Current Auction

The Sarah Belk Gambrell Collection of European Porcelain

Thu, Jun 24, 2021 at 10am EDT |
New York
2021-06-24 10:00:00 2021-06-24 18:00:00 America/New_York The Sarah Belk Gambrell Collection of European Porcelain . Please note that the end time is an estimate based on average auction duration and is not guaranteed; auctions may end earlier or later than their estimated end time. New York Doyle [email protected]
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Exhibition Dates
Fri, Jun 18
12pm – 5pm

Sat, Jun 19
12pm – 5pm

Sun, Jun 20
12pm – 5pm

Mon, Jun 21
10am – 6pm


Doyle New York
175 East 87th Street
New York,  NY  10128

Download Lot Listing PDF
  • Doyle to Auction the Sarah Belk Gambrell Collection of European Porcelain on June 24, 2021 at 10am
  • Exceptional Collection of Important Porcelain Assembled by Belk Department Store Heiress and Philanthropist Sarah Belk Gambrell

This sale will be presented as an auction event conducted by an auctioneer in a closed setting. Place your bids from the safety and comfort of your own home using the following convenient methods:

  • Absentee Bids
    Enter your absentee bids directly into the online catalogue until 8am on the morning of the sale. For information on Absentee Bids, please email [email protected]
  • BidLive! Online Bidding
    Experience the excitement of bidding live during the sale with our online bidding platform, BidLive! Use your computer or mobile device to place bids in real time as the auction progresses. Read More
  • Telephone Bids
    Your completed Telephone Bid Form must be received by 4pm on the evening before the auction. Download the Telephone Bid Form
  • We are available to guide you through the entire bidding process and answer any questions you may have. Please contact us at [email protected]

NEW YORK, NY -- Doyle is honored to auction rare and important European and Asian porcelains from the Sarah Belk Gambrell Collection. This exceptional collection was assembled over many decades by Belk department store heiress and passionate philanthropist Sarah Belk Gambrell. Mrs. Gambrell who died last year at age 102, was a resident of Charlotte, NC.

The landmark single-owner auction of over 140 lots of important European porcelain from the Collection will be held at Doyle in New York on Thursday, June 24 at 10am. Asian porcelain from the Collection will be auctioned on September 20, and furnishings and art will be offered in October.

European & Asian Porcelain
The Sarah Belk Gambrell Collection traces the early history of European porcelain through rare 18th century examples by the most prominent Continental manufacturers, including Meissen, Vincennes and Vienna, as well as the important English factories of Chelsea, Bristol, Longton Hall and others. A sophisticated collector, Mrs. Gambrell concentrated on pieces of superb quality and condition that illustrate the diversity of wares produced by fine European factories.

Partial Chinese Imperial Falangcai Porcelain Vase. Auction September 2021.
Partial Chinese Imperial Falangcai Porcelain Vase, Qianlong Period. Auction September 20, 2021.

Mrs. Gambrell’s collecting extended beyond European examples to include Japanese and Chinese porcelain. Three pieces in the Collection reflect Mrs. Gambrell’s interest in the European fascination with Asian luxury goods. An 18th century Japanese Kakiemon hexagonal bowl in the Collection is mirrored by European examples in the Kakiemon style produced by the factories of Meissen and Chelsea.

The rarest highlight of the Collection is a partial Chinese Imperial porcelain vase that reflects the Qianlong Emperor’s (1735-1796) admiration for the European aesthetic. Decorated in Falangcai, or “foreign enamels,” the vase depicts a colorful scene of two European women and a child in a garden. Falangcai was the most expensive and challenging decorating technique employed by the Imperial workshop. The jewel-like colors it produced were unparalleled in their brilliance.

Fine & Decorative Arts
Fine English and Continental furniture, decorative arts and Old Master paintings from Mrs. Gambrell’s elegant home in the Eastover section of Charlotte and her New York apartment on Park Avenue will be auctioned at Doyle in October.

Sarah Belk Gambrell
The daughter of Belk department store founder William Henry Belk, Sr., Sarah Belk Gambrell (1918-2020) spent her life as a trailblazer. Charting a path in a retail world run by men, she coordinated the women’s wear and cosmetics businesses for hundreds of Belk stores across the South. In 1952, she married banker Charles Glenn Gambrell, and the pair maintained homes in Charlotte and New York.

A generous philanthropist, Mrs. Gambrell was a tireless advocate for women and other marginalized groups nationwide, and in her native city of Charlotte. She served on the national, NYC and Charlotte boards of the YWCA and donated generously to the Mint Museum, Opera Carolina and the Charlotte Philharmonic Orchestra. Among her educational philanthropies were Queens University in Charlotte, Johnson C. Smith University and Furman University. She supported medical institutions, including the NYU Cancer Institute, the UNC Cancer Center in Chapel Hill, and the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. She helped build NC’s first homeless shelter for LGBT kids by donating to Time Out Youth.

Friday, June 18 - Sunday, June 20, Noon - 5pm
Monday, June 21, 10am-6pm
And by appointment on other days
Doyle is located at 175 East 87th Street, New York, NY 10128
Safety protocols will be in place.

Please note that all purchases are subject to a Buyer's Premium
Payment can be made in the following ways:
· By credit card (an additional 3% fee will be charged)
· By wire transfer. For instructions, please email [email protected]

For information, please contact [email protected]

Bidding Services

Alanna Sutherland
212-427-4141, ext 242
Fax: 212-427-7526
[email protected]

Sales Specialists

David A. Gallager
212-427-4141, ext 271
[email protected]

Media Contact

Louis LeB. Webre
SVP, Marketing & Media
212-427-4141, ext 232
[email protected]

  • Estate of Sarah Belk Gambrell

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