About Nigel McCall

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Sandy and Valerie Bayer, my mother and father, were dealers/collectors of art and antiques in New York City from the 1960s through the mid 1980s. They specialized in Art Nouveau works of art on paper, L.C. Tiffany lamps, glass, and candlesticks, bronzes, Art Deco etchings and soft sculpture, vintage collectibles and ephemera.

The firm evolved into three distinct companies:
Sandy Burr Antiques LTD
SandyVal Graphics
Smith-Burr Jewelry

Sandy Burr Antiques specialized in original works of art, antiques, and vintage collectibles. SandyVal Graphics specialized in posters, etchings, images, prints, rare books, and drawings. Smith-Burr jewelry focused on reproduction of Art Nouveau jewelry, western belt buckles, and the creation of collectible jewelry utilizing Tiffany scarabs.

I, Christopher Bayer (aka Nigel McCall....long, neat story behind my penname), became heavily involved in the firms during my college years. Our first store was located at 359 Bleeker Street right off Charles. In the ‘60s the West Village was beginning to sizzle. We moved uptown to 211 East 60th Street about ten years later, just around the corner from Bloomingdales and several doors west of Serendipity, the venerable New York City penultimate dessert emporium.

In New York we worked closely with auction houses: Doyle, Swann, Sothebys, Christie’s and Parke Bernet Galleries (before their transition). In London we dealt primarily with the auction houses of Sothebys, Christies, and Selfridges (great art/antiques gallery on the top floor!).

In Manhattan we developed relationships with two old school, sophisticated New York City bookstores: Brentanos and Rizzoli. They sold vintage collectibles from SandyVal Graphics, and wares produced by Smith-Burr Jewelry.

Originally published in 1975 by Harmony Books, "Posters of Mucha" contained images of many posters owned by my parents - acknowledged in the book as "From the collection of Sandy Burr and Sandy Val Graphics, New York, New York."
The book was designed for the trade: very large, glossy pages beautifully photographed and reproduced.

In the ‘70s Sandy and I started to go to London, Paris, and Florence at regular intervals. A great deal of time was spent In Paris’ Sixth district, Saint Germaine. We stayed at the Hotel de Seine at 52 rue de Seine, and feasted at Allards! We became quite friendly with Michel Romand who owned a marvelous vintage poster shop: Galerie Documents, literally next to pour hotel at 53 rue the Seine. At the turn of the century, Michel’s grandfather. Edmond Sagot, had opened the shop.

Valerie was an artist in her own right, having studied at the Art Students League in Manhattan for five years in the 60s. In latter life she developed as a writer specializing in British historical fiction. St. Martins Press published three of her books in 1992 through 1994. Her soon to be finished quartet was entitled the “Marlborough Gardens Quartet.” Her work was Bronte driven, and reminiscent of Umberto Eco and Lawrence Durrell. I am in the process of pitching her work to BBC. Ideally, and by the grace of the G-Ds, at least 36 episodes will be produced. “We shall see....” Sandy was also a writer. Ballentine published his novel, “Each Man Kills,” in 1962. A detective story set within a Group Psychotheray paradigm.

My parents are long gone now and I still own much of their collection and inventory. Enjoy what you see and please email if you have questions about pieces you hope to acquire. Thank you, and have a grand holiday season.
Christopher Bayer