On Thursday, June 14, Christie’s is pleased to offer A San Francisco Iconoclast: Henry Africa’s Magnificent Tiffany Collection, comprising seven beautifully crafted leaded glass lamps valued at $2 million. Originator of the “fern bar” concept, Norman Jay Hobday opened the bar Henry Africa’s at the corners of Polk and Broadway, (later moved to Van Ness and Vallejo) in San Francisco. The décor of a “fern bar” was defined by its hanging fern planters, warm lighting and comfortable antique furnishings which transformed the bar scene into a safe place to socialize for the growing ranks of young urban professionals at the dawn of the 1970s. He officially took the name of the bar as his own and over the next five decades, opened several equally eclectic dining and drinking establishments, including Eddie Rickenbacker’s, which opened in 1987 in San Francisco’s financial district. Africa decorated Rickenbacker’s with several of his beloved collections: vintage motorcycles, model trains, Venetian glass chandeliers and superb Tiffany lamps.
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