Tag: New York

At The Met: ‘Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection’

The Metropolitan Museum of Art currently has on exhibit 116 works of art and objects of Native America culture.  It features works from over fifty cultures across North America based off of geographical location:  Woodlands, Plains, Plateau, California and Great Basin, Southwest, Northwest Coast, and Arctic.

The exhibit, entitled ‘Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection’, features 116 pieces dating from the second century into the early twentieth century.  The collection from Charles and Valerie Diker is considered to be be one of the most significant private holdings of Native American art.  It includes sculpture from British Columbia and Alaska, baskets from California, pottery from southwestern pueblos, drawings from the Plains, and rare pieces from the eastern Woodlands.

Native American Shoulder Bag ca. 1840
   Shoulder Bag ca. 1840

The collection has a wide variety of beautifully hand crafted objects.  One of the more vibrant types of work are the nineteenth-century shoulder bags, worn by Woodlands men for formal dress.  If the imagery within the bead work is asymmetrical as well as the strap, that indicates a great Seminole example.  When worn, one design appears on the front and another on the back, which is typical of the period.  A Delaware artist made the bag pictured here, following the tribe’s relocation there in the mid-nineteenth century. The symmetrical, geometric motifs in the center reflect the beginnings of Prairie-style bead work.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is located on Lenapehoking which is a term for the lands historically inhabited by the Native American people known as the Lenape.  The museum recognizes and praises this with their exhibition acknowledging their cultural and spiritual connections to the area.

When: The exhibition opened October 4, 2018 and is ongoing.

For more information and a fantastic conservation story video of a Yup’ik mask visit the exhibition website.

Where: It is located in Gallery 746 of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, located at 1000 5th Avenue in New York City and is open Sunday through Thursday from 10AM to 5:30PM, Friday and Saturday from 10AM to 9PM.


Admission is $25 for adults, $17 for seniors, $12 for students, and free for children under 12.  New York State residents have the ability to choose what to pay.  This exhibit and all others are included in museum admission. There are also multiple membership options available.

If you have a piece you would like to sell or are curious about, call us at (518)-587-8787 or send an e-mail to marklawsonantiques@gmail.com to make an appointment at either our Saratoga or Colonie locations!

Opening at the Met: ‘The Art of London Firearms’

Flintlock pistol, made by Wogdon & Barton.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is opening a new exhibit featuring exquisitely crafted firearms, highlighting the abilities of British gunmakers.  The exhibit, entitled ‘The Art of London Firearms’, features seventeen separate firearms, each made in London.  Instead of rifles and long guns, the focus will be on pistols dating from the mid-eighteenth century into the early nineteenth century.  Included is a pistol made for the Prince of Wales, King George IV of England.  The pieces are pulled from the Metropolitan’s permanent collection and many of them have never been on display.

In the period encapsulated by the show, a group of gunmakers with workshops on the outskirts of London and became fierce competitors.  This competition led to rapid design growth, paring down Baroque design elements for simple, elegant, and efficient design.  These gunsmiths include Durs Egg, John Manton, and Samuel Brunn.



When: The exhibition opens January 29, 2019 and lasts until January 29, 2020.  For more information visit the exhibition website.

Where: It will be in Gallery 380 of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, located at 1000 5th Avenue in New York City and is open Sunday through Thursday from 10AM to 5:30PM, Friday and Saturday from 10AM to 9PM.

Pair of flintlock pistols, made by Samuel Brunn.

Admission is $25 for adults, $17 for seniors, $12 for students, and free for children under 12.  New York State residents have the ability to choose what to pay.  This exhibit and all others are included in museum admission. There are also multiple membership options available.


Well-made firearms have always had collectible value and can be sold for a tidy sum.  When not in museum exhibits, guns like these are often in personal collections.  Collectors can find more information on the sale of these and other types of firearms here.

Eugene Iverd

Appraisal Event Finds: A Saturday Evening Post Original Painting

Eugene IverdThis Eugene Iverd painting was the hidden treasure of the appraisal booth at the Niskayuna Reformed Church’s Antique Show on Friday, January 19th. The show had a wonderful selection of vendors and attendees brought a great variety of antiques for Mark to appraise.

Eugene Iverd (1893-1936), born George Melvin Erickson, was a Minnesota artist well-known in the 1920s for his paintings and illustrations. He submitted his first picture to The Saturday Evening Post in 1926 with them publishing his first artwork on the March 13th cover of the same year. During his career, Iverd produced 55 magazine covers and approximately 60 advertisements for clients including Campbell’s Soup Company and Monarch Foods.

This beautiful painting, entitled ‘Lighting the Pumpkin,’ was published on the cover of the November 3, 1934 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. The framed painting, measuring approximately 26″ x 18″, wowed onlookers with its beauty. The young girl makes eye contact with the viewer, a bright smile on her face. Light spills from the jack-o-lantern as the young boy in costume, his face covered in glee, puts a match into it. Beyond the warm glow, pairs of spooky eyes emerge from the darkness.

Eugene IverdThe artworks of The Saturday Evening Post have always had a special place in the heart of America. There is a certain nostalgia for the jolly characters that graced the cover each week. ‘Lighting the Pumpkin’ is an exquisite example that is estimated at $10,000-$20,000.

To view more of Eugene Iverd’s covers of The Saturday Evening Post visit here.

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‘Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau’ Opens at The Hyde Collection

This past weekend The Hyde Collection opened the exhibition Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau which is on view through March 18, 2018.

Alphonse Mucha 'JOB'Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) was a Czechoslovakian artist who worked in Paris and established himself as a leader of the Art Nouveau movement. Preceding Art Deco, Art Nouveau was a visual, architectural, and decorative style popular from the late 1880s until the First World War. It featured highly-stylized forms inspired by those found in nature, such as curving plants and flowers. Beautiful women with long hair and seductive looks are frequent central characters.

Mucha trademarked these characteristics throughout the work which varied from advertisements, posters, and paintings to jewelry and wallpaper designs. The women were reminiscent of those found in Neoclassical paintings with long dresses that appear to be robes; flowers often form a halo around their heads. Text frequently played an important role in his poster works, such as in the 1896 color lithograph for Job cigarette paper. Here, a woman with long, sweeping hair holds a cigarette in her hand as smoke rises in a natural, curving zig zag form. ‘JOB’ is partially hidden by the female figure’s hair which extends out of the central poster and into the border inspired by mosaic work.

Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau includes lithographs, drawings, books, posters, portfolios, and ephemera selected from the Dhawan Collection. It is curated by Gabriel Weisberg, Professor of Art History, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions. It has previously traveled to other venues, including the Carnegie Arts Center in Turlock, California and the Dayton Art Institute in Dayton, Ohio.

Alphonse Mucha 'The Slav Epic'Located a half hour North of Saratoga Springs, The Hyde Collection was founded by Charlotte Pruyn Hyde in 1952 to exhibit “the permanent collection and to promote and cultivate the improvement of the fine arts.” The core collection acquired by Hyde and her husband includes works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Sandro Botticelli,Rembrandt, and Peter Paul Rubens. There is also a modern and contemporary collection with works by artists including Sol LeWitt, Robert Rauschenberg, and Josef Albers. The Hyde Collection is a unique institution in the Capital District. They are open Sunday 12 PM – 5 PM and Tuesday-Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM. General admission is $12 and seniors are $10. It is free for members, students with ID, children under 12 and active military.

To learn more about Alphonse Mucha please visit the Mucha Foundation website.

To learn more about The Hyde Collection please visit their website.

Antique Show at Niskayuna Reformed Church January 19, 2018

Mark of Mark Lawson Antiques will be conducting appraisals Friday, January 19th from 10 AM to 2 PM at the Niskayuna Reformed Church’s Annual Antique Show. Each appraisal will be $5 with all proceeds benefiting the Niskayuna Reformed Church. The event is open to the public so come discuss your antiques, art, and other objects with a professional. You never know what you might have as unique treasures have been found at our past events! Additionally, the Antique Show will have a variety of vendors set up with antiques for sale.

Please call the church office at 518-785-5575 with questions.

Where: Niskayuna Reformed Chuch 3041 Troy-Niskayuna Road Niskayuna, NY 12309

When: Friday, January 19, 2018 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Cost: $5 per object to benefit the Niskayuna Reformed Church

We hope to see you there!

Saratoga Springs Racetrack - 19th Century Stereoview Card

History & Horses at the Saratoga Racetrack

The Saratoga Racetrack - Early 20th Century Souvenir PhotoToday marks the opening day of the 153rd season at the Saratoga Race Course, the third oldest racetrack in the United States. Saratoga Springs was the summer spot during the heights of the Gilded Age, the ultimate 19th century destination where the wealthy elite would gather to dance, socialize, and gamble at the Saratoga Racetrack or at the elegant Canfield Casino in Congress Park. The elegant hotels lining Broadway – the Grand Union Hotel, Congress Hall, United States Hotel, and the Adelphi Hotel – hosted some of the most notable names of the day from Vanderbilts to Rockefellers to Astors.

The Saratoga racetrack was opened on its current site in 1863, though standard thoroughbred horse racing had been a notable sporting event in the city since 1847. The racetrack was largely made possibly by the efforts of John Hunter (later the first chairman of The Jockey Club), William R. Travers (namesake of the Travers Stakes race held on the wildly popular Travers Day), casino operator and future congressman John Morrissey, and the American business magnate and philanthropist Cornelius Vanderbilt.

The racing season at the Saratoga racetrack originally only lasted four days, but the season now extends to 40 days of active horse racing. There’s nothing quite like the ambience of the Saratoga racetrack: the beautiful and historic 19th century buildings, the laid-back relaxation of picnicking on the lawn, the excitement of standing at the rail watching the horses thunder past, the elegance of sitting in the Clubhouse or Grandstand, the thrill of watching the thoroughbred racehorses led through the grounds on their way to the starting gate only inches away from you.

Are you going to the Saratoga Race Course this year? Plan your visit by visiting the official website, or get in the racing frame of mind with these historic images of Saratoga and the racetrack taken from 19th century stereoview cards and Saratoga Springs souvenir booklets:


Saratoga Racecourse - 19th Century Stereoview CardSaratoga Springs Congress Hall Hotel - 19th Century Stereoview Card Saratoga Springs Congress Park & Grand Union Hotel - 19th Century Stereoview Card The Columbian Spring in Congress Park, Saratoga Springs - 19th Century Stereoview Card View of Broadway with the Grand Uniobn Hotel & United States Hotel - Early 20th Century Souvenir Photo

An Estate Jewelry Find from Johnstown, NY

Emerald Ring Johnstown NYWe recently sold a beautiful piece of estate jewelry for a client from Johnstown, New York. While visiting our client on a house call in Johnstown, we were presented with this stunning 20.05 carat natural emerald. After coming to an agreement with our client, we sent the emerald to the Gemological Institute of America where it was professionally graded, which is a typical step in selling a large gemstone at auction. The Gemological Institute of American is the professional standard of diamond and gemstone grading. A professional gemological appraisal from the GIA will often help a large, valuable gemstone sell because it guarantees the stone’s authenticity, origin, color, clarity, cut grade, and carat weight (all important factors in gemstone value). Modern technology can determine with a certain degree of confidence where an emerald was mined; this eye-catching stone likely originated in Colombia.

Emeralds have been treasured for over six thousand years by cultures spanning the globe. Ancient records indicate that emeralds were mined, polished, and sold as gems in Babylonian markets as early as 4,000 BCE. The modern term “emerald” is derived from an ancient Persian word meaning “green gem”. The vivid green color of the gemstone has inspired beliefs that the emerald can bring fertility, as well as good fortune, well-being, and love. In the Greco-Roman traditions, the emerald is sacred to the goddess of love Aphrodite/Venus. Cleopatra was known as a passionate fan of emeralds. When the 16th century Spanish Conquistadors invaded South America, they found emerald mines hidden by the Incas, and brought the gemstones back to Europe which immediately fell in love with the luxurious green stones.

Like most gemstones, the value of emerald is determined by its 4 Cs: Color, Clarity, Cut, Carat.

Emerald color is determined by the trace minerals present in the stone. The proportions of chromium, vanadium, and iron determine the color’s hue, saturation, and tone. In general, an emerald with a darker, richer hue of green will be more desirable than lighter green emeralds. The most desirable emeralds have an intense bluish-green or green color. As with most gemstones, a higher grade of clarity is desirable with emeralds. However, due to the way natural emeralds are formed, it is exceedingly rare for an emerald to be entirely free of inclusions. Inclusions (sometimes called “jardins”, or “gardens”) are expected in both natural and synthetic emeralds. The cut of an emerald is expected to be pleasantly symmetrical and proportional that retains a good amount of brilliance.

As with many colored gemstones, the value of the carat weight is directly affected by the color of the gemstone. An emerald with a low carat weight and a rich bluish-green color may be valued higher than an emerald with a high carat weight and a lackluster green color.

We’re always happy to help our clients find the best venue to sell their estate jewelry and antiques. Mark Lawson Antiques has over 20 years of professional experience in evaluating estate jewelry, watches, gold, diamonds, and colored gemstones. With our training from the Gemological Institute of America, we can accurately evaluate the value of your jewelry and gemstones. With our years of experience, we can determine when an item will sell better with additional certifications or appraisals. With our professional contacts in the field, we can help our clients sell their estate jewelry in the best venue for the best price.

In this case, the emerald ring found the best audience at an auction house in New York, NY. At the end of the day, our client in Johnstown received a pleasing sum for her estate jewelry. The emerald sold in October’s Important Jewelry Sale for a hammer price of $9,500.

We make house calls to surrounding towns like Johnstown and Gloversville, in addition to seeing clients in our Saratoga Springs and Colonie. To discuss a house call, or to set up an appointment to bring items in to one of our offices, give us a call at (518) 587-8787 or email us at marklawsonantiques@gmail.com.

Stereoview of the High Rock Spring in Saratoga Springs

The High Rock Spring Flows Back to Life

Stereoview of the High Rock Spring in Saratoga SpringsThe High Rock Spring is one of the oldest and most enduring symbols of Saratoga Springs. According to local lore, healing properties of the mineral-rich waters drew the Native Americans of the region to take advantage of its strengthening properties. Some time during the 1700s, white men added their own part to the spring’s legend. The first documented white man to take the waters was Sir William Johnson in 1771. Wounded in the Battle of Lake George, Johnson was carried to spring by members of the Mohawk tribe. He drank the waters over the course of several days and experienced a remarkably quick recovery. Legend says he walked all the way home to Johnstown, though it’s more likely that he perhaps walked only part of the way (a distance of 30 miles). Regardless of how far Johnson walked, he quickly spread the word that the waters in the Saratoga area held unparalleled healing powers.

In 1773, the first structure was built near the High Rock Spring (now the location of the Olde Bryan Inn). Many notable men passed through the area, including future President of the United States George Washington in 1783. Washington (then Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army) was so impressed by High Rock Spring that he later attempted to purchase the land; unfortunately, the land was already owned by Henry Livingston and Henry Walton, two early Saratoga-area landowners.

The spring itself is rich in iron and relatively low in carbon dioxide. As it bubbled up from the earth over thousands of years, it created a mineral deposit “hump”. Pictured at the above left is a stereoview showing the High Rock Spring in its heyday of the late 19th century. During the Victorian era, taking the waters at Saratoga Springs was medically approved. The unique mineral content of each spring was recommended for different types of physical and nervous complaints. Not only could visitors improve their health by taking the waters, Saratoga Springs was also already known for its entertainments: the glittering social scene included dancing and parties, as well as horseracing and gambling. High Rock Spring sterling silver souvenir spoons - Saratoga Springs, NY

High Rock Spring became one of the most recognizable symbols of Saratoga Springs. It is depicted on the city seal, and also shows up on antique souvenirs like the late 19th century sterling silver souvenir spoons pictured at right. The sheer popularity of the springs ultimately led to their decline. The Saratoga waters were bottled and sold as patent cures. Natural gas companies also began bottling the carbon dioxide that emanated from the earth. Eventually this process damaged the water table to such an extent that by 1911, the High Rock Spring stopped flowing entirely. Of the 200 springs originally found in the area, only 17 have survived to today.

However, the High Rock Spring has been brought back to life for the city’s centennial celebrations. Over the last year, the Centennial Committee has been working to bring the city’s most notable spring back to life. The spring has been newly drilled to reach the water’s source, and plans are in the making for renovating the spring’s pavilion. The city plans to celebrate the revitalization of High Rock Spring on Saturday, September 12th, 2015 with a ceremony in honor of this unique symbol of Saratoga Springs.