Antiques & Collectibles: Lagerfeld, Taylor, and Palm Beach style

Karl Lagerfeld’s sketch of an ankle-length dress in 1960s Pop Art colors marked “Elizabeth Taylor Burton” sold for $2,520 at Palm Beach Modern Auctions’ sale of the “Tiziani: Lagerfeld + Liz’’ archive.
Karl Lagerfeld’s sketch of an ankle-length dress in 1960s Pop Art colors marked “Elizabeth Taylor Burton” sold for $2,520 at Palm Beach Modern Auctions’ sale of the “Tiziani: Lagerfeld + Liz’’ archive.

Fashion sketches made in the 1960s for Elizabeth Taylor, known as a fashion icon, were among a trove of drawings by the legendary German-born designer Karl Lagerfeld sold this month by Palm Beach Modern Auctions in West Palm Beach, Fla.

The “Tiziani: Lagerfeld + Liz” archive of fashion drawings, sketchbooks, and photographs was originally the property of the Texas-born cowboy- turned-opera singer Evan “Buddy” Richards (1924-94), who then became a couturier in Rome with a salon known as the House of Tiziani. The archive passed through two estates before it was consigned to auction.

The salon was a favorite of Taylor not only for her offscreen wardrobe but also for costumes designed for at least three of her films. Some of the sketches by Lagerfeld, who designed for Tiziani early on before becoming head designer and creative director for Chanel and Fendi, were marked as being for “Elizabeth Taylor Burton.”


Richards, Lagerfeld, and Taylor became friends and often collaborated together on her fashion designs, including the maxi dress that sold for $2,520 and was the top-selling sketch in the Taylor collection.

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The auction opened and concluded with signed photographs of Taylor (1932-2011), including one in a flowing gown that sold for $4,800 and was accompanied by a letter in which she wished Richards success.

All of the auction’s nearly 500 lots, which included 100 lots of mid-1900s furniture and decorative arts, sold for $545,165. In addition to the in-house, phone, and absentee bidding, there were 570 online bidders from 15 countries. A phone bidder from Germany, who purchased more than 50 of the fashion lots, said he plans to use them in a public exhibition he is mounting.

The top-selling fashion sketch by Lagerfeld (1933-) was a two-piece suit similar to a classic Chanel design marked “Karl 64.” It was a sketch for a client other than Taylor.

The auction’s top seller was a gold-tone “Sputnik” chandelier with Murano glass spikes that sold over the phone to a Palm Beach collector for $38,400.


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Three silver tea services that descended in the Brown family of Rhode Island, whose forbear Nicholas Brown Jr. was the namesake of Brown University, were among the 10 top sellers at Skinner’s European Furniture & Decorative Arts Auction this month.

The Tiffany six-piece sterling service given to Sophia Augusta Brown as a wedding gift in 1885 when she married William Watts Sherman of New York brought $22,800 against a $3,000-
$5,000 estimate.

A circa 1900 six-piece Japanese enameled silver service, a family Christmas gift to Mrs. Sherman in 1902, sold for $11,400 against a $1,000-$1,500 estimate, which also was the estimate for an assembled six-piece Victorian British silver service that brought $10,445.

All of the collection’s 17 lots sold and all but one above their estimates, including three 1911-12 George V sterling silver fruit baskets that sold for $5,700 against a $1,000-$1,500 estimate.


The auction’s top seller was a pair of circa 1893 Russian figural .875 silver candlesticks that sold for $39,975, (against a $3,000-$5,000 estimate).

Also soaring above their estimates were several Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre vases, with an 11¾-inch vase selling for $20,910 ($6,000-$8,000 estimate) and an 11¼-inch vase and cover selling for $15,600 ($4,000-$6,000 estimate).

The top-selling furniture was a Louis XVI-style ormolu-mounted marble-top curio cabinet that went for $13,200 ($800-$1,200 estimate).

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In celebration of Valentine’s Day Christie’s is presenting “Andy Warhol
@Christie’s: LOVE,” an online-only sale benefiting the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

The sale, which concludes on Feb. 4 at noon, explores the theme of romantic love with a selection of over 100 original drawings, prints, and Polaroids that showcase Warhol’s (1928-87) sense of design and composition, his humor and wit.

The offerings are as varied as “Hand and Flowers,” a 14-by-10-inch offset lithograph with hand coloring on paper from a 1957 edition ($5,000-$7,000 estimate), as “Candy Box,” four Polaroid prints of heart-shaped boxes ($8,000-
$12,000), and “Love,” a 1983 silk screen and colored paper collage of two lovers embracing ($25,000-$35,000). Bidding starts at $1,500.

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Eldred’s has announced that Robert C. Eldred Jr., CEO of Robert C. Eldred Co., is retiring after 45 years with the East Dennis auction firm.

Eldred, 70, joined the firm in 1969 and became president in 1978 after his father, Robert C. Eldred Sr., the company’s founder and namesake, retired.

Eldred will remain on the board of directors, and the company’s management team will remain, with his longtime partners, John and Sue Schofield, continuing as president and treasurer, his son Joshua as vice president, his wife, Mary Ann, as director, and Bill Bourne as assistant vice president.

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Skinner will inaugurate the opening of its Florida office in Coral Gables on Wednesday from 10 a.m.-
4 p.m. with a consignment event featuring Skinner appraisers at Coco Plum Woman’s Club, 1375 Sunset Drive, Coral Gables.

It will be followed by an Appraisal Day next Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. at the Original Miami Beach Antique Show at the Miami Beach Convention Center

Other Consignment Days (with complimentary appraisals) are scheduled for Feb. 11 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Artis-Naples, 5883 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples, and for Feb. 13 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Norton Museum of Art, 1451 South Olive Ave., West Palm Beach.

The director of the new office at 2332 Galiano St., Coral Gables, is April Matteini, a graduate gemologist with more than 20 years of expertise that includes working in Skinner’s appraisal services and nearly a decade as an independent appraiser in the Miami area.

Virginia Bohlin can be reached at