Glitz, bling and glam challenge elegance, history and the classics at Brookfield auction

LITCHFIELD, Conn. – The Champ Nielsen estate auction features vintage sterling, fine art and Native American items that will be for sale on Saturday, May 30, at the Litchfield Firehouse in Litchfield, Conn., beginning at 4 p.m. “We are thrilled to have been commissioned to sell the estate of the late Erik and Mary Nielsen. Mary was a ferocious shopper and collector of designer dresses, outfits, shoes and accessories,” said Diana Onyshkewych, auctioneer and co-owner of Brookfield Auction. “Mrs. Nielsen selected only the best made from exquisite fabrics and leathers. We’re still sorting through a mountain of Gucci, Oleg Cassini, Adolfo, Hermes, Koos and Oscar de la Renta,” she continued.

Mary Champ Nielsen was born in 1926 to Frederick and Francis Champ of Logan, Utah. Frederick Champ was a successful non-Mormon mortgage banker during the Depression, offering 8 percent mortgages while others offered 10 percent. After graduating from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles with a B.S. / Fine Arts major, Mary moved to NYC to attend Traphagen School of Fashion Design. Her career began in women’s fashions in 1952 at Jedwin’s Intermountain Knitting Mills in Ogden, Utah, and she was soon the lead fashion designer. By the mid 1950s she was back in NYC working at Simplicity and Butterick as a pattern designer.
Svend Erik Nielsen was a Danish veteran of World War II and later, a Madison Avenue advertising executive. The couple met in New York City and married in 1960. They lived in Wilton, Conn., for 41 years.

The Brookfield May 30, 500-lot sale has strong offerings in several categories. A Nyack, N.Y., estate includes impressive sterling silver; a New Milford, Conn., estate offers numerous works of art by well-listed artists; and the Nielsen estate includes 19th-20th century French furnishings, carpets, chandeliers and sconces, porcelain, art, Copenhagen, Baccarat, iron furniture and lead fountains. A Native American birch bark, sinew and wood canoe, wood bows and beaded moccasin boots were found in the attic. Five 1950s Wurlitzer juke boxes are also consigned.

Sterling includes a pair of 1930s Georg Jensen candlesticks, an 800 silver centerbowl raised on six paw feet by Johann Kurz, two 18th century Ebenizer Coker salvers and Reed & Barton 1907 ‘Francis I’ flatware. Tiffany includes a chased bud vase and a pair of 1906 vases. Additional sterling pieces include Whiting ladles, Kirk & Sons tazzas, Gorham ‘Strasbourg’ flatware, platters, plus hefty assorted lots.

The New Milford, Conn., estate brings diverse fine art. Highlighting the collection is a William Aiken Walker watercolor.

Rounding out the sale is the Nielsens’ Norwegian and Danish furnishings and accessories. Several pairs of Danish Modern chests, a Kagan Rosewood drop-leaf dining table, a Saporiti leather and chrome chaise, and a pair of Milo Baughman chrome, black lacquer and Rosewood cabinets are samples of the items.

Bidding is available in-house, by phone or absentee. There will be no online bidding. “Brookfield Auction offers an auction experience which is fair and fun for sellers and buyers alike; we like to meet our clients in person,” concluded Mrs. Onyshkewych.

Previews are at the Litchfield Firehouse on Friday, May 29, 4-8 p.m. and Saturday, May 30, from noon-4 p.m. View more than 300 lots online at For more information e-mail or call 203-448-8652 or 203-448-7375.