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His shopping list featured many of London’s best known art and antique dealers and decorators: Bennison, Christopher Gibbs, Malletts, Partridge and Carlton Hobbs, Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox, as well as Axel Vervoordt in Belgium. Through them he built up an impressive and distinctive collection for his New York apartment and his home in Connecticut.

Bill Blass had clear ideas about what he liked and his preferences took in architectural drawings, pictures by old and modern masters, neoclassical furniture and antiquities combined in a spare restrained look as pictured in this view of the living room of his Manhattan apartment. But alongside the serious elements he also acquired more whimsical pieces, like the Continental pottery models of hat boxes shown above or more rustic decorations to complement the rural surroundings of his stone-built former tavern in Connecticut.

Bill Blass died in June last year and the sale of his collection will be one of the major events of Sotheby’s New York autumn season with the 800-lot main dispersal taking over three days from October 21-23. Given its eclectic mix, it seems likely to appeal to the widest range of tastes.