On April 23 and 24, 2013, Christie’s is presenting an extraordinary sale of pieces from a gorgeous Palladian villa designed by Michael S. Smith, one of the most venerated figures in interior design.
Smith spent years working on the renovation and interior design of the property, which is located on one of the largest and most dramatic oceanfront plots in California, just north of Malibu. The unmatched beauty of the 20,000 square foot home is so great it recently sold for a record-breaking $75 million! The new owners didn’t buy the art and furnishings, hence… the sale.
To introduce Michael S. Smith and the auction in San Francisco, Alison Pincus, Vanessa Getty and Allison Speer recently hosted a cocktail party in Smith’s honor at Hedge Gallery.
Guests included connoisseurs, clients and collectors such as Nicolas Berggruen, who just wrote an important new book called “Intelligent Governance for the 21st Century,” Sabrina Buell, Phoebe Cowles, and Dede Wilsey, as well as a new generation of art lovers such as the ever delightful Princess Tatiana Galitzine, and newlyweds Alexander and Tatum Getty.
Other guests I was delighted to see included Sobia Shaikh and Lisa Alexander (clutching a special copy of the auction catalogue), designers Ken Fulk and Matthew Turner, realtors Max Armour and Joel Goodrich, Jennifer Raiser, Maryam Muduroglu, Jessica Moment, Gina Peterson, Leigh Matthes, Tyler and Stephanie Mitchell, Summer Tompkins Walker, Jenna Hunt, Sharan Johal and Andrea McBride, among others.
Encompassing over 450 lots, the sale includes contemporary art, English furniture, Old Master paintings, Chinese works of art and antiquities.
One of Smith’s favorite items in the auction is a pair of Georgian chairs (shown above), which are expected to sell between $15,000 and $25,000. “It was my dream that I would be able to cover them in 18th century Indian fabric, that I could never find,” he said.
“I did have one scrap of beautiful fabric, and I was able to digitally reprint a linen, and upholster the chairs. It gave it a wonderful touch of both pattern and color to the simplicity and sculptural quality of the furniture of the room.”
Alison Pincus, Michael Smith – Gretchen Berggruen, Nicolas Berggruen
Steven Volpe, Roth Martin – Dede Wilsey with Doug Woodham, President of Christie’s Americas
Sobiah Shaikh, Todd Traina – Laura Paulson of Christie’s with Phoebe Cowles
Robert Denning, Princess Tatiana Galitzine – Tatum Getty, Alexander Getty, Vandy Boudreau, Vanessa Getty
The inspiration for the design, which is the subject of Smith’s upcoming book Building Beauty: The Alchemy of Design,” published by Rizzoli New York, was drawn directly from the architecture of the house, allowing him to create a home that was informed by a classical sensibility but within a modern context, filled with extraordinary art and furnishings that span the past 500 years.
Diane Dorrans Saeks has written a thorough piece about Smith, a friend of hers for over 20 years, at http://www.thestylesaloniste.com/2013/04/style-central-michael-s-smith.html — you’ll definitely want to check it out!
To see the gorgeous catalogue and prepare for the auction, visit christies.com.
Photo Credit: Francois Halard
And here is a wonderful video of the home: