Three Single-Owner Collections present Tasteful Variety
Freeman’s is pleased to offer alluring property from the estates of Woody and Nancy Bolton of Charlottesville, VA, Ava Gardner of Hollywood, CA, and Janet Brown of Long Island, NY.
(Philadelphia, Pa) April 10, 2012 – Freeman’s is pleased to offer property with remarkable provenance from three private estates as part of its May 22nd Fine English & Continental Furniture, Silver & Decorative Arts auction. Beginning with early Italian and Continental furniture from the Collection of Woody and Nancy Bolton of Charlottesville, VA followed by tasteful decorative objects ranging from 19th century French silver to contemporary Gucci bronzes from the estate of famed Hollywood starlet Ava Gardner, and concluding with Fine Continental and Asian furniture from the late 18th through 20th centuries from the Estate of New York fashion stylist Janet Brown, these three collections are testament to the varied, yet select and elegant quality of the sale as a whole.
Formerly the property of Ellen G. and Manuel E. Rionda, of Glen Goin estate in Alpine, NJ, many of the pieces in the Bolton Collection were inherited by Ellen Goin (the great aunt of the current vendor) from her family, which descended from the Pike family of Cincinnati, Ohio. Her grandfather was the entrepreneur Samuel N. Pike, notable for building the Pike Opera House in New York in 1868. Her mother was Mrs. James D. Goin, and her aunt was painter Alice Pike Barney. Ellen Goin married Manuel Enrique Rionda, the nephew of the sugar baron Manuel Rionda. While Manuel Rionda had the largest estate on the Palisades, “Rio Vista”, Manuel Enrique had his own Palisades estate, known as “Glen Goin”, after Ellen’s Scottish maiden name. Built around 1910, Glen Goin was furnished in the style typical of the gilded age, and was resplendent with early Italian and Continental furniture and furnishings, many of which were eventually bequeathed by the couple to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Interior photographs of Glen Goin and of the Rionda’s New York apartment show many of the lots offered in this sale in situ. One can only marvel at the richness and opulence of the original collection.
Often regarded as one of Hollywood’s most remarkable beauties, Ms. Ava Gardner became as well known for her critically-acclaimed roles in films such as Show Boat (1951), The Barefoot Contessa (1954) and The Night of the Iguana (1964) as for her association with famous leading men and celebrities of the era including Mickey Rooney, Howard Hughes, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra. Throughout the last decade of Hollywood’s golden age, Ava Gardner epitomized the leading lady. She personified glamour both on the screen and off, occupying fashionable and luxurious residences in Hollywood, Paris and London decorated by the most renowned interior decorrators of the era, including Maison Jansen. Acquired in the family by descent, the portion of Ms. Gardner’s collection that Freeman’s will be offering reveals a glimpse of the intimate surroundings she enjoyed in her well-appointed residences and demonstrates the variety of tasteful decorative objects, from 19th century French silver to contemporary Gucci bronzes, which she adored.
Finally, for socialites and successful, busy women, the advice and assistance of the late Janet Brown on matters of fashion and style was invaluable. With a unique talent and vision that combined classic design, elegance, quality, and avant-garde taste, Brown quickly rose to become one of the most respected elite of the women’s fashion industry. Brown’s attributes as a stylist are reflected in her eclectic collection of furniture, silver and decorative objects, ranging from 18th century to art deco; from the Continent to China.
The Fine English & Continental Furniture, Silver & Decorative Arts exhibition will be open Thursday, May 17 and Friday, May 18 from 10am to 4:30pm; Saturday, May 19 from 12noon to 5pm; and Monday, May 21 from 10am to 4:30pm. The auction will take place Tuesday, May 22 at 10am.