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6 centuries of furniture & decorative arts offered at Sotheby's New York
A Louis XV ormolu-mounted kingwood, tulipwood, amaranth, fruitwood, and bois de bout marquetry commode, circa 1750. Estimate: $100,000 — 200,000 USD. Courtesy Sotheby’s.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s presents the spring auctions of furniture and decorative arts in New York. Offering nearly 1,000 lots over the course of three days, the trilogy of sales celebrate the art of collecting through a captivating array of objects spanning from the 16th to 21st centuries. More than 500 pieces are emerging from distinguished private collections, presenting both experienced and new collectors with an opportunity to acquire exceptional works with outstanding provenance from some of the world’s most celebrated arbiters of taste.

All of the works from the three sales will be on view beginning 13 April in Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries, alongside the exhibitions of Magnificent Jewels and Fine Jewels.

Amassed over the course of 20 years, the private collection of Miami-based interior designer Victor A. Diaz showcases his fervent passion for silver. Over 150 pieces from his home will be on offer, showcasing his extensive knowledge of a variety of styles, ranging from traditional to contemporary. What began as a budding fascination with exquisite pieces evolved into a renowned collection of timeless silver and Latin American art that is both functional and opulent. Capturing a fresh and modern take on this timeless material, the sale reflects the special flair and architectonic drama that Mr. Diaz incorporates into his everyday life.

A significant group of monumental works by Mario Buccellati, including a Pair of Large Italian Silver “Penguin” Wine Coolers (estimate $150/250,000) and Monumental Italian Silver Sea Horses (estimate $100/150,000) lead the sale, followed by an outstanding group of pieces by Georg Jensen, topped by a Rare Danish Silver Seven-Light Chandelier (estimate $150/250,000). The present work was designed by Jensen in 1920 and is one of only six known silver chandeliers by the artist. Originally used just as an exhibition piece, Mr. Diaz acquired the work from Georg Jensen in 2012 and worked with the designer to create a matching hook for the chain to accompany the piece.

Concurrently with Sotheby’s auction of his silver collection, Viyet announced that a unique selection of 40 pieces of furniture from Mr. Diaz’s collection will be available for sale, featuring examples from coveted brands such as Holly Hunt, Christian Liaigre, Ralph Rucci, and Promemoria.

This season’s diverse offering is distinguished by a significant selection of works from the collection of the late Elizabeth A. Keck – a matriarch of one of America’s leading philanthropic families who played an active role in the Los Angeles arts and music scene. Her passion for the best has been a Leitmotif of her connoisseurship and is reflected across the 120+ pieces on offer, which resided in her vibrant California residences: La Lanterne in Bel Air and Villa Cornelia in Holmby Hills. Over the decades, “Libby”, as she was known, relentlessly honed her eye while working closely with tastemakers and interior decorators such as Jacques Grange, who has cited her as one of the great muses to enter his life.

Works from her stunning collection span the best of the Ancien Régime featuring 18th century French furniture and objets d’art, many with outstanding provenance, to Chinese Export porcelain and a Gobelins tapestry, all testaments to Mrs. Keck’s dynamic and discerning taste. An important group of Louis XV furniture leads this special selection of pieces from the beloved figure’s interiors, including: an exceptionally rare green-painted and parcel-gilt tôle nine-light chandelier mounted with porcelain flowers, circa 1750 (estimate $150/200,000); a pair of giltwood bergères à la reine by Jean-Baptiste Tilliard, exhibiting the French maker’s remarkable carving detail (estimate $120/180,000); and a superlative ormolu-mounted bois de bout marquetry commode with dragon handles (estimate $100/200,000) are among the many highlights.

The two-session sale also presents a vibrant group of works that explore the art of design throughout history. Spanning from the 16th to the 21st century, the sale unites English, European, and American silver, ceramics, furniture and tapestries, with an array of Pre- and Post-War Design objects, ranging from Tiffany Studios lighting to Scandinavian furniture pieces.

Sotheby’s also announced that it will present The Jeweler’s Eye: The Personal Collection of Fred Leighton in a dedicated auction on 18 April 2018 in New York. While Mr. Leighton is legendary within the jewelry industry, and often lauded for revolutionizing the way celebrities wore jewels on the red carpet, many will discover that his creative eye also extended to his collection of fine furniture and decorative arts, spanning from the 17th through 20th centuries. Amassed over more than five decades, this collection of pieces from Mr. Leighton’s residence in Manhattan offers an unprecedented look into his life and how he chose to surround himself, reflecting his passion for the beautiful and the eclectic.

The furniture and decorative arts from his collection showcase an emphasis on French Art Deco design and objects of Southeast Asian Art. Much of the furniture, designed primarily during the 20th century, was artfully juxtaposed with antique artifacts dating back to the 17th century, with accents of Chinese, North African and Sicilian Baroque details displayed throughout the lavish space. The result was an idiosyncratic aesthetic that embraced beauty in its many forms and engendered a refreshingly-innovative approach to how collectors can live with these storied pieces.

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