Auction house Sotheby's has announced that its auction of the contents of philanthropist Brooke Astor's New York City apartment and Westchester County mansion, the proceeds from which will benefit several New York City nonprofits, brought in more than $18.8 million.
Under a settlement negotiated by the New York State Attorney General's office, proceeds from the auction will benefit a number of arts and cultural institutions that Astor long supported. They include the New York Public Library, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Morgan Library and Museum, the Animal Medical Center of New York, and New York public schools. Auction prices for the objects, including European and Asian furniture, Old Master paintings and Qing Dynasty art, tea sets, jewelry, and more than a hundred paintings of dogs, surpassed Sotheby's pre-sale estimate of $9.7 million.
The auction comes after a family feud over Astor's estate was settled in March, freeing up some $100 million to be released to nonprofit beneficiaries and cutting in half the inheritance of Astor's 88-year-old son, Anthony Marshall, who is appealing a criminal conviction stemming from charges that he took advantage of his mother's dementia to enrich himself and his wife.
Astor, who died in 2007 at the age of 105, was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998 for her philanthropic work.