Property of a Gentle Lady: Estate of Noted Orange County Philanthropist Elizabeth Colyear Vincent on Offer in November

  • LOS ANGELES, California
  • /
  • October 15, 2009

  • Email
Seymour Joseph Guy (American, 1824-1910) The garland makers. Oil on panel, 13 1/4 x 10 1/4in. Estimate: $3,000 - 5,000
Bonhams & Butterfields

Bonhams & Butterfields is pleased to announce the November 8, 2009 auction of The Estate of Elizabeth Colyear Vincent, Newport Beach, California.  Assembled over the course of a lifetime, the Collection features a diverse group of 18th and 19th century works with a focus on the European aesthetic.

The 300-lot Los Angeles-based sale will feature a discerning selection of rare pieces by renowned craftsmen such as François Linke, Paul Sormani and Emmanuel-Joseph Zwiener as well as beautiful examples of gilt bronze, lighting fixtures, silver and porcelain from across Europe.

Elizabeth Colyear Vincent, a fifth generation Californian, was born in Los Angeles, California on May 24, 1914.   She was the second child of self-made California businessman Curtis Calhoun Colyear, founder of Colyear's New and Secondhand Furniture, a downtown Los Angeles institution in the early 1900s, followed by Colyear's Van & Storage.  In 1912, Curtis Colyear incorporated Colyear Motor Sales Company, which would ultimately become the largest independent distributor of automotive replacement parts on the West Coast until it merged with another company in 1965.

In 1976, Mrs. Vincent settled in a Georgian Colonial house on the prestigious Harbor Island in Newport Beach, California.  There, she was able to surround herself with all her passions - with an incredible collection of orchids which were cared for in an immense greenhouse; boating with the 96-foot Nordic Star moored in the harbor just outside her door; arts and antiques, which were so lovingly displayed throughout her home; and friends and family, whom she entertained frequently. 

While enjoying a life full of beauty, Mrs. Vincent always remembered to give to those around her and supported numerous Southern California charities.  In particular, her devotion to her two favorite causes, Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach and The Orange County Performing Arts Center®, never wavered.  During the course of her lifetime, she enriched many lives through her generous philanthropic endeavors.

A George IV silver tea urn Richard Sibley, London, 1824. In Roman Revival taste. Estimate: $12,000 - 18,000,
Bonhams & Butterfields

According to Andrew Jones, Los Angeles Director of European Furniture and Decorative Arts at Bonhams & Butterfields: "The Estate of Elizabeth Colyear Vincent represents a lifetime of passionate collecting.  Vincent's distinct style and appreciation of 18th and 19th century Europe is clearly reflected within the offering."

The marquee lot of the November 8, 2009 auction is an imposing pair of Louis XVI style gilt bronze floor torcheres, late 19th century (est. $25,000-35,000).  The eighteen light torcheres, each with a standard in the form of an urn draped in swags issuing a multitude of scrolling candle arms, measure 7 ½ feet tall.

According to Jones, "The Louis XVI style gilt bronze floor torcheres are two of the most impressive examples of floor lighting to be offered at public auction in recent years.  Bonhams & Butterfields is delighted to present these items along with many rare and unique works to the public in November."

Other notable highlights include a Louis XV style gilt bronze mounted marble topped mahogany center table by Francois Linke (est. $7000-9000); a pair of French inlaid mahogany bowfront corner cupboards by Paul Sormani (est. 15,000-20,000) and a Louis XV style gilt bronze mounted marquetry side cupboard by Emmanuel-Joseph Zwiener, late 19th century (est. $15,000-20,000).

Additional highlights from the Estate of Elizabeth Colyear Vincent will include a grand Venetian micromosaic and acid etched mirror (est. $20,000-30,000); a Continental gilt bronze mounted onyx urn, late 19th century (est. $18,000-25,000); a monumental Vienna style porcelain covered urn on stand, late 19th century (est. 12,000-18,000); a collection of Meissen porcelain figures, mostly late 19th century (estimates range from $1,000-7,000); an Italian carved marble figure of Ruth by P. Bazzanti, late 19th century (est. 10,000-15,000) and a Berlin (KPM) porcelain table casket, late 19th century (est. $6,000-8,000) as well a selection of European paintings and silver.

A pair of good quality Louis XV style gilt bronze mounted inlaid kingwood and mahogany encoigneurs. Paul Sormani, late 19th century. Estimate: $20,000 - 30,000
Bonhams & Butterfields

Preview: November 6-8, 2009, Los Angeles

Auction: November 8, 2009 at 12pm, Los Angeles


Bonhams & Butterfields is pleased to offer a selection of rare interior images of the Vincent home on Harbor Island, Newport Beach, California to journalists covering the story.  Please contact the Public Relations Department in Los Angeles at (310) 567-7990 for further details.

Press Contact: Jannelle Grigsby,, (310) 567-7990


About Bonhams

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son and Neale UK. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America and in August 2003, Goodmans, a leading Australian fine art and antiques auctioneer with salerooms in Sydney, joined the Bonhams Group of Companies. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street, and Knightsbridge, and a further seven throughout the UK. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Boston in the USA; and Switzerland, France, Monaco, Australia, Hong Kong and Dubai. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 57 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, go to (01-08) For other press releases, go to

  • Email

Related Press Releases