Millea Bros. auction May 11-13 features contents of Southern plantation

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Johan Jacob Bennetter (Norway, 1822-1904), ‘Arab Slaves Leading Cargo,’ oil on canvas, signed and dated ‘J. Bennetter – 16/2 1867,’ 38in x 58in (sight). Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Millea Bros. image


BOONTON, N.J. – Millea Bros. will present new-to-auction collection of single-owner estates and select consignments on May 11, 12 and 13. The bi-yearly Select Sale gleans the finest, rarest or most interesting objects into a three-day auction happening. Topping the bill are American and European furnishings and fine art from Palmetto Hall: The Jay P. Altmayer Family Collection. Absentee and Internet bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

This notable collection features over 200 lots of classical French and English furnishings and decorative objects, an impressive group of 19th/20th century garden furnishings including life-size iron statuary from the Alexandre Durenne Foundry (lots 2005, 2013, 2019), a selection of presidential related art and design including an early 19th century marble bust (lot 3183) and painted portrait of George Washington (lot 3182), and pieces of White House China from various administrations.


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Life-size antique cast-iron garden figure, 19th/20th century, France, Alexandre Durenne Foundry, 70in high. Estimate: $2,500-$3,500. Millea Bros. image


There is also a fine and important collection of Southern pre- and post-antebellum oil paintings (lots 3229-3255). Once housed in the elegant Palmetto Hall estate in Mobile Alabama, this collection offers an unparalleled glimpse into the refined glamour of the old South.

Also on view is an astonishing group of artwork and photography from the estate of Rosamond Bernier. Starting as a Vogue writer in the 1940s, and later as founder and publisher of L’Oeil , an influentail French magazine of the Arts, Bernier and her husband, New York Times art critic John Russell, formed intimate friendships with a Who’s Who of the European art world. Many pieces up for sale are gifts from the artists with touching dedications attesting to the depth of friendship. Highlights include original signed artworks by Max Ernst (lot 1120), Fernand Leger (lot 2063), Simon-Albert Bussy (lot 1179), Pierre Alechinsky (lots 1138, 1140), Edourd Vuillard (2128) and others. The Bernier collection also includes an important group of photographs by and of her artist friends including rare works by Henri Cartier-Bresson of Henri Matisse (lots 1203 and 1204), John Deakin and John Edwards photos of Francis Bacon (lots 1207 and 1208), a trove of 1940s silver gelatin photographs by Vogue photographer Clifford Coffin (lots 105, 1214, 1220), and portraits by Man Ray (lots 1209, 1212), Hans Namuth, and Jan Parik documenting Europe and the avante-garde during its golden age.


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Ed Ruscha, (American, b. 1937), ‘Sin,’ 1970, color screenprint, pencil signed and numbered (78/150), 13.5in x 22in (sight). Estimate: $5,000-$7,000. Millea Bros. image


A special section of the sale is dedicated to the high-fashion wardrobe of socialite Anne Lichtblau. These 100 lots serve as a preview to the fashion and jewelry auction we are hosting in June. Highlights include a pristine Hermes Birken bag (below), a large selection of Louis Vuitton luggage, and unique and barely worn couture and custom footwear from Maggie Norris, Chanel, Balmain, Tuleh, Valentino, Louboutin and a host of other International fashion houses (lots 1283-1383).


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Hermes Birkin 35 Sauge Clemence handbag, pristine condition, 2007, palladium hardware, 11in high x 14in w x 7in deep. Estimate: $6,000-$9,000. Millea Bros. image


The auction is rounded out by a group of notable pieces from various estates, including a Faberge jewel encrusted presentation obelisk (lot 1235), a unique custom-made Tiffany Arts & Crafts sterling serving tray commissioned by an infamous robber baron financier (lot 1263) and a group of early 19th century Agra school architectural drawings of the Taj Mahal, deaccessioned from the Ford Foundation art collection (lots 3099-3107).


Millea Bros.

Pair Tiffany Studios (attrib.) bronze wall sconces, circa 1910, American, bronze-framed Favrile glass tile chainmail shade suspended over patinated bronze fittings, unsigned. Estimate: $5,000-$7,000. Millia Bros. image


For further information call Millea Bros. at 973-377-1500.