|This year's Antiques Week schedule,|
featuring the five shows and two auction houses
Courtesy of Stella Management
Which Reggie did, rather more than he was intending to, I am afraid. In fact, Reggie thinks he may have lost his head this year. At the moment he's feeling rather like a drunk the morning after an extended bender, where the details have gone all foggy. How did I let that happen, he wonders, rubbing his temples?
I started off the week with every intention to keep my wallet firmly buttoned in my jacket pocket, and I only allowed myself to carry two cheques with me when out at the shows. I did give myself permission to buy one or two little fripperies if I came across ones that I simply had to have. But that was it. No big-ticket items this year, I said to myself, avowing financial sobriety.
My resolve remained steadfast when I attended the Winter Antiques Show at the Park Avenue Armory—the grandaddy of them all—which is not surprising, given its ducal offerings and stratospheric prices. But neither was my resolve much threatened at the Downtown Armory Show, even though that show was full of temptations (a number of which Boy succumbed to) at far more appealing price points than what one found at its uptown, richer cousin. I even left the even-more-reasonable Pier Show virtually unscathed, unlike last year.
But the Ceramics Fair was my undoing.
The New York Ceramics Fair, which is one of the top shows of its kind in the world, attracts many of the leading ceramics and glass dealers from across the globe and is the hunting ground for serious collectors and museum curators seeking the very best that can be had, at least legitimately.
|The cover of this year's dealer directory|
It was at the Ceramics Fair that my lofty resolve and noble intentions came crashing down, and I was unmasked as the willpowerless fool that I truly am. Dear Reader, unless you are just coming to read this blog for the first time, you are well aware, I am sure, that Reggie has rather a weakness for antique china and porcelains. And no, not just for plates and saucers and cups, at least of the more common garden variety that one would set one's tables with. No, he has more than enough of those already, and he has ceased lusting to add any more of them to his over-filled cupboards at Darlington House. His tastes have become far more catholic than that, and much more expensive, too.
It didn't help that we arrived at the show on Saturday well fortified by a leisurely, martini-fueled lunch at L'Absinthe of perfectly shucked, briny, oysters; steak frites washed down with several glasses of rather good red wine; and a plate of lighter-than-air cookies accompanied by double espressos. I'm not absolutely sure, but I think the house may have stood us to a round of post-prandial Sauternes before we stumbled out the door.
It is dangerous, I know, to go shopping for pretty things when one is under the influence, as we were. But we did, and so it is not surprising that I felt giddy and almost in a dream state when I first looked around the hall where the fair was held, taking it all in. For what I found there is truly the stuff of dreams, a veritable Aladdin's Cave of the most beautiful, rare, and costly antique ceramics and glass imaginable, beckoning to me with outstretched arms and the soothing encouragement of dealers all too willing to make my every wish come true. In short, I became as helpless as an addict entering a fully stocked drug den with his rent money in his pocket. Heavens! But I'm not the only one, I might add, for I had my trusty adviser (and partner in crime), Boy Fenwick, with me. And both of us, I am afraid, are weak-willed fellows when it comes to the crème de la crème of such precious offerings as the Ceramics Fair is known for.
To be continued . . .