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As Brooke Astor’s belongings go up for auction, each item reveals a dazzling glimpse into her charmed life
As Brooke Astor’s belongings go up for auction, each item reveals a dazzling glimpse into her charmed life By SHEILA McCLEAR
PORTRAIT OF A SPANIEL PUP
$800 to $1,200
This painting of a lovable spaniel pup with lots of fur and personality, attributed to Eugene Lambert, is part of a massive collection of dog paintings owned by Astor. Most of them were hung at her country estate, Holly Hill, in the foyer, along the spiral entry staircase and in the master bedroom.
“They’re 19th century for the most part,” says Sotheby’s Elaine Whitmire. “She just loved them. That is Mrs. Astor.”
Describing her collection to Architectural Digest in 1982, Astor said: “I have pictures of dogs tearing up a newspaper; dogs obviously adoring their masters, and carrying notes or slippers or gray top hats in their mouths; dogs mourning their masters; dogs sleeping or playing; and others simply posing.”
In fact, Astor assembled so many of the paintings, usually a Victorian hobby, that she set a new trend for collecting them in the modern age.