Auction offers philanthropist’s fine art and antiques with Vanderbilt link

NEW YORK – Roland Auctioneers & Valuers, located at 80 East 11th St, New York, will sell the estate of Dame Celia Lipton Farris March 17, 2012, beginning at 11 a.m. (Farris, who was an actress, singer, record company executive and philanthropist, died Friday, March 11, 2011.)

Antique Verdure Tapestry  Antique Verdure tapestry, features a depiction of a Roman general with two ides before a woman holding a reed torch, 89 inches by 68 inches. Previously restored with bound edges and linen backing. In good condition. (Estimate $2,000-$3,000.) Photo courtesy Roland Auction.

The former British film star, who married the American inventor of the milk carton and paper clip, purchased her magnificent Palm Beach home at 319 El Vedado Road and lived there for decades.

The stately home, once belonging to Mrs. Audrey Emery and also to the artist Channing Hare, is perhaps best remembered as the former residence of Madame Balsan (aka Consuelo Vanderbilt); the home was sold to Farris with some of the Vanderbilt art and antique collection included. The Vanderbilt pieces are currently being identified as such, and will be included in the March 17 estate auction.

The Farris collection arrived at the Roland’s Greenwich Village gallery by the truckload and has been enthusiastically received by all who’ve been fortunate enough to get an early look.

There is an extraordinary collection of French antique furniture including salon suites showcasing 18th century aubusson upholstery, ormolu mounted tables, desks, chairs, pedestals and chests by such masters as Francois Linke.

Gilt Bronze mounted malachite urns and candelabra, French Empire clocks, and many stunning sculptures complement the furniture.


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Meissen cherub group  Meissen cherub group, Meissen porcelain, German, group, five cherubs. Good condition. Approx 5 to 6 inches. (Estimate $800-$1,000.)

English Georgian and Regency antiques abound, as do the many 18th and 19th century portraits of English and French aristocrats. The art collection offers collectors and investors many opportunities to own an impressive piece of one of America’s castles.

Rounding out the auction is a selection from the estate of renowned collector Howard Hand. Perhaps the most noteworthy piece from his collection is a large and imposing Qing Dynasty porcelain figure of Kuan Ti, formerly in the collection of Madame Chiang Kai-shek (Soong Mei-ling). Several other early Chinese porcelains, jades and enameled silver examples are to be included in the sale as is a splendid collection of American silver.

One other noteworthy inclusion is a gouache by the founder of the Fauvist movement, Maurice de Vlaminck. It has the advantage of being accompanied by impeccable provenance, having been purchased at David Findlay Gallery in 1964, where it was featured in a Vlaminck exhibition, retaining both the gallery label, copy of the original bill of sale, and having stayed in the family since purchase. The exhibition catalog as well as a copy of the book this original work was painted for is included in the lot.

This important sale of fine art and antiques can be viewed online at the Roland Auctioneers website, where you can also register to bid online or by phone. Roland Auctioneers can also be reached by telephone at 212-260-2000.

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