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Nicholas B. A. Nicholson
Senior Vice President | Division Head

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Published: 15 November 2016

Malcolm Forbes, The Consummate Collector

No other name in recent American history conjures up the image of a consummate collector as readily as Malcolm Forbes. Over the course of his life, he amassed a collection of such breadth and depth that it filled a half-dozen residences, and sat on three continents. Ranging from American art to Fabergé treasures, toys to Biedermeier furniture and decorative arts, and miniature rooms to model ships, the Forbes collection was internationally known for its range and its eclecticism.

On December 14, 2016, Freeman’s is pleased to offer a final group of objects from the Forbes family and Forbes Collections. This wonderful sale includes works of art, furniture, and decorative arts from Forbes’ New York townhouse, his Western ranch, Moroccan palace, and estate in New Jersey, as well as objects formerly in the Forbes Magazine Collection galleries and on his yacht,  the famous “Highlander.”

Ballooning, motorcycling, sailing, history and business were Forbes’ passions, and many of the objects reflect his interest in such pursuits, making this sale of great appeal to sportsmen and executives interested in owning a piece from the collections of America’s self-professed “Capitalist Tool.” The sale also includes presentation gifts from heads of state (and even from Elizabeth Taylor and Imelda Marcos), as well as other tributes to one of the greatest businessmen of his generation.

The December 14 auction of The Forbes Collections is an excellent opportunity for serious collectors of fine and decorative art—as well as for casual buyers who wish to own a piece of American history—to acquire unique items of extraordinary interest and provenance. This sale will feature significant works of art, contemporary photography, Western art, and modern design from noted artists Buck McCain, Bill Schenck, Harry Callahan, Irving Penn, Lucien Clergue, Raoul Dufy, Gilbert Stuart, Daniel Huntington, and designers Piero Fornasetti and Wendell Castle. Also featured in this eclectic collection are boats, toy soldiers, dioramas and works of art from the Forbes Magazine Galleries. In addition, furniture and decorative arts are represented, including an important group of Biedermeier furniture by Josef Danhauser, a selection of Iranian Imperial Armorial Ambassadorial dinner service pieces and hand-wrought table items in silver and vermeil by British silversmith Stuart Devlin.

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 Märklin First Series tin clockwork model of the battleship USS New York

Forbes Collection

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