Estate reflects Lalique was held in high esteem by Phillips Petroleum heiress

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The estate and lifetime collections of the late Martha Jane Phillips Starr will cross the auction block May 5-6, 2012, in Kansas City, Mo., with the action commencing at 10 a.m. each day. Pence Auction Co. of Liberty, Mo., is managing this historic event.

Giltwood carved mirrors  Pair of 18th century giltwood wall mirrors, 61 inches by 22 inches. Photo courtesy Pence Auction Co.

Starr was born Nov. 27, 1906, in Oklahoma Territory, daughter of Lenora Carr Phillips and Lee Eldas Phillips, co-founder of Phillips Petroleum Company. Martha married John Wilbur Starr Oct. 26, 1929, and they moved to Kansas City in 1933.

Starr passed away Nov. 14, 2011, at nearly 105 years old.

Martha Jane Starr spent more than 60 years collecting antiques and fine furnishings. She and her husband donated several major collections to various museums: Their collection of English portrait miniatures was donated to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo., and their collection of Wedgwood found a new home at the Philbrook Museum in Tulsa, Okla.

What remains is are the heirlooms passed down from her father, the co-founder of Phillips Petroleum, and furnishings from her home, which is a mix of French and European furniture accented by Oriental accessories, miniatures, fine oil paintings and silver.

Highlights of the auction include a pair of important 18th century Chippendale giltwood wall mirrors, each measuring 61 inches by 22 inches; a 220-piece set of Gorham sterling flatware in the Versailles pattern; an amazing collection of miniatures and objects of vertu along with an outstanding collection of antique hand fans.

Wedgwood inlaid sconces  Pair of Wedgwood-inlaid and silver-plated wall sconces.

Not all of the Starrs’ Wedgwood was donated: Wedgwood  examples in dark blue, yellow, green, chocolate and light blue will all be offered without reserve at auction.

Other famous makers’ names that will be represented include (but are not limited to) Orrefors, Sevres, Satsuma, Steuben, Spode, KPM and Lalique.

Bidders’ ears will be ringing with the Lalique name, as many examples of Lalique pin trays, figural seals, figural paperweights and perfume bottles will be offered.

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The estate auction consists of nearly 800 lots of quality antiques and collectibles that will be sold to the highest bidder without reserve.

Lalique vase  This R. Lalique Artichoke vase is among the many Lalique lots that will be sold without reserve May 5-6.

Pence Auction has a modest 5 percent buyer’s premium with the emphasis on in-person bidding. Absentee bids are accepted with a 25 percent deposit. (All checks from unsuccessful bidders are returned.) In addition to the cost of postage and insurance, there is a 5 percent handling charge that will be added to the selling price of all successful absentee bids. Telephone and Internet bidding is not offered.

The public auction will be held at the KCI Expo Center in Kansas City, Mo., on Saturday and Sunday, May 5-6, 2012, with bidding commencing at 10 a.m. each day. A full listing of lots with photos is available. For more information call Pence Auction at 816-781-4218.

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antique hand fan  This is just one of the collection of antique hand fans that will be offered at public auction May 5-6.


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