Less is not always more. Sometimes more is more and this certainly seems to be the case this fall at The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.,which has a busy auction season scheduled, kicking off with its Red Carpet auction on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at 10 am, filled with several fine estates stretching from Florida to Manhattan. Crossing the block will be a wealth of striking and over-the-top statement pieces.
“I’m hard pressed to think of another word that describes this auction better than ‘over-the-top’,” said Pam Stone, owner and founder of The Benefit Shop Foundation, Inc. “We have donations here from several fine estates whose tastes definitely leaned toward the lavish.”
One estate is a family, where the father was an oil executive, and lived all over the world, collecting goods from their travels with a penchant for Far Eastern antiques, decorative arts and carved furniture. A highlight from this collection is a handcarved Chinese opium bed that is simply grand ($500-5,000) with elaborate carving, lacquer, chinoserie and gilt work on a well-detailed platform with columns and carved canopy. The bed measures 10 by 95 by 68 inches and features relief carving of dragons, birds, fish, deer, vines and more.
For Chanel devotees, there are other ways to get your Chanel fix besides perfume and handbags with another statement piece in the auction. A rare pair of authentic Chanel boutique chairs in glossy black Lucite/composite ($500-2,000) was only used for photo shoots, according to a label on the underside of the chairs. The chairs, which came out of a Palm Beach, Fla., estate, have the iconic Chanel double C logo on front and back side of each chair. Each measures 34 by 21 by 23 inches.
From another estate whose owner is based in the design trade comes furniture and art that were in the owner’s homes all over the world. Artwork on offer ranges from a Martha Mayer Erlebacher signed watercolor still life ot peppers, zucchini and apples ($1/3,000), 23 ⅞ by 27 inches, to an oversized and signed Lee Reynolds oil on canvas ($400-800), which is an abstracted scene of horse jockeys in mid-race, 48½ by 60½ inches.
This auction continues the trend of more is more with a small collection from one estate of war propaganda posters with striking graphics, featuring a Dal Holcomb WWII propaganda advertisement ($100-300) for the British and American Ambulance Corps based in New York City. It is inscribed “Quiet! Loose talk can cost lives” and hand draped in an American flag covers the mouth of well-dressed man, 24½ by 17½ inches.
The auction also features a nice grouping of Oriental carpets, including a vintage Oriental oversized Stark carpet ($200-800), decorated with intertwining multi -toned, floral and laurel like vine pattern, 22 feet by 12 feet 6 inches; and a handmade, antique Oriental wool rug ($100-600) having an elaborate multi-toned floral vine and leaf pattern with fringes. Measuring nearly 12 feet by 8 feet 9 inches,the latter carpet came out of a Park Avenue estate.
Asian arts also will be represented in the auction, including this white porcelain figure of a deity in meditation ($200-500), possibly Kangxi, that would be a welcome addition to one’s home ton an indoor garden, office or whenever one seeks a calming influence. A famille rose porcelain vase ($200-500), standing 16 inches tall, is intricately painted with figures and symbolic motifs while a signed pair of Chinese porcelain temple/fu dogs ($200-500) handpainted in dreamy swirls with horseshoe shapes over a brick ground with gilt accents. The dragon fu dog rests on a sphere and the underside has an impressed stamp, signed with Chinese characters, 9 inches tall.
Rounding out the auction will be a handpainted Larkin & Poole dish ($100-400), circa 1820, 1820, depicting a view of a river nestled in the countryside of a quaint Asian village, and a glazed terra cotta cheetah sculpture ($100-250) in a creamy yellow ground with black spots and yellow eyes, 6½ inches tall.
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.