RELEASE: CHRISTIE’S CELEBRATES THE LEGACY OF SAN FRANCISCO DESIGN

New York

The Collection of Anthony Hail and Charles Posey

Michael Taylor and the Alchemy of Design: The Diana Dollar Knowles Collection

New York – This October, Christie’s is honored to celebrate the legacy of San Francisco design with two exquisitely assembled collections, kicking off with The Collection of Anthony Hail and Charles Posey on October 8, and followed by Michael Taylor and the Alchemy of Design: The Diana Dollar Knowles Collection on October 22. The first collection was cultivated by Anthony Hail for the Pacific Heights apartment he shared with his partner, Charles Posey. The second was the result of a longtime collaboration between Michael Taylor and Diana Dollar Knowles, a central figure of San Francisco society.

Both collections present an assemblage of furniture, fine art and decorative objects that embody the spirit of San Francisco’s “Golden Age of Design,” which was defined by Hail and Taylor with their landmark aesthetics. Although they were quite varied in style, Hail reimagining patrician traditionalism for the 20th century, and Taylor developing the airy “California look,” both designers were enormously influential in the establishment of San Francisco as the design community that it is today. Their legacy lives on through the legions of contemporary designers that are inspired by Hail and Taylor, counting among them Steven Volpe and Suzanne Tucker, Tucker having written the introduction to the Diana Dollar Knowles Collection catalogue. The auctions being presented this October are a testament to the extraordinary tastes of these remarkable designers and their talent for artfully envisioning interiors. Both sales offer a wide range of objects and estimates, and all lots with estimates under $5,000 will be sold without reserve.

Ellanor Notides, Managing Director, San Francisco, remarked: We are incredibly excited to revisit a golden age in San Francisco design, and the remarkable impact that Hail and Taylor had on our City, with these two superb collections. These sales are an homage to the evolution of the San Francisco aesthetic, and the people and collaborations that have informed the way we think about design today.”

Arbiters of Style: The Collection of Anthony Hail and Charles Posey

The Collection of Anthony Hail and Charles Posey encompasses 234 lots with an eclectic and seamless mix of objects, furniture and works of art, the collection comprises European furniture, spectacular Russian chandeliers, Chinese works of art, Lamps from Billy Baldwin and Old Master paintings among other things. Each lot within the sale was meticulously chosen by Posey and Hail to fill and form their home, demonstrating the timeless aesthetic of a well-informed combination of styles and time periods. Hail effectively rose to icon status within the design world in the 1960’s, when he spent much of his time with Andy Warhol, Truman Capote and David Hicks, whom he often entertained at home. The apartment was absolutely representative of a life well lived, demonstrating Hail’s renowned sensibility, which was formal yet tremendously livable.  

DAVID HICKS, On ANTHONY HAIL:

One of the most enchanting small apartments I know was created by Anthony Hail ten years ago in San Francisco.…What was so special about this room was the utter simplicity of no color, the quality of the few pieces of furniture, and the total lack of pretentiousness. The rarity of the few decorative objects gave this an almost sanctuary-like atmosphere, particularly rare at that time. It was in strict contrast to all other decoration in America then. 

Michael Taylor and the Alchemy of Design: The Diana Dollar Knowles Collection

On October 22nd, Christie’s will present the Michael Taylor and the Alchemy of Design: The Diana Dollar Knowles Collection. The strength of the collaboration between Diana Dollar Knowles and Michael Taylor is evident in the Knowles residences, each of which possesses timeless details that stem from Mrs. Knowles’ impeccable personal style and Taylor’s visionary talent. The collection contains approximately 300 works, which encompass European furniture, Asian works of art, fine porcelain and silver, ceramics by Pablo Picasso, contemporary art and botanical prints.

Few San Franciscans so fully embodied the inherent beauty and charm of their city as Diana Dollar Knowles. An icon of American chic for more than ninety years, she epitomized the refined, intellectual style that earned San Francisco the distinction as a “Paris of the West.” Mrs. Knowles was widely recognized as an arbiter of style, “one of the grandest dames in San Francisco Society,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Michael Taylor’s chief mission was to create interiors best suited for each individual client. Among his most loyal San Francisco clients were Gorham and Diana Knowles. Taylor collaborated closely with Knowles on each commission, resulting in an especially close design partnership. The results of this collaboration were some of the Bay Area’s most stylish interiors.

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi, 2017), for a single collection sale (the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, 2018), and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019).

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

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