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Anatomy of a Fifth Avenue Pantry

Mr. and Mrs. John Gutfreund were gracious and practiced entertainers, hosting   dinner parties for captains of industry, European royalty and high society in their duplex apartment at 834 Fifth Avenue. In order to provide one’s guests with a memorable evening, a properly outfitted pantry is a neccessity.  Included in our October 8th sale Selected Property from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Gutfreund is a wide variety of of items from the couple’s notable pantry.

The Gutreund pantry was well-organized and abundant, housing a potpourri of porcelain dinner services, silver hollowware and flatware, crystal stemware, unique tabletop decorations as well as  a silver vault. Taped to each upper cabinet was a polaroid photo of the contents including the number count of each service to help the busy hostess and her staff. The largest service in the pantry was a 132-piece Spode Blue and White Ironstone Dinner Service in the famous Fitzhugh pattern. (lot 303). Stored in the same cupboard were two sets of blue glass finger bowls, a set of 25 Baccarat champagne flutes, a special set of 12 Italian silver champagne flutes, (lot 43), and a Puiforcat Silver Wine Cooler (279).

The large pantry housed a variety of porcelain services suitable for the various types of engagements hosted in the Gutfreund home. Highlights include a set of 12 Meisssen Porcelain Plates and a matching platter (lot 53), a set of 22 Sèvres Porcelain Plates and a Bowl (lot 31), a set of Chinese Export Famille Rose Porcelain Plates (lot 15), and a set of 37 Mottahedeh Plates in the famous Tobacco Leaf pattern (lot 58).

Along with the usual dinner services and glassware, the pantry housed a few unique pieces including a Tiffany Silver-Gilt Pagoda Table Decoration (lot 24) which may have accompanied the rare Eagle Crested Continental Amber Glass Service (lot 11),  an after dinner Paris Porcelain Gold Ground Part Coffee Service with a fitted box from Jeremy Ltd. London, (lot 97) and a Russian Silver and Enamel Coffee Set (lot 321). A rare George II Silver Brandy Warmer (lot 135) and Christofle silver plate cigar case and matching lighter would be used later in the evening.

The silver vault was home to a sensational group of holllowares and flatware services including (lot 63) a group of Puiforcat Silver Serving Wares, a Cartier Silver Pierced Bucket (lot 277), a George V Silver and Mother-of-Pearl Fruit Flatware Service (lot 119) and a large 73 piece French Silver-Gilt and Mother-of-Pearl Dessert Service fit for Louis XVI (lot 120). The kitchen proper housed a large set of 31 French Copper Pots and Pans (lot 85) which were used to create  unforgettable meals for decades in this storied apartment.

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