Hatchwell Shows Polished Artifacts of Aviation History in Brilliant Engineering Art Display
Dianna Bottoms at Oliver and Espig Shows Sue DiCicco’s Disney Influenced Bronzes, husband Gil’s Sunlit Watercolors
Latchezar Boyadjiev’s Striking Glass Nudes Glow at Glenn Aber’s Albo Gallery
A profusion of richly ornate, colorfully decorative and highly polished items including magnificently carved clocks, rows of gorgeously sanguine flower paintings and landscapes, enormous photographs of Manhattan landscapes and society, and glittering jewelry filled the Armory last night in an invitational preview of the four day New York Art, Antiques and Jewelry Fall Show.
Not a lot of it is high art, perhaps, and much of it veers dangerously close to kitsch, but there are many designs and works of lasting value amid this commercial flower garden of decoration. Prices range from four to six figures.
(NOTE: DOUBLE AND TREBLE CLICK PHOTOS FOR HUGE SIZE IF DESIRED.)
Hatchwell’s Shining Aviation Beauties
The most unexpected discovery at the show was an extraordinary display of polished steel artifacts at Hatchwell Antiques, where Allan Hatchwell and Richard Wait (US temporary Cell 561-635-8968 UK Cell 44 7768 862229 533 King’s Road 0207-351-2344 hatchwellantiques.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org) offered shining polished metal and wood antiques of a unique engineering kind from aviation history – huge propeller blades, soaring model planes, giant marine binoculars and a telescope on wheel adjustable stands, a double life size training Browning machine gun with cutaway moving parts, a Campbell-Stokesspehere sunshine recorder, an RAF Gloster Javelin ejection seat and a coffee table incorporating a Rolls Royce Titanium Turbine, all (except for the giant polished wood propellers) made entirely of steel buffed to dazzling brilliance, and including several circular wall mirrors made from jet engines.
Pair of Cold War era Czech Binoculars c 1955 was part of Hatchwell’s London stock of large aperture binoculars from the golden era of binocular manufacturing from 1910 to 1960 by Zeiss, Nikon and Fuji, which like the other brilliant metal objects on display offered not only forms of engineering art but also perhaps a chance to touch the past and retrieve something of the time when complex creations of human invention were physical, tactile and intelligible to the ordinary citizen who experienced them, rather than the virtual, vanishingly abstract creations of the dot com era.
Against the background of the Rolls Royce Pegasus 105 Stage 1 Titanium Turbine c 1985 coffee table, above, the crystal ball-like glass sun focuser of the Campbell-Stokessphere sunshine recorder by Casella of London, mounted on a golden oak base, c 1930, above, stands ready to record the amount of sun shine throughout the day. As invented by John Francis Campbell in 1853 and modified by Sir George Gabriel Stokes in 1879, the sun burns a trace on the bowl, or with Stoke’s refinement of adding a card holder, burns through a card.
The idea, explained Richard Wait, is that it measures the time it takes for the sun to burn through the card. Whether or not the concept seems a little primitive, there is an undeniable beauty in the object.
Also on hand was Allan Hatchwell, the son of the founder of his business which dealt in wooden antique furniture until he came up with this inspired idea. He explained how the ejection seat (above) worked, the rocket at its back lifting the pilot out with such force that his spine was compressed one inch as he cleared the plane’s tail. An oxygen canister is fitted to the side to ensure survival in high altitude ejections.
Even if the ejection seat – above, in its full glory – doesn’t serve as a comfy nook to drink your early morning coffee, it will make any other seat you occupy seem even more comfortable and safe than usual.
Meanwhile, here’a coffee table which will serve both you and a lady guest very nicely if you wish to impress:
The several binoculars were also beautiful objects, especially the pair of large aperture Fuji Meibo 25X150 Marine Binoculars from Japan c 1975, mounted on a Perico rise and fall tripod.
“Where did you get that material?” A conversation at the show invitational preview on Wednesday evening (below) shows the scale of the huge and beautiful laminated Sitka spruce supersonic wind tunnel propeller on show at Hatchwell Antiques, which can occupy your living room for $98,000 the pair.
The original 18 blade fan and 7×10 foot tunnel cost $2,052,000 and developed a wind speed of 675 mph. Built in 1945 at the NASA Langley research center in Virginia it tested aircraft, missiles and eventually the manned orbiter. It was closed in 1994.
A look through one of the Carl Zeiss periscope binoculars with 10x magnification shows how well the fist sized glass lens captures light from seventy yards away, illuminating the globe of apples at the show entrance and bathing the scene in a beautiful luminosity:
This is the first time Hatchwell has exhibited its unique collection in New York, and it attracted considerable notice at the preview.
DiCicco couple: bronzes and watercolors
Another exhibit we found of special interest was the dynamic set of small bronzes by Sue DiCicco, hosted at the Oliver and Espig booth by Dianna Bottoms. In Dilemma (above), a worried seated man is beset by conflicting advice and urging by a figure at each one of his ears, a nude female on his right and a horned male on his left, presumably representing paths of virtue and vice.
If the collection has the engaging and upbeat flavor of Disney fairy tale cartooning about it this may be because Sue was long a professional Disney animator. Studies in light in oil and watercolor by her husband Gil, an art director at Disney, are also being shown by Dianna Bottoms at Oliver and Espig’s booth. A dancer in earlier years – “I still dance around the house” -, Dianna was the model for the female imp in Dilemma, she confided, which certainly seemed to us a notable contribution to art and proud achievement in its own right.
Sue’s husband Gil DiCicco’s ‘Bethesda Foundation’ (below) is a sunlit scene of poignant beauty which touches but doesn’t incorporate sentimentalism, just as the skillful bronzes by his wife reflect the Disney mode of professional cartooning skills without veering into the realm of cartoon from art.
Blue glass nude glimmers
Another striking object was this cast glass nude ‘Torso III’ by Sofia, Bulgarian born Latchezar Boydjiev, glowing in a corner of Glenn Aber’s AI BO Gallery booth (914-251-0169 Gallery 914-263-7500 Cell email@example.com in Rye NY):
“I love glass. I love cast glass!” says Glenn Aber, who stocks works in glass by Sofia born Latchezar Boydjiev, of whom he says “He’s really good. He is in many museums, he is in the White House…”