Irwin Weiner ASID - Eileen Gray's Dragon Armchair (top) was crafted between 1917 and 1919. It recently sold at auction for $29 million. Imagine if your interior designer were to suggest to you that you spend that much money on one item for your home! While I'd love the commission on such a purchase ... well, long gone are the days of decorators walking around with clients who have wads of blank checks stuck in their pockets.
Still, let's fantasize, shall we? Imagine having the Dragon Armchair or one of these other ultra-expensive items decorating your home. Click on each photo for more information. (Middle: Birds of America by James Audubon - $7.9 million. Below, from top to bottom: Harrington Commode by Thomas Chippendale - $5.9 million; Artemis and the Stag - $28.6 million; Great Silver Wine Cistern - $3.8 million; Badminton Cabinet, 1732 - $36 million; Qianlong Dynasty Vase, mid-18th Century - $83.2 million.)
Irwin Weiner ASID - My partner Jay likes to take home old things he finds on the curbs of New York City. He's wise enough not to go for throw-out upholstered furniture or old mattresses. (Think: bedbugs!) But one day he brought home a painting I despised. It's an abstract of what looks like an Eastern European village and there's an old woman bent over walking with the help of a cane. Art is visceral, and I took an immediate disliking to the piece (it's now hanging up in a storage barn in the back of our lot in rural Pennsylvania).
But Jay loves his "major art find" and showed me the story of "Tres Personajes," the Rufino Tamayo masterpiece that was found by a woman who was dumpster diving in the very spot you see in the photo above ... on the streets of Manhattan, just like Jay's art discovery. The painting that she found, however, had been stolen 30 years before her 2007 discovery; she had the painting researched, returned to the owners, she collected $15,000 reward for the painting's return and Sotheby's gave her