Bloomfield, NJ, United States
July 8, 2020 Estate Treasures Auction
Nye & Company
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. 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. 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. Earlier furniture includes a superb Chippendale reverse-serpentine chest of drawers, made in Massachusetts. There is also a George III inlaid mahogany linen press, a surefire attention grabber with its sharply contrasting veneers, tall, vertical proportions and elaborate inlays. The sale will also feature Part II of the estate of William Hodgins, the renowned Boston-based interior designer. Please note that company offices will be closed from June 27th-July 5th, in observance of the 4th of July holiday.
Lot Number: Lowest