PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF
If one is free in one's thinking, one has so much more fun with decorating- Michael Taylor
The collection of furniture, paintings, paintings and objects of art offered here was assembled for the San Francisco society hostess with the help of the legendary California decorator Michael Taylor.
The Dollar's home on Vallejo Street was one of Taylor's final projects, capping a star-studded thirty year career for stellar clients that included David Geffen and Nan Kempner. Taylor combined natural materials such as twigs and stone with oversized white and concrete furniture set in the trademark white interiors that epitomized the eclectic California style of decorating. Taylor's own guest room included a massive four poster bed made of alder logs, while one client, Mrs. Dollar's sister-in-law Diana Knowles, was alarmed to receive a coffee table made from a piece of rock weighing 2,500 pounds as a housewarming present from Taylor for the house in Lake Tahoe he was decorating for her! The Dollar's garden room is a characteristically rich Michael Taylor mélange with extraordinary painted metal trees from the fabled decorator Elsie de Wolfe's Villa Trianon and originally used for her celebrated Circus Ball in 1938. A set of four of these trees, (estimate: $6,000-$8,000 per pair) provide an amusing counterfoil to the pair of George II giltwood tree-form console tables in the manner of Thomas Johnson (one of a later date, estimate $40,000-$60,000). Michael Taylor bought the 18th century example for Mrs. Dollar at Christie's Luttrellstown House sale in 1983 and his studio had the later copy made. All this stands in front of a backdrop a pair of huge Flemish school oil paintings of birds (estimate: $25,000-$35,000) and a pair of Italian floral still lifes (estimate: $10,000-$15,000).
The interiors of the Dollar House with many of the pieces (including the Elsie de Wolfe suite offered here) appear in a number of articles celebrating Michael Taylor's decorating style, notably Dorothea Walker, "Taylor-Made," House and Garden, February 1991, pp. 107-113.
Other highlights of this rich pot pourri created by Taylor for Mrs. Dollar include a pair of Italian white marble figures after Canova of Danzodice and Terpsichore (estimate: $10,000-$15,000), a set of three Empire white-painted tabourets with Imperial inventory marks by Louis-François Bellangé (estimate: $10,000-$15,000), and a pair of ormolu-mounted rock crystal nine-light candelabra carved with sphinxes and lions, also from the Luttrellstown sale (estimate: $30,000-$50,000). The collection is a fitting epitaph to Michael Taylor (who died in 1986), once dubbed by Cecil Beaton 'the best decorator in the United States'.