PaperCity Magazine

January 2018- Houston

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28 A R o s e - P e r i o d Picasso from the year 1905, estimate $70 m i l l i o n . A r a c y M a t i s s e O d a l i s q u e , dateline the Jazz Age, estimate $50 million. A perfect Monet canvas of Giverny's water lilies painted in the late afternoon, one summer during World War I, estimate $35 million. Those are just three lots from a 1,600-piece auction spanning multiple days that promises to define Spring 2018 in the art world. Christie's Rockefeller Center auction house will present what is being billed as the most valuable collection to ever cross the block: artworks and objects d'art with a provenance like no other — the collection of the late Peggy and David Rockefeller. Proceeds, conservatively estimated between $650 to $700 million, all go to charity. IMPECCABLE PEDIGREE When David Rockefeller passed away this March at the advanced age of 101, he was the last living grandson of John D. Rockefeller Sr., the Gilded Age empire builder who had amassed riches estimated (in today's dollars) to eclipse those of Bill Gates by a staggering fourfold. But David Rockefeller was more than a scion of great wealth. Like his grandfather and father before him (John D. Rockefeller Jr., the builder of Rockefeller Center), D.R., as he was called, gave back generously — charitably bestowing $1 billion in his lifetime, while also bailing out his hometown when New York City was on the brink of bankruptcy in the 1970s. Rockefeller was also a kingmaker, a man who did not rest idle with his family fortune but went on to a brilliant business career as the head of Chase. As its CEO, he hobnobbed with a dozen presidents and clinked cocktails with leaders, diplomats, and statesmen from around the world. His astounding Rolodex boasts 200,000 handwritten cards for contacts, from JFK and good pal Kissinger to Anwar Sadat and, naturally Donald Trump, with personal details and the occasions of meetings (usually at dignitary receptions or state dinners), outlined in meticulous handwriting and thoroughly noted. David Rockefeller also played a role in physically shaping the modern New York, from the planning the original World Trade Center to erecting the 60-story One Chase Manhattan Plaza. THE RICHES OF ROCKEFELLER ON THE BLOCK Pablo Picasso's Rose Period Fillette à la corbeille fleurie, 1905, hung in the library of Peggy and David Rockefeller's Upper East Side Manhattan townhouse for many decades. It was originally owned by Gertrude Stein, with a Christie's auction estimate of $70 million. BY CATHERINE D. ANSPON

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