Published: February 5, 2016
NEW YORK CITY — Doyle’s sale of English and Continental furniture and decorations and Old Master paintings topped $2 million on January 27. Strong prices were achieved for English and Continental furniture and decorations from the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries, led by an elegant George II sterling silver covered soup tureen by Paul de Lamerie that trounced its $40/60,000 estimate to bring $112,500 following spirited trans-Atlantic bidding. The piece exemplified the height of rococo fashion and was richly cast with lions to the feet and handles. It was one of a group of Georgian silver articles that was property of a New Jersey collector.
It was a long day for Doyle staffers as the firm also dispersed property from the collection of Marion Barbara “Joe” Carstairs (1900–1993). She is perhaps best remembered for the colorful life she lived alongside her companion doll, Lord Tod Wadley, on Whale Cay, the island she owned in the Bahamas, as chronicled in her 1997 biography, The Queen of Whale Cay: The Eccentric Story of “Joe”’ Carstairs, Fastest Woman on Water by Kate Summerscale.
With competitive international bidding from the salesroom, the telephones and the Internet, the collection far surpassed its $10,8/16,400 estimate, achieving $74,250, with 100 percent of the lots sold. The top lot of the collection was a large archive of more than 100 photographs that fetched $21,250. The archive contained images of Carstairs throughout her entire life, as well as images of family members and various women connected to her, as well as many photographs of Carstairs’ property at Whale Cay.
A full review of the two sales will follow.
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