PROPERTY FROM THE WILLIAM S. PALEY COLLECTION (Lots 140-156)
'He is to American broadcasting as Carnegie was to steel, Ford to automobiles, Luce to publishing, and Ruth to baseball,' wrote The New York Times of William S. Paley, television's greatest tycoon. From a handful of radio stations he built CBS, the 'Tiffany Network' of Murrow and Cronkite, Lucille Ball and Jack Benny, and introduced shows that left a mark on American life. With his wife, Babe, who defined glamour for three decades, and with the help of such legendary decorators as Stéphane Boudin, Billy Baldwin and Sister Parish and Albert Hadley, among others, they created some of the most dazzling interiors of the second half of the 20th century.
Furniture and works of art from the Paley Collection will also be sold in the Important European Furniture sale on 21 October. Paintings and sculpture from the Collection will be sold in the November and December Impressionist, Post-War and Contemporary and American Paintings and Antiquities sales.
The Paley's Fifth Avenue duplex and both country houses, Manhasset and later Southampton, Long Island, included an eclectic mix of serious paintings and whimsical decorative objects, both Western and Asian all combined with both understatement and bold colours and textures. Befitting a center for the most glamorous gatherings, the New York apartment was cosmopolitan and yet comfortable. The walls of the Salon, severe, pared down Louis-XVI style panelling based on a room in the Hôtel Carnavalet in Paris, were painted a vivid high-gloss yellow.
Originally a theatre, the Southampton home, Four Fountains, had been converted in 1942 by Archibald and Eleanor Brown of the McMillen decorating firm. For Mr. Paley, Sister Parish decorated the vast rooms as an elegant but informal gathering place. These eclectic interiors displayed many fine pieces of English and French furniture all with a great sense of style, luxury and even humour. The English Furniture sale includes a large, varied and delightful group of Georgian, Regency and Victorian furniture, together with Russian, Italian, Anglo-Indian and Chinese pieces. The Régence mirror and the impressive late Louis XV ebony and scarlet-lacquer commode; together with a small group of important Meissen and French porcelain, will be included in the European Furniture sale.