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Susannah McGovern
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Published: 28 November 2016

Freeman's to Offer The Forbes Collections December 14

No other name in recent American history conjures up the image of the skilled collector as readily as that of Malcolm Forbes. Over the course of his life, he amassed a collection of such breadth and depth that it filled a half-dozen residences on three continents. On December 14 Freeman's will be presenting The Forbes Collection, with items drawn from the houses on his two hundred-fifty square mile ranch in Colorado, palace in Tangier, mansion in London, island in Fiji, legendary yacht “The Highlander”, FORBES former headquarters at 60 Fifth Avenue and his beloved New Jersey estate “Timberfield.”

Senior Vice President and Division Head, Nicholas B.A. Nicholson remarks on the sale: "It has been a wonderful experience to work with this family of consummate collectors.  The Forbes family is truly happy to see these pieces head off to join or form new collections elsewhere.”

The Forbes Collection features significant works of art, contemporary photography, Western art, and modern design from noted artists. There are nine works by the photographer Irving Penn, eight of which are portraits, one being Penn’s expressive “Colette.”  The collection also features a chromatic seascape, “Au Board Du ‘Queen Mary’” by the rebound French Fauvist Raoul Dufy. Additional artists include Buck McCain, Bill SchenckHarry CallahanLucien Clergue, and Daniel Huntington.

Designer Piero Fornasetti is represented with a folding screen, bicycle, and a bureau, “Trumeau Architecttura,” another example of which sold at Freeman’s earlier in 2016 for $42,250. A Wendell Castle “goose desk” with a paneled top insert depicting silhouettes of flying geese will also be available.

In addition, the eclectic collection features boats, toy soldiers, dioramas and works of art from the Forbes Magazine Galleries. Furniture and decorative arts are represented, including a collection of Biedermeier furniture with examples by Joseph Danhauser, a selection of Iranian Imperial Armorial Ambassadorial dinner service pieces and hand-wrought table items in silver. There is also an amazing vermeil selection by innovative British silversmith Stuart Devlin whose works have a distinctly modern aesthetic, experimenting with both deeply organic and sharply angular forms.

A new generation of collectors are invited to take part in this one of a kind sale. The Forbes Collection is without rival in its unique array of art, furniture, and fine decorative objects. As Malcolm Forbes said in his book More Than I Dreamed- A Lifetime of Collecting, it was his wish that his children put the collections, “back on the auction block, so that other people can have the same fun and excitement that we did in amassing it.” Freeman’s is truly excited to offer works from The Forbes Collections, “So have fun and bid away!” encourages Kip Forbes, Forbes’ son.

Notable Lots in Freeman's December 14 American Forbes Collections Auction

  • A Märklin First Series tin clockwork model of the battleship USS New York, Estimate $30,000-50,000
  • A Fornasetti 'Trumeau Architettura', Piero Fornasetti  Estimate $20,000-$30,000
  • An Elizabeth II sterling silver Iranian Imperial Armorial Ambassadorial part dinner service Estimate $15,000-$20,000
  • Raoul Dufy, “Au Bord Du ‘Queen Mart’” Estimate $10,000-$15,000
  • Irving Penn, “Colette” Estimate $10,000-$15,000
  • Irving Penn, “Twisted Paper” Estimate $8,000-$12,000
  • An English walnut, curly maple, ebony, lacquer, and India ink "goose desk", Wendell Castle Estimate $8,000-$12,000
  • A fine Elizabeth II silver and silver-gilt 'Round Handle' pattern flatware service for eleven, Stuart Devlin Estimate $8,000-$12,000
  • Attributed to Gilbert Stuart, Portrait of a Gentleman Estimate $8,000-$12,000

View the Auction Catalogue

To be offered 12/14/16: An early Fornasetti 'Citta de Carte' and 'Bosco' printed folding screen; A Fornasetti 'Trumeau Architettura'; A Fornasetti malachite bicycle; A selection of Iranian Imperial Armorial Ambassadorial dinner service pieces (comprised of 4 lots) and silver and silver-gilt table items by designer Stuart Devlin (19 lots).

Forbes Collection

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