Seller Story: Irene Zelinsky, Greenwich, CT
“My parents were collectors. Everybody in our family was always told, when you buy, buy the best. But it wasn’t just about paying top price for pieces; we did a lot of traveling to find things. We worked with people who knew it, with dealers. I was a collector of American furniture, and then I started to get more into eclectic things, more contemporary.
But we’ve moved to a new house, and it’s totally different. It happens to be more towards the American Deco period, so that’s why we’re selling these things. The house that these pieces came from was a very traditional house, designed by Alan Greenberg, who was a foremost architect of the American style.
Collecting is really having an eye, and being able to know what pieces we wanted to live with. Our house was very eclectic: we had a lot of contemporary art, and a lot of traditional art. There is, for instance, one particular piece that we thought it might be a Greuze, and if it were a Greuze it would be worth several million dollars. It’s a woman, in a round frame. The frame is the original, still. You can unhook the painting from the frame, because it’s just nailed in. That’s such a major piece. And with that we hung contemporary pieces of art. I really believe in mixing everything.”
C. Roberts Oil on Wax Miniature Portrait of a Lady
Italian Renaissance Style Leather Ottoman
Chanel Jewelry Print Silk Scarf
18K Yellow Gold 5.15 CTW Diamond and Cultured Pearl Cuff
Pair of Antique George III Period Library Chairs, c. 1765
Chanel Boutique Skirt Suit
Hand-Knotted Chinese Carved Area Rug
Vintage Hermès Alligator Chaine d'Ancre Handbag
Chanel Boutique Wool Dress
14K Yellow Gold Ten-Strand Cultured Pearl Bracelet with Diamonds
Chanel Mary Jane Mules
Louis XV Style Gold Tone Mirror
1996 Tom Ford Gucci Spazzolato Leather Belt
Photogravure "Along The Seine Embankment"
Giorgio Armani One Shoulder Evening Gown
Gucci Luggage Travel Bag
Hermès "Selles A Housse" Silk Scarf
Chanel Clip-On Dangle Earrings
Antique Walter Scott Novel Collection
Silk Chanel Sundress
Hermès Equestrian Shirt Dress
Yellow Stripe Upholstered Chair
14K Yellow Gold Coral and Leaf Cocktail Ring
Copy Oil Painting on Canvas After John Frederick Herring Jr
Duncan Phyfe Style Double Pedestal Drop Leaf Desk
Depose 18K Yellow Gold Diamond Brooch
Women's Missoni Dress
Ornate Gilt Dresser Box with Porcelain Portrait
Snakeskin Bruno Magli Heels
Duncan Phyfe Style Chest of Drawers
Hand Painted Porcelain Urns
Hand-Knotted Indo-Persian Area Rug
Christian Dior Haute Couture Sheer Blouse
18K Yellow Gold Mesh Bracelet with Dyed Green Chalcedony Stones
Framed Offset Lithograph Movie Poster of John Wayne's "McQ"
Pair of Scallop Upholstered Lounge Chairs
18K Emerald and Diamond Necklace
Hepplewhite Style Walnut Veneer Pull-Out Desk
Vintage Hermès Shirt
14K Yellow Gold Jadeite and Multi-Strand Cultured Pearl Bracelet
Vintage Chanel Patent Leather Handbag
14K Yellow Gold Cultured Pearl and 1.40 CTW Ruby Dome Ring
Hepplewhite Style Inlaid Demilune Console Table
1930s Arthur Wood & Son Octagonal Imari Biscuit Barrel
14K Yellow Gold Bangle
Vintage Emilio Pucci Dress
Vintage Victorian Style 14K Yellow Gold and Gold Tone 45.20 CT Amethyst Floral Brooch
Manolo Blahnik Mules
Chanel Red Leather Flap Bag
LM Hof Mantel Clock
Valentino Silk Cocktail Dress
Silver Plated Decor and Tableware Including Godinger
14K Yellow Gold Chain Link Necklace
Prada Leopard Print Cowhide Pumps
Hermès "Profile" Silk Scarf
Antique Mahogany Side Table
There’s some gorgeous furniture in the sale. Any favorites?
There are two red chairs that came from Partridge, a big dealer, one of the most expensive and top dealers.. They’re in prime condition, and such beautiful chairs. And there’s a mirror that’s American—with a finial on the top, a gold finial. Those are really the high-end pieces.
Tell us about the clothes!
I sold a lot of my vintage Chanel collection to Sotheby’s years ago, but I kept some, and there’s just not space in the new house for it now. I was in the vintage clothing business; really not to sell, just to collect. I traveled to Paris, traveled all over, collecting Chanel and other designers. These are really authentic, from the 1940’s.
What about the chest of drawers that is actually a desk?
That was a family piece. It was my mother’s; my mother got that when she was in Europe. It looks like a chest of drawers, but when you open it up, it opens to a desk. It’s the most beautiful piece; that comes actually from one of the best cabinet makers, who goes back to the 18th century. It’s handmade; it’s beautiful; it’s in impeccable condition. It’s one of the best pieces in the collection.