The day has come: the auction of the interiors from the iconic Four Seasons Restaurant is officially underway. The legendary restaurant within the Seagram Building is outfitted in furnishings from architects like Mies van der Rohe, Philip Johnson, and Eero Saarinen, all of which will be going to the highest bidder before the day is over. (The restaurant itself is a landmark, but the furnishings, alas, were not.) The auction is in anticipation of the Four Seasons moving a few blocks away in 2017; the team behind Parm and Carbone will open a new restaurant in the historic space in the near future.
Given the eatery’s reputation and renown, the lots—including everything from Mies’s iconic Barcelona chairs to the table settings created by Ada Louise Huxtable—have been fetching incredibly high prices. (How high? The bronze sign that once hung on the 52nd Street entrance, emblazoned with Emil Antonucci’s Four Seasons trees, fetched an astounding $96,000.)
Many architecture fanatics, including Paul Goldberger, are on the ground at the Four Seasons—here’s what’s happening (there’s also a livestream if you want to watch the action yourself):
Currently watching The Four Seasons auction—how much do you think this serving cabinet will go for? pic.twitter.com/dwBwK8eGZY— Curbed (@Curbed) July 26, 2016
Sign plaque from 52 St door, first lot at Four Seasons auction, estimated at 5,000, sells for $96,000.— Paul Goldberger (@paulgoldberger) July 26, 2016
#FourSeasons auction: first ten lots all way above estimates. Lobby Barcelona chairs 17K, ottomans 18K, bronze sign 96K— Paul Goldberger (@paulgoldberger) July 26, 2016
The Philip Johnson bar carts initially on Four Seasons auction list aren't up today. Wonder which Rosen kid got 'em? https://t.co/nbVhu6KfEB— Chris Rovzar (@Rovzar) July 26, 2016
WOW. The last set of 4 ashtrays is going for $10k. The previous two sets went for $5500 and $6000, respectively. pic.twitter.com/8lTjCjaMPk— Curbed (@Curbed) July 26, 2016
Four Seasons live auction is better and more dramatic than Stranger Things and Mr. Robot. 4 ashtrays sold for $10K! https://t.co/MeWfTUuOBY— Joey Arak (@jarak) July 26, 2016
OK. Here we go. A sign! pic.twitter.com/qTowysaHuB— Curbed (@Curbed) July 26, 2016
A sign at #fourseasons auction stolen as fraternity prank returned by thief for sale, proceeds of $40,000 will go to charity.— Paul Goldberger (@paulgoldberger) July 26, 2016
The auction of the Four Seasons restaurant contents show you:— Rex Kramer® (@RexDangerSeeker) July 26, 2016
1. How beloved the institution was
2. How much disposable income is out there
Pool room seating at #fourseasons auction not selling for huge amounts as I assumed (more than I can afford, but not astronomical)— Taylor W. Kidd (@KiddTW) July 26, 2016
(For the record, a lot of 12 Mies Brno chairs sold for $11,000, and a pair just sold for $4,250, so you know, still high.)
Philip Johnson's corner banquette Table 32 goes at #fourseasons auction for $28K, which it probably generated w 2 months of lunch checks— Paul Goldberger (@paulgoldberger) July 26, 2016
A similar curved banquette sold for a whopping $50,000; another went for $36,000.
And then there's this:
I hear prices @FourSeasons auction were sky-high.$10,000 for four ashtrays. I'll sell my four if someone wants to give $10,000 to Citymeals.— Gael Greene (@GaelGreene) July 26, 2016
Just saw a wine cooler stand sell for $11,000 at the Four Seasons auction so no longer need to feel bad when I buy sushi 2 nights in a row.— Carly Me Badd (@carlyafisher) July 26, 2016
We’ll be updating as the auction goes on, so keep an eye on this space.