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RI Archives: Style

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The Wandering Eye: Good Things From A Great Beauty

Photo of CZ Guest by Cecil Beaton for Vogue.

Our blogger, interior designer Carey Maloney, and his partner Hermes Mallea, an architect, are principals in the M (Group).

I love a good “estate” auction. I’ve been in New York long enough to have seen Kitty Miller’s, the Windsor’s, Andy’s, Jackie’s, Bunny’s and lots more. On November 14 Stair Galleries in Hudson will be auctioning property once owned by the late style icon CZ Guest, being sold by Cornelia Guest from her family’s Long Island estate, Templeton.

Our local auction house, Stair Galleries, has evolved (in what seems like moments) into a major player in the auction world. A few months ago I wandered in and within minutes in the viewing room I muttered to myself, “Whoever this old lady was, she had great taste…” Indeed, although the selling estate was anonymous, I had hit the nail on the head; the collection that New York auction houses had craved had landed in Hudson. Kudos to Stair Galleries; experience, professionalism and good manners have made the firm formidable.

Mrs. Guest, who died in 2003, was known for her simple elegance. The taffeta skirt with a twin set was her “invention.” Not to diminish her fashionable achievements, but she got away with her famed simplicity and reserve because she was a great beauty. The rather fey Duchess of Windsor needed gee gaws and Schlumberger jewels. Mrs. Guest needed a lot less and she obviously knew it. 

Rather than try to tell the life story of CZ Guest, check out her obituary in The Guardian. I looove a good obit and the Brits excel. Read it for all the details I am too lazy to reiterate. (This New York Times article explains the Times’ obit system – using terms like “pre dead” (that’s us!). And the Society of Professional Obituary Writers has an annual “Grimmies” award. Who knew?

I am (probably unduly…) proud of my obituary for Pancho in Rural Intelligence, where I laud the Times’ obit master and Pulitzer Prize winner, the late Robert McG Thomas Jr.

The property Stair is offering from Mrs. Guest’s daughter, the multi-talented Cornelia Guest, covers the gambit of rich WASPy possessions. There are multiple pieces of purple T. Anthony luggage, Tiffany dressing table accoutrements and a stack of Portault trays that are a bit the worse for wear. It’ll be snapped up. There will be leather-bound books, Steuben bowls and wicker dog beds. 

Parisian decorator Stephane Boudin of Maison Jansen worked on Templeton and there are a few pieces of Jansen furniture. For more information on Jansen, here is a link to the Jansen topic page from my book, STUFF

One of the “famous” elements at Templeton was the acre of leopard carpet underfoot. For a house built around stables and kennels, nothing works like leopard. Being pre spotted as it were, it is the most practical carpet out there. I’ve used it in children’s rooms and my own bedroom — rooms that get a lot of wear and tear. ☺ It comes in many iterations — loop and flat wool, nylon and, my personal favorite, a flat weave that looks about 80 years old.

Anyway — check out the sale starting Friday, November 6. 

A Tradition of Collecting: Property from Cornelia Guest, Formerly The Collection of Winston & C.Z. Guest, Templeton
Saturday, Nov. 14, 11 a.m.
Previews Nov. 6-13
Stair Galleries
549 Warrent Street, Hudson, NY
(518) 751-1000

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Posted by Lisa Green on 10/31/15 at 12:58 PM • Permalink