Flying past initial estimates of $6 to $9 million, the belongings of the late Brooke Astor—who had homes in Briarcliff Manor and Manhattan—have sold for $18.8 million, according to the New York City-based Sotheby's website.
Over the two-day auction period, 95 percent of the 901 items were sold. The auction included Astor's art pieces, jewelry, books, silverware and other decor—much of it featuring dogs similar to her own (Sotheby's said there were 73 dog paintings at the auction).
Briarcliff Manor's All Saints' Episcopal Church will be one of several organizations to benefit from the auction's proceeds. Each was chosen by the philanthropist herself to receive donations.
The Giovanni Antonio Canal drawing, which Sotheby's initially estimated would sell for $300,000 to $500,000, ended up finding a new home at $1.2 million, according to Businessweek.
"A chic giltwood box from the apartment’s sitting room demonstrated bidders’ keen interest in owning a piece of Mrs. Astor’s celebrated taste, soaring above its $400 estimate to sell for $21,250," Sotheby's noted.
Astor's personal jewelry collection served as the finale for the two-day auction on Tuesday.
"All of the 64 lots were sold, totaling an impressive $5.7 million—multiples above their $2 million high estimate—and with spirited bidding for beautiful signed jewels by Van Cleef & Arpels, Verdura, David Webb and more, as well as Mrs. Astor’s signature emerald and diamond pieces," Sotheby's reported. "Her stunning emerald engagement ring was the top lot of the group, selling for a remarkable $1,202,500."
Other organizations benefitting from Astor's Briarcliff Manor-based Holly Hill estate and Park Avenue duplex include the Animal Medical Center of New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The New York Public Library; as well as others in Westchester, such as the Historic Hudson Valley.