AVENUE Armory Show a Hit

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by molly garcia

the 2010 avenue antiques and art at the armory show opened last week, from sept. 29 through oct. 3, with more than 60 exhibitors. over 1,000 visitors enjoyed the open bar and passed apps as they strolled down the aisles of the show during the special vip event, and more than 6,000 attended over the course of the four-day event.

while the show consistently offers a diverse assortment of decorative arts, collectibles, jewelry, furniture and artwork, there was a particularly impressive curation that went into the arrangement of booths that spanned everything from blue matisse lithographs to ancient artifacts to curios. if you're worried that you may get burned out on silver settings and porcelain vases, don't fret: there's plenty to keep the curious shopper enthralled for hours.

apart from the people watching (there were quite a few folks out in their finest duds), we also enjoyed the overheard conversations. we listened in as one woman pondered an exquisite wood table and her most difficult decision seemed to be in which home she would put it once she purchased it.

we were also quite taken with the boxes available at sallea antiques, in particular one fitted box that was designed to contain a fine pair of gloves. but one potential customer had another plan for the box: "i'll put the remote in it!"

some of the exhibitors were already making swift sales although it was only the first night. ophir gallery sold a rare turtleback inkwell from tiffany studios, new york, circa 1900. david brooker fine art and hamshere gallery both sold paintings.

marion harris never disappoints with her selection of unusual maquettes, phrenology heads and other oddities. but this year a couple of other booths were also found with quirky items for collectors. the wares at il segno del tempo s.r.l. were appreciated for their unusual provenance (the large section of a thumb and industrial cogs seemed like props from a horror movie). and mantiques modern's items ranged from a silvered bronze hermes kelly bag to a berrocal mini david, as well as french artist mannequins.

joe pacetti from dallas commented: "i thoroughly enjoyed the preview last evening. the show is a wonderful, sophisticated collection of the best there is to offer. i flew up from my main home in dallas, for the show. i certainly wasn't disappointed at all. in fact, i made a nice purchase for my new york apartment."

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