Following on the huge success of Sotheby’s “Mario Buatta: Prince of Interiors” auction, Stair of Hudson, New York, is pleased to announce a series of three sales comprising of additional property from the Collection of Mario Buatta.
Highlights include an extensive collection of porcelain, painted furniture, dog portraits, English furniture and botanical engravings among a myriad of decorative items all in Buatta’s iconic style.
Friday, March 13 at 11am & Saturday, March 14 at 11am
Once upon a time, in a world not so long ago when the whole of New York was decorated in chintz and floral prints, I met Mario Buatta. I had just started working at Sotheby’s and a whole new world opened up to me. I had my first glimpse of some of the finest interiors and met a few of the world’s most renowned decorators. My first encounter with Mario took place with my father, who was also a ‘character’, and an impasse between them ensued for the next ten years.
Despite this, I often found myself in houses that Mario was working on, as we shared many clients, including Malcolm Forbes and the Johnsons, to name just a couple. And throughout the eighties I would visit other clients and see the trademark floral prints and chintz on the walls. It is amazing how one can be inspired and learn so much from just being in the presence of such talent.
Fast forward to 2001 when I started Stair Galleries in Hudson. We had thrown caution to the wind, put all our eggs in one basket and were holding our very first auction at Stair the next day when suddenly I had Mario Buatta on the phone, demanding a printed catalogue. ‘Mario, we don’t have any printed catalogues, the catalogue is all online…’ I said. ‘What do you mean there is no printed catalogue?’ he asked incredulously. So we scrambled to make him a printed copy, somehow managed to get it to him the next day and he ended up bidding in our very first sale!
The hook was set and over the next few years, he became a regular bidder. Towards the end, I would say to him ‘Mario, are you sure you really need this?’ And he would always say ‘yes, of course I do.’ One of his last phone calls to the gallery was about six months before his passing and a very sweet, junior member of staff was trying to help him. Mario was clearly unimpressed: ‘I don’t know who you are but have a grownup call me back!’
It went down as a legendary moment at Stair….
Thursday, April 23 at 11am
Ceramics from the Collection of Mario Buatta features a curated selection of porcelain and earthenware from the 19th – 20th century and reflects the designer’s iconic style. From traditional tableware to trompe l’oeil cabbages there is sure to be a surprise to grace every surface. Included in this online auction is porcelain by Wedgwood, Spode, Derby, Vladimir, Lady Anne Gordon, Mottahedeh and many more.
Carefully chosen by Angus Wilkie
Friday, April 24th at 11am
Mario Buatta adored anecdotes and, in keeping with the spirit of a successful room telling a whimsical story, he mingled color, pattern and delightfully themed objects with abandon. His signature style championed delicate detail with a circus of myriad themes including a taste for Brighton Pavilion Orientalism, Gothic tracery, objects based on the Animal Kingdom, and Mother Nature's cornflowers and cabbages. Balancing high and low creative touches with ease, Buatta reveled in lofty and lovable accents, gingered up odd juxtapositions, and had a field day with the multiple layers that make rooms memorable. Featuring toleware, treen, lacquer, chintz pottery, papier-mâché, shell work, animalia, decoupage and decalcomania (to name but a few...) the sale Objects, Treasures & Trifles is a cornucopia of chic as only Maestro Mario could conjure!