NEW YORK CITY — New York City is about to welcome a new, full-service auction house, as La Belle Epoque Auction Gallery sets to open its doors in January, offering a new auction experience to art and antiques lovers, dealers, collectors, first time buyers and consigners.
The La Belle Epoque Auction Gallery, at its two-level, 5,000-square-foot facility in the Meatpacking District/West Village, will provide a more personal approach to both buying and selling. Boutique New York auction houses who were thriving in the market through the 1980s and 1990s seemed to fall by the wayside due to skyrocketing Manhattan rental prices and other issues. While smaller, high-quality auction houses in
New York City seem to have all but disappeared in recent years, La Belle Epoque Auction Gallery hopes to fill that void.
The firm’s premiere auction will offer a range of hundreds of items, including a Modernist abstract painting “Sunset on the Beach” by Byron Browne, (American, 1907-1961) and six leather and chrome LC2 club chairs by Le Corbusier for Cassina.
Many in the art world already know the La Belle Epoque name from being a New York area vintage poster dealer and gallery, specializing in Art Nouveau, Art Deco and midcentury posters from the Belle Epoque
era to modern times (1860s to the 1990s). Clients and customers at La Belle Epoque Vintage Posters, which will remain a separate business, have enjoyed working directly with longtime owner/partners Linda Tarasuk
and Elie Saporta, developing long-term, friendly relationships. Tarasuk and Saporta recently formed La Belle
Epoque Auction Gallery, which came as a natural progression from their vintage poster business, flourishing since it opened in the mid-1980s.
The firm will launch with its premiere auction January 22, with online bidding through LiveAuctioneers and BidSquare The gallery will provide a comfortable atmosphere where people can browse at the previews, socialize a bit with neighbors and take part in the excitement of live auctions, all while following Covid-19 safety protocols.
“So many of our longtime clients have told us how much they miss going to auctions in person to find treasures and look through the art and antiques, while many new auction goers may also find affordable household furnishings they might not see any place else,” said Saporta. “Come say hello, we’ll admire some great art and antiques together. Here at La Belle Epoque, we love working with the community,
while appreciating an international clientele as well”
Tarasuk and Saporta have also teamed up with top New York City appraisers to work with them at the new gallery, featuring art, antiques, furniture, silver, jewelry, clocks, decorative items, Midcentury Modern and more.
When the pandemic hit New York City and so many people began moving away, Tarasuk and Saporta, who always maintained relationships with their regular clientele, began getting dozens of phone calls asking if they would buy many largescale posters from people leaving the city. This went even further when those same people inquired if they could also buy antique furniture, decorative arts and other collectible items.
This all seemed to align at the same time the two partners acquired the large, two-level space in the Meatpacking District/West Village are.
Saporta is past chairman of the authentication and vetting committee of the International Vintage Poster Dealers Association, setting the world standards for collecting vintage posters. He remembers frequenting friendly, smaller auction houses himself when he first came to the United States in the mid-1970s, settling in
the New York City area in 1979. Since the 1980s, he and his partner Linda became lifelong collectors in many areas.
After having grown up with art collector parents and going to art and antiques shows and sales since she was just 6 years old, Tarasuk, armed with an art degree from New York University, took her early passion for collecting vintage art posters and parlayed that into a thriving business. Over the years, Tarasuk and Saporta also developed an expertise in collecting various other types of art, antiques and jewelry, learning more about this business as time went on. The two are now applying the same approach to launching the new auction gallery as when they opened the vintage poster business.
La Belle Epoque Auction Gallery is at 71 Eighth Avenue. For information, 212-362-1770 or www.labelleepoque.com.