Bonhams Fine Furniture, Silver and Decorative Arts auction features collections of Edward Zajac and Opal Taylor Adams

Fine Furniture, Silver & Decorative Arts
22 May 2012
New York

New York — Bonhams is pleased to be offering more than 500 lots in the Fine Furniture, Silver and Decorative Arts auction on May 22. The works are primarily from five private collections, including legendary interior designer Edward Zajac. Among the estates represented is that of Opal Taylor Adams, a world-traveling Texas collector of fine art and antiques.

Many of the fine pieces on offer are from Opal Taylor Adams' French Provencal style home in Hutto, Texas, which she tastefully decorated to showcase her collection of antique furniture and old master paintings. Among the highlights from Opal Taylor Adams' collection are a pair of late 18th and early 19th century Baroque white marble busts of Roman emperors (pre-sale est. $6,000-8,000), as well as a monumental, 10-foot-tall 19th century Spanish Colonial bed (pre-sale est. $8,000-12,000). Other fine works include a set of four paintings by Josephine Calamatta, titled The Four Seasons (pre-sale est. $12,000-18,000). These works each tell a story of a fabulous destination, and would be a lovely compliment to any interior.

Another single-owner section of the auction comes from the private collection of legendary interior designer Edward Zajac. Zajac was the assistant of the dean of American design, Billy Baldwin, for eight years. During this time he was deeply influenced by the architecture of Palladio in the villas of Veneto in Italy, and of John Nash at Brighton Pavillion in England. In 1966, he and his Parsons School of Design partner Richard Callahan formed ZAJAC & CALLAHAN and took the design world by storm, creating unique, intricately patterned interiors. Zajac's mix of traditional furnishings and exuberant patterning formed his trademark design aesthetic.

Highlights from Zajac's collection include a pair of American Aesthetic parcel gilt and painted side chairs, attributed to the Herter Brothers, circa 1880 (pre-sale est. $5,000-8,000). Among the lots offered are pieces designed by Edward Zajac himself. These include a pair of faux marble papered and painted armoires (pre-sale est. $1,000-1,500) and two sets of nine beautifully graphic fabric covered folding screen panels (pre-sale est. $2,000-3,000 for each set). Several of the designer's famous mirrors are also being offered, such as a set of three mirrored glass mounted composition mirrors (pre-sale est. $4,000-7,000) and a pair of circular convex mirrors with gilt mirrored glass, after the "Sequins" design by Line Vautrin (pre-sale est. $2,000-3,000).

The sale also features more than 140 works of great silver, and top highlights include an impressive American sterling silver flatware service for 12, manufactured and retailed by Tiffany & Co., New York, 1875-91 (pre-sale est. $25,000-35,000), along with a set of 18 Tiffany & Co. sterling silver plates circa 1907-1947 (pre-sale est. $15,000-25,000). In addition to these stellar examples, Bonhams is also offering an exhibition quality gilt bronze and lapis mounted natural & stained ivory serre bijoux (pre-sale est. $30,000-50,000) and a beautiful Louis XV style gilt bronze mounted marquetry table à ouvrage "coquille" by François Linke, circa 1900 (pre-sale est. $50,000-80,000). The latter is part of a Manhattan private collection of very high quality 19th century French furniture, mostly purchased from famous New York dealers, such as William Baumgartner and Hofstatter & Co., in the early years of the 20th century.

The Fine Furniture, Silver and Decorative Arts auction is an excellent opportunity for collectors and connoisseurs to view outstanding works from major personal collections. The sale will be held at the Bonhams New York headquarters at 580 Madison Avenue, May 22 at 1 pm. Previews run from May 19-21.

Press Contacts:

Julie Saunders Guinta
(917) 206-1681


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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