Ronald O. Perelman
is putting a collection of more than 100 pieces of furniture and design up for auction in a dedicated sale at Sotheby’s in New York on Tuesday, with an estimated value between US$14.2 million and US$21.3 million.
Touted as “one of the most significant collections of French design to ever appear at auction,” the pieces have been assembled by Perelman since the 1980s, with most acquired during his frequent business trips in France.
“Even more fulfilling than the hunt was the daily enrichment of living with this collection and being able to share it with others,” Perelman said in a statement through Sotheby’s. “To me, art and design should form synergy in a home. I loved it all, the textures, the surfaces, the lines, the history behind the makers and the former owners—and how each piece conversed with the works by Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Edward Ruscha and others on my walls.”
Perelman, 79, is a banker and investor whose company, MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated, invests in a variety of businesses ranging from cars and jewelry to makeup and publishing. He was previously worth US$19.8 billion in 2018, but his net worth has dropped to approximately US$1.9 billion by Forbes’ estimate.
Perelman is also a major supporter of educational and cultural institutions, including Princeton University, New York University, the Guggenheim Museum, and Carnegie Hall, among others.
The Perelman design collection represents comprehensive examples of French Art Deco and modernist designs from the early 1920s and 1940s, most of which were commissioned by famed art patrons of the time including Jacques Doucet and Jeanne Tachard. A number of works are from second-generation collectors such as Pop artist Andy Warhol, actor Robert Walker, restaurateur Michael Chow, and fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, according to Sotheby’s.
Highlighting the collection is a sideboard made circa 1930s with Gabon ebony wood, gild copper, and lacquered metal. The piece “is immediately recognizable as the work of legendary cabinetmaker Eugène Printz,” who was known for his sculptural and ornate designs, Sotheby’s said. It has a presale estimate between US$900,000 and US $1.5 million.
Additional highlights include a 1921 vanity table designed by Armand-Albert Rateau in black and white marble, valued between US$1 million and US$1.5 million; and a pair of stools and a matching table designed by Pierre Legrain for Jeanne Tachard. Each of the stools could sell for between US$700,000 and US$1 million, while the low table has an estimate between US$600,000 and US$800,000.
Highlights from the 117-lot collection will be on view at Sotheby’s New York galleries from Dec. 2-6.