An interior view of the Deane Johnson residence, Bel Air, in which the pair of bed-steps (lot 1098 in this sale) and the Fragonard, la Charette des Roses (to be offered January 26, 2005) are visible
Afternoon Session 2:00 PM
KATE EDELMAN JOHNSON
Property from the Collection of the late Deane F. Johnson sold to benefit the Johnson Charitable Remainder Unitrust and the Deane F. Johnson Alzheimer's Research Foundation
The name Deane F. Johnson evokes one of the finest collections of 18th Century French furniture and decorative arts formed in the mid-20th century. The pieces in the current sale are a judicious assemblage of European furniture and objets d'art acquired from some of the foremost dealers working in the mid-20th century, such as Rosenberg & Stiebel, Ramsay, and Etienne Levy. A classic group of mainly French furniture of the Louis XV and Louis XVI periods, the collection ranges from the crisply carved menuiserie of the Louis XVI giltwood consoles , and the richly inlaid Louis XV floral marquetry commode, to a fine pair of Directoire ormolu candlesticks.
Part of the collection was sold in a landmark auction in 1972 and featured exceptional pieces including a console by Jean-Henri Riesener from Queen Marie Antoinette's Cabinet Intérieur at Versailles, for many years the most expensive piece of French furniture ever sold, and a magnificent porcelain-mounted secretaire by Adam Weisweiler, originally in Empress Maria Feodorovna's boudoir at Pavlovsk Palace.
It was Deane Johnson's consummate taste and extraordinary choices which shaped the collection and included the finest examples of 18th and 19th century European art. He spent countless hours visiting museums, exhibitions, galleries and collections studying and comparing the works of artists he was interested in acquiring for his growing collection. In addition to furniture, he was particularly fond of the English watercolors, which he started collecting in 1979.
Deane was a classic Renaissance man: an eminent lawyer, a successful producer, a philanthropist and an environmentalist, a rancher and a gardener, a connoisseur and a collector. Passionate about horses, dogs and roses, it is not surprising to see that these subjects are represented throughout this collection. His personal rule was to purchase only those works to which he had an emotional response, and for this reason the entire collection gave him enormous pleasure throughout his life. Proceeds from this sale will benefit the Deane F. Johnson Alzheimer's Research Foundation, which was stablished by his widow, Kate Edelman Johnson in 1999, following his heroic battle with the disease. Her hope is to find a prevention and a cure for Alzheimer's disease so that others will be spared this "equal opportunity destroyer."
Further property from the collection will be sold in the forthcoming sales: 19th Century European Art (Rockefeller Center, October 27th ), British Art on Paper (King Street, November 18th), The House Sale (Rockefeller Center, January 11, 2005) and Old Master Paintings Rockefeller Center, January 26, 2005).
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE LATE DEANE F. JOHNSON SOLD TO BENEFIT THE JOHNSON CHARITABLE REMAINDER UNITRUST AND THE DEANE F. JOHNSON ALZHEIMER'S RESEARCH FOUNDATION (LOTS 1051-1137)