Sotheby's auctioning Brooke Astor's items

September 21, 2012 1:55:11 PM PDT
New York Socialite Brook Astor had money that could buy anything but she's best known as a philanthropist.

She inherited her husband Vincent Astor's wealth and spent most of his money supporting causes like the NY Public Library and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Living to be 105 years old, she also surrounded herself with things that she liked and now you could own something that belonged to her!

She liked beautiful Asian inspired furniture, 19th Century art, and adored animals.

Sotheby's Elaine Whitmore said the contents of both her NYC Park Avenue apartment and her Westchester Holly Hill mansion is included.

The auction has 901 lots which is almost 6,000 items.

The Canaletto drawing could fetch ½ million dollars alone, but there's also monogrammed china, porcelain figures, books on science and nature.

Not every item will break the bank; some are listed for less than $100.

Whitmore says there's something for everyone; Art students, curators, any person who adored and admired her.

This is their bird eye view of her life.

A 300 page catalog puts estimates on the items; they are set by face value from $80 to $500,000 per item.

Whitmore says the one item that is everyone's fancy is the emerald Bulgari necklace.

It was a gift from Vincent her husband, listed at $250,000.

Whitmore suspects it will do better than that at auction.

Also included is her 22-karat emerald engagement ring.

And then there is the jewelry Astor wore to entertain presidents, first ladies, and there's the glowing library lion broach she wore to show her love of literacy.

The free exhibit even allows patrons to try on the jewels!

Anyone can come to Sotheby's to see the collection.

The set up of the items is pretty much as Mrs. Astor had it when she was living.

The bidding begins Monday and the entire collection will raise 9 million more for Mrs. Astor' favorite charities.

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