No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis
The following seven lots (81-87) are from the Ballroom commissioned in 1880 by the millionaire railroad owner Cornelius Vanderbilt II for his sumptuous Fifth Avenue Mansion, New York. Founded by Cornelius I, otherwise known as 'The Commodore', the vast family fortune was generated by ownership of the Great American Railroads of the late 19th century. This unprecedented accumulation of Industrial wealth led to opulent commissions to record, for time immemorial, this dynastic success. Indeed, the Vanderbilt family alone owned eleven manions on Fifth Avenue between 51st and 57th Street, each vying to outdo the others in size, spendour and magnificence. The sheer scale of operations is illustrated by the fact that over six hundred craftsmen were employed at Cornelius II's Mansion alone.
The Ballroom itself measured 68ft. by 55ft. by 16ft. and the design was inspired from the Louis XV panelling in the Hotel de Valois, Paris (now the Bank of France.)
The glamourous opulence of late 19th century New York was, however, sadly shortlived, and in 1929 the contents were put up for auction to enable the site to be redeveloped. Consequently the Ballroom was purchased by the famous theatre owner Marcus Loew, who employed the panelling as stage sets before selling them on to 20th Century Fox. The room was therefore transformed from being the setting for the most fashionable gatherings of New York society, playing host to both The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII, and King Albert of the Belgians, to becoming the backdrop for the glamourous world of 20th Century Hollywood. Among the many films featuring this room are the 'Titanic' (1953, starring Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Wagner) and 'Call Me Madam' (1953, starring Ethel Merman and George Sanders).