Summer; The Collections of Marshall & Kay Lee: Pre-Columbian – Old Master – Jewelry – Objects
We are very pleased to have been selected to sell the contents of the Schuylerville, NY home of Marshall and Kay Lee. This auction presents many of the unusual and unique lovely objects that they collected and treasured.
This live auction (with internet & absentee bidding only) includes fresh to the marketplace estate finds from upstate New York along with the very special collections from two impressive individuals who became friends. Please scroll down for a biography by their son, Peter.
The live auction begins at 11:00am EST on Saturday, July 29, 2023
Marshall was a well known collector of Pre-Columbian pottery of which there are 30+ lots with a focus on Central America including several nice Colima examples. Old Master prints and drawings are well represented including Boucher, Ribera, several works by Jaques Callot and others. Asian and ethnographic objects include antique lingam stones, prayer wheels and a fine antique Indonesian Kris.
Decorative objects are led by an early carved Chinese Lion sculpture, a Cushing Ethan Allen horse weathervane with original surface, A Paul Stankard Art Glass Paperweight Large Orb, and a group of good rugs including an Afshar with Sothebys provenance, a Zejwa Kuba, a group of Turkmen rugs and a pleasing antique Heriz room size carpet.
Rare collectables include a Civil War group with a finely blued Rogers & Spenser revolver, General John Wool archive, autographs including Eisenhower, All Original pre prohibition Gin Bottles, an antique Russian Icon, and a charming folk art carved wooden Cat needle case.
Jewelry includes a superb Cartier London Art Deco Platinum Diamond clip, a good group of David Yurman jewelry, a Tiffany Penguin brooch, Charles Krypell, Alwand Vahan and Ed Levin. Featured is an uncommon 122 carat Vivid Pink Kunzite set as a pendant, Watches include a vintage Rolex Pepsi GMT, Cartier, and Lecoultre.
***Please note that this is an online sale only beginning at 11am on July 29th. There is not a physical sale on premises.
This is a fresh and uncommon group of decorative, collectible and investment worthy objects.
When catalogue is live you may browse and bid on Liveauctioneers here or Invaluable here . The live bidding starts on Saturday, April 8th at 12:00pm EST.
If you like you can explore our Auction Archives to see highlights from our past auctions.
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Biography of Marshall Lincoln Lee and Kay Jane Lee by Peter R. Lee March 30, 2023
Marshall Lee was one of the most influential book designers of post-World War II New York, winning numerous awards and gaining extensive recognition throughout the book publishing industry for his textbook, Bookmaking, which became an industry bible for generations of those in the trade. Marshall Lee was born in 1921 in Harlem and early on exhibited an interest in and talent for art. At the young age of 18 he had graduated from the Pratt Institute School of Fine and Applied Arts and was making a living creating covers for the pulp novel industry.
When World War II came, Marshall enlisted in the US Coast Guard and became commander of an Infantry Landing Craft, the LCI(L)- 96. He saw action in virtually every US naval operation in the European theater from Casablanca to Bizerte to Sicily and Salerno. He made two crossings of the English Channel and two landings at Utah Beach in France on D-Day. Subsequently, he served as the harbormaster of Cherbourg, on the Normandy coast. Marshall’s ashes are interred at the Saratoga National Cemetery. During his service, Marshall continued his artistic activities. He made sketches and painted watercolors of naval scenes and wartime life, and he created the mascot for his ship. Most notably, Marshall painted a large-scale mural illustrating the significant wartime events of his flotilla on the walls of the library at Greenway, in Devon, England, the holiday home of the noted mystery author Agatha Christie, where he was bivouacked during the preparations for D-Day. Agatha Christie retained the mural, and now, with the home deeded to the National Trust, the mural is accessible and can be viewed by visitors to Greenway.
Upon returning to New York City in 1947, Marshall plunged into the city’s postwar cultural ferment, designing the program and publicity for the legendary New York run of The Threepenny Opera starring Lotte Lenya. He became a head designer at H. Wolff, a premier book manufacturing concern in New York, and made his reputation by affirming and demonstrating the value of book design as an artistic medium in an age of technological transition.
His books won many awards, and Marshall became widely influential in the industry, both as director of design at H. Wolff and subsequently as Vice President of Harry N. Abrams, Inc., the leading American publisher of large format art books.
Marshall shared his knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm for the book as art by his courses for book production professionals at NYU. Intimately familiar with all aspects of book design and production, he channeled his knowledge into his text Bookmaking, which became the industry standard. Even today, a decade after his death, it is still in print in its third edition. While at H. Wolff, Marshall met Kay Jane Rexrode, who was destined to become his life partner. Kay was an artistic and musical prodigy out of rural Ohio who quickly established herself in New York as a leading book designer in her own right. She won awards and recognition for her work and her books, both at H. Wolff and subsequently at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, at a time when the contributions of women in the publishing industry were often downplayed.
Marshall and Kay married in 1969 and formed a dynamic team, moving to Europe for a time to consult to the Italian publishing industry, creating books together for their imprints Balance House and The International Archive of Art. Their many professional and personal relationships included artistic luminaries as diverse as Isamu Noguchi, Erté, Peggy Lee, and Mitchell Parrish.
In addition to book design, Kay deployed her formidable talent and energy into design and production of one of a kind high fashion couture, dollmaking, clothing accessories, and art pieces in a variety of media, as well as composing works of fiction and autobiography. She also found the time to mentor Native American youth and practice healing as a meditation, hypnosis, and stress relief professional. Marshall and Kay were insistent that the technical and economic imperatives of commercial publishing could and must be reconciled with the demands of art. Balance (Balance House was the name of their publishing concern) was the means to the end of achieving Quality (the title of one of their most important books).
They pursued these goals in their personal life, filling their house in Schuylerville with paintings, sculpture, prints, and ceramics ranging from their beloved pre-Colombian art to Oriental painting to modern art that reflected their personal aesthetic in selection and presentation. Their lives, achievements, and possessions are a tribute to their ideals.