Those Quirky Victorians
Learn About Those Quirky Victorians At A Free Public Lecture At Sotheby’s
570 Lexington Avenue 6th floor |
Tuesday, November 28th, 2017
7:00PM – 8:30PM

Sotheby’s Institute of Art Speaker Series Presents

Those Quirky Victorians: Re-purposed Traditions Through 21st Century Art,


Design and Science


The Victorian era was a time fertile in essential technological inventions, means of communication and artistic design. In the name of science, discovery,  amusement and financial gain Victorians collected profusely.  Parallel to the idea of progress was the reality of quirky hobbies, impractical contraptions and obsessive interests.

This panel aims to shed a light on a selection of impactful Victorian developments, namely the marriage of science and art in the reproduction of historical artifacts, the expansion of  landscape gardens as a reflection of urban necessity and the compulsion to craft individual identities through pictorial representation.


  • John D. Ward, Senior Vice President, Head of Silver Department, Sotheby’s
  • Barbara Frelinghuysen Israel, Owner, Barbara Israel Garden Antiques
  • Tim Hamilton, Generalist Appraiser, Gurr Johns


Moderator: Ann-Marie Richard, Director, MA Fine and Decorative Art and Design, Sotheby’s Institute of Art-NY

John D. Ward, Senior Vice President, Head of Silver Department, Sotheby’s

“The Department of Science and Art: Elkington reproductions of Silver Treasures”

John D. Ward joined Sotheby’s in 1997 and has presided over the strong slate of single-owner and various-owners Silver sales the company has offered in New York.Mr Ward presided over the Charles L Poor sale of Early English Silver, the Jaime Ortiz-Patiño sales of Lamerie and English Chinoiserie Silver, The Jeffords Collection of Early American Silver, The Bluhdorn Collection of Important English Silver and Silver-gilt, and the Thyssen Meissonnier Tureen, the second-highest price ever paid for Silver at auction. He also catalogued the English Silver of the Royal House of Hanover when that was offered in Germany in 2005. Mr Ward has placed works with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Gilbert Collection, Winterthur and other major institutions in Boston, Chicago, St Louis, Dallas, Houston, Baltimore, Los Angeles County and the British National Trust.  Mr Ward has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Chicago and a Master’s degree in the History of Decorative Arts from the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, New York.


Barbara Frelinghuysen Israel, Owner, Barbara Israel Garden Antiques

“Victorian Taste: Cemeteries, Botanicals and Overcrowded Gardens”

Barbara Frelinghuysen Israel founded Barbara Israel Garden Antiques in 1985, after a serendipitous purchase of a large collection of estate statuary lead her down the garden antiques path. Now in her 32st year in business, Barbara is recognized as an authority on the subject. Barbara’s exhaustively researched book, Antique Garden Ornament: Two Centuries of American Taste (1999), is the definitive work in the field. She is also the author of A Guide to Buying Antique Garden Ornament (2012), a user-friendly handbook packed with tips on conservation, identification and more.

As a dealer, Barbara collects the finest examples of garden ornament, guided by her appreciation for classical forms and her love of unusual, once-in-a-lifetime finds.

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From Tasting Table.com:

Beefsteak—it’s not just what’s for dinner. The Meat Hook is hosting its first-ever dinner dedicated to the all-you-can-eat-tenderloin banquets of Victorian New York (naturally, called Beefsteaks) at Humboldt & Jackson. There will be live music, peanuts you can throw on the floor, unlimited beer, pie and, of course, meat. “Beefsteak is a bit gonzo, which is exactly the thing we like to do,” head butcher Benjamin Turley explains. “It seemed the right thing to do in the space.” Humboldt & Jackson, 434 Humboldt St.; 10/17, 7:30 to 10 p.m.; $95 per person

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Mon 08 2013 , by


ENIGMA – part social theatre and part history mystery (think The DaVinci Code!) – allows audience members to embark on a journey into the heart of Brooklyn Heights, armed with a map and tasked with searching for a celebrated esoteric mystery writer.

Along the way, audiences encounter dynamic talismans of the neighborhoods’ past that ultimately provide them with clues – from an encounter with the ghost of a famed Victorian-era Brooklyn clairvoyant to stumbling upon an Arthur Miller-era Marilyn Monroe on the stoop of the gorgeous Willow Street home that was the site of their torrid love affair.

Throughout the performance, audiences uncover some of Brooklyn’s most celebrated heroes, enlightened with the aid of a refreshing themed cocktail (complimentary with admission) from an exotic Henry Street restaurant, and simultaneously discover the hidden symbols that live within the architecture of Brooklyn Height’s grand homes, magnificent churches, and promenades.

Tickets are $60.00 each; price includes a beverage.

• The show lasts approximately 90 minutes and covers 1.1 miles. There are no intermissions.

• Every half hour, groups of up to 10 people begin their quest. If your group is larger than 10, please e-mail us at: cathline@enigmatheshow.com .

• You will receive directions to the exact meeting place when you purchase your tickets.

• ENIGMA will run Friday, Saturday and Sundays from noon to 4:30 PM from the end of June to the end of October.…

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