Tuesday, January 12, 2010


The James Sansum Gallery is located in a pretty space above Bar and Books on Lex.

Started in 2002, James Sansum Fine and Decorative Art gallery, located at 1020 Lexington Avenue, on the 2nd Floor has a stunning, well- edited collection of American and European furniture and decorative objects, Asian works of art and Old Master drawings. In addition, they mount rotating shows of contemporary art, featuring established talents and up and comers. James Sansum has been in the industry for ages, as a fine art and antiques dealer. After attending Harvard, he decided to go headlong into the world of art history academe-- and got his Masters of Arts degree in the History of Decorative Arts and Design from Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and Parsons School of Design. His expertise has let him to curate several exhibitions on European boxes, textiles, and works on paper. Over the years he has collected a mix of unique decorative things for his shop, and visiting him there is like stepping into a jewel box. He recently started a website, James Sansum, a visual treat where you can read the storied provenances of the pieces he offers. James shares his upstairs space with the incredibly talented Mark Hampton alum, designer Markham Roberts, his partner. And let's not forget their resident mascot, Poodle Choppy.

An Urn lamp sits on a table with marble inlay.

A serene vignette shows a tray filled with horn and bone boxes.

Symmetry is the key to a visually arresting tablescape, as invented and perfected by the late David Hicks.

More precious objects,the cobalt blue of the lamp is a nice pop of color.

Photos Courtesy of James Sansum
Pair of Stylized Flowers in Baskets
Made by Tiffany & Company in Mexico for the American market, circa 1950-1960
Gilded silver with crushed crystal
H: 4 1/4 D: 2 5/8 inches
Provenance: Polly Stover Kahn (Otto Kahn's daughter in law), Old Brookville, NY
I am a pushover for flowers and tiy baskets---

Active in Canton or Macao, China in the early nineteenth century, made for the European market
Brown Crab and Insect
Circa 1810-1815
Gouache and watercolor on paper
12 1/4 x 14 inches (framed)
Provenance: with Eyre & Hobhouse, London
Exhibited: Eyre & Hobhouse, Closely Observed Animals, 1982, number 90.

Louis XVI Style Low Side Chair (Chauffeuse)
Paris, France, circa 1920-1930
Made by Maison Jansen
Painted and parcel gilded wood
H: 33 W: 19 1/2 D: 18 inches
This small neoclassical style chauffeuse in the Louis XVI taste was made by Maison Jansen in their Parisian workrooms. Maison Jansen was a Paris-based interior decoration office founded in 1880 by Dutch-born Jean-Henri Jansen. Jansen is considered the first truly global design firm, serving clients in Europe, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. Stéphane Boudin was president of Jansen from 1936 to 1961, and oversaw the firm's most important design projects.

Photos Courtesy of James Sansum
Napoleon III Period Side Table
France, circa 1860-1870
Parcel gilded and painted metal (tôle peinte) and wrought iron with mirrored glass top
H: 22 3/4 W: 13 3/4 D: 13 3/4 inches


emily peterson-kleigh said...

wow! stunning. thank you for sharing this source with us. love that cobalt lamp. stunning.

Anonymous said...

simply beautiful things in what looks like an exquisite setting- intimate and approachable. I can't wait to visit! Tina

Patricia Lieve said...

Going to NYC this summer and will definitely add this shop to my list. Love the treasures and finds.

Marisa said...

The space is filled with beautiful things- it is like visiting a jewelbox. A must see!

Casey Hill said...

I love visiting James Sansums’ gallery, it's truly a treat for the eyes! I am always amazed with the beautiful decorative objects throughout and artwork lining the walls - sophisticated, fresh and filled with interest!

achildgrows said...

I go into James' shop all the time. It always feels fresh and he has a keen eye for objects and putting them together so beautifully!

donna said...

James's gallery is a antidote to the blues, so many beautiful things, so well presented and an extremely charming owner to boot. Would there were more like him! But so lucky there is at least one...

Lee said...

One of the most beautifully curated galleries I have encountered. James is a true talent with an incredible eye. Amazing finds!