Mrs. Mellon; Session Five

This is the fifth session of properties which belonged to Mrs. Paul Mellon. The auction will take place on November 23, 2014 at Sotheby's in New York City.
This final auction contains contents from both Mrs. Mellon's New York apartment and her Cape Cod home. If the picture quality is poor, please blame me but, in truth, some of the shots are quite fuzzy but I include them so that you may see the overall view of the rooms.
I haven't mentioned art although there are copious amounts of it. Bunny's  appreciation was broad and there is art of many genres. I also wanted to include a few of the New York rooms to illustrate how much art there is and how it is part and parcel of her lifestyle. Furniture, china, silver - of course these must be viewed for optimal decisions but art - it speaks only directly to the heart and unless you are buying for appreciation, it must be seen and loved to be yours.

This must be a study in the New York apartment. It is very welcoming and cozy and very English in style. Notice the warm red walls and the groupings of paintings which cover them, stacked one over another. The room feels personal - the photo was taken with Mr. Mellon's desk ( The initials being his) in the foreground covered with a collection of assorted desk items - stamp boxes, calendar, paper and pens but not much room for working. The chairs and sofa are easy and the yellow upholstery and red walls are combined in the rug to make a very inviting space. I love the coffee table and wonder why, with so much on the desk, there is nothing on it.

This is the New York breakfast room and is another colorful room with blue walls, a  blue and white needlepoint rug, blue and white striped curtains and - the exclamation of citrus. It must be in a sunny location due to the topiaries and light filling the windows. Note that, from our perspective, there are no pictures on the walls. These are the only room settings shown from New York except for one hallway and an outside terrace which I will show you later. I will show items from the New York house, collections and so on, and then we will go to Cape Cod.

A late Louis XVI triple extending music stand.

A pair of Louis XVI style gilt queridons. 

A Pair of metal dog-form chenets.

More small silver objects.

A George III gilt and patinated bronze pagoda-form clock case.

A rare set of seven George III parcel-gilt black-Japanned dining chairs. These are so very beautiful.
Here is a close up:

This beautiful part dinner service is Meissen, circa 1733 - 1763. "One of the most distinguishing elements of this service is the naturalistic depiction of various plants, fruits, nuts and seeds that exhibits itself both on the three - dimensional modeling of the knobs on the covers and the handles of the tureens as well as the two dimensional painting." The marking below is on several of the pieces, should you come across any in your travels.

More porcelains, all exhibiting a floral theme:

It seems that I am partial to chairs, especially ones with bamboo turnings. Here are two more sets; one with and one without.

The following shot - again, fuzzy - is of what must be the back hall and what a back hall it is. The trellis is exceptional for is arching turns over the right angles of the walls forming a lightly domed ceiling. The floor appears to have been once painted and then heavily used. Baskets are here in all descriptions - new and old, large and small, rustic and fine...ready to accompany any event. Trellising continues to the more sparsely decorated terrace just outside. Notice the patterns of horizontal members to delineate a story and the arched niches and doorways below. It turns this into an enclosure which feels taken notice of and elegant. On to Cape Cod.

The pictures of the Cape Cod house are too fuzzy to show. The house is a white clapboard cottage and appears to be small, although there are few interior shots of it. It is a very casual home, but the items included in this section of the auction vary widely to include some casual painted furniture as well as some more formal.

As you can see, this interior shot shows an interior which is cottage - like and vacation friendly.

There is a bit more porcelain which is all organic in nature. I love the white asparagus tureens!

The last few pieces are among my favorites. Love the blue large paisley fabric.

End of sale.

Mrs. Mellon: Session Three

Sessions three, fours and five are in a separate catalog. I will devote a post to each of these sessions.

Mrs. Mellon had a personality I would have liked, I think. As I continue through the catalog, it is becoming increasingly clear that she had a myriad of interests. Some themes continue on, others seem to have been collected and then another interest appeared but all of the contents show me a love of the outdoors, appreciation of history and a sense of humor.

There are several collections of small items. Staffordshire, enamel boxes, enamel fruit boxes, snuff boxes,  and paperweights are included in this collection. These are not popular among many young collectors today but they are so decorative and classic that I hope a little antiquing will come into their futures.

There are a few quirky chairs:

and quite a bit of painted furniture:

Note the lampshade covered in wallpaper.

One of the attic rooms has a decorating lesson: Remember that wallpapering all of those odd angles makes them much less visible.  


Baskets are such useful things.I use them to organize and store all sorts of things - they are also wonderful for plants, platters, serving dishes and just about anything else. The gardens offer a small amount of statures and planters but the highlight is what is apparently a garden shed approached via a mature arbor.

From the gates exterior you can see the arbor above the doors.(The figures on the entry posts are available.)

Inside this space are tromp l'oeil paintings which appear to cover the entire room. The ceiling is birds egg  blue over painted in bamboo squares while the walls are a medium green with "shelving" bracketed by bamboo in a diamond form. The painted items on the shelves are the exposed contents of the shed - baskets of produce, empty baskets turned this way and that, clay pots, vegetables and garden tools.
Baskets hang from the ceiling in this room which is not identified but is probably a guest room with the iron bed as centerpiece. This room is full of baskets and contains very little furniture.

The final few photographs in this section show us the stables as well as interesting vignettes.