Impassioned bidding brought excitement to the Brooke Astor sale.


NEW YORK - Following an extraordinary two days, the Property from the Estate of Brooke Astor sale is finally behind us. The 901-lot offering drew consistent interest, with 95% of the eclectic collection finding buyers. The estate included drawings, paintings, furniture, Chinese works of art, and jewelry. The terrific response to the sale speaks to the memory of one of New York's most cherished personalities.

An Orientalist painting by John Frederick Lewis, A Memlook Bey, Egypt, brought an impressive $1.6 million, more than triple the presale high estimate. Over the course of two days, interest from buyers drove lot after lot beyond anything that could have been expected. Canaletto’s Capriccio with the Loggetta of Sansovino as Portico of an Imaginary Gothic Tower also soared over the million-dollar mark, finally selling for $1.2 million, double its presale high estimate.

Mrs. Astor’s collection was nothing if not far reaching. Among the many Chinese works of art that were offered, Two Unusual Chinese Famille-Rose Gilt Decorated Boxes and Covers from the Qianlong period sold for $494,500, more than thirty times their estimate, and a Chinese Famille-Verte Octagonal Jardiniere from the Kangxi period sold for $410,500, more than thirteen times its high estimate.

Proceeds from the sale will benefit a number of charitable organizations, which the philanthropic Mrs. Astor selected during her lifetime, including the New York Public Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Pierpont Morgan Library, and The Animal Medical Center of New York.