Published: May 25, 2016
By Greg Smith
Photos courtesy of Westport Auction
NEW YORK CITY — It is a rare occurrence when auctioneers find themselves in awe of the sheer amount of items a client would like to consign. Such was the case, however, when Maxine Kaplan, owner of the New York City-based Prop Company Kaplan and Associates, approached Westport Auction and AARAuctions.com to conduct an 1,800-lot onsite sale in her Manhattan showroom May 14–15.
From floor to ceiling, the loft was packed with items that Kaplan had acquired over 26 years of business. Midcentury, antique and vintage furniture, cupboards full of cutlery, blankets and textiles, architectural elements, industrial wares, purses and luggage, shelves of plates, cups, globes, radios, lighting, outdoor furniture, bicycles, fine art and so much more went across the block at this marathon deaccessioning.
The collection was the result of an established business that had production studios at Maxine’s door on a regular basis. Her clients included no short list of style gurus such as Ralph Lauren, Martha Stewart, Woody Allen, Good Housekeeping, Tiffany’s, Brooks Brothers, J. Crew and The Gap. Items from the collection were also on set in movies and TV shows, including Model Woman, Munich, The Intern, Sex and The City, Law and Order, Louis CK and others. Kaplan quipped, “I work on everything major.” And she did. If you shot footage in New York City, odds were that you sought out props from Prop Company Kaplan and Associates.
Travis Worrell, auctioneer of Westport Auction, said, “There was everything you could imagine. She had it all.”
Worrell called the two-day, no-reserve auction with a combined 24 hours on the auction block. “We are very pleased with the results; it was a packed audience. The volume of merchandise was a challenge but it presented a unique opportunity for buyers. It was a good collection of fresh-to-the-market merchandise.”
As bidders filled the hall and the sale commenced, lots started flying. Worrell said, “We had strong bidding from other New York prop companies as well as retail buyers from Manhattan. As always, we had healthy online bidding between LiveAuctioneers and Invaluable.”
Midcentury furniture and lighting kept up its fashionable appeal as lots sold for strong prices. A George Nelson hairpin daybed brought $1,560, a Milo Baughman rosewood desk with a chromed sled base sold for $1,560, while a set of four dining chairs from the same designer came in at $960, two lots of four Paul McCobb dining chairs brought $1,320 and a Harvey Probber sliding door server cabinet finished at $960.
Kaplan arranged like pieces together for organization, creating arresting visuals of color-coordinated homewares and objects. Among them were dozens of lots of plates, bowls, crystal stemware, cutting boards and cutlery, all lotted together by the hundreds, with the majority selling in the $300 to $800 range. A grouping of 15 vintage globes brought $1,320 and another lot of the same size realized $1,440, an enamelware lot, including pieces by Cathrineholm fetched $1,080, while a shelf of 200-plus transfer ware dishes brought $720.
Industrial furniture proved desirable, with a grouping of four metal and wood seat stools selling at $1,320 and another similar set going for $900, while a 33-drawer oak front apothecary chest brought $1,020.
Entire shelves of Lucite and glass paperweights brought $1,560 and $2,040 between similar lots, a grouping of color coordinated cord telephones sold for $1,020, while a similar lot brought $1,440. A group of 21 alabaster and marble lamps made $1,140, more than 60 plaster and metal busts sold for $1,200 and miscellaneous shelves including inkwells, pens, bookends and other desk accessories brought $1,440.
Maxine Kaplan plans to enjoy the summer ahead before diving right back in. “We’re still here,” she said. “I’m going to go to Vermont for the summer and then I’ll be back on the road. I’ve been asked to consult for various businesses in movies and the decorative arts. I’m also a photographer and a painter, so I have several ideas in mind.”
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
For additional information, www.westportauction.com or 203-222-3448.
September 28, 2022
September 28, 2022
September 27, 2022
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm