This month sees New York auctioneers Doyle (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) offering two significant separately-catalogued single-owner collections within the space of a fortnight.
On May 15 they will be selling over 140 lots of furnishings from the estate of Lady Sarah Consuelo Spencer-Churchill and eight days later, on May 23, they will offer 270 lots of paintings and furnishings from the Marguerite Dorment Collection.
Lady Sarah Consuelo Spencer-Churchill came from a well-connected family featuring ancestors that are famous on both sides of the Altantic. Her father was the 10th Duke of Marlborough whose family seat was Blenheim Palace; her cousin was Winston Churchill and her grandmother was the American heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt, wife of the 9th Duke of Marlborough.
Consuelo Vanderbilt had homes in France, England and America furnished predominantly in French style and when she died in 1964 she left Lady Sarah a collection of furniture and objects. Much of the predominantly French material in Doyle’s sale came from this inheritance and their catalogue is liberally sprinkled with vintage interior illustrations of Consuelo’s Paris residence, The Hôtel de Marlborough, that feature some of the items on offer this month.
The sale includes several pieces of furniture stamped by prominent 18th century ébénistes such as the gilt-bronze mounted gueridon by Charles Topino, pictured, which is expected to fetch $20,000-30,000, as well as a selection of decorative objects plus Meissen and Sèvres porcelain.
Marguerite Dorment began collecting in the 1940s, assembling a collection of paintings, furniture and decorative objects with which she furnished her homes in Manhattan, New Jersey and Palm Beach. She has decided to sell the contents of her New York apartment and it is this that goes under the hammer at Doyle on the 23rd. Her taste in pictures encompasses Modern and Contemporary works as well as 19th century paintings and one of the highlights of the sale will be Promenade, an oil on canvas of a Cardinal dressed in full vestments standing against a backdrop of tree trunks painted by Fernando Botero in 1979 which is estimated at $150,000-200,000. The sale also features a selection of Chinese export porcelain that is especially well supplied with pieces decorated in the Tobacco Leaf pattern.