At the Winter Antiques Show, Bovine Paintings and Martha Stewart

At the opening of the 55th Winter Antiques Show Thursday evening at the Park Avenue Armory, Martha Stewart was there to shop. Surrounded by a flurry of admirers, she diligently inspected all the goods, clearly more interested in the hunt than schmoozing. "I’ve been coming here for 25 years," said Ms. Stewart. "I’ve bought here before."

Besides the expected European wares of china, Faberge eggs, and assorted jewelry, there were a surprising number of primitive art stalls. Society interior designer Mario Buatta was enthusiastically showing clients around. "I’ve been collecting since I was 11. Paintings of dogs, or four-legged animals,” he said, pointing out a painting of a disproportionate cow. "The Winter Antiques Show is a great show. There’s something for everyone. It’s so eclectic, there used to be mostly American, a bit of English, French, but now … it’s the whole world! And it’s good, ’cause people collect different things."

The Antiques Show Chair, former Chanel CEO Arie Kopelman, said he realized times are tough, but all the more reason for people to buy "those tempting goodies." That said, he wasn’t sure whether he’d be taking home any treasures himself. "I’m an every other year kind of guy, funnily enough. And I purchased something last year, so this year I would really have to be tempted.

"But," he added, "the night is young." At the Winter Antiques Show, Bovine Paintings and Martha Stewart