Published: August 1, 2000
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. – Harlowe-Powell Auction, Ltd conducted an on-site event at Ellerslie Farm in Albemarle County, Va., liquidating a number of period and reproduction pieces of furniture, fine art, and decorative accessories, as well as a poster collection, all belonging to billionaire John Kluge. For Kluge, it was a bit of “attic cleaning,” but for the several hundred people in attendance, it was an opportunity to acquire some treasures that have been stored away from public view for many, many years.
Many of the pieces of furniture were acquired by Kluge in 1990 when he purchased a mansion, Enniscorthy, in southern Albemarle County, together with its contents. Other items had been acquired over an extended period of time and either used in one of his many residences in Virginia, Palm Beach, New York City or Germany or in his offices throughout the United States.
Kluge made his fortune in communications, owning Metromedia, and throughout his lifetime has been a major patron of up-and-coming artists. Part of his extensive art collection was included in this sale, but the auction house will also conduct a specialized fine art sale of articles belonging to John Kluge on October 14.
Highlighting the July 6 sale was an eight-foot-tall Chinese Chippendale-style mirror, which sold for $36,000 to a dealer on the phone from New York City.
A Queen Anne sidechair went to a major Virginia dealer for $26,500. A Georgian console table, featured in The Shorter Dictionary of English Furniture by Ralph Edwards, was purchased on the floor by a dealer from Europe for $28,000.
A pair of Italian mirrors went for $13,700 to a dealer who had driven up from Texas, who also won a Louis XVI commode for $4,000.
Five original gouaches of Ice Capades theme girls created a lot of interest, with the 1948 theme girl selling for $1,200, the 1951 theme girl for $2,600 and the 1960 theme girl for $2,800. Among the vintage posters, the Rural Electrification Administration posters commanded the highest prices, with one picturing a light bulb reaching $3,700 and one featuring a faucet going for $3,500. A vintage poster, “East Coast by L.N.E.R.,” picturing three bathing beauties fetched $2,800.
Prices quoted do not include buyers premium.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm