S otheby’s dedicated sale of Ancient Sculpture & Works of Art includes a diverse selection of objects from the classical world, spanning from Egyptian sculpture to Greek pottery to classical marbles.
The sale is led by a group of collections including a selection of works from Axel Vervoordt Gallery, the Estate of Sara Roosevelt Wilford and a Belgian private collection.
Sotheby’s is pleased to present a group of ancient sculptures from the collection of Axel Vervoordt, chosen for their adherence to Vervoordt’s famed notion of distilled beauty. Vervoordt’s long-standing mission is to identify objects that connect the threads of the universal human experience, regardless of medium, date, and culture.
The selection of works offered here, be it a fragment of a left foot, architectural fragments, or a wood canopic chest, speaks to the shared aspects of humanity that bind us together.
Additionally, they are objects that are meant to bring this ethos into the home, as their accessible scale and price point present a unique opportunity for both new and seasoned collectors to live with works that have passed the “Vervoordt eye test.”
Sara Roosevelt Wilford (March 13, 1932-October 22, 2021), granddaughter of Eleanor and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was an educator known for her contributions to the field of early childhood development and education.
Her life intersected with some of the most notable names of American 20th century history. She was born to socialite and philanthropist Betsey Cushing Roosevelt Whitney (a noted art collector and benefactor of multiple medical institutions) and James Roosevelt. Mrs. Wilford’s adoptive father was John Hay “Jock” Whitney, a U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James in the Eisenhower administration, publisher of the New York Herald Tribune and, among many philanthropic endeavors, president of the Museum of Modern Art and Trustee of the Yale University Corporation. The young Sara Roosevelt married Anthony di Bonaventura, an acclaimed pianist and professor of music. Her second marriage was to Ronald Wilford, an impresario and President of Columbia Artists Management Inc. who was known as “classical music’s biggest power broker.”
Mrs. Wilford’s professional legacy was dedicated to connecting childhood development principles to educational practice. She received an M.S. Ed from Bank Street Teachers College and went on to become a professor at Sarah Lawrence College from 1982 to 2014. At Sarah Lawrence, Mrs. Wilford was a valued member of the community, where she directed the College’s Early Childhood Center and founded the Art of Teaching graduate program.
Sotheby’s is pleased to present a small but fine group of antiquities collected by Mrs. Wilford, which she lived with in her New York apartment until her death at the age of 89.