MADISON, N.J. (ACNI) – Mark and Michael Millea, partners in Millea Bros. Ltd., of Madison, N.J., have announced that over the weekend of May 1st, their firm will auction antiques, art and other personal property from the main residence at Duke Farms, once the home of heiress, philanthropist and conservationist Doris Duke (1912-1993).
The consignor is the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, whose grants support causes that were important to its founder: the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and child abuse prevention. The organization also preserves and protects the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties.
Millea’s auction will be held at the Morristown Armory in Morristown, N.J., with a preview tentatively scheduled for the day before the opening session. Approximately 650 lots will be offered, with the basic categories being traditional antiques, Asian works of art, including porcelains and jades; English sterling silver, Chinese and Persian carpets, 17th- to mid-20th-century furniture, and a sizable selection of fine lighting. Additionally, the sale is expected to include selected draperies and window treatments.
All articles included in the sale were in actual use in the elegant 60,000-square-foot home that Doris Duke chose as her principal residence. Duke inherited the 2,700-acre Duke Farms at age 12 upon the death of her father, tobacco and energy tycoon James Buchanan Duke. At age 14, she sought and won a court injunction against her mother, Nanaline Holt Inman Duke, which prevented Duke Farms from being sold.
Throughout her adult life, Doris Duke took pleasure in filling the home’s rambling interior with possessions that were a testament to her world view on art.
“She was a very international person who loved other cultures. It is apparent in her collection,” said Mark Millea. “She was ahead of her time with the Asian art and acquired some very interesting works.”
While the auction’s contents represent the flawless taste in antiques and art that one would expect of a very wealthy and well-traveled woman, there will be affordable items in the sale, as well. “There are things for the serious collector – such as French giltwood furnishings, a 17th-century Italian cassone and two Steinway grand pianos – and also very affordable upholstered chairs and household objects,” said Michael Millea.
A sampling of highlights cataloged so far includes:
* Gold monogrammed traveling dressing set by Morabito, Paris
* Pair Qing Dynasty jeweled gilt-metal botanical models
* Shooting gallery background by W.F. Mangels Co., Coney Island, N.Y.
* Two Art Deco period painted screens attributed to Boris Lovet-Lorski
* English silver box with mileage map of North America by Asprey & Co., London
* 19th-century Anglo-Irish cut-crystal 16-arm chandelier
* Sterling silver, enamel and jeweled terrestrial globe mapped with Grand Tour route
Michael Millea expressed delight over being chosen to deaccession Doris Duke’s personal property from the main residence at Duke Farms: “Millea Brothers is honored and excited to be given the opportunity to offer the personal property of such a legendary American figure,” he said. “Doris Duke’s discerning eye, adventurous spirit and fascination with Eastern cultures are reflected in the objects she surrounded herself with.”
Additional details on this important auction will be available to view soon on Millea’s Web site: www.milleabros.com. As always, LiveAuctioneers.com will provide the Internet live bidding service for the sale. To contact Millea Bros., call 973-377-1500 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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