A very special auction

Christie’s in Paris will soon hold an auction that is of great local interest.

You may recall that we did a story in our June 2016 issue about “Defying Labels: New Roles, New Clothes” at Lyndhurst in Tarrytown.

Jay Gould was the famed railroad baron and financier in residence at the Hudson River mansion toward the end of the 19th century, but this exhibition was devoted to the wardrobes of some of the women in his life – and by extension, what these fashions told us about these women, their lives and society in general.

The expansive and thoughtful show filled the carriage-house gallery of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s site with historic fashions, accessories and more, all related to Gould’s two daughters, Helen Gould and Anna Gould, Duchess of Talleyrand, as well as Edith Kingdon Gould, his daughter-in-law.

Now we’ve heard from Lyndhurst that Christie’s, the international auction house, is holding “Boniface de Castellane & Anna Gould: A Way of Life,” a March 7 sale featuring a stunning array of personal accessories, home furnishings and decorative goods that belonged to the heiress and her first husband.

And Lyndhurst’s executive director Howard Zar is seeking donors to help support Lyndhurst in its efforts to add to its Anna Gould holdings, as it is planning to bid on several items featured in the sale’s 275 lots, which offer a fascinating glimpse into the heiress’ Parisian life.

“There’s a watch, a pocket watch, that may have been a wedding present,” Zar tells us, adding that while many goods are French-made, this one is a Tiffany piece. “We’re also looking at a number of bags, evening bags from the 1920s. (Anna Gould) was very stylish.”

Desk objects have also caught his eye, he says.

The goal, he says, is to expand Lyndhurst’s collection, allowing it to continue to tell the site’s story.

Any new items secured at auction, he says, would be spotlighted this season, as Lyndhurst expands its “Defying Labels” exhibition for a second run. He says that since the inaugural show, there were some items related to Helen Gould, newly discovered in Yonkers, that will be displayed. With any luck, important pieces from the auction tied to Anna Gould would proudly be on view as well.

“The thing about Lyndhurst is we have so much that, generally speaking, we have more than we can display, so this is a rare instance,” Zar says.

And the auction, he stresses, is also a rare chance to secure items that most often remain in museum or family collections. This sale by some of Anna Gould’s heirs is unexpected.

WAG’s quick skim through the auction catalog shows a dazzling collection – items that any site, especially one with such strong ties to the late heiress, would love to own.

And “unless the prices go so quickly,” Zar says Lyndhurst has a good chance of adding to its Anna Gould collection next week.

He asks that those interested in donating to help Lyndhurst in this effort contact Naomi Vladeck, the site’s senior manager of development.

For more on the auction, visit Christies.com; for more on Lyndhurst, visit Lyndhurst.org.

– Mary Shustack

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