Adolphus Andrews Jr. and his wife of 69 years, Emily Taylor Andrews, were a devoted couple and represented a bygone era of old world elegance. Known as Dolph and Emmy to their friends, they presided over San Francisco society from their glittering Pacific Heights townhouse. Their historic roots in America were deep: Emmy’s mother’s family came to California with the Gold Rush and founded the lumber company Pope and Talbot while her father’s family, the Taylors, owned the Boston Globe until 1973. Dolph’s grandfather founded a real estate business in Dallas following the Civil War.
Dolph and Emmy shared a love of art, and filled their house full of treasures from Europe and the East, under the guidance of the celebrated California interior designers Michael Taylor and Anthony Hail. Many of these treasures were acquired on buying trips to London and Paris, where they were regular guests at Claridges and the Hôtel Crillon, interspersed with shoots at Burghley and Blenheim Palace, when Dolph would delight his ducal hosts with his particularly colorful Savile Row tweed suits.
They were passionate supporters of San Francisco cultural institutions, particularly the de Young Museum and the Palace of the Legion of Honor, and would have an annual dinner hosting many of the dealers showing at the fabled San Francisco Antiques Show. Emmy had spent summers as a child with her grandmother at Lake Tahoe and introduced Dolph to the magic of this unique place. They were instrumental in founding the first fund raiser for the League to Save Lake Tahoe in 1969, which rapidly became a social institution every August with dazzling fashion shows by Oscar de la Renta.
Lots 28 - 42 reflect the joie de vivre of the Andrews collection and Dolph’s singular taste. He would delight in ordering the latest creations from various houses, and had a particular affinity and love for the creations of Fulco di Verdura and Jean Schlumberger. The Andrews collection is rich in its variety of jewels, with a particular focus on color and whimsical design. Rounding out the collection is a superb ‘Mystery-Set’ sapphire and diamond bracelet, particularly unusual in design and reflective of the genius of Van Cleef & Arpels. The decorative arts, including English and European furniture, and a rich selection of gold boxes and objects de vertu, will be sold at Christie’s in early 2024.
An elegant, charming and daring designer, Verdura was the darling of both Hollywood and the international society crowd. Born in 1898 and christened Fulco Santostefano della Cerda, the Duke of Verdura, he was the only son of an eccentric Sicilian family. Their home in Palermo with its lush tropical gardens, trips to the beach, and numerous family pets was an ideal setting for a creative child like Fulco. With the death of his father in 1919 and subsequent inheritance, he spent the following years exploring Europe.
In 1926, Verdura went to Paris and began to work for Coco Chanel as a textile designer. She recognized his talent and quickly enlisted him to redesign her outmoded jewelry. The now iconic Maltese cross cuff bracelets they created together were typical of his bold designs. Verdura continued on as Chanel’s head jewelry designer for six years.
He left Europe for America in 1934 and toured the states making business connections. He began designing jewelry for Paul Flato and amassed a loyal following in Hollywood including Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth, Katherine Hepburn, and Millicent Rogers.
After five years of working for Flato, Verdura returned to New York and with the financial support of Vincent Astor and encouragement from his close friend, Cole Porter, opened his own business on Fifth Avenue. Despite the turbulent war overseas, the boutique was a huge success. Jewels composed of charming animals, whimsical winged hearts, and flora and fauna-inspiration became sought after by jewelry collectors. These designs and striking use of color captured an unconventional glamour that was highly sought after by patrons including Diana Vreeland and Betsey Cushing Whitney. Today, the tradition of Verdura’s creations continue to be produced by the firm’s owners, Ward and Nico Landrigan.