Art and Auction: Treasures of the Past

Washington Winter Show dazzles attendees with stunning products and iconic theme.
By

Doug Norwood shows off an iron eagle, which had in a former life been part of a weather vane on a federal building. (Photo by Kirsten Obadal)

Dozens of European and American art and antiques dealers convened with their choicest wares on American University‘s Katzen Arts Center in January for the Washington Winter Show, now in its 58th year. This makes it the oldest continuously running antiques event in the country, second only to the annual show in New York City.

This year’s honorary chair was , and organizers included Chair and Executive Director .  The event was kicked off by a glamorous gala attended by 600 people.

The Winter Show’s executive board carefully vetted hundreds of vendors who applied for positions at the show, which this year occupied two entire floors of the Katzen Center.  “There is always a significant waiting list of vendors,” Willen said.

Items included every imaginable type of antique: paintings, rugs, china, jewelry, furniture, and statuary.  Early Americana was plentiful and popular at the four-day event.

DC–based antiques broker displayed the piece de résistance, an original portrait of .  Stuart explained that he will only sell the portrait to an “American institution” where it would be viewed by the public on a regular basis.

Stuart continues his research into the Masonic and Christian symbolism on the portrait’s frame, which features stars, Masonic all-seeing eyes, fruits, nuts, and other nature symbols carved into the gilded frame.

Great canes of London, U.K., displayed dozens of antique walking sticks. Their collection included gadget canes, sword canes, and canes of exceptional value including a Faberge-designed cane and one from California which fetched $25,000 at the show.

The head of this particular cane is 2K gold and it dates back to the days of the California Gold Rrush.

Several vendors had fine collections of early Americana, including Federal-style furniture.

’s collection was highlighted by an iron eagle, which had in a former life been part of a weather vane on a federal building.

A number of fine pieces of furniture from the 1790-1850 periods were on hand courtesy of several vendors, as were china and silver also from early America.

The show was accompanied by an exhibit of items belonging to the First Families.

The White House Historical Association‘s Curator and Collections Manager Leslie B. Jones showcased the only surviving plate from the Kennedy Administration.

“The gold and yellow plate features colors that were favorites of and which were used in some of the décor for the house,” Jones said. “She was in the process of selecting her china when tragedy struck the family.”

White House Historical Association Curator showcased the only surviving plate from the Kennedy Administration. “The gold and yellow plate features colors that were favorites of Jacqueline Kennedy and which were used in some of the décor for the house," Jones said. "She was in the process of selecting her china when tragedy struck the family.” (Photo by Kirsten Obadal)

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *