Doyle New York auctioned the estate of the legendary performer and civil rights pioneer Lena Horne on Wednesday. The exhibition and auction attracted thousands of her fans, and hundreds of them participated in this historic auction.
The Lena Horne collection comprised approximately 200 lots of elegant costume jewelry, accessories, gowns, memorabilia, decorations, silver, furniture, books and fine art from her home on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
The competition between bidders participating in the crowded salesroom, on the telephones, and via the Internet resulted in strong prices throughout the sale and a successful total of $315,976, more than doubling the high estimate of $99,500-155,000 with 100 percent of the lots sold.
Born in Brooklyn, Lena Horne (1917-2010) began her professional life at 16 in the chorus line at Harlem’s Cotton Club, before moving to Hollywood and appearing in a series of acclaimed film roles. Beginning in the 1950s, she focused increasingly on live performance, becoming one of the world’s premiere nightclub entertainers. Through her many recordings and television appearances, millions more became her fans.
Lot Lot 1160 by David Burliuk brought 20,000. A Gelatin silver print signed in pencil by James Van Der Zee and numbered 21 from the edition of 75, which was presented to Lena Horne by Warner Communications at the Viva Lena! event on Sunday May 23, 1982 brought nearly $10,000. A Giorgio di Sant’ Angelo Reversible Mink Coat brought more than $8,000. Finally, a Reed & Barton Sterling Silver Flatware Service brought more than $5,000.