Sotheby’s New York will host an auction of property from the Estate of Brooke Astor's fine and decorative art from her Park Avenue apartment and Westchester County estate, Holly Hill, as well as a selection of jewelry from her personal collection. Approximately 900 items in the sale will be on exhibition in Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries September 24 and 25.
Astor selected a number of charitable organizations to benefit from the sale of her estate, including the New York Public Library, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Pierpont Morgan Library, the Animal Medical Center of New York, and New York City Schools, in addition to various charities in Maine.
The sitting room at 778 Park Avenue
The sale will feature the contents from her adored residences, in Briarcliff Manor, New York and at 778 Park Avenue in Manhattan. Astor’s duplex apartment in the Rosario Candela- designed building at Park Avenue and 73rd street is one of New York City’s most famous residences, and housed the iconic library that is one of the most photographed rooms in the history of American interior design. Astor hosted American presidents, foreign dignitaries, and influential cultural figures and members of society in the celebrated rooms, which she decorated to serve as an inviting space for raising funds for her numerous charitable causes. The furniture and decorative arts from the residence represent a mix of styles and periods, evidence of the worldly eye of their collector. The furniture on offer in the September auction features English and French pieces from both the 18th and early-19th centuries, as well as Chinese lacquer furniture primarily dating to the Qing dynasty. Fine art from the apartment is highlighted by strong groups of both Old Master drawings – including works by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Canaletto and Nicolas Lancret – and Chinese export reverse-painted glass pieces.
The foyer at Holly Hill
Astor’s stone manor set on more than 60 acres in Westchester County was designed in 1927 by architect Paul William Delano. With the same approach she took to her New York City duplex, she filled Holly Hill with furniture, decorations and personal effects that very much reflected her tastes and interests. For example, Mrs. Astor’s love for her gardens at the estate carries through to the many of the floral-themed pieces on offer.
Chinese gilt-bronze lion clock stand from the Qianlong Period, est: $180/220,000
In keeping with the natural setting, Astor filled multiple walls with pictures of dogs, which will form a significant selection in the September auction. Additional highlights of the fine art from the Westchester estate include Henri Fantin-Latour’s The Red Rose and The White Rose (ests. $80/120,000 each), and Maurice Prendergast’s Sitting on the Rocks (est. $300/400,000).