Timed Auction of Property from an Apartment Decorated by Denning & Fourcade on Thursday, December 17, 2020
Featured Section of the Doyle at Home Auction
NEW YORK, NY -- As part of the Doyle At Home sale on December 17, 2020, Doyle was pleased to present Property of Jason Epstein and Judith Miller, removed from their New York City apartment designed by Robert Denning of renowned design firm Denning & Fourcade.
Epstein bought an apartment at the landmarked Police Headquarters Building in the then “up and coming” Little Italy district of New York City. The building is a marvel of Beaux Arts architecture dating to 1909 and served as police headquarters until 1973 before being converted into magnificent apartments in 1988. Working with essentially raw space, Epstein turned to his friend Robert Denning, the co-founder of legendary design firm Denning & Fourcade to create the perfect home for him. Denning & Fourcade was the partnership between Robert Denning and Vincent Fourcade founded in 1960 who developed a signature style The New York Herald termed “Le Style Rothschild.” For forty-five years they were known for extravagant interiors dripping in opulence and became the decorators of choice to clients including Ogden Phipps, Charles and Jayne Wrightsman, and Francoise and Oscar de la Renta among other jet setters.
Robert Denning had an innate talent for designing and composing a space like a grand stage set to act as a fitting backdrop for his clients’ lives. The emphasis was on the client’s comfort and the overall effect of a room rich in textures and details rather than creating stolid spaces of imposing signed pieces of 18th century furniture such as contemporary firms like Maison Jansen used. One publication referred to Denning & Fourcade’s work as “Ottoman luxury wedded to button-tufted Second Empire”, while another praised them for their “casual English attitude about grandeur”.
The home created for Jason Epstein, and the pieces offered in the upcoming sale, are perfect examples of the trademark style. The apartment was such a success that it was published in several magazines including Architectural Digest, Food & Wine and Vogue. The rooms were richly furnished with comfortable upholstered pieces accented by colorful stools, tables and side chairs. Rich fabrics and textiles created a space that welcomed quests into a relaxed environment. A variety of styles and periods of furniture speaks to the personality of the clients and presents a layered look that ensures that the carefully curated pieces that worked so well as an ensemble are equally desirable on their own. As the home of an editor and his journalist wife, cabinets filled with books formed an important part of the décor while a real chef’s kitchen was hung with a barrage of copper cookware.
Fans of interior design will remember Doyle's landmark 2006 sale of property from the Estate of Robert Denning, and rest assured, the upcoming sale includes three lots of lamps with the richly fringed shades that signal Robert Denning was there.