Auction Information
Auctioneer Nye and Company Auctioneers and Appraisers 973-984-6900
Auction Date Jul 25 Auction
20 Beach Street
Bloomfield, NJ
Time 10:00AM
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Items from "Wawapek", the Long Island estate home of New York's historic de Forest family, will be auctioned July 25-26

The 2-day sale will be held online and at Nye & Company’s gallery located in Bloomfield, N.J.
BLOOMFIELD, N.J. – Items from the estate home in Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island known
as “Wawapek” – the Queen Anne-style residence of the de Forests, a family so deeply rooted in
New York history it dates back 300 years to the days of the early Huguenot settlers in Manhattan
– will come up for bid in a two-day sale planned for July 25-26 by Nye & Company Auctioneers.
The auction will be held in Nye & Company’s gallery, located at 20 Beach Street in Bloomfield.
The full catalog is available for viewing now, at, as well as on the
internet bidding platforms and The Wednesday, July 25 th
session will have live and internet bidding. The Thursday, July 26 th session will be internet only.
Many of the items in “Wawapek” – a stately Gilded Age mansion built in 1897 and occupied by
the de Forest family up until this year – will be in the sale, to include yachting trophies, Native
American pots and baskets, American glass, and European and Mexican pottery (some of which
was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where Robert de Forest served as president).
Also from the de Forest estate will be numerous period furniture pieces (much of it New York in
origin), steamer trunks (to include examples by Louis Vuitton, Goyard and others), and even a
rare and simple pine box that Tiffany & Company used as a shipping crate that bears their label.
An aside: the de Forests were close friends with Louis C. Tiffany and called him “Uncle Louis”.
“A great deal of the de Forests’ collection was stashed away in ‘Wawapek’ and shows condition
commensurate with being forgotten in the attic,” said John Nye of Nye & Company Auctioneers,
“but regardless, these items are a trove that’s rich in family lore and New York history. Robert
de Forest, who built the home, was a major philanthropist and civic leader in New York City.”
While the de Forest estate is the auction’s undisputed headliner, it’s not all that’s in the sale.
Also up for bid will be original calendar art by Howard Pyle (Am., 1853-1911), signed “H. Pyle”
lower left and depicting a woman with a jug and ravens, plus 11 loose calendar pages, to include
the page being sold; and a pair of seven-light blackamoor torcheres (stands for holding lamps).
Also being sold, for fans of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, are pieces of Baroque-style
furniture that were previously in the wine room of the home of “Mighty Max” Weinberg (Am.,
b. 1951), the longtime drummer for the E Street band and bandleader for Conan O’Brien on both
of O’Brien’s late-night shows. The wine room is one of Weinberg’s favorite places in the home.

Furniture pulled from “Wawapek” will feature a Wendell Castle black leather crescent rocker, a
Queen Anne gumwood kasten made in the 18 th century in New York (possibly Long Island), a
circa 1815 Neoclassical mahoganized recamier (fainting couch) probably made in New York,
and a Continental inlaid walnut music box on a stand, in working condition with extra cylinders.
Decorative accessories from “Wawapek” will include a copper spread wing eagle weathervane,
an English late 18 th century George III mahogany dual barometer/thermometer, a floral-decorated
Delft garniture set attributed to Justus Brouwer (Dutch, active 1739-1775), and a pair of 19 th or
20 th century yellow-brown glazed European wine jugs, probably handcrafted in France.
Native American objects from the de Forest estate will feature a pair of fine Trios (or Zia)
polychrome storage jars, an oval Pomo basket with shell decoration and a Southwest Indian coil
basket, circa 1900, with geometric four-point stepped star design. Also sold will be a large size
Gothic doll house, a Larchmont Yacht Club 1913 season picnic hamper and an oil on canvas
portrait of Cornelius Van Tromp (1620-1691), with an illegible inscription and “Amsterdam”.
The de Forest family’s U.S. history can be traced to Jesse de Forest (1576-1624), the leader of a
group of Walloon Huguenots who fled Europe and religious persecution. They emigrated to New
York, where de Forest’s plan was to found New-Belgium, so the group could peacefully practice
their Reformed Protestant Christianity. He sought permission from the Dutch to establish a
colony in what is now New York City and was granted permission in 1624. That year a group of
sixty families of Walloons and Dutch Protestants settled in what they called New Amsterdam.
Fast forward to Robert W. De Forest (1848-1931), Jesse’s descendant, who was general counsel
for the Central Railroad from 1874-1924 and director of the New York & Long Branch railroad,
All-America Cables and the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. He was New York City’s
first Tenement House Commissioner and became the president of the newly formed National
Housing Association of New York in 1910. De Forest was also president of the American Red
Cross, the Russell Sage Foundation and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1913-1931). De Forest
and his wife, the former Emily Johnston, built the American wing of the museum. Ms. Johnston
was the daughter of the Met’s first president and co-founder, John Taylor Johnston (1820-1893).
Start times both days will be 10 am Eastern. Phone and absentee bids will be accepted for day
one of the auction. Previews will be held in the Bloomfield gallery Monday-Friday, July 16-20,
from 10-4; Sunday, July 22 nd , from noon-4 pm; and Monday-Thursday, July 23-26, from 10-4.
John Nye had a long and fruitful career at Sotheby’s before he and his wife, Kathleen, acquired
Dawson’s in 2003 and started Dawson & Nye. With the move to Bloomfield seven years later,
they renamed the business to Nye & Company (Auctioneers, Appraisers, Antiques). The firm is
nationwide, but the vast bulk of the business comes from trusts and estates in the tri-state area.
For more information about Nye & Company Auctioneers and the auction scheduled for July 25 th
and 26 th , please visit The full color catalog is available for viewing
at, and

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Suggested photo captions:

Wendell Castle:
Wendell Castle black leather crescent rocker.
Coil basket:
Southwest Indian coil basket, circa 1900, with geometric four-point stepped star design.
Howard Pyle:
Original calendar art by Howard Pyle (Am., 1853-1911), signed “H. Pyle” lower left and
depicting a woman with a jug and ravens, plus 11 loose calendar pages.
Pressed glass vases:
Pair of deep amethyst pressed glass vases, wafer construction, with paneled and stepped bases
and trumpet tops, Boston Sandwich Co.
Aquamarine pitcher:
Aquamarine blown glass pitcher (or creamer), possibly South Jersey, early 19 th century.
Round basket:
Pomo shell bead-decorated round basket with three rows of graduated inverted pyramids, circa
Covered urns:
Pair of gilt metal mounted porcelain covered urns.
Walnut cupboard:
Baroque style carved walnut cupboard.
Acoma olla:
Polychrome Acoma olla, circa 1904, with bands of checkerboard decoration in black enclosing
red abstract design.
Copper weathervane:
Copper spread wing eagle weathervane, made in New England in the 19 th or 20 th century.
Music box:
Continental 19 th century inlaid walnut music box on stand, together with nine musical cylinders.
Vuitton trunk:
French 20 th century Louis Vuitton steamer trunk, labeled on the inside and fitted with removable

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