Shared from the 6/4/2021 Antiques and The Arts Weekly eEdition

Harriet Frishmuth Bronze To Star In Benefit Shop Auction June 16

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — A great many items will cross the block at the Benefit Shop Foundation in its Red Carpet auction on Wednesday, June 16, at 10 am, but the undeniable star of the show will be a life-size Harriet Whitney Frishmuth figural bronze.

The bronze, having a fine blue-green patina, is one of the artist’s most famous works, “Crest of the Wave,” and depicts a female nude with windblown hair standing on tiptoe atop a cresting wave. This circa 1925 casting stands 5 feet 6 inches tall and is on a 21-inch base. The artist created this statue using one of her favorite models, a Yugoslav-born dancer, Desha Podgorski. The statue ($25/250,000), was cast at the Gorham foundry and was kept in an outdoor garden by the owner’s family, traveling with them from Miami to Palm Beach, Greenwich and Westport. Also on offer in the sale is a 21½-inch-tall bronze version of the same work.

The Frishmuth and the majority of items in the auction are property from F.W Woolworth’s Byron DeWitt Miller estate by family descent. Miller joined F.W. Woolworth as an errand boy in 1893, and thanks to his work ethic and initiative, quickly climbed the corporate ladder to become one of the company’s youngest senior executives.


A touch of bling to the auction is this La D de Dior diamond and mother-of-pearl watch ($2,5/10,000).


The highlight of the auction will be this life-size bronze by Harriet Whitney Frishmuth, one of her most famous, “Crest of the Wave.”


This bronze pair of “Rocky Mountain Goat” bookends is signed Anna V. Hyatt Huntington, circa 1928 ($5/7,000). Each measures about 8 by 7 by 6 inches.

Besides the Frishmuth, crossing the block will be nautical collectibles, jewelry and artwork from the family’s multiple homes and yachts. Additional local estates represented in this auction offered up jewelry, luxury fashion, antiques and decorative arts.

“Frishmuth’s bronzes, especially those of one of her favorite models, Desha, are quite desirable and this is one of her most famous. The pose really captures the essence of dance and its arrested movement makes it quite appealing,” said Pam Stone, owner and founder of the Benefit Shop Foundation. “Miller was an ardent collector, though, and there are many striking items on offer here from his estate.”

The auction will be far-ranging and runs the gamut from a contemporary lady’s watch, a La D de Dior diamond and motherof-pearl watch ($2,5/10,000) to a bronze pair of “Rocky Mountain Goat” bookends, signed Anna V. Hyatt Huntington, circa 1928 ($5/7,000), each about 8 by 7 by 6 inches.

Miller had a passion for the nautical life, and his family yacht had a staff of 60 and was well used, before it was commandeered in World War II by the US Navy. Nautical-themed items from the estate are led by a SM-6 Class Special pond model of a sailboat ($1/2,500) that sits on a skeg, measuring 20½ inches long. Furniture highlights include an antique oversized roll top wooden desk ($500-$2,500), measuring 72 by 44 by 36 inches, and a Regina music box with 18 metal discs ($1/2,000)

Entertaining was a big part of the Miller family’s lifestyle, and on offer is a set of 12 Herend “Csung” hand-painted dinner plates ($500-$2,000) with the borders decorated in an all-over pattern of Chinese figures framing a central figure. Other bronzes with Miller provenance include two signed works by Allan Clark, including a walking female bronze sculpture, dated 1927, depicting woman in a dress mid-step with hands running through her hair; and a nude male, also in mid-step. Each bronze is estimated at $500-$2,000.

Rounding out the auction are a restored Bally Fireball vintage pinball machine ($500-$2,000), retaining keys and a MCM B&B Italia Fat Sofa chair ($500-$2,000) upholstered in a bright chartreuse hue, measuring 45 by 39 by 41 inches.

The auction gallery is at 185 Kisco Avenue, Suite 201. For information, 914-864-0707 or

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