Cowan’s Results and the NYC Pier Show

by John Werry on March 16, 2008

1431 1 lg 776090 Cowans Results and the NYC Pier ShowOk Rare Victorianites, I think we were all asleep yesterday since the Hunzinger chair above went for $325 at Cowan’s, which might be a recent record low for a chair of the style. Even if you shipped it to New Mexico, you’d still be ahead on the chair’s value. A separate wire seat chair by Hunzinger went for a respectable $1,500 at the same sale, so something was awry there.

The pair of repaired Meeks sidechairs went for a paltry $1,700 while the un-repaired armchairs went for $6,500. As I forewarned you, this was an opportunity to get Meeks chairs for a reasonable price.

I’ll pose a hypothetical question to you related to this – Would you rather have an iconic, famous-maker pair of chairs for 1/2 the usual price with some repairs (assume the piece is now sturdy and usable) or a no-name full parlor set in clean condition, though with not quite the grandeur that the high-end pair would have. It’s like saying would you take a used Rolex with scratches or 3 new Citizen watches of their highest-end for the same money. My answer is “it depends”.

Speaking of the aforementioned Hunzingers, the Pier Antiques Show in NYC was nearly a bust for Victorian, but still greatly worth the trip. I am an admirer of all things of quality, so seeing the bronzes, the art, the eclectic antiques, the Nouveau, the deco-period items, etc., was quite entertaining. I walked it twice to be sure I didn’t miss anything.

I picked up a Hunzinger chair which I will take possession of in a few days but some of the other Victorian items I ran into:
- An unbelievable Victorian umbrella stand. Imagine seeing an actual umbrella with Eastlake feet appendages and that is what it was – an umbrella carved out of wood. I wish I had pictures to share.
- A Herter Brothers attributed cabinet with extensive Aesthetic floral inlays and banding. $8,500.
- A petite LeJambre table with Egyptian revival inlay.
- A patented Eastlake drop-leaf table with spring mechanism by Cutler
- A perfect Aesthetic movement desk with integrated side-cabinet
In general, the prices were at a level where it was tempting to take much of it home. Most of them were not at retail shop levels. I look forward to the next show of this caliber.

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