Featuring Property from the Collection of Hugh J. Grant and Lucie Mackey Grant and the Estates of Eric and Irene Stiebel
Including Old Master Paintings and Drawings
Doyle New York held a successful auction of Important English and Continental Furniture and Decorations, including Old Master Paintings and Drawings, on Wednesday, May 6. The sale offered furniture and decorations from the 17th through early 19th centuries, as well as Continental, English and Chinese export porcelain, Georgian silver, sculpture, clocks, chandeliers, sconces, tapestries, rugs and Old Master paintings and drawings. Highlighting the sale was property from the Collection of Hugh J. Grant and Lucie Mackey Grant, and property from the Estates of Eric and Irene Stiebel. With competitive international bidding from the salesroom, the telephones and the Internet, the sale totaled $1,152,969 with a strong 79% sold by lot and 80% sold by value.
The Grant Collection was assembled by Mr. Grant’s parents – the Honorable Hugh J. Grant, Mayor of New York City from 1889-1892, and his wife, Julia Murphy Grant, the daughter of US Senator Edward Murphy, Jr. of New York. The Collection was housed until 1975 in the Grant’s lavish Upper East Side townhouse, which is currently the home of the Vatican’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations and the official residence of the Pope when he visits New York City.
Furniture in the Grant Collection featured a handsome pair of George III mahogany stools, circa 1780, with needlework seats. Estimated at $3,000-5,000, the stools sold for a surprisingly strong $22,500. A transitional Louis XV/XVI gilt-bronze mounted mahogany, tulipwood and sycamore marquetry commode, circa 1770, also fared well at the sale. After competitive bidding, the commode fetched $16,250 against a pre-sale estimate of $6,000-8,000.
Highlighting the rugs and carpets in the Grant Collection was a Manchester Kashan carpet from central Persia dating to the last quarter of the 19th century. Measuring approximately 15 feet 9 inches x 9 feet 11 inches, the rug sold for $37,500, several times over the pre-sale estimate of $8,000-12,000.
The Grant Collection offered an array of fine silver, including a George I silver water pitcher, probably Thomas Tearl, London, circa 1724-25, that achieved $13,750, and a Charles I silver wine cup, probably John Buckle, London, circa 1633-34, that sold for $13,750 -- both pieces soaring past their respective estimates. A pair of Continental silvered metal altar sticks measuring 24 inches in height sold for $11,250, far surpassing their pre-sale estimate of $1,200-1,800.
The May 6 auction also showcased property from the Estates of Eric and Irene Stiebel. Eric Stiebel was a partner in Rosenberg & Stiebel, a firm internationally known for over half a century for European fine and decorative arts. The contents of the Fifth Avenue apartment, where he lived with his wife, Irene, from the 1960s through the 1990s, reflect his refined and knowledgeable take on traditional Parisian style.
Highlighting property from the Stiebel Estate was an unusual 19th century Chinese gilt-bronze mounted celadon porcelain vase of triple-gourd form with scrolled foliate handles. Estimated at $800-1,200, the vase was the object of strong competitive bidding, eventually selling for a stunning $32,500. Another celadon porcelain, this one an 18th century gilt-bronze mounted covered bowl with the same estimate, achieved $18,750. A pair of late 18th century Louis XVI gilt-bronze and marble figures of classically draped maidens achieved $20,000 against an estimate of $8,000-12,000; and a Louis XVI gilt-bronze mounted mahogany console dessert estimated at $2,500-3,500 sold for $12,500.
Property from other collections and estates featured an elegant Louis XV gilt and patinated-bronze mantel clock by Jean Merault a Paris, depicting Europa and the bull. Stamped Emmanuel, the clock achieved $32,500 against a pre-sale estimate of $4,000-6,000.
Formerly from the collection of the Pleydell-Bouverie family at Coleshill House, Highworth, England was a pair of George III rosewood and mahogany consoles with fretwork decoration that sold for $21,250. Other furniture offerings included an Italian Rococo painted and parcel gilt console, Veneto, circa 1750, that achieved $17,500, comfortably over the estimate of $8,000-12,000. A Regence gilt-bronze mounted walnut, tulipwood and oyster veneered commode estimated at $5,000-7,000 fetched $12,500; and an elegant pair of 19th century Continental Neoclassical style malachite urns estimated at $4,000-6,000 sold for $11,250.
The selection of Old Master paintings and drawings was highlighted by Adolphe Eugene Gabriel Roehn’s (French, 1780-1867) A Market Scene with a Passing Troop of Soldiers, 1804, from the Estate of a Washington, DC Philanthropist that sold for $12,500. Born in Paris in 1780, Adolphe Roehn witnessed at close hand the enormous social and political upheavals of the Revolution of 1799. Early on, Roehn developed a reputation as a painter of military life, depicting both the violence of battle and the routines of camp life with equal skill. Like Roehn's paintings of battles and soldiers in camp, A Market Scene with a Passing Troop of Soldiers explores one of the many aspects of military life that interested the artist.
Other paintings of note included a 19th century oil on panel Madonna from the Flemish School and an oil on canvas depiction of the The Holy Family from the School of Sir Anthony van Dyck, each selling for $5,313 against estimates of $2,000-4,000 and $4,000-6,000, respectively.
Doyle New York has announced its next auction of Important English and Continental Furniture and Decorations, including Old Master Paintings and Drawings, scheduled for October 2009.