ART MARKET / Up for sale

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The Independent Culture
The big social antiques event of the year in New York is the Winter Antiques Show, which opened yesterday and runs to the end of the month. It is the equivalent of the venerable Grosvenor House Antiques Fair in London; this is its 39th year. You would find many of the same things in both fairs - French furniture, Old Masters, Chinese porcelain. But only in New York do you find American folk art. Because the New World has so little history, the cheerful, wonky creations of country craftsmen right up to the 20th century are counted as prime 'collectables' and add a very individual colour to the event. Here are three pieces from Giampietro American Antiques and Art and a knapsack from Guthman Americana.

A painted New York militia knapsack, circa 1820, priced at dollars 17,500 ( pounds 11,300). Volunteer militia companies employed local painters to decorate parts of their uniforms, such as hats, canteens and knapsacks. Each unit tried to outdo the others with fancier and brighter accoutrements

A hand-carved and painted goat from a carousel or roundabout, made by Gustave Dentzel circa 1905. Dentzel is one of the most highly regarded sculptors specialising in carousel figures and ships' figureheads. The goat has its original paintwork and is priced at dollars 48,000 ( pounds 31,000)

A portrait of a little girl by George Hartwell of Concord, New Hampshire, dating from circa 1840. Hartwell was one of the itinerant portrait painters who scratched a living by travelling from place to place to paint likenesses of the well-to-do. Modern collectors pay a premium for pretty child portraits. Hence a dollars 95,000 ( pounds 61,300) price tag

A whirligig made in Pennsylvania circa 1900. These figures, naively carved by local craftsmen, were placed in gardens to twiddle round humorously in the wind. This man's arms were made to rotate. He is two feet high and costs dollars 32,000 ( pounds 20,600)

(Photographs omitted)

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