Doyle will begin the New Year with the auction of The Noel and Harriette Levine Collection on Wednesday, January 17 at 10am. This remarkable collection comprises important English furniture and decorations from the Levine’s elegant home on Park Avenue and their country house in Bedford, New York.
Furniture highlights include a handsome pair of George II walnut armchairs that once formed part of a larger suite at Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire, England. Wimpole Hall was altered by the Palladian architect Henry Flitcroft, who created a sixty-foot long gallery in the west wing in 1742, about the same time that the chairs would have been created (est. $250,000-350,000).
An important George III cabinet is another highlight of Collection. The form is described as a 'China Cabinet' by Thomas Chippendale in The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker's Director of 1754, which illustrates several examples (est. $100,000-200,000).
Certain to attract attention are a pair of Chinese export polychrome-decorated clay nodding head figures measuring 21 inches in height. The first known example of similar figures appears in a European 1777 inventory, where they are described as “china dolls.” They illustrate the incredible fascination that Europeans had for Chinese objects and helped to educate them about Chinese life and society (est. $40,000-60,000).
Generous patrons of the arts, Noel and Harriette Levine were longtime donors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, both of which have galleries named in their honor. They donated their extensive and renowned collection of Photographs to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, whose Photography Department bears their name.
Mr. Levine served as Board Member and Trustee to a number of cultural and arts organizations, including serving as Chairman of the National Trustees of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC. Mrs. Levine was active in the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies. This non-profit, non-partisan organization is dedicated to enhancing the United States’ image abroad through contributions of American art to our embassies around the world.
The Levine Collection was assembled by a consummate connoisseur. Mrs. Levine was a stylish and sophisticated interior designer, who possessed a discerning eye for quality and had unerring judgement in her choice of the best, whether it be furnishings or jewelry.
Jewelry from The Noel and Harriette Levine Collection offers a dazzling array of creations by such prestigious makers as Van Cleef & Arpels, David Webb and Cartier. Jewelry and Fine Watches will be offered in the sales of Fine Jewelry on February 20 and Important Jewelry on April 24.
The public is invited to the exhibition on view January 12 through 15. Doyle is located at 175 East 87th Street in Manhattan. View the catalogue and bid online at Doyle.com