Sotheby's To Sell Maxwell Art, Furniture

SOTHEBY'S will sell the entire contents of the late Robert Maxwell's London home on Feb. 14 for an estimated $700,000, the London auction house said in a recent statement from New York.

The British publishing magnate's apartment at Maxwell House was his London home from 1987, when it was designed and decorated by Jon Bannenberg.

Sotheby's will be selling the 18th- and 19th-century English furniture and decorations, French and Scandinavian paintings and furniture, English 18th-century silver, as well as the general contents of the reception rooms, bedrooms, and kitchen.

The contents will be sold on behalf of the debt-ridden Maxwell Communication Corporation PLC, the parent company of Maxwell's media and communication business, which filed for bankruptcy last December. The publishing empire of Maxwell, who died at sea in November, has come under scrutiny in light of allegations that he had diverted public funds into private media holdings.

The most valuable piece of furniture is the Regency three-pillar dining table, estimated to bring between $44,000 and $61,000. Other pieces include a late 17th-century Baltic giltwood table estimated to sell at $14,000 to $21,000, and a pair of George III giltwood girandoles - or branched candleholders - from the dining room.

Among the pictures and prints are: two paintings of young women by the 17th-century French artist Jean-Baptiste Santerre, Indolence" and "La Lecture," estimated to fetch between $26,000 and $44,000 each; and two works by the 19th-century Danish artist Carl Holsoe, titled "At the Window" and "Morning Light." It is anticipated that they will earn between $9,000 and $14,000.

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