Shared from the 1/15/2021 Antiques and The Arts Weekly eEdition

Benefit Shop To Offer Janine Metz Estate Over Two Days, Jan. 20-21

Auction Will Feature Silver, Netsuke, Statuary & More


Highlighting the second day of the auction is this Midcentury Modern glass top console table, 75 inches wide, decorated in a chain link pattern on the front ($600-$3,000).


Jade items already eliciting bidder interest include this antique Qing dragon head nephrite jade ceremonial belt buckle from the early 1900s ($200-$2,000).


A Nineteenth Century Venetian carved partial gilt gold leafed hand painted and polychromed Venetian blackamoor statue, 35 inches tall ($200-$2,000) will cross the block during the first session.

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — Provenance, connection with royalty and a wide range of antiques sourced from around the world are the hallmarks of a specialty two-day auction that the Benefit Shop Foundation will host January 20-21, starting at 10 am each day. The auction features the estate of the late Janine Spaner Metz, who was social secretary to the duchess of Windsor from 1962 to 1972 and lived with the duke and duchess of Windsor in their Manhattan penthouse. Born to a French couturier, she lived and worked for a time in the 1950s before returning to Paris, where on a lark she answered a newspaper ad placed by a diplomatic couple seeking a secretary. That ad changed her life and even after her 1964 marriage, she continued to work for the duchess (Wallis Simpson). She often traveled to the couple’s homes in London, Paris and New York and developed a passion for collecting. Her estate features collections of chinoiserie, English silver, netsuke, garden statuary, historical ephemera, fine art, decorative arts, collectibles and miniatures.

“She had quite the charmed life, and in her position as secretary, she traveled frequently to attend social events and became friends with a host of aristocrats and expatriates,” said Pam Stone, owner and founder of the Benefit Shop Foundation. “I believe that her travels and the charitable galas she attended inspired a true passion for collecting.”

Metz especially liked collecting finely made art in miniature form, and netsuke was a particular passion. The auction has more than a dozen carved wooden animals sprinkled throughout both sessions. Most are katabori netsuke, a sculptural form of these toggles, and each is signed on the underside with Asian characters. Highlights include a cockerel/rooster with extensive decoration all over its body, a double bird, a cat wearing a robe and sandals and two mice holding onto a peanut.

While drawn to smalls, Metz often bought larger items too, including a 500-pound cornerstone from an English castle. There are about two dozen pieces of garden statuary crossing the block in this sale, most in the first session. Bird baths and fountains featuring frolicking cherubim vie for attention with stone planters/ urns and animal-form statues. A veritable zoo is represented, including a raven, goose and a bear. Figural items include a patient fisherman sitting in a chair.

Silver is another genre that Metz ardently collected, and this sale features about 150 pieces running the gamut from nut dishes to trinket boxes as well as platters, bowls, drinking vessels, hors d’oeuvres forks, ladles and more from noted English and French silversmiths.

Highlights include an oversized silverplated serving platter by Christofle, 38 by 14 inches oval; an early Produx silverplate champagne bucket with horse head handles, engraved with Louis Roederer’s name and monogram; and a Kirk Steiff sterling centerpiece bowl having an 8-inch diameter ($500-$2,000).

The auction spans the globe with items hailing from Asia, Europe and America. Highlights range in diversity from a Nineteenth Century Venetian carved gilt polychromed blackamoor statue, 35 inches tall ($200-$2,000) to several Indian traveling prayer boxes having intricate Gattaji art on one side and a reflective metal surface on the other, as is common.

Jade items were already attracting a lot of presale interest, and already racking up bids well over their high estimates, including a group of four signed vintage polished jade cylinders on wood stands ($50-$200) to be offered in the first session and a antique hand carved white jade fish form with fish faces on both sides, on stand ($100/300) crossing the block on the second day.

Rounding out the auction will be an antique footed Victorian cast iron porcelain stove ($1/4,000) having an Art Deco design; a Lalique antique signed Lievres art glass vase, circa 1920s, globular shape with a flared neck ($500-$2,000), 6 inches tall; and a vintage Midcentury Modern glass topped console table, 75 inches wide, decorated in a chain link pattern on the front ($600-$3,000). The auction gallery is at 185 Kisco Avenue, Suite 201. For information, 914-864-0707 or

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