Published: March 21, 2017
Review and Photos by Andrea Valluzzo
BEDFORD CORNERS, N.Y. – Driving through Italian iron gates and up a lengthy, pea gravel driveway lined with mature European beech trees to an elegant Colonial home, one immediately senses this will be no ordinary estate sale.
Elizabeth Jackson is no neophyte when it comes to staging estate sales, but her March 9-12 event at an estate on picturesque Oregon Road exceeded even the high bar she has set. The weekend-long sale kicked off Thursday, March 9, with an invitation-only, champagne preview for American Society of Interior Designers members to tour the home.
The home was built in 1930 for the Heinz family and was most recently owned by Andrew and Randi Heine, for whom renowned designer Bunny Williams decorated the house in the late 1990s. Andrew passed away in 2016 and his widow contracted Elizabeth to sell much of the home’s antiques and furnishings.
Having been around antiques most of her life, Elizabeth began her collecting adventure with a $5 bid on a toleware spice box when she was 13. For the last 15 years, she has run high-end estate sales and also operates a retail showroom in Norwalk, Conn.
“I try to make all of my sales special. This one was an unusually beautiful property, we get one or two like this a year, but at all my sales, I have a great mix of antiques, vintage and some modern designs so there is something for everyone at every price point,” Elizabeth said. “I want it to be a sale where you will find something you like and that you will learn something.”
Buyers evidently agreed as designers packed into the spacious home for the preview and came back not once, but repeatedly. Lifestyle doyenne Martha Stewart, who lives in Bedford, came each day of the sale to shop it, as did many others. The late interior decorator and socialite Sister Parish, from whom Bunny learned well, was well represented in this sale. Not only were a stack of her decorating books on hand and several items that traced their provenance through her hands, but shopping the sale each day were her daughter, Apple Bartlett, and granddaughter, Susan Crater, who continue to run her design firm to this day.
“We had a group who came every day, it was a very good sale,” Elizabeth said. “The people who came loved the house and they loved the sale for both the quality of the goods and the amount that was available to be purchased from window treatments to all the lighting fixtures.”
The sale was run auction-style with people leaving bids and finding out later if they were successful. Several items sold “instantly” and had multiple left bids. Among the most coveted items were an unusual jardinière with a mahogany top that was displayed in the entranceway, sans top, filled with orchids and cyclamen, as well as the sunburst lighting fixture made from an antique Venetian-style mirror.
“That was the most coveted item in the whole sale and those are hard to find,” Elizabeth said of the table, noting it sold during the preview. “I’ve had a couple before, but I’ve never had them with a top so it’s a more useful piece.”
While the sale technically ended Sunday, March 12, a few people came back to see if there was one last item to be had, Elizabeth noted, and they were still packing up and clearing the house for nearly all of the following week.
Other items drawing the most oohs and ahhs were the Tabriz rug in the living room having an unusual blue-gray palette, a zinc bar in the sunroom, a three-level Maison Jansen rolling étagère, an unusual storage chest with needlepoint upholstery, circa 1880; and a D-end antique mahogany French dining table with four leaves and drop-leaf ends, that once belonged to Sister Parish.
Elizabeth Jackson operates a retail store is at 207 Liberty Square in Norwalk. For more information, www.elizabethjackson.com or 203-857-4009.
And after shopping the estate sale for home furnishings, if one decided that they just had to have the house too, it’s for sale also at a cool $5.8 million.
June 8, 2016
April 12, 2016
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm