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Décor Lessons from a Peacock-Themed Parlor

By: Tim Gavan, "Anatomy Lesson", Wall Street Journal Magazine, January 13, 2017

 

Designer Philip Vergeylen and socialite Rena Abboud create a luxe, turquoise-and gold sitting room in her London townhouse that soiree guests flock to

PHOTO: SIMON UPTON

Photo: Simon Upton

“HER LIFE IS ONE nonstop party,” said London interior designer Philip Vergeylen of his friend Rena Abboud, a socialite and author of an entertaining book with a passion for throwing extravagant affairs. “She has so many guests, everyone ends up sitting on each other’s laps.” 

No surprise, then, that Mr. Vergeylen had to become something of a party planner himself to serve the needs of the unremitting hostess while decorating a sitting room in her family’s Chelsea townhouse, featured in “Signature Spaces: Well-Traveled Interiors by Paolo Moschino & Philip Vergeylen” (Vendome Press).

Like a host trying to anticipate the dynamic between 50 varied dinner guests, he needed to consider whether objects like Fornasetti jars imprinted with silly faces could carry on an aesthetically genial conversation with throw pillows from Istanbul. His client’s pithy direction helped: Ms. Abboud handed him a peacock feather, saying, “Make the room look like this.” 

By adhering to a turquoise scheme with just a few hints of warmer colors and flashes of gold, he intermingled a hodgepodge guest list of items that might not otherwise have gotten along.

1. Work an Angle

On a black 19th-century Korean Coromandel screen, gold stalks glitter with restrained sophistication. “Instead of elaborate figures and temples, this simple screen has only bamboo,” Mr. Vergeylen said. The panels, hung on the wall partially folded rather than flat, add depth to the room. This gold-grounded screen will work as well: The crimp is more important than the color. Chinoiserie Painted Folding Screen, $1,495, chairis.com.

2. Link With a Lamp

Mr. Vergeylen sees a formal connection between the flames exhaled by the tablecloth’s dragons and the quirky, curvy Maison Jansen table lamp. But its floral quality also ties it to the gold bamboo plants on the screen. This furled lamp from Mr Brown London can be viewed in many different lights as well. Lincoln Table Lamp, $1,185, deringhall.com

3. Find a Friendly Face

Ms. Abboud brought back two Piero Fornasetti vases from a flea market in Saint-Tropez. “Initially, I thought they weren’t baroque enough,” said Mr. Vergeylen, “but somehow they make the whole room work.” Like familiar faces spied at a packed event, the jars are a comforting, playful addition. Fornasetti Bitossi Vases, $509 each, farfetch.com

4. Introduce Bold to Basic

Normally, having a sofa this color could make someone think you’re on drugs,” Mr. Vergeylen said, “but the shape is so classic and chic it grounds the color and makes it acceptable.” Dedar Adamo & Eva Velvet, $108 per yard, Jerry Pair, 800-909-7247; Samuel & Sons Saisons Brush Fringe, $27 per yard, The D&D Building, 212-759-5408 x 204

5. Train a Dragon

The tangerine-and crimson-colored dragons on this linen tablecloth reference an ancient Chinese design and extend the Asian theme of the Korean screen. An amber and turquoise border sparkles with the same jewel-tones present throughout the room. Richard Smith ‘Enter the Dragons’ Fabric in Chinese Spice by No.9 Thompson, from $142 per yard, No.9 Thompson, 800-262-0336

6. Let It Glow

The gold-leaf-gilded cocktail table is a shimmering counterpoint to all the turquoise here. Mr. Vergeylen advises: “Whatever color you start with, you must always make a room glow.” This lacquered-goatskin number will also add some shine. Karl Springer Cocktail Table from Black Rock Galleries, $3,000, 1stdibs.com

7. Double Down

The bleached vintage rug overdyed to match the walls and textiles grounds the near-monochromatic color scheme that keeps myriad styles and periods from seeming chaotic. It also protects wood floors from nightly dancing: “It would have to be titanium to withstand all the stilettos,” Mr. Vergeylen joked. A similar style:  Color Reform Spectrum Overdyed Rug, approx. 8-by-12 feet, $6,700, abchome.com

8. Find a Common Language

The Turkish ikat fabrics that cover the sofa cushions jibe with the orange-and-turquoise prints on the tablecloth and slipper chairs, though all hail from different regions. Save on airfare with silk and velvet versions by Orientalist Home, ordered online. Ikat Pillows, from $132 each, onekingsland.com

9. Cover Your Bases

In a layered room, furniture legs add distraction and can look delicate and fussy. Said Mr. Vergeylen, “I use bullion fringes and skirts to make furniture chunky, bold and strong,” as he did on these two slipper chairs, reupholstered in a Moroccan-inspired printed velvet. Nikita Velvet in Marina, about $195 per yard, lewisandwood.co.uk

 


Trend Alert: Going for the Gold

As quoted in ProSource Wholesale's Expert Advice Article (August 8, 2016)

 

Looking for the perfect accent to complement your home décor? Embrace one of today’s hottest trend: gold.

From bright and shiny to subtle and brushed, gold provides a look that is rich and timeless and yet oh-so-adventurous. Design experts explain just how easy it is to go for the gold.

The Power Of Gold

“Gold is making a bold comeback,” says New York City designer Cathy Hobbs. “For decades, discarded as old-fashioned and blasé (Liberace, anyone?), gold has found its way back into fashion, jewelry, and home décor.”

 

Jennifer Ventresca of Black Rock Galleries says gold “ups the ante” of a design scheme, in much the same way that a chunky gold necklace transforms the look of jeans and a t-shirt. “The beauty and timelessness of gold accents quietly sets a tone that permeates the décor of the entire room with that bit of glamour everyone seeks.”

Try pairing light hardwood kitchen floors with gold faucets and cabinet hardware. These small accents lend itself well to gold nick knacks, without going overboard. Feeling brave? Add an all gold sink to make a statement in a kitchen or bathroom. It’s the perfect way to give a room a feeling of luxury and richness.

Pair It With Other Colors

“Many homeowners shy away from glitz and sparkle, steering clear of all metallic finishes,” says Hobbs. “But gold is actually a wonderful neutral that pairs beautifully with other colors.” A deep chocolate brown hardwood, for example, balances out gold and prevents it from looking or feeling brassy.

“Other colors in the room can influence the tasteful placement of the gold accents,” says Leah Chalfen, designer of Light as a Feather by Leah C., a luxury line of products for interiors. “Generally warmer tones, regal colors, or even dramatic white marble next to golds are successful in an overall room decor.”

San Francisco designer Alice of Miss Alice Designs goes for bold contrast. “For a striking pop, pair gold accents with bold rich blues, emerald greens, black, and charcoal colors.”

Pair It With Other Textures

Gold is at its best when found among different textures, such as wood or fabric. Per Ventresca, “Many furniture categories have beautiful metal elements in the pieces, so be sure that there is also a softer, contrasting material, such as fabric, in the item.”

Ventresca recommends looking for pieces that have history (aka patina). “Those pieces will always look timeless,” she says. “Consignment centers, auction houses, thrift shops, and tag sales are your best bets for unique gold finds.”

Less Is More

“Gold is not the color with which you just dive in,” says Hobbs. “Instead, add touches of gold throughout your space.” Incorporate it as finishes on door handles and table legs or via accessories like mirrors, frames, or even a pillow with gold beads.

“Remember, a little dabl’ll do you,” says Ventresca. “You want the gold to add a touch of elegance – too much could easily turn a space into a gaudy hot mess.”

Adds Chalfen, “Gold touches make us happy. Look at your entire space and decide on specific special touches to delight the eye.”

Review inspiration and the online catalog of flooring, kitchen and bath products. Find the gold look you desire, and add the images to the myProSource Project Center to share with your friends and, of course, your trade professional.

 


 

Black Rock Galleries Sponsors A Taste of Fairfield's VIP Lounge

July 23, 2016 - Black Rock Galleries is sponsoring the VIP Lounge for October 9th's A Taste of Fairfield at the Delamar of Southport being hosted by Town Vibe / Fairfield Magazine.  A variety of restaurants, winemakers, brewers, and others will fill the courtyard of the Delamar Southport/Artisan serving their signature dishes along with cocktails and beverages to fun-loving foodies. There will be music, games, and roving entertainment.  BRG's VIP Lounge offers an added bonus, guests can relax while servers present to them the variety of delicious offerings in the comfort of the lounge area.!

Participating restaurants include (more to be added):  

  • Artisan
  • Freshii Fairfield
  • Old Post Tavern
  • Aspectuck Brew Lab
  • Geronimo Tequila Bar & Grill
  • Quattro Pazzi
  • B. Good
  • Joe's American Bar & Grill
  • Taberna Tapas
  • Brick + Wood
  • The Little Goose
  • Toto
  • The Cakebox
  • The Little Pub
 
  • Fairfield Cheese Company
  • Lobster Post
 
  • Flipside Burger Bar
  • Mecha Noodle Bar
 

 

The Taste of Fairfield takes place on Sunday, October 9, 2016, from 1 pm to 5 pm at The Delamar/Artisan located at 275 Old Post Road, Southport, CT (rain or shine).

Pre-purchased general admission tickets cost $50, which includes food, drink, and entertainment all afternoon. A VIP pass is $100 and provides food, drink, entertainment, private parking, and access to a lounge with TV and food service. Children 15 and under are $20.

TownVibe/Fairfield Magazine, publisher of magazines for Fairfield County is organizing this gastronomic event. TownVibe strives to connect people, organizations, and businesses in the community. 

 


 

Black Rock Galleries & the Estate of Beverly Lopez Donates $1,850 to
The Kennedy Center’s Maggie Daly Arts Cooperative

BRG matches estate donation from the sale of The Beverly Lopez Collection: a Lifetime’s Works

 

Bridgeport, Conn., July 25, 2016 –Black Rock Galleries (BRG) in Bridgeport and the Estate of Beverly Lopez recently donated $1,850 to The Kennedy Center’s Maggic Daly Arts Cooperative (MDAC) in Bridgeport, which represents 10% of the proceeds from the sale of The Beverly Lopez Collection: A Lifetime’s Works.

Celebrating the success of this art sale BRG’s managing partner, Christie Spooner, along with BRG’s art show intern, Margeaux Dupuy, presented the donation check to MDAC’s  manager, Stephanie Campbell and the Kennedy Center’s vice president of development, Jo Ann McMullan.  BRG obtained the estate of Beverly Lopez last year and curated the sale of his life’s works.  

“As a Bridgeport-based business that supports local causes, MDAC (which works with artists with a range of disabilities and abilities) seemed like the perfect organization to support,” explained Spooner.  She continued, “A portion of the proceeds from this sale benefited MDAC, a well-respected, innovative art program affiliated with The Kennedy Center.  As a nonprofit arts organization, we wanted recognize the great work of the Maggie Daly Arts Cooperative, which provides individuals with intellectual disabilities an environment to thrive in the arts.”

Black Rock Galleries recently offered the Lopez Collection to the public, which featured original, never-before-offered, original works of art from the estate of Beverly Lopez.  Lopez was a lifelong artist and long time resident of Weston, CT.  The Beverly Lopez Collection featured an extensive variety of paintings, sketches, and sculptures spanning many genres including equine, religious, African American/Black, illustrations, and ethnic art. All works were original pieces created by Beverly Lopez himself. Because of the vast variety of genres he worked in, Lopez used as many as 30 pen-names including Bev Lopez, Coby, Rob MacQueen, Barzoni, Quintana, Harvey Gilmen, Paul Boren, and TC Morris; just to name a few. Some of his pieces were reproduced commercially by printing companies, while many others remained part of his private, personal collection.

“We are very pleased to have received this generous and unexpected donation from Black Rock Galleries, part of Bridgeport’s vibrant art community,” added Stephanie Campbell, The Kennedy Center’s MDAC Manager.  

About The Kennedy Center’s Maggie Daly Arts Cooperative

MDAC specializes in expressive arts and has a yoga/dance studio on site. Some of the activities offered include: visual arts and mixed media, painting, cartooning, photography, weaving, ceramics, music, movement, meditation, and yoga classes as well as outings to museums and art galleries. MDAC, located in  Downtown Bridgeport, is designed to provide an innovative environment where individuals with disabilities, can learn, create and benefit by participating in a multi-faceted arts program.

About Black Rock Galleries

Black Rock Galleries’ founders, Grant Panarese and Christie Spooner, set out on their own, after almost 20 years in the antiques, auction and consignment arena, to create a one-stop enterprise based upon knowledge, honesty, integrity and the belief that fine antiques and home decor shouldn’t be cost prohibitive. What began in 2010 as Bridgeport Salvage Company in the Mill Hill section of Bridgeport quickly grew into a unique business offering a consignment shop, full auction and estate sale services and expert appraisals. By 2012, growth pushed them to a new facility with over 50,000 square feet of showroom space and its new name, Black Rock Galleries. With BRG's new online auction and shopping platform, the business continues to grow exponentially under the guidance of its founders and the support of their clients.  

BRG's flagship showroom and auction hall is located at 1720 Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  BRG - Greenwich is located at 179 Hamilton Avenue in Greenwich, Connecticut,.  BRG - Harmony Hall located at 15 Liberty Rock Road in Sloatsburg, New York.  Details for locations, hours, special events, and offerings may be found at blackrockgalleries.com.  Private appointments are available upon request.  All locations feature a fresh and changing inventory of quality furnishings, antiques, fine art and more, making BRG the source for every taste, budget and style. For more information, visit blackrockgalleries.com or call (203) 335-0000.

 

 

Black Rock Galleries' Vintage Coca Cola Beverage Cooler

as listed in RebateZone's Summer Gift Guide 2016

Vintage Coca Cola Beverage Cooler

 

 

 

Friends of Harmony Hall Win Historical Preservation Award

Sloatsburg Village Local News & Commnity Life

May 2, 2016 - To see full article click here.

 

The many hours of meetings and volunteer labor to recapture the historical Jacob Sloat House in Sloatsburg are paying off.

The Friends of Harmony Hall, the non-profit group that works in partnership with the Town of Ramapo to restore the old Sloat place, has been awarded a 2016 Preservation Merit Award Winner for its Preservation Leadership — a major award now in its 26th year and given out by the Historical Society of Rockland County in partnership with the Rockland County Executive.

The Friends of Harmony Hall and Black Rock Galleries, online auction house and antiques dealer, recently announced a partnership that will provide the auction house showroom space at Harmony Hall in Sloatsburg, NY. Photo by Geoff Welch.
The Friends of Harmony Hall and Black Rock Galleries, online auction house and antiques dealer, recently announced a partnership that will provide the auction house showroom space at Harmony Hall in Sloatsburg, NY. Photo by Geoff Welch.
 

The Friends of Harmony Hall will be feted at the annual Country Supper Sunday, May 15, to honor the 26th Annual Rockland County Executive’s Historic Preservation Merit Award Winners. The dinner takes place at The Historical Society of Rockland County’s Jacob Blauvelt House on Zukor Road, New City.

Sloat descendent Peter Bush said the award marks some 10 years of Friends of Harmony Hall work.

“I submitted a nomination for the Harmony Hall-Jacob Sloat House preservation/restoration project,” said Bush, delighted to hear back good news about the award. Bush added that he wanted to “extend my personal gratitude and thanks to the Rockland County Historical Society and to all those who sincerely continue to believe in the reuse/revitalization potential of Harmony Hall-Jacob Sloat House.”

Bush also noted that the 2016 Preservation Leadership Award not only encourages the Friends group but rewards the “continuous advocacy by dedicated volunteers” who have faced many challenges in helping to keep the Harmony Hall hearth burning at the local level.

Harmony Hall just partnered with Black Rock Galleries, a large online auction house and antique dealer, that gives over Harmony Hall’s interior space as a weekend “preview” showroom for select Black Rock online auctions. The partnership has helped Harmony Hall repair interior rooms, with some additional exterior space upgrades planned for the property.

Harmony Hall was built by Jacob Sloat in 1848, with members of the Sloat family living in the avant-guard Greek Revival house on the hill until 1908, when it passed out of the family. The Friends of Harmony Hall efforts seeks to restore the house to as it was when the Sloat family lived in it from 1848-1908, and establish the property as an historical and environmental education for the Ramapo Highlands region.

The Friends of Harmony Hall also host a number of popular events throughout the year, including the annual Highlands Bluegrass Festival.

The restoration effort has included uncovering hidden fireplaces, windows and staircases at the that were miraculously entombed by former owners behind plasterboard walls during the century that the house served as an inn, restaurant and an adult care facility.

The Friends worked with the Town of Ramapo to rip up decades of modern flooring to uncover the original, wide oak floorboards that once dominated the mansion’s interiors.

The effort has also seen the return of Henry Ransom Sloat’s Parlor Room chandelier.

Through the efforts of the Friends of Harmony Hall, the Jacob Sloat House is today listed on the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places.

The 2016 Rockland County Executive Historic Merit Awards takes place at a ceremony and country supper on Sunday, May 15, 2016 (4:00 – 7:30pm) on the grounds of the Historical Society in New City (The Jacob Blauvelt Homestead). The awards, presented during National Historic Preservation Month kick off Rockland County Preservation week in May. They recognize outstanding historic preservation efforts in Rockland County.

 


 

BRG Ventures into NY with Support of Friends of Harmony Hall

BRG announces third location at Historic Harmony Hall in Sloatsburg, NY.


Bridgeport, Conn., April 19, 2016 –Just six months since opening their second location, Black Rock Galleries, New England's largest auction house and consignment showroom, is once again expanding its efforts.  This time, in New York, with the opening of their third location at Historic Harmony Hall in the Hudson Highlands' village of Sloatsburg.  Christie Spooner and Grant Panarese, managing partners of Black Rock Galleries (BRG), along with the Friends of Harmony Hall, announce the opening of BRG - Harmony Hall located at 15 Liberty Rock Road in Sloatsburg, New York.  BRG - Harmony Hall officially opens with its Inaugural Americana Multi-Estate Online Auction ending on Wednesday, May 4.  This inaugural online auction will begin to close at 7:30 p.m.   Auction previews will place Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Interested bidders may place their bids online at www.blackrockgaleries.com.  Additionally, BRG - Harmony Hall will offer consignors and customers in the greater Hudson Highlands New York area an unparalleled outlet for liquidating or consigning estates as well as purchasing fine art, estate jewelry, antiques, decorative items, furniture, and more in a conveniently located showroom.  

Spooner expresses enthusiasm about BRGs expansion and third showroom opening in April. "BRG - Harmony Hall is yet another exciting step in the overall amazing growth of BRG.  This newest showroom enables us to better serve the New York area by offering free appraisal and consignment days, specialty sales previews, and other events and services specifically geared toward the sophisticated New York markets," explains Spooner.  "Our loyal customers in the area have been waiting for a closer, more convenient location and with the support of the Friends of Harmony Hall, we believe this is the right time and a great location for BRG to expand our service area."

Historic Harmony Hall site was recently purchased by the Town of Ramapo in 2005 and is on the New York State and Federal Registers of Historic Places.  It has been under study and restoration since 2007.  Originally built in 1848 by inventor and entrepreneur, Jacob Sloat, this magnificent mansion has experienced many transitions from residence, to inn, and nursing home.  The site was closed in 2003 and has remained empty since.  In the midst of an exhaustive search for a location in New York, Kenneth Jay Linsner, ASA, SCV, ASG, president of the Friends of Harmony Hall, as well as a renowned appraiser and long time colleague of Spooner and Panarese, approached Black Rock Galleries with the idea of making the space at Harmony Hall useful again, while at the same time helping to finance the site's much needed restoration.

"We are grateful to the Town of Ramapo and the Friends of Harmony Hall for allowing BRG to utilize this historic building to help raise funds for the continued restoration of the structure and interiors," explains Linsner.  "The rest is, as they say, history!"

Black Rock Galleries - Harmony Hall will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for open appraisals and consignments; per advertised dates at www.blackrockgalleries.com.  Additional hours during BRG's monthly "Harmony Hall Week" for auctions, previews, and specialty sales events will be publicized through BRG's website. Visit www.blackrockgalleries.com for information about their current and upcoming sales, auctions, and events.

 

About Black Rock Galleries

Black Rock Galleries’ founders, Grant Panarese and Christie Spooner, set out on their own, after almost 20 years in the antiques, auction and consignment arena, to create a one-stop enterprise based upon knowledge, honesty, integrity and the belief that fine antiques and home decor shouldn’t be cost prohibitive. What began in 2010 as Bridgeport Salvage Company in the Mill Hill section of Bridgeport quickly grew into a unique business offering a consignment shop, full auction and estate sale services and expert appraisals. By 2012, growth pushed them to a new facility with over 50,000 square feet of showroom space and its new name, Black Rock Galleries. With BRG's new online auction and shopping platform, the business continues to grow exponentially under the guidance of its founders and the support of their clients. 

BRG's flagship showroom and auction hall is located at 1720 Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport, Connecticut with easy access from I-95 (exit 25) and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.  BRG - Greenwich is located at 179 Hamilton Avenue in Greenwich, Connecticut, with easy access just over the New York border from I-95 (exit 2) and is open every Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 3p.m. for open appraisals and consignments, with additional hours and events as posted.  BRG - Harmony Hall located at 15 Liberty Rock Road in Sloatsburg, New York with easy access from NY Route 17 and the New York State Thruway via exit 15A and is open every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. 

For all locations, hours for special events and offerings are available at blackrockgalleries.com.  Private appointments are available upon request.  All locations feature a fresh and changing inventory of quality furnishings, antiques, fine art and more, making BRG the source for every taste, budget and style. For more information, visit blackrockgalleries.com or call (203) 335-0000.

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BRG Offers the Beverly Lopez Collection

Weston, CT artist estate's never-before-offered, original works of art in sale and exhibition with a
portion of the proceeds benefiting the arts at the Kennedy Center’s Maggie Daly Arts Cooperative

 

BRIDGEPORT, Conn., April 12, 2016 – African American family scenes depicted with vivid colors are rare finds and such pieces are only a part of the Beverly Lopez 

Collection which Black Rock Galleries (BRG) is offering at their Bridgeport showroom located at 1720 Fairfield Avenue beginning at an opening reception taking place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 6.  The sale continues throughout the month of May, during normal business hours; Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  A portion of the sales proceeds from the Beverly Lopez Collection will benefit the Kennedy Center’s Maggie Daly Arts Cooperative in Bridgeport; providing individuals with intellectual disabilities an environment where they may participate in a multi-faceted arts program using mixed media, painting, music, and more.  The Beverly Lopez collection features an extensive variety of paintings, sketches, and sculptures spanning many genres including equine, religious, African American/Black, illustrations, and ethnic art.  Featured pieces will also be available for purchase through Black Rock Galleries' website after May 7 at www.blackrockgalleries.com.  

Since the fall of 2016 and under the guidance of managing partners Grant Panarese and Christie Spooner, BRG's Margeaux Dupuy is curating the estate's collection of original works created by Lopez over the course of his life.  "In terms of artisans, Lopez was a true renaissance man as a self-taught artist who created amazing paintings, sculptures, sketches and more.  The breadth of this collection is amazing," explains Dupuy.  "I have to admit that my favorite pieces from the collection are the African American sibling paintings because they sort of remind me of my brothers and I; and the facial expressions truly seem to capture their affection for each other."

Other highlights of this collection include:

  • "Mother and Son Time" (a soft, filtered portrait of an African American mother holding her son);

  • African Portrait (a magnificent portrait sketch of an ethnic African woman);

  • "Buffalo Soldiers" painting (rare illustrative painting of African-American soldiers of the west);

  • "Magpie" (a miniature Native American sculpture), and 

  • "Little Farmers Going Fishing" (a lighthearted illustration that embodies summertime fun);

  • "Cavalier" (an impeccably detailed equine/horse sculpture);

  • "Kitten Family Portrait" (incredibly detailed group of adorable kittens); 

  • "Woman Holding Up Her Hair" (a beautiful sketch featuring the back of a nude woman fixing her hair).

Lopez, an American artist whose original works are uncirculated, was only known for his exceptional artistic talent in sculpture, painting, and commercial art.  Lopez was commissioned as a commercial artist for many companies including Grinnel Lithographers, Singer Company, Scafa Tournabene, and the Danbury Mint; where his works were used for greeting cards, posters, and the like.  Because Lopez worked in a variety of genres, he signed many of his pieces under one of his numerous pseudonyms (it is believed there are as many as 30) including C. Downey, Barzoni, Marcell, Alan Grant, and Ken Miller, just to name a few.  

Lopez was born in 1922 into New York City’s illustrious Pinkney-Watt family and grew up fully immersed in his family's thoroughbred breeding business.  In fact, the Pinkney-Watt family was famous for breeding “Maid of Harlem” a horse that subsequently became a muse for world renowned equine painter, Henry Stull.  Lopez’s mother, Grace Farrington Watt Lopez, was an artist herself and the daughter of Archibald Watt, Harlem’s legendary real estate magnate.  His father was the renowned Preferred Havana Cigar manufacturer, Manuel Lopez.  In his youth, Lopez attended school until the eighth grade and eventually stopped in order to find work. 

As an impassioned young artist, Lopez studied under famous sculptors James Earl Fraser, Berthold Nebel, and muralist Barry Faulkner; all of whom were well-known for their monuments and mural works in the New York tri-state and Washington, D.C. areas.  Additionally, by 1938, Lopez worked commercially, creating children’s illustrations, religious portraits, animal illustrations, sculptures, and greeting cards.  He also produced many works of ethnic art including black, African, and African-American religious art.  Additionally, Lopez was an avid equine enthusiast resulting in a commission by E. Roland Harriman in 1952 to sculpt pieces for the Trotter Museum Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York, where his amazing equine sculptures are still on display.  In fact, Lopez spent his lifetime studying, painting, and sculpting magnificent horses.  With his amazing eye for the complexities of a horse’s body and personality, Lopez successfully captured the spirit of his subjects in his equine sculptures and paintings. Subsequently, Lopez received the Pinnacle Award from the museum for his lifelong devotion to horses.  

Primarily working for companies in New York and Connecticut, Lopez eventually settled in Weston, Connecticut where he developed lifelong friendships with local artists from Weston, Wilton, Westport, and Easton, until his death in 2014.  

Black Rock Galleries acquired the estate of Beverly Lopez in 2015 and is curating his original pieces into the Beverly Lopez Collection sale and exhibit.  All the pieces in this exhibition and sale are original pieces, some were reproduced commercially, while many others remained part of Lopez’s personal and private collection of sketches, paintings, and sculptures. 

 

About Black Rock Galleries

Black Rock Galleries’ founders, Grant Panarese and Christie Spooner, set out on their own, after almost 20 years in the antiques, auction and consignment arena, to create a one-stop enterprise based upon knowledge, honesty, integrity and the belief that fine antiques and home decor shouldn’t be cost prohibitive. What began in 2010 as Bridgeport Salvage Company in the Mill Hill section of Bridgeport quickly grew into a unique business offering a consignment shop, full auction and estate sale services and expert appraisals. By 2012, growth pushed them to a new facility with over 50,000 square feet of showroom space and its new name, Black Rock Galleries. With BRG's new online auction and shopping platform, the business continues to grow exponentially under the guidance of its founders and the support of their clients. 

BRG's flagship showroom and auction hall is located at 1720 Fairfield Avenue, with easy access from I-95 (exit 25) and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. BRG - Greenwich is located at 179 Hamilton Avenue, with easy access just over the New York border from I-95 (exit 2) and is open every Wednesday from 10-3 for open appraisals.  Additional hours for special events and offerings are available through the website and by private appointment are available.  BRG is anticipating the opening BRG-Harmony Hall this spring, located in New York's Hudson Valley. All locations feature a fresh and changing inventory of quality furnishings, antiques, fine art and more, making BRG the source for every taste, budget and style. For additional information visit blackrockgalleries.com or call (203) 335-0000.

# # #

 

Column: Commercial Real Estate: A Sense of Rejuvenation Is in the Air

Greenwich Sentinal

 

February 26, 2016, Article by By Allan Murphy, Real Estate Columnist.  Click here for full article.
 

... I recognized the buildings, but not the tenants: the Melissa Barbieri art studio, Green of Greenwich custom flowers, Anthony Lawrence Home store, Maison Prive Chefs, The Corner Market (formerly Holly Hill Deli?), the Nina Gagarin studio, Black Rock Galleries, Catholic Psych Institute, and the renamed Bimbo Bakeries (really?). The look and feel of that stretch of Hamilton Avenue seems the same, but there are many new tenants and attractively updated spaces. It’s a good sign for our town and for Chickahominy. New replaces old, renovation occurs, and a fresh set of merchants, goods, and services sprouts up....

 
 

 

Dealers Take Estate Bidding Online

Stamford AdvocateCT Post, & Greenwich Time by By Kaitlyn Krasselt

 

January 11, 2016 -- When Grant Panarese first got into the auction and appraisal business 20 years ago, technology hadn’t yet revolutionized the buyer experience.

But he and his wife, Christie Spooner, who own and operate Black Rock Galleries, knew change was on the way so they’ve spent the past five years developing and perfecting their online bidding software, taking their Bridgeport-based estate liquidation and auction business online.

“We don’t hold traditional estate sales anymore,” Spooner said. “In that way it’s really non-invasive for clients because you’ll never have strangers in your home, even if the auction technically takes place there because it’s all done online and we remove the items ourselves once the auction is over.”


Now Spooner and Panarese have expanded, opening the first Black Rock Galleries satellite location in Greenwich, where they hope to better serve clients in lower Fairfield County and Westchester County, N.Y.

To read the full story, subscribe to Stamford Advocate or Greenwich Time.

 


 

BRG Announces Second Location in Greenwich, CT

Expanding its wide range of fine art, estate jewelry, 
antiques & more to CT's Gold Coast.

 

Bridgeport, Conn., November 23, 2015 – Black Rock Galleries, New England's largest auction house and consignment showroom, is expanding its efforts this week and opening a second location in Greenwich, CT.  Christie Spooner and Grant Panarese, managing partners of Black Rock Galleries, announce the opening of Black Rock Galleries - Greenwich (BRG - Greenwich) located at 179 Hamilton Avenue and will officially open for business on Wednesday, December 2 with an open appraisal and consignment day. BRG - Greenwich offers consignors and customers in southwestern Fairfield County and the greater New York metropolitan area alike an additional outlet for consigning and purchasing fine art, estate jewelry, antiques, decorative items, furniture, and more in a conveniently located showroom.   

Managing partner, Christie Spooner, expressed enthusiasm about BRGs expansion and second showroom opening in December. "Black Rock Galleries - Greenwich is another exciting step in the overall amazing growth of BRG.  This additional showroom enables us to better serve the area by offering free appraisal and consignment days, specialty sales previews, and other events and services specifically geared toward the sophisticated Connecticut and New York markets.  Our loyal customers from New York and southwestern Connecticut have been pining for a closer location and this is the ideal time for BRG to expand our service area.  Of course, our 50,000 sq. ft. flagship showroom in Bridgeport will remain as fabulous as ever!"

Black Rock Galleries - Greenwich will be open Wednesdays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. for open appraisals and consignments.  Additionally, during BRG's "Greenwich Week," the showroom will be open for auction previews and pick-ups beginning Tuesday, December 8 through Saturday, December 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Other auctions, previews, and specialty sales events will be publicized through BRG's website. Visit www.blackrockgalleries.com for information about their current and upcoming sales, auctions, and events.

 

About Black Rock Galleries

Black Rock Galleries’ founders, Grant Panarese and Christie Spooner, set out on their own, after almost 20 years in the antiques, auction and consignment arena, to create a one-stop enterprise based upon knowledge, honesty, integrity and the belief that fine antiques and home decor shouldn’t be cost prohibitive. What began in 2010 as Bridgeport Salvage Company in the Mill Hill section of Bridgeport quickly grew into a unique business offering a consignment shop, full auction and estate sale services and expert appraisals. By 2012, growth pushed them to a new facility with over 50,000 square feet of showroom space and its new name, Black Rock Galleries. With BRG's new online auction and shopping platform, the business continues to grow exponentially under the guidance of its founders and the support of their clients. BRG's flagship showroom and auction hall is located at 1720 Fairfield Avenue, with easy access from I-95 (exit 25) and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The new Greenwich showroom is located at 179 Hamilton Avenue, with easy access just over the New York border from I-95 (exit 3) and is open every Wednesday from 10-3 for open appraisals, for special events and offerings, and by private appointment.  Both locations feature a fresh and changing inventory of quality furnishings, antiques, fine art and more, making BRG the source for every taste, budget and style. Visit blackrockgalleries.com or call (203) 335-0000.

 

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From Harlem to Cuba & Back Again:
BRG's Fall Estates Auction

A wide range of fine art, estate jewelry, antiques & more offered.


Bridgeport, Conn., October 27, 2015 – Harlem's rich historic past meets Cuban art and much more at Black Rock Galleries (BRG) during their Fall Estates Auction taking place on Sunday, November 8 at 1 p.m. E.T.  BRG is pleased to offer this fine collection of art, estate jewelry, antiques, and decorative arts to the highest bidders.  Many of the lots offered in this auction hail from Harlem's historic Watt-Pinkney family including the estate of Beverley Lopez, great nephew of Archibald Watt and renowned artist in his own right.  The Watt family farm and breeding stable was once the largest single property in Harlem and was one of the last to be developed.

Bidders may participate in the auction via LiveAuctioneers.com.  Auction previews will take place at BRG located at 1720 Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport, CT from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, November 5 through Saturday, November 7 and Sunday, November 8 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“With this caliber of never before offered pieces of art held in multi-generational private collections, including Henry Stull equestrian works and Esteban Chartrand paintings, we believe collectors and art enthusiasts will be very excited to bid on these really incredible examples of fine and rare works," explains Grant Panarese, one of BRG's managing partners.  "We anticipate a lot of interest in many of the lots being offered and expect to see some really intense bidding on some of these pieces!"

Auction highlights include:

  • Five magnificent Henry Stull (Canadian, 1851-1913) paintings commissioned by the Watt-Pinkney family who owned much of what is modern day Harlem.  The family bred renowned thoroughbred horses including "Maid of Harlem," one of the featured pieces in the offerings.

  • Three pristine Esteban Chartrand (Cuban/American, 1840-1884) oil on wood paintings depicting Cuban landscapes -- all hailing from the estate of artist and descendant of the Watt-Pinkney family, Beverley Lopez.

  • A detailed pen, ink, and dry brush sketch, "Dun Gone," by Edward Borein (American, 1873-1945) featuring a cowboy on a bucking horse

  • Two impressive Carl Kauba (Austrian, 1865-1992) cast native American bronze sculptures.

  • An amazing oil on canvas, measuring 32" by 39.5" attributable to Wifredo Lam (Cuban, 1902-1982) entitled, "Barcelona Harbor" from a private collection of television producer, Pedro Font.

  • Stunning estate jewelry including a 3.93 carat diamond platinum-set engagement ring, a 2 carat marquis diamond ring, and a gold and diamond bracelet.

  • Two military commission documents:  A Pinkney appointment to First Lieutenant dated 1802, signed by Thomas Jefferson as President and countersigned by Henry Dearborn, Secretary of War and the other an appointment to Colonel for Ninian Pinkney dated 1821, signed by James Monroe as President along with a John Calhoun, Secretary of War countersignature

  • A George III mahogany bookcase owned by John D. Rockefeller, Sr. at his Water Street New York City building and was acquired by the Lopez family around 1911.

  • A pair of Carlyle Hotel conference chairs used by John F. Kennedy on September 24, 1961 during his meeting with disarmament advisors, Arthur Dean, John McCloy, and Secretary of State, Dean Ruck.

  • A rare silk and stump work with oil paint highlights of the Watt-Pinkney Mansion in Harlem circa late 1800s. The Watt-Pinkney family owned much of the land that makes up Harlem.

"One piece I'm really excited about is the "Barcelona Harbor," exclaims Panarese.  "Although this piece is unsigned, it's arguably attributable to Wifredo Lam based upon the known provenance and other information provided by the estate.  We anticipate a lot of interest in it and because it's a great piece to place your bet upon!"


About Black Rock Galleries
Black Rock Galleries’ founders, Grant Panarese and Christie Spooner, set out on their own, after almost 20 years in the antiques, auction and consignment arena, to create a one-stop enterprise based upon knowledge, honesty, integrity and the belief that fine antiques and home decor shouldn’t be cost prohibitive. What began in 2010 as Bridgeport Salvage Company in the Mill Hill section of Bridgeport quickly grew into a unique business offering a consignment shop, full auction and estate sale services and expert appraisals. By 2012, growth pushed them to a new facility with over 50,000 square feet of showroom space and its new name, Black Rock Galleries. With BRG's new online auction and shopping platform, the business continues to grow exponentially under the guidance of its founders and the support of their clients. BRG is located at 1720 Fairfield Avenue, with easy access from I-95 (exit 25) and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Featuring a fresh and changing inventory of quality furnishings, antiques, fine art and more, BRG offers something for every taste, budget and style. Visit blackrockgalleries.com or call (203) 335-0000.

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CT's Open House Day Gets Summer Started A Week Early

Hartford Courant by By Korky Vann

 

June 10, 2015 -- One of the best travel deals of the year takes place Saturday, June 13, when Connecticut holds its 11th annual Open House Day, when residents get free and discounted admission at attractions and destinations across the state.

Sponsored by the Office of Tourism, the one-day-only event includes special activities at historical sites, museums, theatres — and even some fun foodie stops and wineries.

"Connecticut Open House Day is the perfect way for residents to enjoy the start of the summer season by revisiting their most cherished places or finding new favorites," said Randy Fiveash, director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism, in a press release. "This year we have more than 165 destinations across every region of the state participating, including 30 new properties, giving residents the opportunity to explore Connecticut's variety of experiences within a short drive."

So if you're looking for me on June 13, I'll be on the patio at the Governor's Mansion in Hartford eating lemon ice. Or maybe I'll be getting that lamp that my grandmother said was a "real Tiffany" appraised at Black Rock Galleries in Bridgeport, doing a wine tasting at Cork & Brew in Southington or driving my own car around the 1.7 mile course at Thompson Speedway.

There's stuff for art, history and theater lovers, culture hounds and plenty of fun for kids. There's also too much to do in a day, so check the list and plot your course carefully. To take advantage of most offers, you'll have to show identification proving that you're a state resident.

Here's some highlights to get you started.

Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, the Palace Theater in Waterbury and Ivoryton Playhouse are offering free backstage tours. Take a free tour of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford — and you'll get refreshments and a complimentary ticket to see a 2015 National Playwright Conference or National Music Theater Conference reading.

Art lovers get in free at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford. Literary fans get free admission at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford and Monte Cristo Cottage, (Eugene O'Neill's boyhood home), in New London. History buffs can explore the past at no charge at the Connecticut Historical Society and the Old State House in Hartford, the Noah Webster House in West Hartford and other historical homes.

Families might want to Ride the Rocky Hill/Glastonbury Ferry or the Chester/Hadlyme Ferry for free or take a $5 Connecticut River cruise with RiverQuest/Connecticut River Expeditions. (Cruises depart from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam at 9, 10:15 and 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. First come, first served; no advance reservations.) Kids ride free on the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat, (with paying adult). The artsy-craftsy crowd can stop by Willow Tree Pottery in Ashford for kiln throwing demonstrations and free handmade amulets.

More participating locations:
  • Avery-Coop House in Groton: Free admission, costumed interpreters, old fashioned children's games and complimentary refreshments.

  • Bishop's Orchards Farm Market & Winery in Guilford: Complimentary apple cider donuts and balloons for children.

  • Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill: Free admission.

  • High Meadow Bed & Breakfast in Wallingford: House and garden tours and refreshments.

  • Westford Hill Distillers in Ashford: Free guided tours of the distillery, (generally not open to the public), from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

  • Creamery Brook Bison in Brooklyn: $5 wagon rides out to see the bison herd.

Hours and more events at ctvisit.com.
 
Editor's note: The story has been edited from a previous version to remove organizations that are not participating in Open House Day, including the Pez Visitors Center in Orange, the Pratt Nature Center in New Milford, the Brookfield theater, Nathan Hale Schoolhouse in East Haddam. 

 



Bridgeport's BRG Unveils Carlyle Collection for Auction

Bridgeport Daily Voice

 

June 2, 2015 -  BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Bridgeport's Black Rock Galleries has unveiled a new collection of work from the famous Carlyle Hotel in New York City on Tuesday that is now up for sale.

The Carlyle Hotel Furniture & Decoration Sale boasts an extensive collection of furniture, lamps, mirrors, decoration, & silver including: faux bamboo ballroom chairs, club chairs, bergeres, fauteuils, upholstered and tufted headboards, coffee tables, end tables, writing desks, footstools, many styles of table lamps, gilt mirrors, and even the barstools from Bemelman's Bar. 

“Black Rock Galleries is a such fascinating place,” Mayor Bill Finch said in a statement. “There is always something new and interesting. Where else could you discover a six-foot birthday cake from a television set one day and, on another, a chair that President Kennedy might just have sat on?” 

The sale will continue on Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Online access to the sale will begin on Tuesday at 8 p.m. and will run continuously until the close of the sale at blackrockgalleries.com.

 

 

 


BRG Debuts Carlyle Hotel Collection

City of Bridgeport, Office of Mayor Bill Finch

 

June 1, 2015 - To see video highlights footage click here.

 

 


Boardwalk Empire Makes Itself at Home in Bridgeport, Conn.’s BRG

Mayor Bill Finch

To see video highlights footage click here

“You have probably watched Boardwalk Empire. The show’s production has ended.
Now, the set now located right here in Bridgeport at Black Rock Galleries and will be
sold in an online worldwide auction next month.” – Mayor Bill Finch


Bridgeport, Conn. (March 5, 2015) – This week, Mayor Bill Finch spent his birthday exploring Bridgeport’s Black Rock Galleries (BRG), an independently owned, 50,000-square-foot antique shop on Fairfield Avenue.

And, a little bit of television history.

“There are a lot of fans of Boardwalk Empire. The television show’s production has ended. Now, the set is located right here in Bridgeport at Black Rock Galleries and will be sold in an online worldwide auction,” said Bridgeport, Conn. Mayor Bill Finch.  

Boardwalk Empire enthusiasts have an unparalleled opportunity to own a piece of Nucky Thompson's world when Black Rock Galleries (BRG) offers items from the sets and production of the series in its online auction ending on Wednesday, March 11 at 7:00 PM EST at www.blackrockgalleries.com.

Auction highlights include the chair and clock from Nucky's office, the Commodore’s alligator and notable signage from the boardwalk. The vast variety of lots hitting the auction block also include Prohibition Era styled liquor crates, carnival game props, decorative items, period garbage pails and even the birthday cake from Nucky's big birthday bash.

"When the Boardwalk Empire production team approached us, we were astounded at the sheer quantity of items available. It has taken us months to inventory, photograph and prepare these items for our online auction, all while our customers have been anxiously awaiting the date. We're offering this collection through our new online auction platform at blackrockgalleries.com," explains Grant Panarese, managing director and co-owner of BRG.

The mayor this week was given a tour around the space by owners Panarese and Christie Spooner, who opened their antique shop on Fairfield Avenue in 2012 after over 20 years of auction experience. Since the Boardwalk Empire collection arrived on the floor, Black Rock Galleries has seen interested investors from as far as Colorado and California and even the United Kingdom.

“People should come to this store. They will see so many incredible things that they’ll want to buy a bigger house so they can buy things and bring them home,” said Mayor Finch.

This collection is no small matter.

“There’s a lot to take on. Even just to truck this in and bring it into the building. This was 20 truckloads. Twenty, 26-foot box trucks full of stuff,” said Panarese.

The owners of Blackrock Galleries are also using this recent highlight to give back to Bridgeport.  The gallery will be holding a live in-store auction this Saturday, March 7, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM to sell some items from the collection that will not be online. With a $20 donation upon entrance, there will be music and dancing along with a chance to bid on exciting props from the show. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Bridgeport Rescue Mission.  Click here to read more about Saturday’s event: http://bit.ly/1zQGZyp.

Black Rock Galleries is located at 1720 Fairfield Avenue. Its website is www.blackrockgalleries.com.

 


 

BRG Names Bridgeport Rescue Mission Beneficiary
 of 
1920s Private Preview Party & Mini Charity Auction

Selections from the production of Boardwalk Empire & 
other 
unique items offered in March 7 charity event.

 

Bridgeport, CT – March 2, 2015 – The 21st century is about to time-warp into the Prohibition Era on Saturday, March 7 at Black Rock Galleries (BRG) during its Boardwalk Empire Private Preview Party and Live Charity Auction benefiting Bridgeport Rescue Mission. BRG is hosting this auction preview party in conjunction with its larger online auction which concludes on March 11. With an expected party attendance of around 150 people, BRG’s invitation only event kicks-off at six p.m. and will take place on the third floor of BRG’s showroom located at 1720 Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport, CT.

BRG's managing directors, Grant Panarese and Christie Spooner, wanted to give back to the community. So as the plans for a preview party developed over the last two of weeks, adding a charitable component seemed only natural. For BRG’s auction house, what better way is there to achieve this goal than by holding an auction? This charity auction contains an unique grouping of lots including select pieces from the Boardwalk Empire production, a Faberge whiskey decanter set, as well as several specialty services such as a four-hour restoration workshop with Panarese, and an in-home professional appraisal of up to 20 items provided by world-renowned appraiser, Kenneth Jay Linsner.

"Bridgeport is BRG's home and we want to do something meaningful for the community," explains Spooner. "In our quest to find a charity that directly impacts this area, Bridgeport Rescue Mission's name kept coming up so it was an easy choice for us. They provide an invaluable service to people who truly depend on them for survival."

In fact, for over 20 years, Bridgeport Rescue Mission embraced the urban poor and addicted in Fairfield County with the compassion of Christ, offering hope, healing and changing lives. The mission provides safe shelter for men and women, a guest house for women and children, food outreach, education, skills training and so much more.

“We are excited to have been selected as beneficiary in Black Rock Galleries' charity auction and look forward to attending the preview party on March 7th,” states Terry Wilcox, executive director of Bridgeport Rescue Mission. “We are grateful to Grant and Christie for their support of the programs and services we offer to men, women and children from the community who come to the Mission for food, emergency shelter and help in overcoming addiction.”

Black Rock Galleries’ founders, Grant Panarese and Christie Spooner, set out on their own, after almost 20 years in the antiques, auction and consignment arena, to create a one-stop enterprise based upon knowledge, honesty, integrity and the belief that fine antiques and home decor shouldn’t be cost prohibitive. What began in 2010 as Bridgeport Salvage Company in the Mill Hill section of Bridgeport quickly grew into a unique business offering a consignment shop, full auction and estate sale services and expert appraisals. By 2012, growth pushed them to a new facility with over 50,000 square feet of showroom space and a new moniker, Black Rock Galleries (BRG). With BRG's new online auction and shopping platform, the business continues to grow exponentially under the guidance of its founders and the support of their clients. BRG is located at 1720 Fairfield Avenue, with easy access from I-95 (exit 25) and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Featuring a fresh and changing inventory of quality furnishings, antiques, fine art and more, BRG offers something for every taste, budget and style. Visit blackrockgalleries.com or call (203) 335-0000.

 


 

From Connecticut Magazine, March 2014 

'Boardwalk Empire' Props Being Sold in Online Auction
by Bridgeport's Black Rock Galleries

by Erik Ofgang

 


 

Two Worlds Collide: Boardwalk Empire Meets BRG on Auction Block

Furniture, sets and props from production of Boardwalk Empire series are available to bidders until March 11.


 

Bridgeport, CT – February 19, 2015 – The television series production has ended but enthusiasts of television's Boardwalk Empire series have an unparalleled opportunity to own a piece of Nucky Thompson's world when Black Rock Galleries (BRG) offers items from the sets and production of the series in its online auction ending on Wednesday, March 11 at 7 p.m. eastern time at blackrockgalleries.com. Auction highlights include the chair and clock from Nucky's office, the Commodore’s alligator and notable signage from the boardwalk. The vast variety of lots hitting the auction block also include Prohibition Era styled liquor crates, carnival game props, decorative items, period garbage pails and even the birthday cake from Nucky's big birthday bash (without the showgirl popping-out of it, of course).

"When the Boardwalk Empire production team approached us, we were astounded at the sheer quantity of items available. It has taken us months to inventory, photograph and prepare these items for our online auction, all while our customers have been anxiously awaiting the date," explains Grant Panarese, managing director and co-owner of BRG. "We're offering this collection through our new online auction platform at blackrockgalleries.com."

In fact, BRG believes the auction's timing is perfect. Between the quantity of items featured and BRG's new online auction, bidding could not be easier for the show's fan base. Bidders simply need to register at blackrockgalleries.com and place their bid(s). Bidders worldwide can have their chance to own a piece of the empire. The auction ends at 7 p.m. eastern time on Wednesday, March 11. However, to ensure that all bidders have a fair chance on any given lot, last minute bids will postpone the closing time for any respective lot by five minutes.

Black Rock Galleries’ founders, Grant Panarese and Christie Spooner, set out on their own, after almost 20 years in the antiques, auction and consignment arena, to create a one-stop enterprise based upon knowledge, honesty, integrity and the belief that fine antiques and home decor shouldn’t be cost prohibitive. What began in 2010 as Bridgeport Salvage Company in the Mill Hill section of Bridgeport quickly grew into a unique business offering a consignment shop, full auction and estate sale services and expert appraisals. By 2012, growth pushed them to a new facility with over 50,000 square feet of showroom space and a new moniker, Black Rock Galleries (BRG). With BRG's new online auction and shopping platform, the business continues to grow exponentially under the guidance of its founders and the support of their clients. BRG is located at 1720 Fairfield Avenue, with easy access from I-95 (exit 25) and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Featuring a fresh and changing inventory of quality furnishings, antiques, fine art and more, BRG offers something for every taste, budget and style. Visit blackrockgalleries.com or call (203) 335-0000.

 

 

 


 

First Edition Audubon Books and Impressive
American Highlight BRG's Important Spring Antique Auction

 

Bridgeport, CT: June 8, 2014, Black Rock Galleries will hold its Important Spring Antique Auction featuring American antiques, books and art from the Thomas Mellon Evans estate, an impressive collection of antique Spanish glass from a the G. Maria Jarreau-Heller estate along with an eclectic mix of rare finds and unique pieces that have been privately held for decades.

"We are thrilled to bring such a wonderful collection of items to the auction block. It isn't too often multiple estates of this caliber come along with 'fresh to the market' pieces in this quantity" says Grant Panarese, co-owner of Black Rock Galleries. "As with all the estates we represent, our thoroughness resulted in many surprising finds that we are pleased to offer in this auction".

Books

Highlighting the selection of books in this auction are a first edition of John James Audubon's "Birds of America". The seven volume set was found in the Billy Baldwin Room of the Evan's River House residence nestled amongst other leather bound decorative books of no commercial value.

Furniture

American antique furniture is well represented with a pair of walnut, Queen Anne style Philadelphia chairs, circa 1750 that were found in the basement storage of the River House. An 18th century piecrust tilt top tea table in the Philadelphia style, a Massachusetts mahogany tea table, circa 1760 and a Massachusetts Chippendale candle stand with star inlay, circa 1760 - 1780 are also featured.

A unique American Moorish silvered brass side table, circa 1880 - 1900 has completely puzzled our owners. "The quality of the table is somewhere between Bradley & Hubbard and Caldwell" explains Grant. "We'll leave it up to the bidders".

Glass

The glass featured in this sale is a large group of Spanish glass dating from the 16th through 18th centuries. This collection has been in the Jarreau family for four generations and will be offered in a series of upcoming auctions.

Fine Art

In our recent communication with the Renoir Catalogue Committee at the Wildenstein Institute, we learned they were unable to confirm or deny the authenticity of the "Nature Morte d'Anemones" we have featured in this auction from the Evans estate. "When taking into account the quality and provenance of all the works bought and sold by Mr. Evans, it's a good piece to roll the dice on" says Grant.

Decorative Arts

The decorative arts in this sale feature two Andreas von Zadora sculptures, a three piece assemblage of 19th century carved wood, polychrome and gilt decorated Holy Family Santos figures and an American copper-clad gamecock weathervane, circa 1880 - 1900 that was found tucked in the attic of the Evans' Connecticut residence.

Please call the gallery at (203) 335-0000 or visit the website blackrockgalleries.com for additional information and photos.

With 20 years of experience in the industry and a newly expanded 50,000 square foot auction hall and showroom, Black Rock Galleries is New England's preeminent estate services company. Offering a menu of services including appraisals, auctions and consignment showroom, Black Rock Galleries offers complete solutions for the valuation and disposition of personal property assets with personalized service. Black Rock Galleries is based in Connecticut, one hour north of New York City and is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Auction Information

  • Important Spring Antique Auction: Sunday, June 8 at 12 p.m.

  • Previews: Thursday, June 5 through Saturday, June 7 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Doors open at 9 a.m. the day of the sale. For appointments please call the gallery.

  • Black Rock Galleries is located at 1720 Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport, CT. It is easily accessible from I-95, exit 25.

  • Telephone and absentee bids are accepted through Saturday, June 7 at 5 p.m.

  • Online bidding is available through liveauctioneers.com and invaluable.com. Please register prior to the day of the auction to assure approval.

 


 

Decorator's Dream Auction: 
For Veteran Designers and Decorators As Well As Amateurs


Bridgeport, CT – March 5, 2014 – It isn't very often that two well-appointed estates come under one roof, but that is exactly what is happening at Black Rock Galleries' auction house located at 1720 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, CT on Sunday, March 16, 2014 beginning at 12 noon.  Black Rock Galleries (BRG) is offering 400 lots of barely-used contents from two New Canaan and Greenwich estates in this Decorators' Dream Auction with an estimated retail value of over $1.25 million.

The over 12,000 square foot New Canaan estate features an eclectic collection of furniture, art, and decorative items gathered from worldwide travels.  Likewise, the over 8,000 square foot Greenwich estate features a whole host of classic, "old world" decorative pieces that include English, Continental, and traditional furnishings, beautiful area rugs, art, and collectibles.
"This is our first auction for 2014.  The substantial estates being offered filled two 50-foot tractor trailers," states, Grant Panarese, co-owner of BRG.  "We have really nice decorative and collector pieces that will enhance anyone's personal or professional collection; while fitting all budgets and styles.  You don't want to miss this!"

The Decorator's Dream Auction catalog will be available online at BRG's website -- www.blackrockgalleries.com -- beginning Saturday, March 8 and the auction preview will be held from Friday, March 14 through the morning of the auction.  Bidders need to pre-register before the auction and may participate live, by phone, internet, or via absentee bids. 

With almost 20 years’ experience in the industry and an amazing, newly expanded 53,000 sq. ft. gallery showroom, Black Rock Galleries is the area’s preeminent source for antiques, fine art, home furnishings and decor, estate jewelry, silver and unique accessories.  Co-owners Christie Spooner and Grant Panarese base their business on the belief that your home is your sanctuary; the design journey should be affordable and fun.  BRG specializes in the auction, appraisal and resale (through estate sales and consignment) of these fine items.  Black Rock Galleries is located at 1720 Fairfield Avenue, with easy access from I-95 (exit 25) and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

 


 

Westport Artist’s Works Up for Auction

published by Westportnow.com

November 7, 2013 -- Several pieces of original artwork by the late Westport artist and illustrator Bernard “Bernie” Burroughs (1912 -1993) will be auctioned off on Sunday by Black Rock Galleries in Bridgeport with previews beginning today. 

WestportNow.com Image
One of the works up for auction is this editorial illustration believed to have been done for the Ladies’ Home Journal or McCall’s. Contributed photo

The preview and auction will take place simultaneously online and live at 1720 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport. Phone (203)335-0000.

Bernie Burroughs was renowned as a men’s fashion illustrator during the “Mad Men” era of advertising art, with his work for Van Heusen, Fruit of the Loom, Arrow shirts, MacGregor, and many others, appearing in national magazines throughout the 1950s and ‘60s.

Earlier, as a young man in his 20s, he worked as an animator for Walt Disney on “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. He moved to Westport in 1950 with his wife Esta, (now 100 years old) and his sons Miggs and Tracy.

He joined the new wave of artists to make Westport their home including Eric von Schmidt, Al Dorne, Tracy Sugarman, Stevan Dohanos, Howard Munce, Hardie Gramatky and many more.

He soon became president of the Westport Artists Club, which was the precursor to today’s Westport Arts Center. 

Also being auctioned off is a pristine Babe Ruth autograph that Esta Burroughs got from the Babe at her high school in Boston in 1930 while he was pitching for the Boston Braves.

 


 

Published by Bridgeport News

 

October 9, 2013 -- Lara Spencer, TV celebrity and host of HGTV’s I Brake for Yard Sales and Flea Market Flip, stopped by Black Rock Galleries to find pieces for a room makeover on her show. The episode featuring the gallery and the items she purchased from it aired recently.

“Lara has been a long time customer of ours and so it was our pleasure to let her film segments for her new show, I Brake for Yard Sales, at BRG,” said Grant Panarese, who co-owns the gallery with Christie Spooner. “Although the taping took place several months ago, we didn’t know when the segment would air on TV.”

On Friday morning, Oct. 4, Spencer tweeted to Panarese and Spooner that the episode would air that evening.

“We are delighted and honored that one of our favorite TV decorating personalities enjoys our gallery shop so much that she wanted to tape segments of her show here,” Spooner said. “BRG has a wide variety of styles to fit every budget so it was a natural fit for Lara and I Brake for Yard Sales.”

Check the program guide for additional episodes of HGTV’s I Brake for Yard Sales, featuring Black Rock Galleries and Spencer’s room makeovers this fall.

 

 


 

Inaugural Auction at Black Rock Galleries

published by Antiques & the Arts

 

July 17, 2012 -- There was excitement aplenty on June 18 as the Park City hosted Black Rock Galleries’ inaugural antiques and fine art auction. Auction house principals Travis Worrell and Grant Panavese presented select contents from several area estates, including items that had descended in the family of a Confederate general. Located in a refurbished industrial building, which will also house a design center owned by the pair of auctioneers as well as partner Christie Spooner, the event was well attended and well received.

“We were really happy with the sale,” commented Worrell in the days that followed the auction. The auctioneer commented that decorative smalls did particularly well. “Paintings sold really well. Art, silver and jewelry were awesome, and even some of the early American furniture did well.”

“A lot of really good stuff came out of an estate from Stamford,” commented Worrell, including a good selection of furniture, silver and most of the artworks. The estate in Fairfield proved to be an interesting one, as direct lineage back to Confederate General Dimmock was established. The auctioneers reported that the best item that had come from the estate had been discovered during a follow-up visit to the home when family members pulled a hand hammered Tiffany sterling bowl from a closet. Reluctant to consign the piece initially, the family quickly agreed to let it go once Worrell informed them that the value of the piece was more than ten times what family members had determined was scrap value.

Art attracted a great deal of interest and leading the selection was an abstract painting by Irene Rice Pereira. The auctioneers reported a great deal of presale interest in the work, and come sale time there was substantial activity with serious bidders in the gallery, on the telephones and on the Internet. “We had ten telephone bidders,” commented Worrell, which was more than the fledgling auction house could handle until a volunteer or two (actually close friends of the gallery owners) stepped forward from the crowd to lend a hand.

Panavese scanned the auction room from the block, and then asked, “Anyone want to throw a bid out there?” A shout of $1,500 came from the crowd, and although clearly not impressed with the amount, the auctioneer set bidding on the rare abstract into motion. Bids came from the telephones instantaneously and bounced back and forth with several phone bidders getting in on the action.

A bit of breathing room came at $7,000, when a brief pause from the phone bidders created an opportunity for a bidder in the room to jump in on the action. The bidder in the room pushed the price upward with the lot ultimately selling to the telephones for $12,925.

A bronze by Francisco Parisi opened for bidding at $500 and was quickly hammered down at $2,350; a view of Grand Central Station by Walter Tittle, $2,702; and an abstract construction picture by Shirley Toran, “Strata Construction Series 14,” went out reasonably at $625.

Silver by Tiffany also drew frenzied biddings with a nice hand hammered bowl with applied turtle decoration topping the list. Direct from a closet out of the Fairfield estate, the bowl sold for $6,168. A pair of Tiffany silver garniture urns also did well, with the pair bringing $4,993.

Other decorative smalls included a sterling silver and mixed metal napkin holder with applied bugs selling at $1,116; a gold and diamond engagement ring, $1,410; a gold, diamond and moonstone pin, $998; and an Acoma Indian pot, bringing $260.

Early furniture in the auction included a pair of country Queen Anne chairs with pad feet that went out at $1,292; a Philadelphia Chippendale side chair went on the cheap at $470; as did a nice signed Wallace Nutting footstool with cabriole legs and ball and claw feet.

Worrell termed a couple of the lots sold “bargains of the day,” including an American slab table that was snuck out of the door for only $235 and a full-bodied horse weathervane that realized $411.

Prices reported include the buyer’s premium.

Black Rock Galleries Design Center is open for business with four new dealers signing up as of last week; additional space is available. A date for the next auction has yet to be scheduled, although the auction house has confirmed that one will take place in late August.

For additional information, www.blackrockgalleries.com or 203-335-4444.