Property from the Estate of Phyllis Butterfield Attracts Large Auction Crowd

. March 20, 2008

A Bay Area legacy was honored today when auctioneers Bonhams & Butterfields offered property from the Estate of Phyllis Butterfield to a crowded salesroom in San Francisco. Longtime clients, former employees, family and friends of the late Mrs. Butterfield assembled alongside collectors, members of the trade and antiques enthusiasts — vying for furniture, decorative arts, silver, books and couture collected by the lady and used within her California homes.

Although the monthly SoMa Estates Auction at Bonhams & Butterfields will continue for much of the day, the auction opened with property from the Estate of Phyllis Butterfield, and featured more than 180-lots of property from her San Francisco home, each lot selling after highly competitive bidding. The collection brought more than $300,000.

According to today’s lead auctioneer Brooke Sivo, a nearly-20-year employee of the auction house founded by the Butterfield family in the 1860s, “Known collectors and many familiar faces crowded the auction room this morning, it was literally standing-room-only. Bidding demonstrated a clear appreciation for the fine things Mrs. Butterfield, a former interior designer and antique shop owner, had acquired, lived with and used in her home. She had exquisite taste.”

Top lots from the Butterfield Estate sold today include:

$16,800, more than double the pre-sale estimate, paid for a Louis XV provincial walnut commode crafted in the late 18th century and likely acquired by Mrs. Butterfields on one of her family’s European trips…

$16,800 paid for an impressive pair of Louis XV painted bibliotheques, each standing more than seven-feet high, with multiple shelves for book storage…

Bidding doubled the estimate for a Continental six-panel painted canvas folding floor screen which brought $12,000 and featured scenes of a Chinese countryside…

Other examples of period furniture and decorative arts, sterling and plated silver, Asian works of art and prints and drawings sold well, and bidder interest in the lady’s shoes and handbags was impressive. Estimated at $500-700, Mrs. Butterfield’s black leather Hermes “Kelly bag” sold $3,900. Popularized by Grace Kelly, this Hermes bag was acquired by a lady bidding from the salesroom. A lot of three lady’s leather handbags sold to an overseas telephone bidder – the collection included examples by Salvatore Ferragamo and Hermes and brought $3,300 (est. $250/350).

A pair of Italian sterling silver tripod shell dishes, Buccellati, Milan, tripled their estimates and sold for $3,900, each five-inch long dish accented by shell-form feet and a deep scroll along the lower edge. A pair of Regency silver platters from the estate maintain the hallmark of silversmith Paul Storr, London, 1818, as well as the engraved coat of arms of Lord Berkeley of Stratton. The pair sold for $7,200. The Butterfield Estate’s property closed with a select offering of jewelry including a 14k gold bangle bracelet wristwatch which sold for $1,440.

Category: Auction News

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