At this year’s edition of The Winter Show in New York, 76 internationally renowned dealers from seven countries have come together at the Park Avenue Armory to showcase a vast array of fine art, decorative objects, and jewelry that span over 5,000 years. Be it gold earrings once donned by Catherine Deneuve, a wall of works by Picasso, a ring employed for 19th-century pranks—this year’s Winter Show has it all, open to the public now through January 28. All ticket proceeds from the fair and its benefit events, including its highly anticipated Young Collectors Night on January 25, directly fund East Side House Settlement, a non-profit service organization in the Bronx serving more than 14,000 individuals and families each year.
It was easy to get overwhelmed while walking the seemingly endless aisles of the Park Avenue Armory, where the show has been hosted every year since its inception seven decades ago. We’ve compiled some of our favorites to make things easier.
Culturally Significant Jewelry at Didier Ltd
The London-based gallery Didier Ltd is back at The Winter Show with a collection of impressive jewelry. Of the many gold pieces aptly labeled “surreal,” one stuck out to us in particular. A pair of massive, 18-carat gold spiral earrings titled “Pendants Pending” are on display, backed by a black-and-white photograph of none other than French actress Catherine Deneuve wearing the earrings. Designed by Man Ray in 1970, these pieces are so heavy that they feature thin loops to be worn over the top of wearers’ ears.
Middle-Age Manuscripts and Functional Rings at Les Enluminures
Rather fittingly, a concert piano began to play as the Whitewall team descended upon the Les Enluminures booth. This New York-based gallery specializes in both manuscripts and jewelry dating back to the Renaissance and Medieval periods. Amid fairytale-esque books splayed to reveal large blocks of text penned in Latin or Italian, we had the pleasure of taking a closer look at some unique rings of varying functions.
Our favorite was a “water squirt ring.” Harkening back to the 19th century, this Western European ring features a small metal canister that can be filled with water and then hidden below the hand; then, wearers can squirt water in someone’s face. We were told that this was a common prank for Dukes of Burgundy to indulge in at parties, and its ephemeral nature means there are very few such rings left in the world. With a combination of gold, silver, and rock crystal, this fascinating party piece most certainly was an exorbitant indulgence in its heyday.
A Wall of Works by Picasso at John Szoke Gallery
This year, John Szoke Gallery unites a series of works on paper by Pablo Picasso and Edvard Munch. One wall hosts four framed Picasso pieces side-by-side. Three of these depict the painter’s wife, Jacqueline, alternating between stark, colorless outlines and the vibrant, punchy color schemes that characterize much of Picasso’s work. Munch’s drawings are black-and-white but incredibly textured, with large expanses of dark ink depicting rich scenes of interpersonal drama dating back to the 1930s.
Floral Stained-Glass Lamps from Macklowe Gallery, Ltd.
New York’s Macklowe Gallery owns the world’s largest collection of authenticated Tiffany lamps—and this year, their booth features a host of them in what the gallery refers to as “a garden progressing from night.” Each stained-glass lampshade depicts a different aspect of a garden, from lily pads and apple blossoms to dragonflies. These lamps present a visual expression from the transition from Art Nouveau to Art Deco, dating back to the first decade of the 20th century.
An 18-Carat Emerald Ring from the 1800s at James Robinson, Inc.
James Robinson, Inc. presents a showcase of antique jewelry from the 19th century and art deco jewelry of the 20th century. Amid an abundance of sapphires, diamonds, and garnets, one ring caught our eye from afar. We were told that this ring consists of 18-carat gold and three Colombian emeralds. Made in England around 1920, this Victorian ring is a weighty, glittering stand-out piece from a collection that prides itself on truly top-quality jewelry.
Tambaran Highlights Korean Paper
Even from a distance in the long corridors of The Winter Show, the Korean artist Kim Hee Kyung’s massive works command attention. Made of Hanji paper dyed with pigment, this piece stands tall at 50.5 x 50.5 inches and is one of the show’s most modern works, having been created just last year. Bloom (2023) is a dizzying, captivating mix of blues, fading from the color of the ocean at its perimeter to a deeper cobalt at its center. This piece stands within a collection of African, Oceanic, and North West Coast American art from the New York-based gallery Tambaran.