When legendary decorator Albert Hadley closed his office last year, some furniture and objects from his days working with decorating partner Sister Parish were kept in storage. He recently decided to let the small hoard go, so it was included in Sotheby’s European furniture sale on March 30 and 31. Drawn by the chance to snap up a piece of American design history, Tim Button and Barry Goralnick went to the sale preview earlier this week, and were delighted to bump into Albert there. The Parish-Hadley office was never snobbish when it came to furniture–superb taste was the quality that counted–so the lots weren’t grand or “important,” just a mix of characterful pieces that reflect an inimitable eye. Tim and Barry particularly liked a set of Swedish moderne style oak benches, tastemaking prototypes that launched a thousand imitations. And there were 14 glorious little sketches by Albert himself, who, as Tim said, “makes charcoal look like satin.”
Albert Hadley, Tim Button, and Barry Goralnick at the Sotheby’s preview.
Tim and Barry in front of a mirror in the style of Serge Roche.
Tim and Barry admiring sketches by Albert Hadley.
Here are a few of the lots that caught Tim and Barry’s eye, along with the very reasonable prices they reached at the auction on Wednesday, March 30.
One of 14 delightful sketches by Albert Hadley; the lot went for $1,125.
An amusing 20th-century metal sculpture on Lucite base went for $750.
$6,875 secured this handsome Art Deco mahogany dining table.
A composite mirror in the style of Serge Roche fetched $1,750.
A set of four Swedish moderne style oak benches, Parish-Hadley prototypes, went for $2,813.