Rare art, fascinating objects, and significant collections can be found at local auction houses, from California to Hudson, N.Y.

A CUSTOM, BLACK SILK Ralph Rucci evening kimono worn to the Met Gala in 2003. Rhinestone-embellished NAACP t-shirts. Silver-plated serving ware previously owned by Joan Crawford. Six monogrammed L.L. Bean tote bags. Books on fashion and Black history and memoirs of Sidney Poitier, Judith Jamison, and Jessye Norman.

Tomorrow, the belongings of style icon and fashion industry trailblazer André Leon Talley (1948-2022) are on the auction block. The Collection of Leon Talley will be sold Sept. 21 at Stair Galleries in Hudson, N.Y.


André Leon Talley (1948-2022). | Photo: Squire Fox for Garden & Gun, Courtesy Stair


Talley, the pioneering journalist, editor, and first Black creative director at Vogue magazine was known for his unparalleled knowledge of fashion history. He died last year, at age 73, after complications due to COVID, according to the New York Times. Raised by his grandmother, he grew up in Durham, N.C. Then he became an icon and for 18 years until his death lived in White Plains, N.Y., surrounded by the treasures up for auction.

The sale features 439 lots, an array of personal items that showcase Talley’s bespoke taste and penchant for European antiques. The selections include art, photography, books, housewares, furniture, jewelry, designer handbags, shoes, hats and scarves, and an array of his elegant capes and caftans.

The auction offers a second opportunity to own something from Talley’s collection, following a pair of sales held at Christie’s New York in February that represented the first pass at the vast collection Talley left behind. Highlights from those initial offerings included monogrammed Louis Vuitton luggage, Talley’s favorite red Norma Kamali sleeping bag coat, a black silk satin cloak by Tom Ford, and portraits of Talley by various artists.

Conducted live and online, the auctions yielded nearly $1.4 million and nearly $2.2 million, respectively. Despite his larger-than-life persona and rise to the upper reaches of the international fashion world, Talley encouraged young designers, remained tethered to the African American community, and true to his Southern roots. Proceeds from the Christie’s sales benefitted his home churches: Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem and Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, N.C. The churches are also the beneficiaries of the Stair auction. CT


UPDATE (09/21/23): Auction results added


Lot 3: Pair of Large Black Lacquer Shellback Armchairs with Needlework Griffin Pillows. | Estimate $1,000-$1,500. Sold for $2,000 plus fees


Lot 4: LANVIN, Large Jeweled Pendant on Chain. | Estimate $200-$400. Sold for $1,700 plus fees (See also Lot 114. Sold for $2,000 plus fees)


Lot 8: Large Floral Chintz Tufted Upholstered Corner Sofa, designed by Mario Buatta. | Estimate $1,000-$2,000. Sold for $2,100 plus fees


Lot 44: Group of Silver Plate Serving Pieces from the Estate of Joan Crawford. | Estimate $300-$500. Sold for $2,000 plus fees


Lot 128: MIU MIU, Gold-Tone Leather and Goat Fur Handbag. | Estimate $600-$1,200. Sold for $3,000 plus fees


Lot 129: CHRISTIAN DIOR by John Galliano Brown Leather and Fur Giant Saddle Bag. | Estimate $3,000-$4,000. Sold for $9,000 plus fees


Lot 171: MANOLO BLAHNIK, Three Pairs of Leather, Suede, Patent Leather and Silk Embellished Evening Shoes. | Estimate $600-$800. Sold for $900 plus fees


Lot 185: RALPH RUCCI, Custom Black and Silver Evening Kimono. | Estimate $2,000-$3,000. Sold for $1,600 plus fees


Lot 188: DONNA KARAN, Ivory Printed Silk Kimono. | Estimate $300-$500. Sold for $2,400 plus fees


Lot 206: SEAN JOHN, Leather and Wool Bomber, Denim Jacket, together with Two Sean John Sweatshirts and Two T-Shirts (Marc Jacobs, Billionaire Boys Club). | Estimate $400-$600. Sold for $800 plus fees


Lot 212: Group of Black Bedazzled T-Shirts: 10 NAACP, 1 “Born Blessed” With Praying Hands, by J. Matthews Collection. | Estimate $50-$100. Sold for $350 plus fees


Lot 220: FENDI, Alta Moda Mink and Nylon Overcoat. | Estimate $2,000-$3,000. Sold for $4,000 plus fees


Lot 221: TODD OLDHAM, Silk Patchwork Robe and Bag. | Estimate $600-$900. Sold for $2,300 plus fees


Lot 243: PUBLIC SCHOOL, Navy Wool Cape. | Estimate $400-$600. Sold for $1,200 plus fees


Lot 289: ANDRÉ LEON TALLEY (1948-2022), “Mood Subjonctif,” 1968 (oil on canvas, 30 x 42 inches, 31 x 43 inches, frame). | Estimate $400-$800. Sold for $12,000 plus fees


Lot 292: 20th Century School: Portrait of a Boxer (Oil on canvas board, unsigned, 23 1/2 x 18 inches, 26 1/4 x 20 1/2 inches, frame). | Estimate $100-$200. Sold for $5,000 plus fees


Lot 320: ANDRE CHARLES CARON: Au Bal Negre. | Estimate $600-$800. Sold for $2,700 plus fees


Lot 425: Group of Five Kuba Rafia Textiles, Democratic Republic of the Congo. | Estimate $150-$250. Sold for $300 plus fees


Lot 439: HERMÉS, Group of Three Silk Scarves, Designed by the Savannah College of Art and Design. | Estimate $600-$800. Sold for $2,700 plus fees


CHECK DIRECTLY with the auction house regarding dates and times of the sale and preview, and any questions about lot details, condition, provenance, and authenticity


FIND MORE André Leon Talley’s ‘Sanctuary’ in White Plains, N.Y., Is for Sale via New York Times


Andre Leon Talley was a lover of books and many is his collection are featured in the auction, including by Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Talley’s copy was signed by the author.) In 2020, Talley published a much-talked-about memoir “The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir.” Two decades ago, he also wrote about his life in “A.L.T.: A Memoir.” In addition, hee was the author of “Valentino: At the Emperor’s Table,” “Oscar de la Renta: His Legendary World of Style,” and a co-author of “Schiaparelli and the Artists.” Also consider “Africa Fashion,” which accompanies the exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum.


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