Whitney Robinson and Marc Karimzadeh are feeling a big lighter these days.
The couple last month auctioned off contents of their New York City apartment and former East Hampton home at Doyle Auctioneers & Appraisers. Nearly all the contemporary sculpture, paintings, jewelry and furnishings within 194 lots were auctioned off.
“Marc and Whitney were incredible partners in the sale,” said Laura Doyle, chief executive officer of Doyle. “They were so engaged in social media and so open to work with us. It helped us tell the story having them telling it, too. We were thrilled with the results and the process. Their collection was a rich tapestry reflecting their lives, travels, friendships and careers,” said Doyle, who declined to reveal how much money was raised because of confidentiality agreements.
After 20 years of collecting, Robinson, the former design editor and real estate developer and global brand consultant, and Karimzadeh, CFDA editorial and communications director, decided to declutter their apartment, decorated by Miles Redd and David Kaihoi, and their former East Hampton residence, which they sold in 2014. Many of their furnishings and artwork were in storage.
“Both Whitney and I have been in the creative business for a very long time. We’ve traveled a lot and we’ve accumulated a lot of things, and over the course of time, we’ve had four homes. We always ended up adding to our collections. We felt it was time — rather put them in storage — to have other people enjoy some of the beautiful pieces we have accumulated over the years,” said Karimzadeh.
Among the items sold were a set of 12 Jonas upholstered mahogany gondola chairs for $8,820, a glass waterfall console for $693, a Ralph Lauren Art Deco-style mahogany upholstered sofa and club chair for $2,268, an Armani Cerused oak occasional table for $504, a Lalique Languedoc Black Glass Vase for $1,260, a group of Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co. glass barware for $1,764 and a group of fashion books for $1,071.
At the high end, a brooch by Schlumberger that Tiffany & Co. designed as a glittering gold, blue paillonné enamel, diamond and gem-set camel went for $11,970, while a Russell Crotty American globe sold for $10,080, a world auction record for the artist. One of the only items, a Gio Ponti Walnut Secretaire and Chair estimated between $50,000 and $80,000, went unsold.
Robinson, who has previously been editor in chief of Elle Decor and style director at Town & Country, said, “It’s the blessing and the curse of fashion and collecting. I think one of the things of being an editor is you want to be able to support artisans from around the world. You can write about them, as we always did, you can work with them as I do now with my consultancy…or by buying stuff.”
Robinson said they have a couple of storage units in Greenwich, Connecticut, and in New York, and they could probably fill another 1,000 lots. “Over the years, we would rotate things in and out…we were really working in the heyday of collecting and traveling and in the height of magazines,” he said. He said the last apartment they were living in was about 3,500 square feet, “and no corner was spared.” They have since moved into another apartment, and the collecting has started up again.
“We are unabashedly maximalists,” added Robinson.