In what one Hollywood blogger is referring to as a Warner Brothers garage sale, Bonham’s is offering one of the most important Herter Brothers collections seen at sale in over 60 years. This sale represents over $1,000,000 in Herter Brothers furniture with solid provenance and a sure way to open up their new New York auction house location with a bang. Expect to see some record prices during this sale.
Butterfields, in 1942, was selected as the auctioneer for disposition of the furnishings from Thurlow Lodge (in Menlo Park), a Herter Brothers project and the 1870s home of Milton Latham, a former California Governor and US Senator. That property had been acquired completely furnished by Mrs. Mark Hopkins in 1883, but Herter Brothers’ most notable and extensive commission on the West Coast was completed in 1878 for the Nob Hill residence of Mark Hopkins. On display at Bonhams in San Francisco October 24-27 will be 15 pieces valued at more than one million dollars, including a pair of Herter Brothers marquetry cabinets, one estimated at $100,000/150,000, the examples decorated with masks of goddesses and beasts.
This is the largest collection of Herter Brothers property to be offered since the 1940s and a rare opportunity for collectors and institutions desiring objects with an extraordinary provenance, exceptional craftsmanship, and a colorful history. A pair of Aesthetic Movement ebonized and marquetry-inlaid mirrored dressers will be offered, each expected to bring $125,000 to $150,000. A handsome Herter Brothers Aesthetic Movement marquetry-inlaid onyx top center table cold bring $125,000, while an inlaid rosewood writing table is estimated at $60,000 to $80,000. An important and massive Aesthetic Movement ebonized and marquetry bedstead, among seven pieces from the master bedroom of Thurlow Lodge, is estimated at $300,000 to $500,000. Warner Bros. Studios used these glamorous pieces in some of their most celebrated films.
According to Bart in the Victorian Forum, if you inspect the catalog images, this Herter furniture in some cases has sustained some damage while at Warner Brothers.
Some of the items coming up in the sale: