In May 2018, Stafford’s exquisite Brancusi bronze “La jeune fille sophistiquee (Portrait de Nancy Cunard)” sold at Christie’s for a record $71 million. Apparently, Fred and Elizabeth Stafford had purchased this bronze Constantin Brancusi sculpture from the artist on a visit to Paris for $5,000. The figure would surpass the previous Brancusi auction record of $57 million.
Titled “A Love Affair With France: The Elizabeth Stafford Collection”, Christie’s has organized a single-owner sale from the same blue-chip collection. It will be held on November 1, 2018.
On the block are more than 300 items. These include a collection of Old Masters, furniture, porcelain, and European art. The auction house’s Impressionist and Modern art sales is expected to contribute more to it along with the evening sale which takes place on the same day.
In total, the Stafford collection is expected to cross the $14 million mark. Considering the huge volume of items available, the highlights for this auction will be shown across multiple venues of Christie’s including Paris, Hong Kong, and New York — and it will also coincide with the Paris Biennale and New York’s Asia Week.
Some of the key works on view are Claude Monet’s “Effet de neige a Giverny” which is estimated at $6 million to $8 million. Along with this, there is also a landscape by Camille Pissarro “Neige, soleil couchant, Eragny”, estimated to be around 2-3 million US dollars.
Elizabeth Stafford — known to her friends as “Mimi” grew up in New Orleans. It was here that she met her husband Fred working for the State Department in Germany. The couple lived in Paris in the early 1970s and eventually transformed their 18th-century-style French home into a small museum. Stafford loved to collect art and her Paris apartment clearly reflected this passion and connoisseurship.
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Founder: Louise Blouin