At Armory, Society Swoons for Salinger, Sword

transommargaret russell At Armory, Society Swoons for Salinger, Sword On Thursday, Oct. 15, at the Park Avenue Armory, the International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show celebrated its 21st birthday, hosted by the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center—“the quintessential antiques show,” as Heather Leeds, the president of the society, put it. “All the top-notch dealers are here.”

Ms. Leeds posed for pictures with event co-chairs Libby Fitzgerald, Lisa McCarthy, Grace Meigher and the editor of Elle Décor, Margaret Russell.

So now the obligatory question: Who’s got the money these days to buy a $300,000 Boudin?

“The stock market was up yesterday,” said DeBare Saunders, an interior designer from New York. He was wearing an ascot and an overwhelmed smile. “I feel more optimistic about spending a large amount of money, which is something I wouldn’t have done six or eight months ago.”

What’s this? Ah, Sir John Everett Millais’ Wedding Cards! And over there! A Roman marble statue of Mercury! And here? A woman removing the 1-inch-diameter bun from her tiny little cheeseburger, discarding it in her napkin and consuming just the miniature meat patty.

Some highlights included a $18,300 first edition of Catcher in the Rye with a picture of Salinger on the inside cove; a $150,000 bedside table made of Lombardy Luigi XVI walnut; and a 6-foot-long bearing sword from 1574, carried by the bodyguards of the Duke of Brunswick, for $148,000.

“It’s an expression of power, more than anything else,” said Redmond Finer of Peter Finer gallery.

The jewel of the evening, though, was Renoir’s Coco Au Ruban Rose. Asking price: $2.5 million.

 “People would rather spend twenty, fifty, a hundred thousand more for good paintings,” said Steven Beale of the U.K.’s Trinity House, who is trying to sell the painting. He smiled hopefully. “So we’ll see.”