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New York's Waldorf Astoria is auctioning off furniture from Wallis Simpson and Winston Churchill's beloved suites

The Grande Dame of the New York hotel scene, the Waldorf Astoria, is auctioning off 80,000 items of furniture from the suites that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Sir Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe and Cole Porter all called home for one time or another.

'Fine Furnishings of the Historic Waldorf Astoria New York' will run until 15 November with Kaminski Auctions, who hosted previews this weekend. 'This is a once-in-a-lifetime event,' auction house CEO Frank Kaminski said. 'There are exquisite furnishings from the hotel’s notable restaurants and lounges. Needless to say, there’s something for everyone.'

The auction house was called in to assess the value of the hotel's furnishings in 2017, as it underwent a $1 billion renovation. The proceeds from the sale will go to the renovation of the exteriors and gardens of the St. Bartholomew’s Church and Community House, a landmark situated opposite the hotel.

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Pieces included in the auction from the royal suite include armchairs that were upholstered in the Duchess of Windsor's favourite shade of blue and cushions that boasted needlepoint portraits of her pugs, while there are carpets and chairs from Sir Winston Churchill's - reupholstered, possibly due to too many cigar burns. The exiled royal couple stayed here for the season once a year from 1940 to 1960, while Churchill stayed during the 1930s and post World War II.

Meanwhile in composer Cole Porter's suite there is a chest of drawers, plus an oil portrait of President George Washington on a horse by an unknown artist. While he was in residence here from 1936 to 1964 he wrote some of his most famous songs, including, 'You're The Top, You're A Waldorf Salad'.

'Many of the pieces for auction have been a witness to history, and we are excited to see them find new life in the homes of avid collectors,' said Andrew Miller, CEO of Daija US, the owner and developer of Waldorf Astoria New York.

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by Anonymousreply 1810/16/2020

the sofa that their male whores came on ??? he loved em and she dug watching, jus ask scotty bowers....

by Anonymousreply 110/05/2020

has any one notified Meghan & Harry?

by Anonymousreply 210/05/2020

saw this in the news....

I went to the one for Plaza hotel in NYC. I bought a few things.

by Anonymousreply 310/05/2020

I had my eye on a little period end table until I noticed Wallis had carved a tiny swastika and "HRH 4-EVUH" onto the surface.

by Anonymousreply 410/05/2020

Stayed there once and still recall the pungent scent of stale fart from the crowded and overstuffed upholstered furniture. Asked to change rooms and was ‘upgraded’ to a suite with even more overstuffed stinky sofas.

by Anonymousreply 510/05/2020

There was something charmless about the Waldorf-Astoria. Or rather it had all the charm of the Truman renovations of the White House.

Too big to feel exclusive, too big that feel that you had arrived at teh right place or even at the right door. Neither good Art Deco nor good Art Moderne. Too pared down. Too many corners cut. Too much a place for big conventions and catering events and too little a hotel that was a destination in itself.

The frost-bit Frenchified suite for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor was perfect for those dreary icebergs (having so much bad French furniture shoved at them all their married lives must have been a considerable punishment in itself, or at least their grim faces said so.) I imagine even Churchill, who knew good things even if he didn't care (too much) about them must have turned his nose up at his suite, even if decidedly more British and jolier, even.

I stayed there once, after the 67th renovation of the place and its thrill was long gone, and all through my lifetime it was an important name but not an important place.

Joseph Pennell in a quick charcoal sketch (1904-1908) below of the previous Waldorf part of the Waldorf-Astoria showed a place that bristled with a bit of Stanford White New York energy. The new Waldorf-Astoria of 1931 feels instead the pain of its history, its contract signed on the day of the 1929 crash.

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by Anonymousreply 610/05/2020

In that picture, the Duke looks amazingly like the Senatrice from South Carolina.

by Anonymousreply 710/05/2020

I was only inside the WA once, for an event in the late 80s.

Incredibly disappointing: shabby, dreary, dirty. A lot of NYC was looking rundown in those days, but having grown up with the legend of the Waldorf in my mind, I couldn't imagine how the real thing had ever looked really beautiful like the fantasy.

by Anonymousreply 810/05/2020

R6 and R8's evocative posts have inspired me to hijack the thread. I want to hear impressions of NYC hotels. Who's got stories about the Algonquin and the Carlyle?

by Anonymousreply 910/05/2020

whores say she/he did not even tip.....stinkers

by Anonymousreply 1010/06/2020

I stayed there maybe 5 years ago. I had a lot of Hilton Points so I used those. The room was overwhelming and a bit weird. HUGE sofas, as someone posted upthread and a telephone in bathroom!! I did love the big fluffy robe though. I think it's surviving on its name and history.

by Anonymousreply 1110/06/2020

The Duke of Windsor died in 1972 , the suite they frequented has been redecorated since, and in any case, The Windsors had their own furniture moved in for their tenure each year, so I highly doubt any of the furniture being auctioned was actually used by them at all.

by Anonymousreply 1210/06/2020

They should burn it all. It’s probably soaked through with Nazi chlamydia.

by Anonymousreply 1310/06/2020

what happened to the legendary Chelsea Hotel....it just a reg hotel now? bummer

by Anonymousreply 1410/06/2020

The Windsor Suite was used by them up until the Duke's death. After he died, Wallis took over a smaller (and less expensive) suite on a lower floor. The couple did have their own furniture stored at the Waldorf when they weren't in residence. Most of it was sold by the Duchess, so only a few pieces remaining in the Windsor Suite after Wallis' death actually belonged to them, but guests were always allowed to believe the Suite was kept exactly as it was during the Windsor years.

by Anonymousreply 1510/06/2020

r15 meet r12

by Anonymousreply 1610/06/2020

Proceeds from this auction are going right across street to St. Bartholomew's church conservancy fund.

Wonder what bit of arm twisting and or tax breaks are responsible for that bit of charity.

by Anonymousreply 1710/16/2020

Another thread about New York and another thread about royalty, all in one. Sigh.

by Anonymousreply 1810/16/2020
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