MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — The Benefit Shop Foundation, Inc. will stage a Red Carpet Auction on June 16, starting at 10 am Eastern time, and the undeniable star of the show will be a life-size Harriet Whitney Frishmuth figural bronze. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
The bronze, which features a blue-green patina, is one of the artist’s most famous works, Crest of the Wave. The circa 1925 casting, estimated at $25,000 to $250,000, depicts a nude woman with windblown hair standing on tiptoe atop a cresting wave. The artist created this statue with the help of one of her favorite models, a Yugoslav-born dancer named Desha Podgorski. Also on offer in the sale is a 21 ½-in tall bronze version of the same work.
The life-size Frishmuth and the majority of items in the auction are property from F.W Woolworth’s Byron DeWitt Miller estate by family descent. Miller joined F.W. Woolworth as an errand boy in 1893 and thanks to his work ethic and initiative, he quickly climbed the corporate ladder to become one of the company’s youngest senior executives.
“Frishmuth’s bronzes, especially those of one of her favorite models, Desha, are quite desirable, and this is one of her most famous. The pose really captures the essence of dance and its arrested movement makes it quite appealing,” said Pam Stone, owner and founder of The Benefit Shop Foundation, Inc. “Miller was an ardent collector though and there are many striking items on offer here from his estate.”
The auction lineup ranges from a contemporary La D de Dior diamond and mother-of-pearl watch, estimated at $2,500-$10,000, to a bronze pair of circa-1928 Rocky Mountain goat bookends signed by Anna V. Hyatt Huntington, a noted sculptor of animal subjects. The bronze bookends are estimated at $5,000-$7,000.
Entertaining was a big part of the Miller family’s life, as evidenced by a set of 12 Herend Csung hand-painted dinner plates with the borders decorated in a pattern of Chinese figures framing a central figure. The set is estimated at $500-$2,000.
Rounding out the auction is a restored Bally Fireball vintage pinball machine, estimated at $500-$2,000, as well as a MCM B&B Italia Fat Sofa chair, upholstered in a bright chartreuse hue and estimated at $500-$2,000.
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