Published: July 11, 2017
Review and Onsite Photos by W.A. Demers, Additional Photographs Courtesy of Stair Galleries
HUDSON, N.Y. – Stair Galleries offered property from the Upper Eastside Manhattan apartment of Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards and his model wife Patti Hansen on Saturday, June 24.
And just as the couple’s brilliantly colorful apartment was conceived by Hansen as a European jewel box, filled with Italian, French and English furniture, decorations and paintings, so was Stair Galleries’ first floor exhibition space on the morning of the sale, which got off to a bit of a late start due to the 430 or so lots in the firm’s various owners sale that preceded it.
Most of the people gathered in the upstairs sale room were there to witness the event, according to Stair’s Muffie Cunningham, who put the Richards Collection sale together. “It was very strong on the phones and internet,” she said, with two platforms, Bidsquare and Invaluable, handling online bids.
In the end, net proceeds from the auction totaled about $120,000, to be donated to Sphere of Connecticut and Prospector Theatre in Ridgefield, Conn., charities close to the couple’s hearts due to the fact that Hansen’s 24-year-old nephew is autistic and has received services from the organizations. The Richardses have owned a home in nearby Weston, Conn., since the 1990s.
Stair Galleries also contributed a portion to the nonprofits.
The top lot was Jaqueline Marval’s (1866-1932) “Bouquet de Tulips Devant la Fenetre, an oil on canvas with Crane Kalman Gallery, London, provenance, which brought $18,000. It was one of three large pastel floral paintings by the French artist that Hansen found at the London gallery.
Another two pieces of French art were also high sellers. The other Marval painting was titled “Boules des Neiges” and brought $5,100. A painting by Marcel Cosson, “The French Riveria” went out at the same price.
A Karabagh carpet from the South Caucasus, approximately 6 feet 11 inches by 13 feet 5 inches, went out at $6,600, while for slightly less – $6,000 – winning bidders each left with an Anthony Thieme harbor scene and an Italian baroque-style black lacquer commode.
While most of the above-described lots may have been offered at any Westchester, N.Y., or Fairfield County, Conn., estate sale, a hand painted porcelain tea service by English ceramics designer Melody Rose carried a distinctively Keith Richards sensibility. Skulls applied to nondescript Japanese porcelain wedding ware took the set well above its $600 estimate to $4,800. A leopard upholstered “high heel” slipper chair sold for $1,800, more than $1,000 than expected.
A Modern European School depiction of “Twelfth Night, the Kings Drink,” fetched $4,500, while a pair of Italian rococo-style painted side chests earned $4,200. Rounding out the collection’s top ten lots was an English silverplated flatware service of 82 pieces that garnered $1,920.
Dwarfing prices achieved for individual lots in the Richards collection, of course, were the heavy-hitters from the various owners sale that preceded it. Dubbed “From the Age of Enlightenment to the Age of Excess,” the sale spanned British and European fine and decorative arts from 1700 to 1900. Topping the day was Ker-Xavier Roussel’s painting of “Nymphe et Faune,” 1919, an oil on canvas signed “KX Roussel and dated lower right. The 68-by-87½-inch painting of a nymph reclining on a hillside being discovered by a faun rose from its $5/9,000 estimate to a final price of $30,000.
Fetching $21,000, more than twice its high estimate, was Jean Francoise de Troy’s “Portrait of an Alderman of the town of Paris, an unsigned oil on canvas measuring 48 by 38 inches. Tripling its high estimate to take $14,400 was a portrait of Peter Furst Zu Sayan-Wittgenstein-Berleburg by Josef Bernhardt (1805-1885). Peter Wittgenstein was a Russian field marshal distinguished for his services in the Napoleonic wars. He was descended from a family of independent counts whose seat was in Berleburg (present day North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany).
Asian arts also produced lofty prices, such as a Chinese turquoise ground cloisonne enamel and gilt-brass vase from a Greenwich, Conn., estate that sold for $20,400. The pear-form, brass-footed piece had been conservatively estimated at $700/900. And providing a nice little segue into the Richards collection, the last lot in the various owners sale, a Chinese silk and metallic thread embroidered robe, possibly Qianlong, had been traded to Keith Richards in exchange for a leather jacket. The 53-by-80-inch robe commanded $14,400, won by an internet bidder.
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium. For information, www.stairgalleries.com or 518-751-1000.
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