June 17, 2014

Huguette Clark Auction at Christie’s

Have you heard the story of Huguette Clark? She died in 2011 at age 104, and she was one of the wealthiest women in the US. clarkAlthough she had properties scattered across the country, she lived for more than 20 years in a hospital room, although nothing was wrong with her. Her houses (because they really weren’t homes) were kept fully maintained, cleaned and serviced, as if she’d arrive one day to live there. image

Christie’s Auction House is having a sale on June 18 of her possessions and what possessions they are! More than 400 lots are going under the hammer and they include a Stradivarius violin, an author’s copy of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, and an amended and notated copy of a book by Robert Louis Stevenson. Naturally, some items have estimates in the hundreds of thousands but there are others in the hundreds. I wonder if it will be like the Brooke Astor auction where provenance pushed the prices sky high.

Here are some items which caught my eye.

Portrait of William Andrews Clark by Tadeusz Styka (We have a painting by him at my office)image

Tiffany silver and enamel dresser setimage

Cartier Gold dresser setimage

Twelve Mintons soup platesimage

Cartier Silver tea and coffee serviceimage

Georgian silver condiment servers image

Crown Derby partial tea serviceimage

Some of Huguette’s own artworks are included in the auction, including this Wisteria and Bridge painting.image

To see the full catalogue, which comes in at more than 200 pages, and is filled with the family’s history and images, click here.

11 comments:

  1. I love the wisteria and bridge painting! I heard an NPR piece on Huguette and the auction, and it whetted my appetite to learn more about her.

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    1. I heard the story, too. It was fascinating!

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  2. Thanks for alerting us to this upcoming auction. I've read one of the two biographies out about Ms. Clark. She was an interesting individual, to say the least.

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  3. Her bio is amazing and a second bio has just been released.
    I was hoping to see some of her dolls and dollhouses in the catalogue.

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    1. For all of the properties, etc. that she had, this auction was only 400 items. Not much!

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  4. thank you for giving me this tip + she was soo interesting. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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    1. I read an excerpt of one of the books, and it sounds great.

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  5. What a fascinating and eccentric individual that I must read further about. To have kept her houses in good order and vacant is more than a little strange.

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  6. I read the NPR article about the sale yesterday morning. After taking a quick look through the Christie's catalog I called and placed an absentee bid on lot 316 (Gorham sterling cake plate). The estimate was $300-500, and I figured I would go a little nuts and put in a bid chunk over the high estimate. After all, how cool would it be to have something from this sale! My bid was vaporized pretty dang quick. The cake plate sold for $4,800, and don't forget the 25% buyers premium. I watched the stream of the sale on and off all day and many items were tripling their estimates. I would guess there was some serious celebrating at Christie's last night.

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