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Property from the Estate of Brooke Astor totals $18.8 million at Sotheby's in New York
A group of five seated porcelain dogs that belonged to the late philanthropist Brooke Astor. AP Photo/Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s New York auction of Property from the Estate of Brooke Astor concluded this evening with an impressive total of $18,828,109 million. The sale had already exceeded its low estimate after the first of four sessions on Monday, and by early Tuesday morning it had already surpassed its high of $9.7 million. A remarkable 95% of the 901-lot auction was sold, as buyer’s competed for paintings, drawings, Chinese works of art, furniture and decorative art from Mrs. Astor’s New York City and Westchester residences, as well as jewelry from her personal collection.

The auction’s proceeds will benefit a number of charitable organizations selected by Mrs. Astor 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.

778 Park Avenue – New York, New York
Monday’s sessions featured property from Mrs. Astor’s iconic duplex apartment in the Rosario Candela-designed building at Park Avenue and 73rd street. The day offered a wide array of fine and decorative art – evidence of Mrs. Astor’s many travels and diverse interests – with 19th century paintings, old master drawings, and Chinese works of art commanding top prices along with porcelain, silver, French and English furniture and more. A chic giltwood box from the apartment’s sitting room demonstrated bidders’ keen interest in owning a piece of Mrs. Astor’s celebrated taste, soaring above its $400 estimate to sell for $21,250.

Lot 45 – From the library
John Frederick Lewis
A Memlook Bey, Egypt
Estimate $300/500,000
Sold for $1,594,500

Lot 143 – From the drawing room
Giovanni Antoni Canal, Called Canaletto
Capriccio with the Loggetta of Sansovino
as portico of an imaginary gothic tower
Estimate $300/500,000
Sold for $1,202,500

Lot 367 – From the master bedroom
Two Unusual Chinese Famille-Rose Gilt Decorated Boxes and Covers
Qianlong Mark and Period
Estimate $10/15,000
Sold for $494,500

Lot 159 – From the dining room
A Rare and Unusual Pair of Chinese Export Famille-Rose Baluster Cases and Covers
Qing Dynasty, circa 1740
Estimate $80/120,000
Sold for $200,500

Holly Hill – Briarcliff Manor, New York
Tuesday’s sessions began with property from Mrs. Astor’s beloved stone manor Holly Hill, set on more than 60 acres in Westchester County. As was the case on Monday, buyer’s competed fiercely for Chinese works of art and distinguished fine art, along with fine ceramics, furniture and more. Many of Mrs. Astor’s famous collection of dog paintings were offered in this session – together the 73 lots brought a grand total of $816,130, more than double their overall high estimate of $327,800.

Lot 626 – From the ‘Philosopher’s Room’
A Chinese Famille-Vert Octagonal Jardiniere
Kangxi Mark and Period (1662-1722)
Estimate $20/30,000
Sold for $410,500

Lot 492 – From the sitting room
Maurice Brazil Prendergast
Low Tide [Figures and Rocks]
Estimate $150/250,000
Sold for $290,500

Lot 495 – From the sitting room
An Important Imperial Chinese Gilt-Bronze Lion Clock Stand
Qianlong Period (1736-1795)
Estimate $180/220,000
Sold for $266,500

Jewelry from the Personal Collection of Brooke Astor
The auction concluded Tuesday evening with a selection of jewelry from Mrs. Astor’s personal collection, which featured many of the most coveted items in the sale. All of the 64 lots were sold, totaling an impressive $5.7 million– multiples above their $2 million high estimate – and with spirited bidding for beautiful signed jewels by Van Cleef & Arpels, Verdura, David Webb and more, as well as her signature emerald and diamond pieces. Mrs. Astor’s stunning emerald engagement ring was the top lot of the group, selling for a remarkable $1,202,500 to applause.

Lot 898
A Platinum, Emerald and Diamond Ring
The modified emerald-cut emerald weighing 22.84 carats
Estimate $100/150,000
Sold for $1,202,500

Lot 900
A Platinum, 18 Karat Gold, Emerald and Diamond Necklace, Bulgari, 1959
Centering a flexible composition of 13 emerald drops weighing approximately 71.00 carats, further enhanced with 14 cabochon emeralds weighing approximately 41.00 carats accented by 14 marquis-shaped diamonds weighing approximately 8.50 carats, set throughout with numerous round diamonds weighing approximately 50.00 carats
Estimate $250/350,000
Sold for $686,500

Lot 897
A Platinum and Diamond Ring, Van Cleef & Arpels, New York, 1963
Set with two round diamonds weighing 5.22 carats and 5.71 carats
Estimate $200/250,000
Sold for $614,500

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