A great many fine items will cross the block at The Benefit Shop Foundation, Inc. in its Red Carpet auction on Wednesday, June 16, at 10 am, but the undeniable star of the show will be a lifesize Harriet Whitney Frishmuth figural bronze.
The bronze, having a fine blue-green patina, is one of the artist’s most famous works, “Crest of the Wave,” and depicts a nude woman with windblown hair standing on tiptoe atop a cresting wave. This circa 1925 casting stands 5 feet 6 inches tall and is on a 21-inch base. The artist created this statue using one of her favorite models, a Yugoslav-born dancer, Desha Podgorski. The statue estimated at $25,000 to 250,000, was cast at the Gorham foundry and was kept in an outdoor garden by the owner’s family, travelling with them from Miami to Palm Beach, Greenwich and Westport. Also on offer in the sale is a 21 ½-inch tall bronze version of the same work.
The Frishmuth and the majority of items in the auction are property from F.W Woolworth’s Byron DeWitt Miller estate by family descent. Miller joined F.W. Woolworth as an errand boy in 1893 and thanks to his work ethic and initiativ, he quickly climbed the corporate ladder to become one of the company’s youngest senior executives.
Besides the Frishmuth, crossing the block will be nautical collectibles, jewelry and artwork from their multiple homes and yachts. Additional local estates represented in this auction offered up jewelry, luxury fashion, antiques and decorative arts.
“Frishmuth’s bronzes, especially those of one of her favorite models, Desha, are quite desirable and this is one of her most famous. The pose really captures the essence of dance and its arrested movement makes it quite appealing,” said Pam Stone, owner and founder of The Benefit Shop Foundation, Inc. “Miller was an ardent collector though and there are many striking items on offer here from his estate.”
The auction will be far-ranging and runs the gamut from a contemporary ladies watch, a La D de Dior diamond and mother-of-pearl watch ($2,5/10,000) to a bronze pair of Rocky Mountain Goat bookends, signed Anna V. Hyatt Huntington, circa 1928 ($5/7,000), each about 8 by 7 by 6 inches.
Miller had a passion for the nautical life and his family yacht had a staff of 60 and was well used, before it was commandeered in WWII by the U.S. Navy.Nautical-themed items from the estate are led by a SM-6 Class Special pond model of a sailboat ($1/2,500) that sits on a skeg, measuring 20½ inches long. Furniture highlights includes an antique oversized roll top wooden desk ($500-2,500), measuring 72 by 44 by 36 inches, and a Regina music box with 18 metal discs ($1/2,000)
Entertaining was a big part of the Miller family’s lifestyle and on offer is a set of 12 Herend “Csung” hand-painted dinner plates ($500-2,000) with the borders decorated in an allover pattern of Chinese figures framing a central figure. Other bronzes with Miller provenance include two signed works by Allan Clark, including a walking female bronze sculpture, dated 1927, depicting woman in a dress mid-step with hands running through her hair; and a nude man, also in mid-step. Each bronze is estimated at $500-$2,000.
Rounding out the auction are a restored Bally Fireball vintage pinball machine ($500-2,000), retaining keys and a MCM B&B Italia Fat Sofa chair ($500-2,000) upholstered in a bright chartreuse hue, measuring 45 by 39 by 41 inches.
The monthly Red Carpet sales feature choice collections of antique, Midcentury Modern, brand furnishings, sterling, china, crystal, jewelry and fine art. With a mission of “to donate, to discover and to do good,” the foundation is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit and auction proceeds support community organizations. Consignors get a tax deduction, the buyer gets a great deal and local non-profits get much needed funds.
The auction gallery is at 185 Kisco Ave, Suite 201. For more information, https://www.thebenefitshop.org or 914-864-0707.
185 Kisco Ave Suite 201
Mount Kisco, New York
About Benefit Shop Foundation, Inc.
The Benefit Shop receives donations from the finest estates in Bedford and beyond and showcases them in one convenient and beautifully-staged location. The estates get a tax deduction, the buyer gets a great deal and non-profits in the community get the money. This elegantly-conceived, eco-friendly concept is the brainchild of Pam Stone and she is thrilled at the response from the community. It’s no secret that non-profits, from hospitals to homeless shelters, are having a tough time in this economy. Responding to the call for funding to fill the gaps , local resident Stone imagined a new possibility, an auction gallery with donated merchandise from the grand estates that surround the area. For 10 years, Stone has been busy visiting estate sales in the area, encouraging people to make high quality, tax-deductible donations for the satisfaction of helping a host of community organizations, including Neighbors’ Link and the Boys and Girls Club, as well as the continued support of Northern Westchester Hospital. According to Pam, “Often these kinds of shops benefit a big national charity, but I really wanted the beneficiary to be my community, for the people who live and work here.” Mission statement: To donate, to discover, to do good.