Length from toe to heel: 7"

Rare “Red Leg” cocktail shaker, glass with chrome shoe, England, circa 1920-1935. Height: 16″ high   Length from toe to heel: 7″ Sooky Goodfriend.

Cocktail shaker decorated with a steeple chase of leaping horses, glass and silver plate, England, circa 1930.  Height:  9"

Cocktail shaker decorated with a steeple chase of leaping horses, glass and silver plate, England, circa 1930. Height:  9″ Burke’s Antiques

Silverplate and chrome cocktail shaker set comprising of a shaker, 4 glasses and a tray, designed by Norman Bel Geddes, American, circa 1960s.  Illustrated: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America

Silverplate and chrome cocktail shaker set comprising of a shaker, 4 glasses and a tray, designed by Norman Bel Geddes, American, circa 1960s. Illustrated: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America

Glass and chrome cocktail shaker in the form of an hourglass.  Stamped M.P. New York.  American, c. 1940-1945.  Height: 9.5"

Vintage Glass and chrome cocktail shaker in the form of an hourglass.  Stamped M.P. New York.  American, c. 1940-1945. Height: 9.5″

Cocktail shaker in the form of a mariners lantern, silverplate, green glass and wood, American, circa 1950.  Height: 10-5/8"    Width: 5"

Vintage Cocktail shaker in the form of a mariners lantern, silverplate, green glass and wood, American, circa 1950. Height: 10-5/8″    Width: 5″ Sooky Goodfriend

Rare American Napier silver plated cocktail shaker, 1928.    Height: 9.5"

Rare American Napier silver plated cocktail shaker, 1928. Height: 9.5″ Sooky Goodfriend

Cocktail shaker decorated with a golf ball motif, silverplate by International Co., American, circa 1920s.  Height: 13"

Cocktail shaker decorated with a golf ball motif, silverplate by International Co., American, circa 1920s. Height: 13″ Sooky Goodfriend

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July 2014 Art & Antiques Highlights

art-antiques-july-2014-highlights

Summer is in full swing and we have many new vintage & antique finds for summer entertaining and home redecorating. This month, we feature some of our galleries’ most playful objects for summer, including a vintage penguin cocktail shaker and a charming gold terrier pin. See more 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 art and antique highlights.

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