If you have never been inside The National Academy Museum it stood as a stately backdrop for the annual New York Ceramics Fair produced by Caskey Lees Inc. of Topanga, California. With the spiral staircase winding around to bring the attendees to the rare and valuable pieces above it more than fulfilled its purpose.
The opening reception was held on Tuesday, January 19th from 5:00 until 9:00 p.m. In the hall in front of the Rotunda was the exhibit from North Carolina of the Monrovian Potter’s. Its unique quality resonated with the attendees. Amongst the early pieces there were squirrel, lady and fish bottles, molds and other items. These items are quite rare and hence quite valuable.
In the Ross Gallery, Garry Atkins of England, specializing in Early English Pottery had some extraordinary pieces. Such items included beautiful Agateware and a 18th century plate of King George 1. His pieces deserve an honorable mention.
Leo Kaplan LTD. Located at 114 East 57th St., New York, NY was also present in the Ross Gallery. In his display he featured some fine ceramics. One in particular was a very rare English Salt glazed stoneware teapot painted with a marbled design.
Ross Gallery 28 had world renowned Earl D. Vandekar of Knightsbridge Inc. located in Maryknoll, NY. Particularly intriguing was a pair of English Figurines of a family, mother, father and children riding a pair of goats. The mom had the children, one nursing, and two in a back pack. The dad had a couple of baby goats in a pack on his back. The intricate detail was striking.
One more of the principals whose items stood out because of the bright vibrant colors and designs were in Gallery East 1 from Solisbury, PA., Charles Washburne. He is a well known Majolica provider. In his booth was a wonderful monkey teapot, a beautiful peacock and many other items.
Garrison Strandling a very well known purveyor of fine quality ceramics and a regular part of the Antique Road Show was on site. Amongst his pieces was an early Mochaware cream pitcher that was identified as once belonging to Jonathan Rickard, author of Mocha and Related Dipped Wares, 1770–1939. Later in the evening Jonathan was present in The Strandlings booth, rumor has it he may have been trying to buy his piece back?
The Ceramics Fair offered a lecture series organized by Paul Fox. One of the topics covered were Dutch Jugs and Flint Wares: Salt Glazed Stoneware in Early America by Janine Skerry a curator at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Surprises in American Stoneware by Suzanne Findlen Hood, associate curator also from Colonial Williamsburg. Suzanne and Janine coauthored a just released book: Salt-glazed Stoneware in Early America.
Another topic covered was Wedgewood: 250 years of Innovation and Derivation by Dr. Jeffrey Tulman President of the Wedgewood Society of New York. Dr. Tulman is a very interesting speaker with great wit and a wealth of information. Other topics covered were, Chinese Export Porcelain Coffee Wares by Ronald W. Fuchs 11,The North Carolina Monrovian Earthenware Tradition by Johanna M. Brown Curator at Old Salem Museum and Gardens. The last and final class was given by Michelle Erikson she demonstrated the making of a squirrel bottle from the mold to the piece ready for firing.
The New York Ceramics Fair was well attended and well organized. Praise to Caskey Lees Inc. and all who worked hard to bring another fine event. The Fair is considered the Gem of Antique week in New York City and it truly sparkled as a Gem should.
Melody Howarth, Mel’s Belles Restorations