Sotheby’s is honored to offer Property from the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon. The more than 2,000 individual items on offer in the November auction series are drawn from the Mellons’ residences in the United States and abroad, and were acquired over a lifetime. Proceeds from the sales will benefit The Gerard B. Lambert Foundation, a charitable entity established by Mrs. Mellon in memory of her father. The Foundation supports horticultural and educational endeavors.
The auctions will commence on 10 November with an evening sale dedicated to a curated selection of Mrs. Mellon’s fine art, which encapsulates her sophisticated eye and approach to collecting. The pieces on offer in the Masterworks auction span four centuries, and include incredible paintings by Mark Rothko, Richard Diebenkorn, Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder, Winslow Homer, Georgia O’Keeffe and Edward Hopper.
Sotheby’s will present Mrs. Mellon’s collection of Jewels & Objects of Vertu in a dedicated auction that will reflect her close relationships with the designers she loved: pieces from Verdura, Schlumberger and Givenchy appear in the collection, as well period jewels from Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Black Starr & Frost. A magnificent and rare Fancy Vivid Blue pear-shaped diamond — its color reminiscent of the Hope Diamond — leads the sale.
The series will culminate in a three-day Interiors sale from 21 – 23 November, offering fine art, furniture, porcelain, silver, glassware, decoration and more from the Mellons’ residences, providing an intimate portrait of their daily lives.
Auction 10 November
Sotheby’s will offer a curated selection of important fine art from the collection in a dedicated evening auction on 10 November. Ranging from 17th-century still lifes through to masterpieces of the 20th century, the incredible breadth and depth of Mrs. Mellon’s fine art reveals her ultimate connoisseurship, and an approach to collecting and living with works across styles and genres that is increasingly rare. The Masterworks auction is led by Mark Rothko’s Untitled (Yellow, Orange, Yellow, Light Orange) from 1955, which captures the ephemeral magic of daybreak estimate $20/30 million). The work belongs to the most pivotal moment in the artist’s career – he painted only 22 works in this pinnacle year, thirteen of which reside in prestigious museum collections. The collection also offers Rothko’s Untitled from 1970, classified as the penultimate painting in the artist’s prodigious oeuvre (estimate $15/20 million). Both works have remained in the Mellons’ collection for more than 40 years. The sale offers three monumental canvases from Richard Diebenkorn’s famed Ocean Park series, each acquired by the Mellons in the 1970s shortly after they were created. Old Master Paintings from the collection are led by Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder’s Still Life (estimate $3/4 million), and the American Art includes works by Winslow Homer, Georgia O’Keeffe and Edward Hopper.
JEWELS & OBJECTS OF VERTU
Auction 20 & 21 November
Mrs. Mellon’s personal jewels and objects of vertu reflect her close relationships with the designers she loved: pieces from Verdura, Schlumberger and Givenchy appear in the collection, as well period jewels from Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Black Starr & Frost. A magnificent and rare Fancy Vivid Blue pear-shaped diamond – its color reminiscent of the Hope Diamond – paired with an important Fancy Blue Diamond anchor the collection, which also offers an exquisite Diamond Rivière by Cartier, the tapered line of diamonds completed by a Fancy Deep Yellow diamond clasp. In addition
to these pieces, the auction will include an attractive array of wearable daytime jewels, gold accessories and objects of vertu, both modern and antique.
Auction 21–23 November
The Interiors auction will offer fine art, furniture, porcelain, silver, glassware, decoration and more from Mrs. Mellon’s residences in the United States and abroad, which together provide a rare window into an era of collecting, living and entertaining that has since passed. Her love of horticulture is evident throughout the collection, including the significant selection of rare porcelain in vegetable, fruit and botanical forms, by celebrated makers such as Chelsea and Meissen. Her
English and French furniture – often painted, echoing the signature wood floors of her Oak Spring Farms residence – exudes the understated elegance of the Mellons’ life, and was arranged always to take advantage of their spectacular surroundings in any given location. Mrs. Mellon’s close relationships with designers and artists are demonstrated again throughout the Interiors sale, from several works created by her longtime friend Diego Giacometti to linens bearing a custom design by Givenchy.