PROPERTY FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF MATTHEW SCHUTZ
The following group of French furniture and works of art was all formerly in the collection of Matthew Schutz, one of the last of a distinguished generation of private dealers in this field. From a small town in Iowa, he initially trained to be a lawyer at Georgetown, but soon realized that his true love was for the glories of the ancien régime, the golden age of the French decorative arts and architecture. He subsequently moved to New York and in 1960 founded Matthew Schutz Ltd. He always tried to follow the advice given to him when a young man by the legendary Paris dealer Gaston Ben-Simon, 'Never buy things with your ears, buy them with your eyes'.
He dazzled an international jetset clientele (and museums such as the J. Paul Getty Museum) with the opulent mise en scène of his magnificent 1912 John Russell Pope mansion on Park Avenue, whose rooms were filled with an elegant profusion of furniture, oriental porcelain, pictures and tapestries. In many ways the richness of his taste mirrored that of one of his most celebrated clients and closest friends, Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan, two of whose pieces are included in the sale as lots 73 and 78.
His philosophy of dealing is perhaps best summarised by his own words: when asked in an interview in 1985 how he enjoyed working with collectors, he responded,
'It is a great treat, because the interaction between the dealer and the collector is truly productive. The reason is that a dealer, driven by a clientele that wants exquisite, extraordinary things, buys better things. One has the reason to hunt for and to pay for the most remarkable things one can find. That's what we try to do.'
MID-18TH CENTURY, POSSIBLY GERMAN OR ITALIAN