Just four days remain until Oct. 17, when the Waldorf Astoria Hotel auction will end.
It may take about that long to comb through the more than 80,000 items offered in the first-ever fire sale of one of New York’s—and the world’s—most prestigious hotels. After announcing a years-long renovation in 2017, Park Avenue’s landmark venue will be selling classical baroque and rococo French furniture from the Windsor Suite, the Cole Porter Suite, the Winston Churchill Suite, and the Marilyn Monroe suite, among others.
Kempinski, which has held estate sales for Oprah and for Martha Stewart, is leading the auction, which started online on Oct. 3. There’s something for everyone, provided everyone’s taste encompasses crystal chandeliers, porcelain eggs, brass sconces, Barbizon-style chairs, leather-bound books, and old photographs of celebrities, including Ella Fitzgerald, Conrad Hilton, Buddy Hackett, Gloria Vanderbilt, Elizabeth Taylor, and the Shah of Iran.
Plenty of the Waldorf haul is estimated in the thousands of dollars—but hundreds of notable lots could possibly be had for less than $1,000. (A pair of pug pillows, perhaps?) There’s so much inventory it took a team of a dozen movers six weeks to stage it all in a mall 40 miles outside Boston.
Here are 10 of the most intriguing items up for sale.
Cartier Electric Clock
Lot Number: 1,633Notes: Straight from the Presidential Suite, which hosted 16 presidents, the electric clock comes carved in burl walnut and measures 87 inches by 18.5 inches by 9 inches. It was made by hand in France. Estimate: $1,500–$2,500
Steinway & Sons Baby Grand Piano
Lot Number: 695Notes: The Steinway & Sons black ebony baby grand piano comes from the Saudi Arabian suite. It comes with the highly desirable Model M Steinway & Sons New York label and measures 38 by 67 by 57 inches.Estimate: $5,000–$8,000. (The current bid is $22,065)
Yamaha Conservatory Baby Grand Piano
Lot Number: 5,104Notes: Can’t bring yourself to ante up for the Steinway? Consider the 72-inch Yamaha instead. It’s from the 30th Floor Waldorf Tower suites and comes in black, with a small bench. Estimate: US$8,000–US$17,000
Indo Peshawar Palace Carpet
Lot Number: 1,050Notes: With a Sultanabad design in navy, rust, and cream, the carpet measures nearly 14 feet wide by 19 feet long.Estimate: US$2,000-US$3,000
Portrait of a Dog
Lot Number: 1,847Notes: An oil on canvas painting of an old-fashioned King Charles Spaniel next to a tree—one of the more distinctive paintings on offer.Estimate: US$600–US$1,200
Still Life of Fruit and Flowers
Lot Number: 1,977Notes: Oil on canvas, one of the better examples of the myriad oil paintings of flowers and food offered.Estimate: US$600–US$1,200
Exotic Folding Screen
Lot Number: 1,200Notes: A dark, wooden four-panel folding screen with a parrot and jungle motif; the panels are 18 inches wide.Estimate: US$200-US$300
Lot No: 9Notes: From the Marilyn Monroe Suite, the beveled mirror comes embossed in black, with gold trim and ribbon detail. It measures 38 inches by 30 inches.Estimate: US$100–US$150. (The current bid is US$480)
Pink Chair with Ottoman
Lot No: 11Notes: Covered in blush-pink silk, this scalloped chair with rounded back comes with a large, rectangular ottoman and a lumbar pillow with cream lace detail. From the Marilyn Monroe suite.Estimate: US$400–US$650. (The current bid is US$710)
Wicker Carriage Chest
Lot No: 5,096Notes: Direct from the Winston Churchill suite, it comes with travel labels, side handles, and metal clasps for further security. The dimensions measure 25 inches by 24 inches by 23 inches.Estimate: US$300–US$600