LEE’S MOMENTS IN TIME: Thursday’s “Collection of Lee Bouvier Radziwill” sale brought in $1.26 million and capped off Christie’s Collector week.
Photos, art, furniture, tableware and other personal items from Radziwill’s estate went under the gavel at the Rockefeller Center auction house. Radziwill, who died in February at the age of 85, was perennially linked to her sister, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. But her own striking style and eye for decor was showcased amid the 168 lots that were up for grabs at Christie’s. In the end, 158 lots were sold including such leading ones as Peter Beard’s “Running Giraffe” that sold for $60,000 — double the starting estimate. Another piece of art Circle of Jacques-Laurent Agasse (Geneva 1767-1849 London), Tigers in a Landscape went for $57,500 and a scrapbook of Kennedy’s and Radziwill’s 1962 visit to India was auctioned for $50,000. The grand total for Christie’s fall sales of decorative arts was $6.57 million.
Other standout items were four Spanish colonial polychrome painted metal retablos supplied by Radziwill’s preferred interior designer, Renzo Mongiardino, that topped off at $40,000 and a set of 15 Indian reverse-painted glass pictures in Mongiardino-designed frames for $40,000 — more than triple the high end of the presale estimate of $12,000. All of the buyers of the top 10 premium items that were sold Thursday at Christie’s were anonymous. Other Kennedy-related memorabilia that helped to ring up sales was the 1962 photo album from the famed sisters’ visit to West Pakistan for $32,500 and 1963 photograph album from John F. Kennedy’s trip to Berlin that landed a winning bid of $25,000. This season’s sales attracted buyers from 27 countries.
In terms of personal possessions, a Taffin amethyst and tsavorite garnet ring sold for $25,000 — more than double the starting estimate. Aside from being a member of the Kennedy administration’s inner circle, Radziwill also had a lifetime of photographic moments. She joined the Rolling Stones’ North American tour in 1972, along with photographer Peter Beard, who took pictures, and Truman Capote, who covered it for Rolling Stone magazine.
After a short stint as an interior designer, she became a brand ambassador, public relations executive and special events coordinator for Giorgio Armani. In terms of fashion, she favored streamlined looks from Givenchy, Courrèges, Halston, Armani and Marc Jacobs. She also became a muse for Michael Kors.
As reported, Christie’s executives could not comment on what the Radziwill estate’s plans are for her wardrobe.