The Sale of the Year
Even though it’s still October, everyone is breathless in anticipation for the Sotheby’s auction in November of the Property from the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon, otherwise known as Bunny Mellon. Over 2,000 items will be up for sale from the Mellon residences which will benefit The Gerard B. Lambert Foundation, a charitable entity established by Mrs. Mellon in memory of her father to support horticultural and educational endeavors.
Sale estimates begin at $200 for more reasonable pieces and escalate to $30 million for one of the two Rothko painting in the Masterworks auction on November 10, 2014. I remember reading a story of how Bunny Mellon walked into Mark Rothko’s studio and bought quite a few paintings directly from the artist. A few other Rothko paintings were sold to pay for estate taxes but there are plenty of other lovely paintings in the auction from Richard Diebenkorn, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, and Georgia O’Keeffe.
The sale of her Jewels and Objects of Vertu on November 2oth and 21st will include pieces from Verdura, Schlumberger, Givenchy, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Black Starr & Frost.
I’m most interested in the Interiors sale scheduled November 21-23 which “will offer fine art, furniture, porcelain, silver, glassware, decoration and more from Mrs. Mellon’s residences in the United States and abroad.” It includes pieces from Meissen, English and French furniture, and “several works created by her longtime friend Diego Giacometti to linens bearing a custom design by Givenchy.”
Also currently for sale is Oak Spring Farms, her 2,000-acre estate in Upperville, Virginia for $70 million, seen here in photos. The personal residence is not included in the sale but there are 40 other buildings on the property including “Brick House,” the impressive garden and greenhouse, stables, a pool house designed by I.M. Pei, and a runway.
Exhibition viewing at Sotheby’s begins on October 31, 2014 and will be displayed on all 10 floors. The Masterworks and Jewelry catalogs will set you back $90 each and the Interiors catalog is $175 but I’m sure they will all become a collector’s items.
You might want to start exercising your paddle arm now.
Photos by Darren Higgins for The New York Times