Ormond Gigli (1925- ) Girls in the Windows, New York City. Image courtesy of Swann Galleries
An auction to be held at Swann Auction Galleries in Manhattan on February 14th will feature historic photos that capture the essence of New York City through the ages. The event, titled “Icons & Images: Photographs & Photobooks,” will put up for bid everything from classics from 19th century portraiture to Edgar Allan Poe tintypes to Nan Goldin’s evocative images of 1990s NYC. This will also be a rare opportunity to own a contemporaneous print of Lewis W. Hine’s dramatic “Empire State Building,” (c. 1930).
Preview the prints up for auction
If your idea of a perfect stocking stuffer is a classic Serge Mouille three-armed ceiling light, the auction of items from the private collection of architect Lee Mindel, which begins today, is just what your gift list ordered. “Light & Aerie: The Collection of Lee F. Mindel, FAIA” includes dozens of rare modernist pieces from the architect’s personal collection. Mindel is moving from his Chelsea loft in a former hat factory to a new aerie in Tribeca’s rare and collectible Herzog & de Meuron-designed “Jenga tower” at 56 Leonard Street; Mindel’s loft is available, too, if you’ve got a really big stocking to fill. Auction house Phillips is handling the sale, which includes stunning pieces ranging from art to furniture, lighting and decorative items by the likes of Jean Prouvé, Antoni Gaudí, Georges Braque, Hans J. Wegner, Ettore Sottsass, Jr. and many, many more.
Check out some of the iconic pieces headed for auction
If the houseboat lifestyle piques your fancy, this may be your big chance to live life on the open seas right here in NYC, as the city is auctioning off a 62-year-old fireboat. Though the initial asking price was $510, there have surprisingly been 17 bids since Wednesday, putting the current highest price at $3,050. Keep in mind, as Gothamist points out, that although this seems like a steal, it will likely cost thousands more a month to dock the 129-foot boat, on top of maintenance and transportation costs (it’s being sold “AS IS” and “WHERE IS”). Some of the “amenities” you’ll get include water cannons (it’s not known if they actually work, but they certainly still look cool), a lookout tower (binoculars not included), and co-living style bunkbeds.
The whole deal
Native New Yorker Gil Shapiro founded Urban Archaeology in the early 1970s, when the salvaging movement was just catching on. With a collector’s–and creator’s–eye and an entrepreneurial spirit, he began re-imagining architectural remnants as treasured additions to the home environment. This month the company has been preparing for an auction taking place on March 27th and 28th, handled by Guernsey’s auction house, when nearly 1,000 of their long-treasured pieces of history will be sold to prepare for a move to a new location.
First opened in Soho in 1978, the store’s early customers–including Andy Warhol and other denizens of what was undisputedly the epicenter of the art world–adored the unique and time-treasured aspects of Shapiro’s restored architectural salvage pieces, yet they would always find ways they wished they could customize their favorite items. Finding that he excelled at bringing a fresh perspective to pieces of historical and architectural importance, he started reproducing individual pieces as well as creating new lines of bath fixtures and lighting, many of which originated in places like the Plaza Hotel, New York’s Yale Club and the St. Regis Hotel.
Read our interview with Gil here