Past Auction

Doyle New York Held the Successful Auction of the Yale R. Burge Collection

Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 10am EST |
New York
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Over 650 Lots of Exceptional Furniture, Decorations, Lighting, Accessories, Photographs and Art Totaled $763,675

  • Over 650 Lots of Exceptional Furniture, Decorations, Lighting, Accessories, Photographs and Art Totaled $763,675
  • For 60 Years, Yale Burge Was an Essential Resource for the Nation's Top Designers
  • Landmark Sale of the Collection of Yale Burge's Former Showroom on Manhattan's East 62nd Street

Doyle New York held the landmark auction of the Yale R. Burge Collection on January 15, 2014. For sixty years, Yale R. Burge was an indispensible resource for the nation’s top designers. The sale offered over 650 lots of exceptional furniture, decorations, lighting, accessories, photographs and art from the renowned firm’s former showroom on Manhattan’s East 62nd Street.

With competitive bidding from the salesroom, the telephones and the Internet, the sale totaled $763,675 against a pre-sale estimate of $548,500-841,975, with an exceptional 91% sold by lot and 96% sold by value.

Furniture and Decorations

Highlighting the sale was a large Louis Vuitton brass bound leather steamer trunk monogrammed M.B. and inscribed New York. Strong competition sent the trunk soaring past its estimate of $3,000-5,000 to reach a stunning $13,750. An early 20th century English chrome and walnut physician's cabinet achieved $11,250, many times its estimate of $2,000-4,000. A pair of 19th/20th century George III style Chinoiserie decorated consoles estimated at $2,500-3,500 sold for $8,125.

Decorations in the sale featured a Zuber eight-panel screen in the Hindustan pattern that fetched $6,875, doubling its estimate of $2,500-3,500. Also finding favor was a French brass mirror measuring 52 inches in height and 39 inches wide that sold for $5,000, almost ten times its estimate of $500-700.


Photographs in the Collection were highlighted by a circa 1880 vintage mounted carbon print by Charles Reid (1837-1929) titled A Scottish Eleven, depicting eleven Scotties on a mountain craig that sold for $4,375, more than doubling its estimate of $1,500-2,500. All coincidentally achieving the identical price of $4,062.50 were Grand Prismatic Spring with Tourists, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, 1989, by David Maisel (b. 1961) (estimated at $1,500-2,000); Pau Hana Parking Lot, Molokai, 1990, (estimated at $2,000-3,000) and Kohala Trees, Island of Hawaii, 1989, (estimated at $2,000-3,000), both by Elaine Mayes, (b. 1936); and Twist, Venice, 1998, by Douglas Mellor (b. 1947) (estimated at $3,000-5,000).

All prices include the buyers premium. 

Yale R. Burge

Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale R. Burge (1917-1972) studied at New York’s Pratt Institute, and later served in World War II with the Royal Air Force, where he created models and maps that were used during the D-Day Invasion of Normandy. He traveled with the troops into France, and following the War, enrolled in L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

Returning to New York in 1947, Mr. Burge went to work at the famed department store, B. Altman & Company, where he ran the furniture department. In the early 1950s, he left B. Altman to open his own eponymous firm, Yale R. Burge Antiques, specializingin quality antique furniture and decorations imported from Europe. During his years in France, Mr. Burge had developed a love of Provincial French furniture, which he introduced to American audiences at a time when the prevailing taste was for American Colonial and high style French pieces. The move was so successful that he had difficulty keeping up with demand. Under his leadership, Yale R. Burge grew to become one of the nation's leading purveyors of exceptional furniture and decorations. Mr. Burge was also President of the National Society of Interior Designers.

Upon Mr. Burge's death, Interior Design magazine printed a statement by its long-time publisher, Lester Dundes, that read in part, “Yale Burge was an impeccable man…he had impeccable taste, his personal relationships were impeccable, his business dealings were impeccable. His untimely death at the age of 55 robs the interior design world of a powerful force. In a field where the term “taste maker” is loosely used, Yale Burge was truly a taste maker.”  

For the past four decades, Mr. Burge’s family continued to uphold the distinguished legacy established by Yale Burge. The firm’s clients included several generations of the most prominent American interior designers, among them Sister Parish, Albert Hadley, Nancy Pierrepont, Mark Hampton, Mario Buatta, David Easton, Ellie Cullman, Bunny Williams, Mariette Himes Gomez, Jamie Drake, Jeffrey Bilhuber, Alexa Hampton and Katie Ridder.

The auction on January 15, 2014 provided collectors with an exciting opportunity to acquire exceptional antique furniture and decorations from the Yale R. Burge showroom -- pieces that had been previously available only to the world’s top designers.

“I’ve been shopping at Yale Burge since I first started my business and havenever been disappointed.”

– Mario Buatta

“I always seem to find something perfect at Yale Burge. Their inventory is extensive and exciting.”

-- Ellie Cullman, Cullman & Kravis

“Yale Burge’s long history with the design industry is legendary. They have a unique ability to span a broad range of periods and link them all together.”

– Jeffrey Bihuber

“On every project, we source Yale Burge for beautiful, classic pieces. They add an element of refinement and are easy to incorporate into rooms of any style.

-- Katie Ridder

"For the past many decades, Yale Burge has been a necessary destination for designers in New York and beyond. I have never known a time when I couldn't go there, assured to find beautiful pieces reflecting their reliably excellent taste. I am so excited for this sale, as it is sure tobe a feast for the eyes.However, I am equally bewildered to think of the New York design community without Yale Burge feeding us its steady stream of treasures."

-- Alexa Hampton, Mark Hampton LLC

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  • The Yale R. Burge Collection

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