In My Opinion
Looking back on the antiques scene in New York in January, I found myself going back to two, apparently contradictory, things that struck me. The Christie’s and Sotheby’s Americana auctions were gang-busters, top dollars all round: In the Winter Antiques Show, however, the number of Americana dealers was lower than I’ve ever seen it, perhaps the lowest ever. So what’s really happening to the Americana market? Is it up or down?
A Garden of Rooms: Lawrence Johnston’s masterwork at Hidcote Manor
All images courtesy of National Trust
Hidcote is one of England’s most acclaimed gardens, recognized for its unique and magnificent landscaping that has inspired generations of landscape designers and gardeners. Designed as a series of rooms, the garden follows the principles of Arts and Crafts, with formal garden areas closest to the manor rich with an abundant array of colorful, fragrant plants in borders. As the meandering pathway moves towards the outer reaches of the 10-acre property, Hidcote’s famous long vistas are framed in startling ways. Gardens on the outer edge have evolved into a more naturalistic style, featuring those natural waterways, a dell dedicated to ferns and the “Wilderness,” once the habitat of Johnston’s ornamental birds, but now home to local wildlife.
Run for the Roses: Horses: Real and collectible
Horses have been an integral part of American history and culture since they were introduced to North America by the Spanish in the sixteenth century. Some horses escaped during the Spanish conquest, and within a few years, wild horses were roaming the Great Plains. Before the horse, Native Americans carried their goods on their backs or strapped to dogs, however capturing and taming these horses transformed their lives, enabling them to hunt migrating buffalo, trade and barter with other tribes and transport goods over vast distances.
Take a Tour of Eze: A Mediterranean village and its exotic garden
Today, the village of Eze is a superb example of a Provençal village perché, literally perched on a cliff 1,400 feet above the Mediterranean. It is a hard 90-minute climb to reach it – but only half that going down!
The name Eze is first recorded in 1075, but its history stretches back far further. Archaeologists have found Celtic-Ligurian and Phoenician remains around Eze from as early as 1,000 BCE. The safe harbour then attracted the Romans, and after them, the Lombards occupied the site in the sixth century. In the tenth century, the village itself was established.
A Forgotten Part of a Once Forgotten Garden: A Beaux-Arts gateway
At the very bottom of the hill at Untermyer Gardens in Yonkers, N.Y., there are a series of gateposts, walls and gates comprising an impressive entranceway. In the past most visitors haven’t made the long trek down to see this part of the garden but new direct pathways have recently been opened up and have drawn our attention to this area. Set into the walls are two puzzling statuary reliefs that are of particular interest in terms of their meaning and origin
Just about a year ago, I happened to mention in a public meeting that our South Green had once been a training ground for the town militia. “That’s interesting,” came a voice from the other side of the room, “I’ve lived here all my life and I’d never heard that.” “Aha,” I thought, “a job for the Historical Commission.”