Artbinder, Winter Antiques Show, Wadsworth Atheneum

In both name and legacy, the Winter Antiques Show (which is now celebrating its 62nd year), promises items boasting the aura of age: yellowed manuscripts, weathered wood, and yeah, as one dealer eloquently put it, a hell of a lot of beige and brown. There was, of course, plenty of that at this year’s Winter Antiques, which gathered age-old tomes, vintage pistols, and suits of armor under the Armory’s roof, but this time around, the not-so-distant past and future made more than a few surprise appearances. Most notable was the Jack Pierson sculpture towering over the Wadsworth Atheneum booth, a giant “OMG” cobbled together from rusting signage, but elsewhere, early modern and mid-century fare got cozy with the medieval.

As we looped around the floor, grabbing at (crazy good) mini pulled-pork sandwiches as others downed 3rd, 4th, and 5th glasses of wine, we couldn’t help but feel like we’d been airdropped into some alternate version of history where Italian knights lounged around on Eames chairs. This feeling really sunk in as we stumbled upon the much-buzzed-about Fine Art Society booth, where Chris Levine’s Kate Moss lightbox portraits flanked Whistler etchings and classical portraiture.

Do we recommend a last-minute visit? Absolutely—but we’ll cut our rambling short and let a few choice pictures speak for themselves.

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Saveria Di Simoni, Joachim Murat seal, 1809 (Thomas Heneage Art Books)

Fifty bucks says he spent two whole hours trying to achieve that “carefully disheveled” look. Dude definitely listens to Fleet Foxes.

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Miyashita Zenji, Collapsed, rounded form with square opening (detail), c. 1994 (Joan B Mirviss LTD)

(Between you and me, my phone came *this* close to toppling into this thing.)

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Mario Korbel, Portrait Bust of a Lady, c. 1925 (Olde Hope Antiques, Inc.)

The cold, unblinking stare of someone who’s been at an art fair for 100+ hours.

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Maren Kloppman, Murmuration II, 2015 (Hostler Burrows)

I’ve got nothing snippy or snarky to say—this is just lovely.

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Graphic Early Banner Form Weathervane, c. 1750 (Robert Young Antiques)

Also pictured in background: accidental Clyfford Still painting

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Fine Nest of Original Signwriter’s Pigment Drawers, 1924 (Robert Young Antiques)

Pick a drawer, any drawer; behind each one is lead poisoning.

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Chris Levine, Kate Moss (She’s Light), 2014 (one half of diptych) (Fine Art Society)

Ah, yes, a particularly fine example of 18th-century-style portra—wait, what? 2014? A lightbox? Yeesh, I need to sit down.

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A North Italian Armour for the Tilt, Milan, c. 1580 (Peter Finer)

Sorry, knight puns aren’t my strong suit.

(I’ll see myself out now)

Header Image: Jack Pierson, OMG, 2014, metal, neon, light bulbs, and transformer, 77 x 165 inches, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, The Douglas Tracy Smith and Dorothy Potter Smith Fund