The auction, at 10 am Eastern time, will be headlined by a wonderfully rich, diverse and eclectic collection from the estates of Cornelia and Simon Michael Bessie of Lyme, Connecticut.
Bloomfield, NJ, USA, June 24, 2020 — Nye & Company Auctioneers’ online-only Estate Treasures auction on Wednesday, July 8th, beginning at 10 am Eastern time, will offer a variety of fine and decorative arts. Internet bidding will be provided by LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and the Nye & Company website: www.nyeandcompany.com.
“In accordance with the New Jersey State mandate, we cannot open our doors to the public,” said Andrew Holter of Nye & Company Auctioneers. “However, we plan to deliver clients a seamless online experience and will strive to deliver accurate condition reports and images for all items on offer. We’ll be closely monitoring our email account and all the bidding platforms.”
The auction will be headlined by a wonderfully rich, diverse and eclectic collection from the estates of Cornelia and Simon Michael Bessie of Lyme, Connecticut. The Bessies are well-known and respected in the literary publishing world. In particular, Michael left a top editorial position at Harper & Brothers in New York City to help found Atheneum Books (N.Y.) in 1959.
About a year later, Cornelia joined the firm in an editorial capacity. Michael served as president of Atheneum from 1963-1975, having co-founded the company with Alfred A. Knopf, Jr. and Hiram Haydn. In 1975, Bessie parted ways with Atheneum and rejoined Harper as a Senior Vice President with an agreement that Harper would finance Cornelia and Michael Bessie Books.
The estate is the epitome of a refined collection steeped in the classic and traditional aesthetic. Works include an ink study of animals by the French artist Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863). Another exciting piece is a pencil self-portrait by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901). The decorative arts are also well represented with not one, but two 17th/18th century Italian walnut cassones and a superb pair of North German bronze lions, possibly from the 15th/16th century.
Fine items from a private Ocean City, New Jersey collection were from the family’s worldwide travels. Defined by numerous cultures and time periods, this group includes a wonderful pair of Chinese Buddhist porcelain temple lions, Japanese Satsuma pottery, fine European paintings and bronzes. In particular there is an exceptionally nice bronze titled Combat de Coqs by the noted sculptor Paul Chevre (1866-1914), who was born in Belgium but was active in Paris, France.
The sale also features modern Arts & Crafts figured oak furniture by Stickley, stamped Stickley and bearing the company’s metal tag. Highlights include a seven-drawer chest, a glazed door bookcase, a rocker and a pair of side cabinets. This furniture is the perfect blend of traditional Arts & Crafts with an eye towards modernism, with lighter finishes and clean, rectilinear lines.
Earlier furniture includes a superb Chippendale reverse-serpentine chest of drawers, made in Massachusetts between 1760-1790. There is also an exceptional George III inlaid mahogany linen press, a surefire attention grabber with its sharply contrasting veneers, tall, vertical proportions and elaborate inlays. There is also an exceptionally crafted Classical ormolu-mounted marble-top pier, made in New York by a talented and highly skilled cabinetmaker.
The sale will also feature Part II of the estate of William Hodgins, the renowned Boston-based interior designer. Hodgins was an Architectural Digest, AD100 decorator once described as “a beacon of American Classicism”. He learned his craft working for the leading design firm of Sister Parish and Albert Hadley, then went on to establish his own Rolodex of clients, including Annette de la Renta’s three sisters, financier Felix Rohatyn, members of the Washington Post’s Graham family, Linda and Robert Taubman and a Saudi prince. His work has been published in Architectural Digest, House and Garden, Vogue, Town and Country and the New York Times.
People can bid in absentia and online. An online preview will be held from June 25 through July 8 at www.nyeandcompany.com, www.liveauctioneers.com and www.invaluable.com. Anyone looking for additional images, condition reports or info about an object, is encouraged to reach out via the Nye & Company website or via email at [email protected] Please note that company offices will be closed from June 27th-July 5th, in observance of the 4th of July holiday.
For more information about Nye & Company Auctioneers and the Estate Treasures online only auction on Wednesday, July 8th, visit www.nyeandcompany.com. The full color catalog can be viewed around June 25 at www.nyeandcompany.com, LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com.
About Nye & Company Auctioneers:
John Nye had a long and fruitful career at Sotheby’s before he and his wife, Kathleen, acquired Dawson’s in 2003 and started Dawson & Nye. With the move to Bloomfield seven years later, they renamed the business to Nye & Company (Auctioneers, Appraisers, Antiques). The firm is nationwide, but the vast bulk of the business comes from trusts and estates in the tri-state area. For more information about Nye & Company Auctioneers, visit www.nyeandcompany.com.
Nye & Company Auctioneers
20 Beach Street
Bloomfield, NJ 07003 (USA)
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