Seller Story

The Estate of George J. Carbone, West Nyack, New York

My parents, George and Alice, moved into this house in the 1960s. He had been in the Army Corps and served in WWII, went to college on the GI bill, and eventually received his Master’s Degree in chemistry. She got a degree in music and was a trained opera singer, and she performed at weddings and gave lessons. Later on my mother got a Masters Degree in Library Science and became Chairman of the high school library in West Nyack. When we went up to the attic of their home to go through her books, they were all lined up in the Dewey Decimal system.

The style of their home is Greek Revival, which explained the columns in the front, but parts of it were probably built as early as the late 1700s. My father renovated the space as a hobby, and when they first moved in, the interiors were all Victorian, so they started collecting late Empire/early Victorian décor. Her collection of blue Canton China is from that period, and so are those beautiful tilt-tops tables, as well as the Victorian mahogany secretary. The latter was their first serious piece, and they bought it from a man who was very well known in the Americana antiques world. Over the years he would call my father and say “George, are you ready to sell it back to me?

Almost everything in the house is antique. They would drag my three sisters and me to auctions, shops, and estate sales in upstate New York, down South; they’d ship things from England or France. The house had enough space for everything — until now, after my father recently passed away, 17 years after my mom — nothing had been sold. In the huge living room — with two marble fireplaces on either side of a long wall and huge bay window — we had four full seating areas with couches and matching chairs – like the green set in the sale— lighting, rugs; the whole nine. — Alethea Pratt, daughter

Seller Story: The Estate of George J. Carbone, West Nyack, New York
Seller Story: The Estate of George J. Carbone, West Nyack, New York
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Seller Story: The Estate of George J. Carbone, West Nyack, New York

What did each of your parents like to collect?

In addition to the secretary, my father loved clocks — especially the grandfather clock in the sale. My mother, on the other hand, loved all of the glassware — the crystal, the red ware, the green glass. She had a great eye. The portrait of Priscilla Cartwright hung over the mantelpiece in the dining room, and on either side two 12 foot wall niches were filled with the blue china. The walls were ecru; there were chandeliers; it was absolutely striking.

Did any pieces bring back memories?

I’ve always been fond of that adjustable oak high chair. But all of those Currier art prints that used to line our stairway make me remember when I was once heading back to college with all of my luggage and flipped from the top of the stairs, hitting all the hangings as I went. I landed face first on the M.E. Hayden ink drawing that says “Home Sweet Home!” From then on, anytime I would come down the stairs, someone would yell “Home sweet home!”

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