Auction of The Maison Jansen Designed Home of Walter and Janice Manley on October 7, 2020
Furniture, Decorations and Art from the Manhattan Apartment of Famed Film Producer and Distributor, Walter Manley, and His Wife Janice Manley.
NEW YORK, NY -- Doyle's new auction category of Special Collections continued on October 7, 2020 with the successful sale of The Maison Jansen Designed Home of Walter and Janice Manley. The auction showcased furniture, decorations and art from the sophisticated Manhattan home of famed film producer and distributor, Walter Manley, and his wife Janice Manley.
With competitive bidding, the sale totaled an exceptionally strong $150,250, surpassing the pre-sale estimate of $83,200-128,100.
Prices for furniture by Maison Jansen soared, highlighted by an upholstered sofa estimated at $800-1,200 achieving $10,000 and a pair of upholstered club chairs estimated at $500-700 selling for $8,125.
By Mexican Surrealist artist Pedro Friedeberg was an example of his iconic 'Hand Chair' introduced introduced in 1962. The mahogany example in the sale realized $10,000, surpassing its estimate of $6,000-8,000.
Janice and Walter Manley lived a life that many know only from story lines of the movies they produced. Together they toured the world as true “jet setters”, traveling to exotic destinations and rubbing shoulders with the great names of film’s post war boom. Film, theater, music and dance were passions of this vibrant couple who hosted many receptions at their beautiful and stylish apartment on West 57th Street across from Carnegie Hall. Opening night parties for films they produced included Federico Fellini’s Academy Award-winning Amarcord and Gabriel Axel’s Babette’s Feast.
And to decorate their new home, the Manley’s chose the legendary French firm Maison Jansen, then the most well-known decorating firm in the world and still a byword of elegance and refined style. Maison Jansen was founded in 1880 and quickly gained a following by European Royalty and American titans of industry. For over 100 years the firm dictated and established the tastes of the haute monde becoming the first international design firm.
In the 1960s Maison Jansen received its greatest post-war commission when Jacqueline Kennedy chose the firm to redecorate the White House. The brilliant designer Stephane Boudin was the perfect choice because of his meticulous devotion to historical accuracy coupled with his classic French aesthetic and attention to the smallest detail.
The Manley apartment was tastefully decorated with French antiques mixed with modern notes to create a sophisticated environment for the couple’s lifestyle. Indeed, the decoration was so perfect that after over fifty years since the apartment had been designed with such attention to proportion, placement of furniture and art and quality of materials and finishes, it generally remained just as the talented designers at Maison Jansen had intended.
Stephane Boudin’s legacy can be seen in the fine French 18th century furniture used in the Manley’s home. Mrs. Manley added other pieces including studio glass and ceramics to give layers and depth to the space. The Manley apartment remains a testament to Maison Jansen and to the fact that fine design remains timeless.
Maison Jansen’s A.B. Kouwenhoven, one of their talented New York based team, took the lead on the Manley project and established a strong bond and continued to work with Mrs. Manley until her passing earlier this year.