Auction Offers Joan Rivers 'Tchotchkes'

LITCHFIELD, CONN.- Litchfield County Auctions’ July 20-21 auction of fine and decorative art and jewelry from the estate of Joan Rivers totaled approximately $350,000, easily exceeding the total pre-sale estimate of $200,000 to $300,000.

Rivers’ fans and admirers who purchased items from the late entertainer’s estate auction relied heavily on Internet bidding.

While the live two-day estate auction at LCA’s gallery was very well attended, the majority of the more than 650 lots offered was bought by bidders placing absentee or Internet bids through LiveAuctioneers.com. Day 1 had a 64 percent sell-through rate through LiveAuctioneers, while on Day 2, 58 percent of the lots were won via the online-bidding platform.

All of the auction goods were personally owned by Joan Rivers and were from either her Connecticut country estate or New York apartment. Some were family heirlooms.

As Christie’s highly successful June auction of fine and decorative art from Rivers’ Manhattan apartment revealed, the multitalented comedian, businesswoman and designer appreciated quality and consistently bought the best of every category.

While many pieces in Christie’s New York auction sold for prices beyond the reach of the average person, Litchfield County Auctions’ sale gave many more collectors an opportunity to acquire beautiful furniture, decorative art, jewelry, silver and artworks from the Rivers estate, but at more accessible price points.

The Wednesday session was devoted to fine and decorative art, while Thursday’s lineup featured Rivers’ personal collection of jewelry and accessories.

One of the oldest items in the auction – probably 17th century – was a Greek icon of either Christ Pantocrator or King Solomon in a filigree and enamel frame. It sold for $2,750. All prices quoted are inclusive of buyer’s premium.

An oil painting of a Dutch canal summer scene by Louise Braithwaite, shown here, sold for $2,750. A seven-piece aluminum faux bronze garden set consisting of two armchairs, four side chairs and a glass-top table, sold for $2,125. This set had been used on Rivers’ Manhattan terrace.

Royal Copenhagen’s "Saxon Flower" pattern was in demand as a partial dinner service that included 12 dinner plates, 12 soup bowls, 12 luncheons and 12 desserts. The lot sold for $1,375.

A fine porcelain china fish set consisting of 12 plates, a platter and a sauceboat sold for $1,750. Marks on the pieces indicated the set was made by in England by George Jones & Sons for J.E. Caldwell & Co., one of Philadelphia’s oldest jewelers.

Two sterling silver water pitchers by Wallace in the “Grande Baroque” pattern, 63.9 troy ounces, sold as one lot for $2,500.

One of the highlights of Day 2 was a 19th-century gold and agate egg-form pendant/box, which brought $3,750.

All of the above-mentioned lots and many more sold to LiveAuctioneers bidders.
A portion of the proceeds from Litchfield County Auctions’ July 20-21, 2016 auction benefited charities that were important to Rivers.