Sale of English & Continental Furniture & Decorative Arts and Old Master Paintings on May 23, 2018
Including the Estate of Wendy Vanderbilt Lehman, Property of Alfred G. Vanderbilt, and the Estates of Lili and Norman Israel
Native Dancer's 1953 Preakness Stakes Trophy Achieves a Record $100,000
NEW YORK, NY -- Doyle’s auction on May 23, 2018 offered a wide array of English and Continental Furniture and Decorative Arts, and Old Master Paintings and Drawings on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 10am. Showcased were furniture and decorative arts, including Georgian silver, porcelain, mirrors, clocks, chandeliers, tapestries and rugs. Old Master paintings and drawings included landscapes, still lifes, portraits and religious subjects by European artists from the Renaissance to the 19th century.
Featured in the sale was Property of Alfred G. Vanderbilt, the Estate of Wendy Vanderbilt Lehman and the Estates of Lili and Norman Israel.
Property of Alfred G. Vanderbilt / Native Dancer’s 1953 Preakness Stakes Trophy
Property of Alfred G. Vanderbilt featured several objects with provenance of his grandfather, Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt (1877-1915), and his father, Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Jr. (1912-1999). Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Jr. is one of the great figures of 20th century thoroughbred racing and was the owner of Pimlico Race Course, the home of the Preakness Stakes.
Highlighting the collection was the original sterling silver trophy won at the 1953 Preakness Stakes by Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Jr.’s legendary horse, Native Dancer, who had a career of 21 wins in 22 races and sired numerous later champions. One of the most compelling treasures of thoroughbred racing, the trophy attracted strong interest from bidders who drove the price to $100,000 -- A World Auction Record for a Preakness Stakes Trophy.
Also from the collection of Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt was a large scale painting by British artist James Lynwood Palmer depicting Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt Arriving At Brighton, Driving his Coach "Venture" from 1909. An enthusiastic coacher, Vanderbilt often drove the vehicle himself, perfectly turned out in coachman's attire. The Venture, which was made by the Brewster Company of New York in 1903, can still be seen in the carriage house at The Breakers, the Vanderbilt mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. The painting realized $50,000, doubling its high estimate of $15,000-25,000. Property of Alfred G. Vanderbilt comprised lots 272-276 in the sale. View Lots
The Estate of Wendy Vanderbilt Lehman
A special section of the sale was devoted to property from the Estate of Wendy Vanderbilt Lehman, comprising furniture, decorations and art from Wendy’s elegant Manhattan apartment and her country house in Water Mill, New York. Also featured was her collection of colorful fashion jewelry by Kenneth J. Lane and Iradj Moini.
Highlighting property from the Estate was a painting by Frank Brook Voss (1880-1953) depicting the champion racehorse Discovery with his groom and jockey wearing Vanderbilt silks. Purchased by Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Jr.’s Sagamore Farms, Discovery sired 25 graded stakes race winners, and through his offspring became the grandsire of Hall of Fame champions Native Dancer, Bold Ruler and Bed o' Roses. He is considered one of the great racehorses of the 20th century. Estimated at $5,000-7,000, this depiction of Discovery was the focus of competitive bidding that sent the price to $50,000.
Wendy was born in California to Manuela Hudson and Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt II, a pioneer in thoroughbred racing, whose father had gone down on the Lusitania. She grew up between Palm Beach and Manhattan and was featured in one of Lilly Pulitzer’s first advertising campaigns. Although she enjoyed the social circuit, Wendy chose to devote her time to her loving children and her remarkable art. Her artistic expression spanned several mediums, including extraordinary sculptures in wood and aluminum, evocative paintings in acrylic and watercolor, and her bold eclectic fashion. After attending Sarah Lawrence College, Wendy married Orin Lehman, New York State’s longest-serving commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and a great-grandson of Mayer Lehman, a founder of the Lehman Brothers investment firm. The Estate of Wendy Vanderbilt Lehman comprised lots 91-271 in the sale. View Lots
The Estates of Lili and Norman Israel
Property from the Estates of Lili and Norman Israel featured an extensive collection of elegant Continental furniture and decorations. Decorations featured a pair of gilt-bronze mounted Chinese turquoise glazed porcelain Fu Lions estimated at $7,000-10,000 that fetched $15,000. Also attracting attention was a Northern European Neoclassical gilt-metal, blue and clear glass ten-light chandelier that sold for $15,000, at the high end of its $10,000-15,000 estimate.
Old Master Paintings
A large-scale work by William Pratt and dated 1750 is a close replica of a 1747 painting in the collection of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England, entitled The ‘St. Albans’ Floated out at Deptford by John Cleveley the Elder. Unusual for copies, it is larger than the original, which was painted in 1747. William Pratt's style and technique here are so close to Cleveley's that it seems likely that he learned his art in that master's studio. International bidding drove the painting to $34,375, several times its estimate of $8,000-12,000.
Two 18th century views of the Thames by an artist in the circle of Samuel Scott depict the great river and the city of London humming with activity. They are examples of the influence that Venetian artist Canaletto's residency in London had on English depictions of the great river. Estimated each at $7,000-10,000, they achieved $18,750 and $20,000.
We Invite You to Auction!
Consignments are currently being accepted for the Fall 2018 auction of English & Continental Furniture & Decorative Arts and Old Master Paintings & Drawings. We invite you to contact us for a complimentary auction appraisal. Our specialists are always available to discuss the sale of a single item or an entire collection.
For information, please contact:
Peter Lang, Furniture & Decorations, 212-427-4141, ext 274, Furniture@Doyle.com
Elaine Stainton, Paintings, 212-427-4141, ext 249, Paintings@Doyle.com
Todd Sell, Silver, 212-427-4141, ext 269, Silver@Doyle.com
Mark Moehrke, Russian Works of Art, 212-427-4141, ext 272, Russian@Doyle.com
Important American Sterling Silver Trophy Won by Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, Jrs Native Dancer in the 1953 Preakness Stakes
A World Auction Record for a Preakness Stakes Trophy