George III mahogany chest and Hubert Robert landscapes also sold
telephone bidding session. A Chinese collector jumped in with an offer of $1.2m for the nearly 200-year-old gilt-brassand-enamel timepiece, then cast the winning bid of $3.78m several minutes later.
Sotheby’s officials expected about $9m in sales to on-site and remote bidders during the two days. This rose to $15.2m by the auction’s close.
A pair of classical landscapes by Hubert Robert was purchased for $434 500, more than $130 000 higher than the top estimated price; a six-piece set of Holland & Holland wildfowl-engraved shotguns sold for $350 000; and a George III mahogany chest attributed to cabinetmaker Thomas Chip- pendale sold for $338 500.
A George III mahogany bed that came from Hedingham Castle in Essex, England, sold to an undisclosed phone bidder for $86 500. Built in the late 1700s, it was commissioned for Elizabeth Ashhurst.
Castle officials had been hoping for a benefactor to help re-acquire the bed, which they h a d s o l d ye a r s b e fo re a n d which ended up in Kluge’s master bedroom.
Other items included a circa-1780 Louis XVI giltwood sunburst clock that went for $27 500, more than double the high estimate; a 1954 set of The Lord of the Rings books by J R R Tolkien, which brought $17 500, far exceeding the top estimate of $6 000; and a $3 400 mounted bison head.
Sotheby’s previewed the 900i t e m c o l l e c t i o n f o r a we e k before the sale, and more than 2 000 visitors, who paid $65 for the 620-page auction book, attended the public exhibition to examine the collection at the 2 136m country manor.
The preview and auction also were a showcase for the 45room brick Georgian, which also is on the market. Kluge acquired Albemarle House, its accoutrements and 3 000 acres (1 214 hectares) in the settlement of her 1990 divorce from billionaire media mogul John W Kluge. The couple had been married for nine years.
S o t h e by ’ s I n t e r n a t i o n a l Realty has listed the estate at $48m, reduced from $100m last autumn. The property also includes about 121 hectares, multi-level English gardens and fountains, a swimming pool and a rustic guest cabin.
Kluge and her husband, William Moses, have moved to a 594m home elsewhere on the estate grounds. She said that they wanted to scale down to focus on travelling and running their winery business. – Sapa-AP