Home Architecture & Real Estate A Peak at Count Cecile and Ezra Zilkha's Extraordinary Collection

A Peak at Count Cecile and Ezra Zilkha’s Extraordinary Collection

“That stretch of Fifth Avenue has always been one of the great repositories of 18th-century French furniture in the world, with collectors like the Havemeyers, Clarks, and Wrightsmans,” says Sotheby’s expert Dennis Harrington. Count Cecile and Ezra Zilkha as following in those footsteps. The late Iraqi-American philanthropists lived large in a palatial apartment at the corner of Fifth and 66th Street, surrounded by treasures with blue-chip provenances that take in Rothschilds as well as style icon Babe Paley. This fall, more than 200 lots from the couple’s trove hit the block at Sotheby’s New York, in a dedicated sale that is set to fetch upwards of $7 million. “It’s rare to get in one collection this much Boulle that actually dates to the Louis XIV period,” Harrington says, noting the marquetry bureau plat, tables en huche (“Imagine a bread bin on legs”), and consoles attributed to royal cabinetmaker André-Charles Boulle. There’s also Japanese Imari porcelains, 17th-century Nuremberg silver-gilt, and Old Master paintings. “It’s an antiquarian collection but not purist,” he adds, “like the home of an ancien-régime family that intermarried with Empire nobility.” sothebys.com 

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