Historic auction for The Four Seasons restaurant an unprecedented success
Wright’s record breaking auction totals $4,105,623 — over four times the original estimate. Buyer's participated from all over the world to buy every single lot in the 650 lot sale. Thousands of bidders participated in the auction, which began at 10 am and ended after midnight. Held at The Four Seasons restaurant, hundreds were in attendance and bidders remained in the landmarked Grill Room and Pool Room bidding until the early hours of the following morning. With active bidding lasting 10 minutes, the standing room only crowd watched the first lot of the sale, the bronze sign from the lobby entrance, sell for $120,000.
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“The response to this auction is a testament to the beloved icon that is the Four Seasons and to the owners, Alex von Bidder and Julian Niccolini, who have operated the restaurant for over 40 years. It was a pleasure to work with them and their team and an honor to hold this auction.”
Highlights from the Sale
The Four Seasons sign
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Barcelona chairs from the entrance lobby of The Four Seasons, pair
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe with Philip Johnson
Four Seasons bar stools from the Grill Room, pair
Custom Tulip table from the bar of the Grill Room
Four Seasons ashtrays, set of four
Philip Johnson Associates
Curved banquette and table 35 from the Grill Room
Philip Johnson Associates
Three-sided banquette and table 37 from the Grill Room
Garth and Ada Louise Huxtable
Stemware Collection from The Four Seasons, service for twelve
Wright has published a special catalog documenting the history of the seminal interior of The Four Seasons restaurant. Order your copy today!
The Four Seasons: The People
My first visit to The Four Seasons was in late 1978. I was working as a writer at Time, and the dust from the Canadian provinces was still fluttering from the hem of my thick tweed jacket. The famous New York restaurants in those days—or at least the ones we had heard about up North—were Mamma Leone's, “21”, Lutèce, the Oak Room, and The Four Seasons. For that first visit to The Four Seasons, I went with a friend who was visiting from Toronto. Being nobodies, we were seated not in the Grill Room where the mandarins of commerce and the arts nibbled their fish and baked potato, but in the Pool Room, which was filled with genteel people who had taken the train in for a day of shopping and culture. I was to learn that at lunch, the Pool Room was Siberia. To this import from the North, it was the most beautiful Siberia in the world.
The Four Seasons: The History
It is hard to remember, given all that has happened in the world of restaurants in the last several decades, that there was once a time when the idea of a luxurious restaurant meant the presence of white tablecloths, a few wall sconces, crystal chandeliers, red velvet banquettes, walls decorated with murals of France and maybe a few sets of mirrors, the main purpose of which was to distract your eye from the fact that the room itself was, in all probability, ordinary and cramped.
“The Four Seasons is an institution,
not a restaurant.”
The Four Seasons: The Food
Unless I am mistaken, and inasmuch as I’m a restaurant critic that’s hardly possible, you are not here today simply because you like to shop.
You’ve come because you love The Four Seasons, or because The Four Seasons has meant more to you than any other Manhattan restaurant, or, at the very least, because you respect the impact of The Four Seasons. It is the most majestic, expensive, daring, and, to many of us, beloved restaurant in the history of New York. It is the restaurant that will forever stand at the pinnacle of American dining.
You might have forgotten how much this restaurant has meant to New York, or maybe you weren’t around to experience all its wonders, the events that occurred here because they could not have happened anyplace else. Begin with the 14-square-foot pool, where so many guests were baptized in merriment, Sophia Loren among the most prominent. One onlooker, stupefied, said the spectacle of her in the pool was the best thing he had ever seen in his life.
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Auction / New York
26 July 2016
10 am et
The Four Seasons
99 East 52 Street
New York, NY 10022