Seller Story: Nancy Burke, Sun Valley, ID


The home we lived in before this one was in a suburb of Chicago; it was built in 1928 or 1929, before the crash. The owner had sent architects over to the Cotswalds in England in order to study a particular mansion there. So the walls were all over three feet thick: cork in them, and stone on the outside. Every floor including the attic floor, is 18 inches of poured concrete. There was no creaking in the house.

I spent many, many years bringing the house back to the way it had been, the formal beauty that it was meant to be. And of course the furniture I purchased went with that theme: formal beauty, very detailed. Inlaid woods and all kinds of things. We shopped at antiques stores, and places like the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. When we went to France I would scour over there, too. I got more ideas over there of what I liked, and I’d come back and find it in the Chicago area, or in LA; somewhere a little closer to home.

And then we bought this home in Sun Valley, Idaho, and I put all my formal furniture storage. Eventually, as I was living here I thought, this informality is not me. So then I started doing huge remodels to this house and putting in beautiful inlaid granite floors, beautiful wall coverings, just completely changing it from this casual home to a really formal beautiful home. And then I got my furniture out, and brought in what had been in storage. So the house ended up going up with the furniture.

I’m so excited: I’m going to go back-to-back cruises, cruise after cruise after cruise, always in warm temperatures. I’ve got the cruise line picked out, and the size of ship I want. I’d like to cruise for six years. I’m a writer; I’ve written one book and I have about 16 more books to write. Taking care of my home and keeping it up, the grounds and everything, there was no time for writing. I can have all that wonderful time for writing, on the ship.

Seller Story: Nancy Burke, Sun Valley, ID
Seller Story: Nancy Burke, Sun Valley, ID
Patek Philippe Nautilus 18K Yellow Gold and Stainless Steel Diamond Wristwatch

Patek Philippe Nautilus 18K Yellow Gold and Stainless Steel Diamond Wristwatch

Final Bid:
$7,600
Escada Black Beaded Sleeveless Cocktail Dress

Escada Black Beaded Sleeveless Cocktail Dress

Final Bid:
$380
Hermès Silk "Caparacons de la France et de l'Inde" Scarf

Hermès Silk "Caparacons de la France et de l'Inde" Scarf

Final Bid:
$350
Pair of Custom French Provincial Style Chairs

Pair of Custom French Provincial Style Chairs

Final Bid:
$925
18K Yellow Gold 225.99 CTW Black Diamond Cluster Bracelet

18K Yellow Gold 225.99 CTW Black Diamond Cluster Bracelet

Final Bid:
$2,315
Pair of Late 20th-Century Chinese Decorative Porcelain Vases

Pair of Late 20th-Century Chinese Decorative Porcelain Vases

Final Bid:
$305
14K Yellow Gold Black Onyx Bead Necklace

14K Yellow Gold Black Onyx Bead Necklace

Final Bid:
$1,535
Leon Vissot Chinchilla Fur Coat

Leon Vissot Chinchilla Fur Coat

Final Bid:
$3,433
Torinni 18K Yellow Gold Diamond "Insieme" Necklace

Torinni 18K Yellow Gold Diamond "Insieme" Necklace

Final Bid:
$4,400
20th Century Louis XV Style Arm Chair

20th Century Louis XV Style Arm Chair

Final Bid:
$350
18K Two-Tone Yellow Gold Ruby Tulip Bracelet

18K Two-Tone Yellow Gold Ruby Tulip Bracelet

Final Bid:
$2,260
Country French Provincial Desk With Chair

Country French Provincial Desk With Chair

Final Bid:
$1,751
18K Yellow Gold Diamond and Ruby J-Hoop Earrings

18K Yellow Gold Diamond and Ruby J-Hoop Earrings

Final Bid:
$961
18K Yellow Gold 3.00 CTW Diamond, Amethyst, Pink Sapphire and Pearl Necklace

18K Yellow Gold 3.00 CTW Diamond, Amethyst, Pink Sapphire and Pearl Necklace

Final Bid:
$4,020
20th-Century Louis XVI Style Credenza with Satinwood Inlay Veneer

20th-Century Louis XVI Style Credenza with Satinwood Inlay Veneer

Final Bid:
$1,512
22K Yellow Gold 2.99 CT Pink Spinel and Diamond Foliate Ring

22K Yellow Gold 2.99 CT Pink Spinel and Diamond Foliate Ring

Final Bid:
$780
14K Yellow Gold Coral and Onyx Beaded Necklace

14K Yellow Gold Coral and Onyx Beaded Necklace

Final Bid:
$1,700
Piacenza for Escada Red Coat with Fox Fur Collar

Piacenza for Escada Red Coat with Fox Fur Collar

Final Bid:
$400
18K Yellow Gold 10.25 CTW Ruby and 1.50 CTW Diamond Omega Necklace

18K Yellow Gold 10.25 CTW Ruby and 1.50 CTW Diamond Omega Necklace

Final Bid:
$4,000
French Provincial Setteé

French Provincial Setteé

Final Bid:
$658
Hermès Olga Charm Belt

Hermès Olga Charm Belt

Final Bid:
$801
18K Two-Tone Gold Diamond, Citrine, and Blue Topaz, and Onyx Convertible Stud or Drop Earrings

18K Two-Tone Gold Diamond, Citrine, and Blue Topaz, and Onyx Convertible Stud or Drop Earrings

Final Bid:
$719
Mariner Furniture French Style Marble Top Chest

Mariner Furniture French Style Marble Top Chest

Final Bid:
$3,399
Leo De Vroomen 18K Yellow Gold Convertible Enameled Cultured South Sea Pearl, 1.00 CTW Diamond, and 3.64 CTW Tanzanite Earrings

Leo De Vroomen 18K Yellow Gold Convertible Enameled Cultured South Sea Pearl, 1.00 CTW Diamond, and 3.64 CTW Tanzanite Earrings

Final Bid:
$3,095
Quartz Crystal Cluster on Bronze Stand

Quartz Crystal Cluster on Bronze Stand

Final Bid:
$775
Signed, Semi-Antique Hand-Knotted Sarouk Palace Sized Area Rug

Signed, Semi-Antique Hand-Knotted Sarouk Palace Sized Area Rug

Final Bid:
$550
18K Two Tone Gold 3.90 CTW Diamond Drop Earrings

18K Two Tone Gold 3.90 CTW Diamond Drop Earrings

Final Bid:
$2,000
Christian Dior Fox Fur Coat

Christian Dior Fox Fur Coat

Final Bid:
$716
18K White Gold 4.75 CTW Sapphire and 4.40 CTW Diamond Convertible Earrings

18K White Gold 4.75 CTW Sapphire and 4.40 CTW Diamond Convertible Earrings

Final Bid:
$3,908
18K White Gold 1.97 CT Sapphire and 1.75 CTW Diamond Pendant Brooch with 14K White Gold Box Chain

18K White Gold 1.97 CT Sapphire and 1.75 CTW Diamond Pendant Brooch with 14K White Gold Box Chain

Final Bid:
$2,202
Hermès Constance Reversible Pale Blue Belt

Hermès Constance Reversible Pale Blue Belt

Final Bid:
$1,319
18K White Gold 4.97 CTW Diamond Huggie Hoop Earrings

18K White Gold 4.97 CTW Diamond Huggie Hoop Earrings

Final Bid:
$3,550
Antonini 18K Two Tone Gold 2.20 CTW Diamond Huggie Earrings

Antonini 18K Two Tone Gold 2.20 CTW Diamond Huggie Earrings

Final Bid:
$1,452
FOPE 18K White Gold Diamond Collar Necklace

FOPE 18K White Gold Diamond Collar Necklace

Final Bid:
$2,201
Contemporary Louis XV Style Demi-lune Inlaid Console Table

Contemporary Louis XV Style Demi-lune Inlaid Console Table

Final Bid:
$650
18K Yellow Gold South Sea Pearl and 2.00 CTW Diamond Ring

18K Yellow Gold South Sea Pearl and 2.00 CTW Diamond Ring

Final Bid:
$3,751
18K Two Tone Gold 1.41 CTW Diamond Tulip Choker

18K Two Tone Gold 1.41 CTW Diamond Tulip Choker

Final Bid:
$4,407
Monumental Cathedral Quartz on Lighted Bronze Base

Monumental Cathedral Quartz on Lighted Bronze Base

Final Bid:
$6,600
Leo De Vroomen 18K Yellow Gold 4.16 CTW Diamond, South Sea Pearl and Enamel Drop Earrings

Leo De Vroomen 18K Yellow Gold 4.16 CTW Diamond, South Sea Pearl and Enamel Drop Earrings

Final Bid:
$2,958
18K Yellow Gold 1.20 CTW Diamond and Ruby Bracelet

18K Yellow Gold 1.20 CTW Diamond and Ruby Bracelet

Final Bid:
$1,100
Shop More From This Sale
Seller Story: Nancy Burke, Sun Valley, ID

Your tastes are so specific. Were there ever things you wanted and couldn’t find?

I wanted a pink flowered silk fabric to upholster these two chairs. I tried with interior decorators and designers, and I couldn’t find it anywhere in this country. So I called a man who was the concierge at a very famous hotel in in Paris, and I said, Alan, I have a huge favor to ask of you. I described what I wanted, and he found the fabric. He sent me a swatch, and I said, yes, I need yards of this! Every time I looked at those chairs it was just a reminder of the neat way I finally found what I wanted.

So what inspired you to sell these beloved pieces?

Because of the way I made this house for myself, it was very hard to decide that I didn’t need to keep living here. But I don’t need 10,000 square feet to take care of, and a large yard and big driveway. When I finally made the decision, it was just like: oh, okay. Let’s move on to what I want to do.

What in the sale are you most excited about?

There’s so much: paintings, jewelry, a set of gold flatware. There’s a set of China I designed with the Burke crest on it. I made the crest: it has a lamb, a fleur-de-lys, because I love everything French, and a book. I tried going through my jewelry several times, and it was just so difficult. But you know, I’m going on a cruise. I don’t want to have a bunch of expensive stuff with me. I thought, I want pieces I can wear, and if something happens to them, it’s not going to break my heart. So there are all of these pieces in the sale that are things I wore and loved.