A necessary yet wearisome aspect of being an auctioneer is selling a collection belonging to an admirable friend who has passed on. In our Friday, February 26th evening auction, beginning at 6pm, we will be offering property from Tara North, the Estate of acclaimed memoirist, renowned Italian chef and dear friend, Joseph Famularo, Pawling, New York.
Joe’s beautifully decorated Greek Revival country house, known as Tara North, was a far leap from his childhood home in a tenement in the Lower East Side. Resplendent in the summer, Tara North was a destination for fine lunches and long dinners between friends, dining al fresco in an enchanting French garden, entertaining in a barn with high ceilings and a huge fireplace. Many generations of Stairs, my grandfather, my aunt, my father and myself, all dined and reveled in Joe’s company. Joe would craft delectable meals with an understated elegance, always assisted by his major domo Cristopher and Cristopher’s family, whom he treated as if they were his own. The level of Joe’s taste extended beyond the kitchen and permeated every object in his home. He visited Europe many times throughout his life and brought back many an antique treasure.
A genuinely good and kind man, Joe was a benefactor to those around him. He grew up in a large Italian family and always emphasized to me the importance of cooking and dining together as a family unit. He found food to be a joining force among friends and family, contemplating food as a channel through which we can make sense of the world around us together.
Joe made sense of his world through meals, framing every piece in his home at Tara North around them and for them. Rising up from humble beginnings, Joe had only his discernment of taste and character to guide him. He molded a wonderful home with a warmth and a refinement that family and friends could always bask in.
— Colin Stair
Including property from Mr. Famularo’s country home, Tara North in Pawling, New York, highlights include Old Master still lifes, a pair of 19th century portraits by Joseph Bernhardt, a ship painting by W. Richards, and European pastoral landscapes. The decorative arts include an American stencil decorated card table, Regency giltwood convex mirrors, a Victorian bronze argand lamp, Chinese reverse paintings on glass, a pair of Paris Porcelain large vases, an Italian marble blackamoor bust, a pair of chintz upholstered sofas, Staffordshire pottery and pearlware, and porcelain dinner services.Read more