Press Release  April 4, 2018

Christie’s Announces Details of Exhibitions, Sales for The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller

Courtesy Christie's

Collectors Peggy and David Rockefeller.

May 1-11 Online Sale | May 8, 9 & 10 Saleroom Auctions, catalogues now available online

First look at complete collection of more than 1,000 items of decorative art and 550 works of fine art

Two evening sales of European, American and Latin American masterpieces

Online sales of Fine and Decorative Arts across eight collecting themes

All estate proceeds to benefit philanthropy

Public highlights exhibitions continue around the globe:
Los Angeles April 6 –12
Beijing April 6 – 7
Shanghai April 10 –11
New Y
ork April 28 – May 8

Free tickets to extended exhibition at Christie’s Rockefeller Center available online

Tours and exhibitions presented by VistaJet

New York – Christie’s announces final details of the most anticipated art world event of the spring season:  the sale of the magnificent Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller.  All of the estate proceeds will be directed to a dozen philanthropies Peggy and David Rockefeller supported during their lifetimes, for the benefit of continuing scientific research, higher education, support for the arts, sustainable economic development, and land conservation initiatives, among others.  New confirmed details include the complete schedule of live and online sales, illustrated catalogues available online, remaining US and Asia highlights tours and locations, and ticket information to attend the special extended public exhibition of the Collection at Rockefeller Center in New York from April 28 – May 8. The global tour and exhibitions are presented in partnership with VistaJet. In total, the Collection is expected to realize in excess of $500 million.


West Coast collectors and jewelry enthusiasts will get a first look at the Collection highlights between April 6 and 12, when Christie’s brings a selection of masterpieces and Rockefeller family jewels to its flagship West Coast gallery in Beverly Hills. The touring exhibition was curated with the tastes and interests of Christie’s clients in mind, with rare works by American artists Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, and Willem de Kooning exhibited alongside masterpieces by Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, and Paul Gauguin. In addition, Christie’s LA will unveil Diego Rivera’s rarely-exhibited large-scale master work, The Rivals, painted in 1931 aboard the ship carrying Rivera and Frida Kahlo to New York. A collection of jewelry owned by Peggy Rockefeller will be included in the Los Angeles previews, featuring signed pieces by Van Cleef & Arpels, Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co., and Raymond Yard, among others.  


The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller comprises approximately 1,550 auction lots, including one of the largest and most important collections of decorative arts to come to market in decades. Christie’s will offer 900 lots via live saleroom auctions at its Rockefeller Center site on May 8, 9 and 10.  A companion online sale – which opens for bidding worldwide on May 1– will feature an additional 650 lots organized across eight collecting themes, with estimates ranging from $100 to $10,000. Through this unique integration of sale channels, Christie’s brings traditional decorative arts to the forefront, leveraging a sophisticated digital marketing approach and ‘guest-stylist’ partnerships with top tastemakers, interior designers, and social media influencers.

Marc Porter, Christie’s Chairman, Americas added: “This rich and diverse collection of fine and decorative art is unified by Peggy and David Rockefeller’s love of beauty and their unerring eye for exceptional quality and craftsmanship in design. The size and scope of this great collection has inspired us to innovate new approaches to our traditional sale model and leverage our world-class online sale platform as only Christie’s can. The result is a dynamic week of saleroom auctions, including not one but two Evening Sales of masterworks from European, American and Latin American artists and a stellar offering of Decorative Arts across a range of categories. Our online sale, which is organized along the themes and motifs that resonated most with Peggy and David Rockefeller, brings this Collection to life in a fresh and exciting way, and is designed to make it both easy and enjoyable for collectors from all around the world to participate in this singular philanthropic event.”


8-May     7:00PM       19th and 20th Century Art, Evening Sale   

9-May     10:00AM     English and European Furniture, Ceramics and Decorations, Part I

9-May     7:00PM       Art of the Americas, Evening Sale   

10-May   10:00AM     Fine Art, Day Sale    

10-May   ~12:30PM   English and European Furniture, Ceramics and Decorations, Part II

10-May   ~7:00PM    Travel and Americana


Bidding Starts     Bidding Ends     Themes

1-May                  9-May               Personal Mementos

1-May                  9-May               Lamps and Lighting

1-May                  9-May               Birds, Bugs, & Beasts

1-May                  9-May               A Passion for Porcelain

1-May                 10-May              Dining in Japan

1-May                 10-May              Setting the Table

1-May                 11-May              At Home in the City

1-May                 11-May              At Home in the Country



Tuesday 8 May, 7pm

Browse sale

View catalogue

Christie’s Evening Sale of 19th and 20th Century Art is devoted to the astounding array of masterpieces of Impressionist and Modern Art in the Rockefeller Collection, including a Rose Period Picasso, Fillette à la corbeille fleurie, originally from Gertrude Stein’s collection, Monet’s iconic Nymphéas en fleur, painted circa 1914-1917, and Matisse’s sumptuous Odalisque couchée aux magnolias, painted in 1923. (estimates upon request)


Wednesday 9 May, 10am

Browse sale

View catalogue

English and European Furniture, Ceramics and Decorations, Part I, will be highlighted by the extraordinary ‘Service Marly Rouge’ made for Emperor Napoleon I in 1809, a Chinese export porcelain service in the coveted ‘Tobacco Leaf’ pattern, a pair of Queen Anne walnut stools circa 1710, and a set of ten George III mahogany dining chairs circa 1760.


Wednesday 9 May, 7pm

Browse sale

View catalogue

The second Evening Sale of the series is devoted to Art of the Americas, a comprehensive survey of masterworks by the leading American artists of the 20th Century including Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Milton Avery, Thomas Hart Benton, John Singer Sargent and Winslow Homer, among others. The sale features Diego Rivera’s 1931 masterpiece, The Rivals, which was commissioned by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller and was given to Peggy and David the year after. Willem de Kooning’s Untitled XIX from 1982 and Gilbert Stuart’s George Washington (Vaughan type) round out the offerings.


Thursday 10 May, 10am

Browse sale

View catalogue

The Day Sale features a broad span of genres and eras, beginning with Impressionist and Modern Art, including works by Odilon Redon, Paul Klee, Kees Van Dongen, and Édouard Vuillard. The 19th Century European art section is highlighted by works from Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, and Édouard Manet. A fine selection of Post-War and Contemporary artists include Alexander Calder, Lucien Freud, Jasper Johns and Bridget Riley, underscoring the full breadth of David Rockefeller’s collecting, well into his later years. 


Thursday 10 May, approximately 12:30pm

Browse sale

View catalogue

English and European Furniture, Ceramics and Decorations, Part II will present several pieces of painted satinwood furniture that had previously been at Kykuit, beautiful Gothic Chippendale dining chairs previously residing in the apartment at 740 Park Avenue, as well as a George III Mahogany breakfront secretaire cabinet. Porcelain includes two remarkable Chelsea plaice tureens, circa 1755, and a highlight of the selection of silver is an Irish monteith bowl by Thomas Bolton. The sale will also feature three carriages from the family stables, and a monumental English wicker picnic hamper by Asprey serving 12.


Thursday 10 May, approximately 7pm

Browse sale

View catalogue

Travel and Americana covers objects and extraordinary treasures from Peggy and David’s global travels including works from Asia, Egypt, Syria, China, Korea, Japan, and India, along with items from the United States. The sale features a collection of more than 40 duck decoys. Highlights include a magnificent gilt-bronze figure of Amitayus, a gilt-bronze figure of Samantabhadra on an elephant, and an Ayyubid silver inlaid brass domed cylindrical incense burner made in Syria in the second-half 13th century – a fixture on David Rockefeller’s desk at Chase Manhattan Bank for decades.


Browse sale

May 1-11

The online sales are presented according to eight themes: Personal Mementos; Lamps & Lighting; Birds, Bugs & Beasts; A Passion for Porcelain; Dinner in Japan; Setting the Table; At Home in the City andAt Home in the Country. The property included in each themed sale ranges across fine and decorative arts, jewelry and watches, furniture and lighting. With starting estimates ranging from $100 up to $10,000, the sales are open to established and new bidders alike, with all transactions conducted online with the click of a mouse.


In keeping with Peggy and David Rockefeller’s wishes, Estate proceeds from the Collection sales at Christie’s will be directed to the following philanthropies, which the Rockefellers supported throughout their lifetimes: American Farmland Trust, Americas Society/Council of the Americas, Council on Foreign Relations, the David Rockefeller Fund, Harvard University, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Mount Desert Land and Garden Preserve, the Museum of Modern Art, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Rockefeller University, and The Stone Barns Restoration Corporation – Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, among others.

David Rockefeller, Jr. commented: “These auctions represent a way for our parents to continue their philanthropy after their lifetimes, since the proceeds are destined for institutions they cared deeply about.  It was always their plan to enjoy these beautiful objects as custodians, not owners, and then to pass them on in a way that would generate the most benefit for their beloved philanthropic organizations. I think my Dad in particular would have greatly enjoyed this whole process, from talking with collectors about the art, to seeing how high the prices will go at sale time.”


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