skip to Main Content

May 17, 2019

A Lifetime of Philanthropy & Collecting: Indian Art from the Estate of David Swope

One could say David Swope lived his life to the fullest, and it seems that whenever he is remembered, it is for his kindness and generosity.

Mr. Swope was a serious collector of Indian antiquities and traveled extensively through India, living in Bombay (now Mumbai) in the 1960s.  It was there he spent two and a half years in the Peace Corps, where he set up a legal aid society, and met many lifelong friends.  Upon returning to the United States, he joined the law firm of Davis Polk.  Later in life, after a long and rewarding career, he immersed himself in his philanthropic and environmental work.  Many Westchester County, New York organizations such as the Westchester Community College in Valhalla, the Teatown Lake Reservation Environmental Education Center in Ossining and the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville benefited from his hard work and generosity.



Whenever one is invited to look at a large group of Indian artifacts, one must naturally question age, authenticity and provenance.  Mr. Swope’s collection was purchased over decades of travel and numerous trips to India, many from Natesan’s Antiqarts, in Mumbai.  He befriended Kalesan Natesan and his family whilst he was in the Peace Corps.  This friendship and mutual adoration for Indian Art was a catalyst for Mr. Swope’s collecting.

Highlights of the sale include: A Grey Granite Carving of Vishnu, a Bronze Figure of Shiva, a large and colorful Pichwai and a Grey Schist Carving of a Dancing Ganesha.

David Swope was a cherished friend for many decades.  He was a renowned philanthropist, supporting many charitable organizations involved in health care, childcare, education and environmental conservation, among other things.

David took particular pride in his extraordinary collection of Indian art and antiquities, which were beautifully displayed throughout his magnificent home overlooking the Hudson River in Ossining, New York.  While it is sad to think of his beloved Indian collection being broken up, he has been as generous in death as he was in life, leaving substantially all of his assets – including the proceeds of this sale – to the charitable organizations he supported for so many years.  Bidders in this auction can thus be assured that, through their participation, they will be advancing the philanthropic work of this remarkable individual.

Douglas M. Kraus
Co-Executor and Co-Trustee,
Estate of David Swope


We accept live online bidding, phone bids and absentee bids for this sale.
All bidding for this sale must be arranged prior to 5pm on Thursday, May 16.

To register for bidding by phone or absentee click here.
Register for live online bidding via or

For inquiries regarding the items in this sale please contact us at 518.751.1000 or

Time & Location

Friday, May 17, 11am

Catalogue Online

Friday, May 3

Gallery Preview

Saturday, May 11 – Friday, May 17

Gallery Hours

Monday – Thursday: 10am-5pm
Friday: 10am-5pm
Saturday: 11am-5pm
Sunday: 12-5pm

Back To Top