7 Affordable Treasures Straight from Joan Rivers’ Estate

Left: Lot 16, Right: Lot 19, Litchfield County Auctions (July 20)

Joan Rivers was many things: a comedian, a philanthropist, a designer, a global businesswoman. She was also known for her exceptional taste in fashion and interior decor, adorning her home with stylish furniture and outfits with a unique assortment of jewelry and accessories (some even designed by Rivers herself).

While many of Rivers’ most valuable possessions from her Manhattan apartment sold for out-of-reach prices for the average buyer, a number of her more accessible fine and decorative artworks, silver pieces, furniture, and jewelry will soon hit the auction block. On July 20th and 21st, Litchfield County Auctions will host a no-reserve sale of Joan Rivers’ personal property from her Connecticut country estate and Manhattan apartment.

From lively garden sculptures to silverware to beaded necklaces and brooches, we spoke with Litchfield specialist Tania Kirkman to find out which pieces, each with Joan Rivers’ stamp of approval, are most worthy of our attention.

Lot 181, engraved Emmy Award crystal bowl, c. 1990, Litchfield County Auctions (July 20)

“Joan Rivers won the daytime Emmy that year for Outstanding Talk Show Host. Usually brutally honest in her approach to comedy, her acceptance speech was thoughtful, heartfelt, and memorable as she dedicated her award to her daughter Melissa, and remembers her late husband who she lost just a couple years earlier.”

Lot 1, French Provincial fauteuil with salmon and ivory striped floral upholstery,
20th century, Litchfield County Auctions (July 20)

“This chair may be seen in numerous images of Ms. Rivers in her Manhattan apartment. It is upholstered in a color scheme that was prevalent for Ms. Rivers, in warm tones of pink, white, cream and gold.”

Lot 245, “Portrait of an Elegant Dowager” attributed to Hugh Collins, oil on canvas,
unsigned, Litchfield County Auctions (July 20)

“Exhibited at the British Royal Academy and more widely, the Scottish Royal Academy, this painting was hung in Ms. Rivers’ kitchen in her Connecticut home. It was paired with a portrait of a man, and surrounded by her collection of antique pewter, which is also in this sale.”

Lot 282, sterling silver coffer by Brook & Son, Edinburgh, 1895, Litchfield County Auctions (July 20)

“This is just one of the many pieces that represent Ms. Rivers’ known appreciation of the finer things. The coffer depicts opposing reliefs of the burning bush symbol of the Presbyterian Church and a Church, and includes makers marks and a 1895 date, stamped inside lid Brook & Son, Goldsmiths to the Queen. It was probably a presentation piece.”

Lot 71, Angel Gabriel garden sculpture, 19th century or earlier, cast lead,
unsigned, Litchfield County Auctions (July 20)

“This angel figure can be seen in numerous images overlooking Central Park from Ms. Rivers Fifth Avenue apartment terrace.”

Lot 503, Ornate gold casework & agate egg-form pendant/box, 19th century, Litchfield County Auctions (July 21)

“Ms. Rivers impeccable eye for quality included her love for Faberge and object’s d’art.”

Lot 545, Group of 3 Vilaiwan necklaces, Litchfield County Auctions (July 21)

“These three necklaces include a multi-color crystal bead floral design with purple faceted drop, a gold tone with blue stone geometric wire, and hardstone large floral by Vilaiwan, with matching clips earrings. These are from Ms. Rivers’ personal collection.”