Waldorf Astoria hotel will auction off 80,000 items in ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ event


The Waldorf Astoria Hotel is auctioning off 80,000 items from its lavish interiors including grand pianos, chandeliers, 19th century French furniture and pieces from suites used by Edward VIII and Wallace Simpson, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and musician Cole Porter.

The event is led by Kaminski Auctions, based in Boston, and thousands of items from the hotel’s golden age will be up for bidding in the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ sale.

The fine pieces are now being housed in the rented one-million-square-foot Silver City Galleria mall, south of Boston.

Previews for ‘Fine Furnishings of the Historic Waldorf Astoria New York’ began Saturday. The auction officially runs from October 17 to November 15. 

The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City is auctioning off 80,000 items from its lavish interiors including grand pianos, chandeliers, 19th century French furniture and pieces from rooms used by Edward VIII and Wallace Simpson, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and musician Cole Porter

Duke and Duchess of Windsor Suite: Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson lived at the glamorous hotel as they engaged in the New York social scene following his abdication in 1936. The two stayed at the hotel’s royal suite on the 42nd floor, but were forced out to another apartment when Queen Elizabeth II arrived for her first state visit to the US in 1957. To make up for the inconvenience the hotel management offered to re-upholster the furniture and paint the apartment Simpson’s favorite shade of pale blue

Duke and Duchess of Windsor Suite: Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson lived at the glamorous hotel as they engaged in the New York social scene following his abdication in 1936. The two stayed at the hotel’s royal suite on the 42nd floor, but were forced out to another apartment when Queen Elizabeth II arrived for her first state visit to the US in 1957. To make up for the inconvenience the hotel management offered to re-upholster the furniture and paint the apartment Simpson’s favorite shade of pale blue

The Duke and Duchess stayed at the hotel between 1941 and 1961 and would primarily come into the city for the social season in the fall. The couple pictured entering the Waldorf Astoria hotel

The Duke and Duchess stayed at the hotel between 1941 and 1961 and would primarily come into the city for the social season in the fall. The couple pictured entering the Waldorf Astoria hotel

The sale comes as the swanky hotel undergoes a $1billion renovation and all the proceeds will go to support the renovation of the exteriors and gardens of the St. Bartholomew’s Church and Community House, a landmark located across the street from the hotel.

‘This is a once-in-a-lifetime event,’ auction house CEO Frank Kaminski said.

He anticipates bidders from across the globe will join the auction to snag up pieces from suites that housed world leaders, US presidents, and celebrities.

‘There are exquisite furnishings from the hotel’s notable restaurants and lounges. Needless to say, there’s something for everyone,’ he said.

For months the auction house has worked tirelessly to catalogue all of the items, that were transported in 88 tractor trailers from the glamorous hotel in New York City to the mall.

‘Many of the pieces for auction have been a witness to history, and we are excited to see them find new life in the homes of avid collectors,’ Andrew Miller, CEO of Daija US, the owner and developer of Waldorf Astoria New York, stated in a press release.

In all items from 142 Towers suites, including the Windsor Suite, the Presidential Suite, and the Royal Suite. Art, chandeliers, and décor from the famous Bull and Bear bar, La Chine restaurant, and Peacock Alley, will be up for bidding.

The Cole Porter suite: The American music composer and playwright lived at the Waldorf Towers from 1934 to 1964 in a sweeping 6,000-square-foot apartment

The Cole Porter suite: The American music composer and playwright lived at the Waldorf Towers from 1934 to 1964 in a sweeping 6,000-square-foot apartment

Outside the suite is a plaque dedicated to the musician who wrote some of his most famous works while living at the Waldorf Towers

Cole Porter pictured  in 1933

Outside Cole Porter’s suite is a plaque dedicated to the musician, who wrote some of his most famous works while living at the Waldorf Towers

A French burl wood serpentine front chest of drawers that is part of Cole Porter's suite is up for auction with an estimated worth between $800 and $1,200.

An oil portrait of George Washington on a horse by an unknown artist that Porter displayed in one of his rooms is estimated to be worth between $500 to $1,500.

A French burl wood serpentine front chest of drawers that is part of Cole Porter’s suite is up for auction with an estimated worth between $800 and $1,200. An oil portrait of George Washington on a horse by an unknown artist that Porter displayed in one of his rooms is estimated to be worth between $500 to $1,500

A view of composer Cole Porter's 1907 Steinway grand piano on display at the Waldorf Towers. It was be restored and placed back on display

A view of composer Cole Porter’s 1907 Steinway grand piano on display at the Waldorf Towers. It was be restored and placed back on display 

A plaque on the historic piano pictured above explaining how it was owned by Cole Porter in his music career

A plaque on the historic piano pictured above explaining how it was owned by Cole Porter in his music career

The legendary and landmark hotel became a beacon of glamour and luxury where the world’s leaders and Hollywood’s elite stayed.

The Waldorf Astoria first opened its doors in 1931 in New York City and at the time was the largest and tallest hotel in the world.

Today the hotel is still a treasure of the city, known for its original Art Deco design.

Some of its famous guests to take up residence at the hotel’s apartment include famed American composer and Broadway songwriter Cole Porter.

He lived at the Waldorf Towers from 1934 to 1964 in a sweeping 6,000-square-foot apartment and while living there penned some of his most famous plays and pieces including ‘Don’t fence me in’ and ‘You’re the top, you’re a Waldorf salad.’

His famed 1907 Steinway Grand Piano is on display at the hotel.

Winston Churchill Suite: Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill stayed at the hotel’s suite on the 39th floor during his visits to the US in the 1930s and after World War II. The sophisticated suite features wood-panel walls, red curtains and a grand piano

Winston Churchill Suite: Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill stayed at the hotel’s suite on the 39th floor during his visits to the US in the 1930s and after World War II. The sophisticated suite features wood-panel walls, red curtains and a grand piano

The door to the Winston Churchill suite featuring a plaque emblazoned with his name on it is also for sale, estimated to be worth between $300 and $500

Churchill pictured speaking at a banquet in his honor at the Waldorf Astoria hotel on March 15, 1946 where he said peace in the world depends upon the cooperation of Great Britain and the United States.

The door to the Winston Churchill suite featuring a plaque emblazoned with his name on it is also for sale, estimated to be worth between $300 and $500. Churchill pictured right speaking at a banquet in his honor at the Waldorf Astoria hotel on March 15, 1946 where he said peace in the world depends upon the cooperation of Great Britain and the United States

A view of the wood-panel and marble fireplace inside Churchill's suite above

A view of the wood-panel and marble fireplace inside Churchill’s suite above

Red print curtains from Churchill's suite will also be on auction this month

Red print curtains from Churchill’s suite will also be on auction this month

One of the most prominent pieces from Porter’s apartment is the library designed by interior designer Billy Baldwin, who covered the walls with tortoise-shell vinyl in 1955 and included brass tube bookshelves into his design. One of those shelves is estimated at $1,200 to $1,500, according to the New York Post.

Other key pieces up for auction from his site include imported parquet flooring from a chateau in France and oriental rugs.

Venetian silk pillows in orange and red will be on sale estimated at $80 to $100 each.

An oil portrait of George Washington on a horse by an unknown artist that Porter displayed in one of his rooms is estimated to be worth between $500 to $1,500.

A serpentine French marble cabinet with hand-painted porcelain plaques that were displayed in the reception hall are priced between $2,500 to $3,500.

Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson also lived at the glamorous hotel while they engaged in the social scene following his abdication in 1936.

The legendary and landmark hotel became a beacon of glamor and luxury where the world’s leaders and Hollywood’s elite stayed. The Waldorf Astoria first opened its doors in 1931 in New York City and at the time was the largest and tallest hotel in the world. A  view of a black grand piano up for auction above

The legendary and landmark hotel became a beacon of glamor and luxury where the world’s leaders and Hollywood’s elite stayed. The Waldorf Astoria first opened its doors in 1931 in New York City and at the time was the largest and tallest hotel in the world. A  view of a black grand piano up for auction above

In 1993 the city named the Waldorf Astoria - and its spectacular interiors - an official New York City landmark. A view of two upholstered ivory and wood chairs pictured up for auction

In 1993 the city named the Waldorf Astoria – and its spectacular interiors – an official New York City landmark. A view of two upholstered ivory and wood chairs pictured up for auction

Every president since Herbert Hoover has stayed here, including President Obama, who sleeps in the 35th floor Presidential Suite every time he’s in town. A view of an elegant table up for auction above

Every president since Herbert Hoover has stayed here, including President Obama, who sleeps in the 35th floor Presidential Suite every time he’s in town. A view of an elegant table up for auction above

As well as 1,413 rooms it houses three restaurants - Peacock Alley, Bull and Bear Prime Steakhouse and Oscar's - five lounges not to mention a secret underground train platform used to enable presidents and VIPs to enter from nearby Grand Central Terminal in secret. A view of two leopard print chairs above

As well as 1,413 rooms it houses three restaurants – Peacock Alley, Bull and Bear Prime Steakhouse and Oscar’s – five lounges not to mention a secret underground train platform used to enable presidents and VIPs to enter from nearby Grand Central Terminal in secret. A view of two leopard print chairs above

These frosted glass light fixtures are one of thousands of items up for sale as the hotel undergoes a $1billion renovation

A frosted glass light fixture up for auction in the Waldorf Astoria auction above

These frosted glass light fixtures are one of thousands of items up for sale as the hotel undergoes a $1billion renovation

The two stayed at the hotel’s royal suite on the 42nd floor, but were forced out to another apartment when Queen Elizabeth II arrived for her first state visit to the US in 1957.

To make up for the inconvenience the hotel management offered to re-upholster the furniture and paint the apartment Simpson’s favorite shade of pale blue.

The action will include Charles X black lacquered wood-and-gilt benches upholstered in ‘Wallis Blue’ fabric that were placed in the suite’s reception area. Those will start at $1,000 for the pair.

A porcelain 13-piece tea-set, designed by the Royal Porcelain Factory, estimated to be worth between $800 and $1,200, is also up for bidding.

Needlepoint pug pillows featuring portraits of the couple’s favorite dogs will also be on sale between $100 and $200 each.

Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill stayed at the hotel’s suite on the 39th floor during his visits to the US in the 1930s and after World War II.

Some iconic items, such as the Spirit of Achievement statue that graces the Park Avenue entrance, the 1893 World’s Fair Clock (above) which anchors the central lobby, Porter’s Steinway grand piano, a John F. Kennedy Rocking Chair will be restored and put back on display at the hotel

Some iconic items, such as the Spirit of Achievement statue that graces the Park Avenue entrance, the 1893 World’s Fair Clock (above) which anchors the central lobby, Porter’s Steinway grand piano, a John F. Kennedy Rocking Chair will be restored and put back on display at the hotel

A French gilt and white painted console table with marble top that will be up for auction pictured above

A French gilt and white painted console table with marble top that will be up for auction pictured above

These orange upholstered chairs are one of the thousands of elegant items up for sale in the 'once-in-a-lifetime' auction

These orange upholstered chairs are one of the thousands of elegant items up for sale in the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ auction

The Waldorf has also featured in countless movies including Scent Of A Woman, Coming To America and the 1945 Ginger Rogers film Week-End at the Waldorf. A view of an ornate gold mirror up for auction above

The Waldorf has also featured in countless movies including Scent Of A Woman, Coming To America and the 1945 Ginger Rogers film Week-End at the Waldorf. A view of an ornate gold mirror up for auction above

Elaborate crystal chandeliers from the lavish hotel are also up for auction, worth thousands of dollars a piece

A view of a chandelier for sale pictured above

Elaborate crystal chandeliers from the lavish hotel are also up for auction, worth thousands of dollars a piece. The chandelier on the right is valued at $1,300

40 STORIES OF HISTORY THAT STARTED FROM A FEUD 

The Waldorf Astoria was originally two separate hotels, built as a result of a feud between two cousins, William Waldorf Astor and John Jacob Astor IV – both of them scions of the Astor family, whose original fortune was made from furs.

The hotels were next door to each another on Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street. Eventually, the cousins came to a truce, and they connected the hotels with a hallway. But in 1929, the twin hotels were demolished to make way for the Empire State Building, and the Waldorf Astoria name was sold for $1 to Lucius Boomer, who began construction on the hotel’s current location.

The Waldorf Astoria is now located at 301 Park Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets, and the residential Waldorf Towers are at the top. When it opened in 1931, the new Waldorf Astoria was the tallest and largest hotel in the world.

William Waldorf Astor

Financier John Jacob Astor who drowned in the Titanic above

The Waldorf Astoria was originally two separate hotels, built as a result of a feud between two cousins, William Waldorf Astor (left) and John Jacob Astor IV (right) – both of them scions of the Astor family, whose original fortune was made from furs.

President Herbert Hoover mentioned the ‘brand new’ hotel in a radio broadcast from the White House. ‘The opening of the new Waldorf Astoria … marks the measure of nation’s growth in power, in comfort, and in artistry,’ he said.

Hoover gave what he considered the farewell speech of his administration at the National Republican Club’s Lincoln Day Dinner of 1933 in the Grand Ballroom. He liked the hotel so much he moved in and lived there for over 30 years.

Soon after opening, the hotel introduced 24-hour room service – a first in the history of hotels. The hotel’s maitre d’, Oscar Tschirky, known as ‘Oscar of the Waldorf,’ collected menus, many of which came from events hosted at the hotel. The menus have since been donated to Cornell University.

Many Hollywood movies have been filmed inside the famous hotel, starting in 1945 with ‘Week-End at the Waldorf.’ It grossed over $4 million and ranked seventh at the box office that year.

And many major events have been thrown in the hotel’s Grand Ballroom, a four-story, two-tier room that can host 1,500 guests under its 44-foot ceiling. 

Conrad Hilton acquired the Waldorf Astoria for $3 million in 1949 and Hilton Worldwide owned the property until selling it to Chinese insurance group Anbang in 2014. 

Some items from sophisticated wood-paneled suite include black-and-white framed photographs of Churchill in his soldier uniform and at formal dinners from 1950 to 1953.

The images were snapped by hotel staff photographers and are estimated to be worth between $200 and $300 each.

The door to the suite featuring a plaque emblazoned with Churchill’s name on it is also for sale, estimated to be worth between $300 and $500.

A carpet stretching 19 by 12 feet that was once in the former prime minister’s study is also on sale estimated to be between $2,500 to $3,500.

Carved mahogany Georgian chairs covered in striped silk are also up for auction, estimated between $400 and $600.

An extravagant 19th century bronze sculpture of Poseidon will also go on sale valued between $1,500 to $2,500.

A baccarat crystal chandelier from the elegant room will start between $2,500 to $3,500.

In all items from 142 Towers suites, including the Windsor Suite, the Presidential Suite, and the Royal Suite. Art, chandeliers, and décor from the famous Bull and Bear bar, La Chine restaurant, and Peacock Alley, will be up for bidding

In all items from 142 Towers suites, including the Windsor Suite, the Presidential Suite, and the Royal Suite. Art, chandeliers, and décor from the famous Bull and Bear bar, La Chine restaurant, and Peacock Alley, will be up for bidding 

A view of a chair at the Bull and Bear restaurant housed inside the hotel up for auction pictured above

A view of a chair at the Bull and Bear restaurant housed inside the hotel up for auction pictured above

Furniture pieces from the restaurant's famed Bull and Bear restaurant will be up for sale

Furniture pieces from the restaurant’s famed Bull and Bear restaurant will be up for sale 

The sale comes as the swanky hotel undergoes a $1billion renovation and all the proceeds will go to support the renovation of the exteriors and gardens of the St. Bartholomew’s Church and Community House, a landmark located across the street from the hotel

The sale comes as the swanky hotel undergoes a $1billion renovation and all the proceeds will go to support the renovation of the exteriors and gardens of the St. Bartholomew’s Church and Community House, a landmark located across the street from the hotel

Items from bedrooms like this at the hotel will be up for sale. Previews for 'Fine Furnishings of the Historic Waldorf Astoria New York' began Saturday. The auction officially runs from October 17 to November 15

Items from bedrooms like this at the hotel will be up for sale. Previews for ‘Fine Furnishings of the Historic Waldorf Astoria New York’ began Saturday. The auction officially runs from October 17 to November 15

The bidding is led by Kaminski Auctions, based in Boston, and thousands of items from the hotel’s golden age will be up for grabs in the 'once-in-a-lifetime' sale

The bidding is led by Kaminski Auctions, based in Boston, and thousands of items from the hotel’s golden age will be up for grabs in the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ sale

Some iconic items, such as the Spirit of Achievement statue that graces the Park Avenue entrance, the 1893 World’s Fair Clock which anchors the central lobby, Porter’s Steinway grand piano, a John F. Kennedy Rocking Chair will be restored and put back on display at the hotel.

In 1993 the city named the Waldorf Astoria – and its spectacular interiors – an official New York City landmark.

The hotel prides itself on the design philosophy that no two guest rooms are exactly the same.

As well as 1,413 rooms it houses three restaurants – Peacock Alley, Bull and Bear Prime Steakhouse and Oscar’s – five lounges not to mention a secret underground train platform used to enable presidents and VIPs to enter from nearby Grand Central Terminal in secret.

Every president since Herbert Hoover has stayed here, including President Obama, who sleeps in the 35th floor Presidential Suite every time he’s in town.

Celebrity heiress Paris Hilton even grew up in the hotel and fondly recalls meeting visiting presidents and sneaking into parties and bar mitzvahs.

The Waldorf has also featured in countless movies including Scent Of A Woman, Coming To America and the 1945 Ginger Rogers film Week-End at the Waldorf.  

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