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Randal Dawkins, an antiques and decorative-arts expert, arrived in New York nine years ago from London, where he received a master’s degree in fine and decorative art from Sotheby’s Institute of Art. As he gets ready to move to Hudson, New York, we visited him at his Sunset Park apartment that feels more like nineteenth-century London than 21st-century Brooklyn. I grew up going to estate sales and auctions with my parents, says Dawkins, a native of Valdosta, Georgia, explaining how he developed his eagle eye for collecting. Dawkins’s apartment originally belonged to the builder of the 1914 co-op, so the wood veneers were made of mahogany instead of the maple used in the other apartments. The hallway is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Black Blue, which serves as a handsome background for his collection of eighteenth-century neoclassic engravings.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

A Chinese lacquer tea table serves as the coffee table in the living room. The photophore on the coffee table is by Visual Comfort.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

An Empire bureau beside the William IV love seat in the living room holds a collection of Chinese Tang and Ming figures, a Ming cloisonné vase, a Ming Swatow-ware bowl and carved temple ornament, and a 1980 Artemide Tizio lamp. The portrait of a gentleman is English ca. 1680, and the drawing of a nude is ca. 1810.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

Here’s a Louis XVI side chair in vintage chintz that Dawkins found for $15 at Goodwill. Every surface in the apartment holds books that don’t fit into the packed bookshelves.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

Dawkins salvaged these columns from an Upper East Side contractor, cutting them down to fit as a dramatic demarcation between the living and dining room. They replaced the heavy Edwardian curtain rod he found when he moved in almost two years ago. The dining room beyond is painted in Benjamin Moore’s Calypso Blue.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

The dining room is resplendent with Dawkins’s collection of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century English and Dutch Delft and sixteenth-to-eighteenth-century Chinese Export porcelain, while ca. 1810 Italian painted chairs line up against the wall. The portrait is English, ca. 1800.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

It really pays off to have a well-trained eye as Dawkins discovered when he spotted this ca. 1810 Duncan Phyfe workshop mahogany sideboard at the City Opera Thrift shop. The Credit Suisse offices had off-loaded it. The 1998 oil on canvas above, Flagstone, is by Mike Childs.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

Two Chinese baluster vases were converted into lamps in the dining room. The shades were ordered online from Laura Ashley, and Dawkins lined them with handmade marble paper for a softer light.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

The bedroom is done in soothing tones of gray and white hand-painted stripes. The bed is adorned with a custom half-tester made of Turkish ikat fabric, along with a nineteenth-century Indian temple banner, all crafted together by Dawkins with a staple gun and straight pins. The hanging light fixture is a late-eighteenth-century bouillotte lamp.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

The bedroom dresser is an Edwardian Chippendale-carved mahogany chest. The gilt-wood mirror is eighteenth-century Louis XVI. Unframed prints on the wall are hung using Dawkins’s collection of Victorian letter clips.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

In the kitchen hangs a lantern from Visual Comfort in front of his collection of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century bibelots in the cupboards.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

In Hudson, Dawkins is planning to open an antiques and fine arts shop called Acroterion. When I asked what that meant, he explained that an acroterion is the topmost ornament on a building, and showed me this gold lusterware pitcher decorated with acroterion-like motifs. It is one of his favorite pieces.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

Sam Khaled Hindy (left) Base of the Manhattan Bridge. On November 16, 2007, Hindy was run over after mistakenly entering a Manhattan Bridge lane reserved for cars.

Habian Rodriguez Main Street and Horace Harding Expressway, Flushing. On September 1, 2007, Rodriguez collided with a city bus and died 30 minutes later.

Elizabeth Padilla (left) Fifth Avenue and Prospect Place, Park Slope. Commuting to the Brooklyn Bar Association on June 9, 2005, Padilla swerved to avoid the open door of a parked P.C. Richard’s truck. She lost control of her bike and fell underneath the wheels of an ice-cream delivery truck.

Juan Luis Solis East Gun Hill Road and Bouck Avenue, the Bronx. Attempting to pass a double-parked car on June 22, 2007, Solis was struck by a box truck and died of severe head trauma. The truck did not stop.

Jeffrey Moore (left) Chauncey Street and Rockaway Avenue, Bed-Stuy. According to witnesses, on May 29, 2007, Moore was run over (twice) by his girlfriend Jeanine Harrington. She was indicted on charges of murder and criminal possession of a weapon (her Nissan Pathfinder).

Derek Lake Houston Street and La Guardia Place. On June 26, 2006, Lake reportedly skidded on a steel construction plate and was crushed underneath the wheels of a passing truck.

Elijah Armand Wrancher (left) Springfield Boulevard and 130th Avenue, Springfield Gardens. On August 28, 2007, 12-year-old Wrancher attempted to ride his bicycle while holding onto a moving truck. He lost his grip and fell under the truck’s rear wheel.

David Smith Sixth Avenue and 36th Street. On December 5, 2007, Smith was biking up Sixth Avenue when the passenger-side door of a parked pickup truck opened unexpectedly. He was knocked into the path of an oncoming truck.

Anthony Delgado (left) Palmetto Street and Central Avenue, Bushwick. Shortly after midnight on April 29, 2007, 13-year-old Delgado borrowed a bike to head home from his friend’s baptism party. As he crossed the intersection, he was struck by an SUV.

Carolina Hernandez 57th Avenue and Junction Boulevard, Elmhurst. On August 16, 2007, Hernandez was riding to a mall when she was struck and killed by a Chevy truck. The driver pled guilty to driving with a suspended license.

Anthony Delgado (left) Palmetto Street and Central Avenue, Bushwick. Shortly after midnight on April 29, 2007, 13-year-old Delgado borrowed a bike to head home from his friend’s baptism party. As he crossed the intersection, he was struck by an SUV.

Carolina Hernandez 57th Avenue and Junction Boulevard, Elmhurst. On August 16, 2007, Hernandez was riding to a mall when she was struck and killed by a Chevy truck. The driver pled guilty to driving with a suspended license.

Anthony Delgado (left) Palmetto Street and Central Avenue, Bushwick. Shortly after midnight on April 29, 2007, 13-year-old Delgado borrowed a bike to head home from his friend’s baptism party. As he crossed the intersection, he was struck by an SUV.

Carolina Hernandez 57th Avenue and Junction Boulevard, Elmhurst. On August 16, 2007, Hernandez was riding to a mall when she was struck and killed by a Chevy truck. The driver pled guilty to driving with a suspended license.

Anthony Delgado (left) Palmetto Street and Central Avenue, Bushwick. Shortly after midnight on April 29, 2007, 13-year-old Delgado borrowed a bike to head home from his friend’s baptism party. As he crossed the intersection, he was struck by an SUV.

Carolina Hernandez 57th Avenue and Junction Boulevard, Elmhurst. On August 16, 2007, Hernandez was riding to a mall when she was struck and killed by a Chevy truck. The driver pled guilty to driving with a suspended license.

Fall Fashion Features

The Beefcake in the Backcourt
Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.

 

The Beefcake in the Backcourt
Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.Big, fake, and fully able to outshine its surroundings.
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