Malcolm S. Forbes Collection Highlights $1+ Million Sale at Heritage Auctions

More than 100 extraordinary objects formerly displayed in the Forbes Galleries in New York City drew frenzied bidding from around the globe to help Heritage Auctions reach a total of more than $1 million in its June 1 Signature® Decorative Arts & Design and Gentleman Collector Auctions at the company’s Design District Annex in Dallas. All prices mentioned below include 19.5% Buyer’s Premium.

“The Forbes property was 100% sold,” said Nicholas Dawes, Vice President of Special Collections at Heritage, “and most lots went well within or above estimate.”

The collection was split between two auctions, held back-to-back during the day, with most offered in the “Gentleman Collector” afternoon event, which featured diverse property from several other American and European private collections, including a fine group of vintage walking canes, an important collection of motoring mascots, exquisite French boxes, ocean liner memorabilia and a fascinating group of period decorative objects related to the sport of golf.

Malcolm Forbes titled this main collection “Mortality through Immortality,” a variety of objects commemorating and celebrating long-gone – and long-forgotten – heroes from distant historic, military and civic endeavors and events.

“It was his personal time machine,” said Dawes, “able to transport you to a precise moment in history through tangible contact.”

Further highlights from the Forbes Collection include:

Lot 66301: This George III silver trophy cup and cover, one of several in the Forbes Collection and the opening lot, set the tone by taking $4,481 against an estimate of $1500-$2000.

Lot 66308: Strong interest from chess, political and historical memorabilia collectors took this 1897 chess piece, made from a section of transatlantic telegraph cable to commemorate a match played between the US House of Representatives and the British Parliament, to a final bid of $7,170 (estimate: $3,000-$5,000).

Lot 66332: Among the compelling Forbes WWI artifacts, this British silver commemorative statuette stood out at $1,374 (estimate: $400/600).

Lot 66361: The top lot of the Forbes Collection was this extraordinary aluminum relic of the 1937 Hindenburg disaster, made into a bar stool, which took $14,340 after a powerful bidding battle (estimate: $3,000-5,000).

Lot 66418: Among the lots from other consignors, this “Bulldog” cane opened the bidding on a large collection, which ended 99% sold, mostly at or above estimate. The performance of this lot was typical, taking $1,315 against an estimate of $1,000-$1,500 and receiving more than a dozen bids.

Lot 66471: Vintage motoring mascots proved extremely popular, beginning with this rare 1925 model by Georges Poitvin, which found a new owner at $7,170 (estimate: $6,000-$8,000).

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