Items from 12 different collecting areas are to be represented at Sotheby's on March 21 when the Mark Birley collection crosses the auction block in London. With estimates ranging from £50-350,000 ($80-550,450), the auction is expected to raise a total in excess of £1.3m ($2m).
Son of the portrait painter Sir Edward Birley, Mark Birley (1930-2007) was an eccentric British entrepreneur known for his fine aesthetic sensibilities, as well as his investments in the hospitality industry.
Having founded the illustrious Annabel's in Mayfair in 1962, a members' only nightclub that famously catered to an exclusive and often aristocratic clientele, Birley expanded his business portfolio, investing in several other London restaurants, nightclubs and hotels.
Birley's business ventures, as well as his Kensington, London home, Thurloe Lodge, exhibited the various elements of his extraordinary portfolio, which included works by Rossetti, Landseer, Hockney and Munnings, as well as monographed table silver and highly coveted Chinese jade.
Of the items that are to appear at auction, Henry Herbert La Thangue's A Study (Resting After The Game), which has been given a £350,000 ($550,450) estimate, is the predicted top lot. Boodgie, a sketch by David Hockney of one of his beloved Dachshunds, has an £18,000 ($28,335) high estimate, while a rare Imperial jade seal is thought to be worth between £40,000 and £60,000 ($62,967-94,451).
Birley's Art Deco solid silver bath taps are also to cross the block, estimated at £300-500 ($470-790).
Items from the collection of Dr Larry McCallister sold at Sotheby's on January 26, with a Benjamin Frotheringham chest on chest the top lot, bringing $194,500, suggesting the market for rare antiques remains strong.
Here at Paul Fraser Collectibles we also have a number of beautiful, investment-grade antiques in stock, including this Holland and Sons card table.
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