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Saturday, July 20, 2024


St. Thomas will host its first-ever auction of antique West Indian furniture, gallery-quality art and decoratives when the historic Hebrew Congregation holds its "Antiques, Art and Collectibles Auction" on Sunday, Dec. 12, 1999, at the Old Stone Farmhouse at Mahogany Run.
The auction preview begins at 10:30 a.m., followed by the auction at 1 p.m. Tepper Galleries of New York will serve as auctioneers.
"This event is creating a lot of excitement here at home, on our sister Virgin Islands and abroad because we've collected many wonderful pieces that have never been on the market before," said Trudie Prior, president of the congregation.
The small, 203-year-old congregation — second oldest in the Western Hemisphere to Curacao — is holding the unique fund-raiser to help defray the rising cost of keeping its Synagogue open to the public. The 166-year-old Synagogue building, which is now undergoing a major restoration, has been designated a National Historic Landmark.
Among the items to be auctioned will be:
— A 48-inch round pedestal table and a four-poster bed with rams' head headboard from the Danish West Indies, a French West Indian armoire, a Danish West Indian solid mahogany armoire with fancy figured solid-paneled doors, and dozens of other West Indian antiques, including a shoerack, chairs, candlestands and rockers.
— Nearly 50 pieces from the MAPes MONDe collection, including an original double-sided drawing from Camille Pissarro's sketchpad; old Virgin Islands and Caribbean maps, pictorials, documents, books and newspaper articles; and four Luca Palermo watercolors.
— An original acrylic sculpture by internationally known artist Yankel Ginzburg, who once lived in St. Thomas.
— Works of art by many of the Virgin Islands' leading artists, including Don Dahlke, Eric Winter, Shansi Miller, Eunice Summer, Leo Carty, Diane Kreiner, Paul Youngblood, Elroy Simmonds and Janet Cook-Rutnik.
Antiques aficionados from other Caribbean islands and the U.S. mainland are expected to fly to St. Thomas that weekend for the auction.
"We've sent information about the auction to the major antiques and auction magazines on the mainland and they've been very interested," Prior said. "We're also advertising with them.
"And Martin Public Relations (the territory's mainland p.r. firm) has done a terrific job of getting the word out to the stateside travel press. So we anticipate that the auction will bring visitors here who might not have come otherwise."
A $10 entry donation will include the auction catalog. Food and refreshments will be available.
For further information, call the synagogue at 774-4312.

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