A PIANIST’S PRIZED POSSESSIONS
It’s hard to believe the world lost Van Cliburn just over one year ago. Fans and friends will have the rare opportunity to purchase some of his beloved possessions through an estate sale taking place March 5 at Christie’s auction house in New York.
The pianist, who died in February 2013, filled his Westover Hills home with items encountered during his world travels and selected with a veteran collector’s eye. The sale includes more than 300 objects — silver pieces, paintings, English furniture, colorful Russian porcelain and a 19th-century piano. The treasures are expected to earn between $1 million and $1.5 million.
“[Cliburn] was very much a collector’s collector, and he associated so many objects with parts of his performing life,” says Andrew McVinish, head of sale, private and iconic collections at Christie’s.
The item with the highest estimated sale price is an oval-shaped William IV silver tea tray valued at $50,000-$80,000. “That is quite an outstanding piece of silver from the early part of the 19th century,” McVinish says.
The other big category is furniture. Cliburn had a passion for the best English furnishings, especially chairs. Prime examples in this sale include a George II mahogany pier table ($15,000-$20,000) and a George II walnut settee ($7,000-$10,000).
Cliburn’s collection is also unusually rich in Russian items, which he began picking up when he won the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958. The estate includes a silver and ivory teapot owned by Grand Duchess Alexandra Nikolaevna ($2,000-$3,000).
Another item expected to draw attention is a C. Bechstein piano made in 1869 ($8,000-$12,000). It’s what’s known as an art case piano, meaning that “it’s not just a utilitarian item,” McVinish says. “It’s also designed as a glamorous piece of furniture.”
Potential buyers can visit www.christies.com to view the e-catalog and register to bid online. (Click on “Buying,” then “Upcoming Auctions.” Look for “Two Distinguished American Collections: The Estate of The Hon. Noreen Drexel, Newport, R.I., The Estate of Van Cliburn, Fort Worth, TX.” The lot numbers for Cliburn’s items are 251 and higher. )
“The most salient thing [about this sale] is that he didn’t just collect objects, he collected people,” McVinish says. “That’s the enduring thing about him. He collected people.”
A LOCAL TAKE ON
Texas Christian University grad Kaygan Tissue always knew she’d make a career in fashion, and now she has — along with her sister, Kailey. The stylish siblings have launched Kissue, a Web-based boutique featuring style-forward clothes at wallet-friendly prices. Their youthful, ever-changing mix hits major trends like jumpsuits and pastels, presenting pieces on models and with write-ups that are often written with a wink, like dubbing an oversized cloak an “Olsen coat.” The Tissue sisters will be in the TCU area later in the month for a trunk show; check the website for details. www.kissuetx.com.
CARRIE ON, FASHIONISTAS!
After playing fashion icon Carrie Bradshaw for so many years, it’s only natural that some of the character’s shoe obsession would stick to the already fashion-forward actress Sarah Jessica Parker. “The character I played had an enormous affection and a sort of inexplicable relationship with shoes,” she told Indulge in a recent interview. “And because of that role, for many years, people were kindly offering me the opportunity to do a shoe line. But the timing was never right until now.” This month, she debuts the SJP Collection of shoes, handbags and a trench coat at Nordstrom.com and at the NorthPark Center store in Dallas, where you can check out the full line’s feminine touches — think dainty heels, scalloped leather and grosgrain detailing. Shoe prices range from $195 to $485; handbags, from $245 to $375. SJP herself will be making an appearance March 9 at Nordstrom at NorthPark Center (8687 N. Central Expressway, Dallas, 214-231-3900) — check the Indulge Facebook page for more details.
Fresh out this month, just in time to revive your perennial quest to change that brown thumb into a green one — and replace drab landscapes with verdant ones — is Neil Sperry’s new 350-page tome, Lone Star Gardening. Prolific with his sage advice about making plants thrive, Sperry maintains a weekly Star-Telegram column and radio broadcast, and puts out a semi-monthly magazine to boot, but book-wise, there’s been a 23-year drought since the 1991 second edition of his long-standing bestseller, Neil Sperry’s Complete Guide to Texas Gardening, which first published in 1982 and has probably been sprouting roots on your bookshelf ever since.
In this new planting, Sperry continues his detailed tradition of offering step-by-step tips and extensive charts to help amateur gardeners negotiate the tricky business of making plants thrive in Texas terrains, but he balances all that horticultural heaviness with 830 of his own photographs, so you’ll feel like the Lone Star State’s premier plant expert has just given you a personal tour of his own yard. $24.95, www.neilsperry.com. Initial offer includes a subscription to Neil Sperry’s GARDENS magazine.
NO DUST HERE
Mingling with the masses on a treasure hunt at the Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art is an annual adventure with endless rewards, especially if you have a thing for French and Italian antique furniture, vintage linen, primitive Americana, crystal chandeliers or — well, you get the point — anything usually described as “unique” or “hard to find.”
This year’s event marks its 51st anniversary, and it is putting its “mix it up” theme to work on several fronts. Show director Jan Orr-Harter says that a significant influx of new exhibitors, added to a large blend of folks who have displayed their wares here for decades, has produced an amazing range of merchandise under one roof for two splendid days.
The 120 dealers assembling at Will Rogers Memorial Center include the likes of L.B. Woods, better known as “Mr. Turquoise,” who draws a regular crowd with his Navajo and Hopi jewelry; Dallas’ Casey Waller and the ancient silk textiles and oriental carpets his business, Caravanserai, has been bringing to Fort Worth for 30 years; and James Herron Antiques, which travels from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with a trove of sexy mid-century modern French and Italian pieces. Newcomers include Perry Hudson of Custom Woodworx in Gilmer, who creates furniture using old truck parts and soda machines. The event is 9 a.m.-7 p.m. March 7 and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. March 8 at Will Rogers Memorial Center, Fort Worth; $7 admission is good for both days. 817-291-3952, www.fortworthshow.com.
ZEN AND THE ART OF STYLISH SHOPPING
The Modern Shop has debuted a chic new store-within-a-store dedicated to Japanese design called Mise (pronounced “Mee-se”). The well-edited collection includes a variety of fabulous finds ranging from fashion accessories to home accents to toys. Among our favorites are hand-blown noodle bowls that come with their own chopsticks and Meri-Tokyo’s colorful, comfy house shoes, which look as good on as they do resting against a pile of art books or the base of a sleek Noguchi coffee table. 3200 Darnell St., Fort Worth, 817-738-9215; www.shop.themodern.org.
A HAVEN FOR HANDIWORK
It all started with an old sewing machine and one man’s desire to construct a travel satchel that had features he couldn’t find anywhere else. Now, it’s a thriving business and a new storefront and studio on Fort Worth’s revitalized north side. W Durable Goods owners Daniel and Stephanie Wright celebrate their brick-and-mortar grand opening 6:30 p.m. March 6 and happily show off their hand-constructed twill and leather travel gear during retail hours, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays. Primarily a workshop, the new location will showcase Daniel’s repurposed light fixtures (he was an electrician in an earlier life), hand-painted Tunisian pottery and assorted vintage items. It also will host leather workshops on Saturdays, at $40 per person. 1543 N. Main St., Fort Worth, 925-272-8465; www.wdurablegoods.com.
Grand Cru Wine Bar & Boutique has reopened its shop on West Magnolia Avenue in Fort Worth, a favorite destination for owners Karen and Kayne Chu. “We felt [the area] was a good fit for us because the businesses here are primarily small and independent, owned and operated by people who are passionate about what they do, as are we,” Karen Chu says. The new digs feature an expanded bar that can seat up to 60 oenophiles, along with 50 wines by the glass, about a dozen craft beers and hors d’oeuvres for pairing. There’s also a commercial prep kitchen, which she says will allow for wine dinner events later. “We really scaled down the large gift area we had [in the previous store] on Overton Ridge,” she says. “This allows us to focus more on our core business — wine.” 1257 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, 817-923-1717; www.grandcruwineshop.com.
ETHIOPIAN CHIC NOW IN TOWN
Supermodel and human rights advocate Liya Kebede’s Lemlem clothing line has been a success since it started in 2007, reinvigorating the weaving industry in her native Ethiopia. The handcrafted cotton clothing line — the name means “to bloom” in Amharic — is known for its bright stripes and casual, chic fit. Just in time for spring, the independent boutique You Are Here will carry select pieces from Kebede’s collection, introducing these bright, easy-to-wear pieces to the area. 6333 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, 817-731-5896. www.youareherefw.com
FLOWERS AND BUTTERFLIES
Local gardens begin beckoning us this month to get outdoors and enjoy the wonders of nature.