LOS ANGELES, CA.- Bonhams & Butterfields
is pleased to announce the March 29, 2010 auction of Fine Furniture and Decorative Arts. The 500-lot Los Angeles auction features an array European furnishings from the 16th through the 20th century, with a focus on English, French, Italian, Spanish and German works. Highlights on offer include select property from the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Z. Wick, Los Angeles, California as well as a strong array of more than 30 clocks by prominent makers.
"Bonhams & Butterfields is pleased to feature property from the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. Wick, Los Angeles, California, within the March auction. The couple's passion for collecting fine European furniture and decorative arts is represented by the items they painstakingly selected for their Holmby Hills house," said Andrew Jones, Los Angeles Director of European Furniture and Decorative Arts at Bonhams & Butterfields.
Charles Z. Wick was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1917. He earned a Bachelor's degree in music from the University of Michigan in 1940 and a law degree in 1943 from what is now known as Case Western Reserve University.
Wick worked his way through college using his musical skills as a bandleader, drawing the attention of Tommy Dorsey, who brought him to California. After a short stint in New York City with the William Morris Agency, Wick returned to California and began to produce television shows, including Fabian of the Yard an early detective series shot in England, and films, which include Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961).
His wife, Mary Jane Wick was born Mary Jane Woods in 1924, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. One of three children, she adored large families and dreamt of having her own someday. She moved to California in 1945 to begin her career in show business. In Hollywood Mary Jane Woods developed a keen appreciation of the arts and desire to help others though philanthropic work.
Charles Wick met Mary Jane Woods, while they were both working the entertainment industry. They wed in 1948 and began their life together. The couple had many interests. Together they collected the finest European and American paintings, furniture and decorative arts and filled their Holmby Hills house with treasures. The most important treasures the Wicks added to their home were five children, which they adored.
Doting parents, the Wicks were very involved in the lives of their children. In 1959 while running the hot dog booth at their children's school fair, the couple met Ronald and Nancy Reagan. The friendship led to Wick's involvement raising funds for Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign. Following the election, Wick co-chaired the 1981 inaugural committee and served as an adviser to the President-elect.
Under Reagan, Wick went to Washington D.C. to serve as Director of the United States Information Agency (USIA), which was the home for the American government's international information and broadcasting from 1953 to 1999.In 1986, the Washington Post described him as "the most influential USIA director since the late Edward R. Murrow during the Kennedy administration." Throughout his career, Wick held positions including venture capitalist, real estate investor and movie producer, but his true passions in life were his beloved family and the home and the collection he shared with them.
Throughout their life together as a family, the Wicks became heavily involved in the arts and philanthropic efforts. Aside from their personal collection of fine and decorative arts from their Holmby Hills, California home, Mr. and Mrs. Wick were instrumental in raising funds for the Veterans Conservancy, Los Angeles, California, Ford Theater, Washington, D.C. and the Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, California among other charitable causes.
In remembering Mr. and Mrs. Wick, a family friend recalls: "Charles and I used to take daily walks around our neighborhood. He was an accomplished man, but we never discussed his business dealings, political ties or charitable work. When the conversation turned to life success, Charles told me that his greatest accomplishments were his children and the home that he and his wife had created for them."
Highlights from the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Z. Wick featured in the March 29, 2010 sale include a stunning marquetry and parquetry inlaid writing table (est. $2,500-3,500) and a handsome Italian Neoclassical fruitwood credenza (est. $2,000-3,000) from the couple's Holmby Hills, California home.
Additional works of note within the spring auction include a robust selection of English, French, Italian, Spanish and German property from the 16th through the 20th centuries. An impressive 117-inch French gilt bronze mounted marble regulateur (est. $70,000-90,000); a fine Regence style gilt bronze mounted marquetry regulateur (est. $50,000 - 70,000) and an Italian late Renaissance pietra dura panel (est. $40,000-60,000) are among the featured items.