Rockefeller Family Auctioning $500 Million Worth of Heirlooms, Including Tons of Affordable Fine China
When it comes to American dynasties, the Vanderbilts led the way, but it was the Rockefellers who paved it with gold.
John D. Rockefeller, an oil magnate who became the world’s first billionaire in 1916, is still widely considered to be the richest person in modern history. Even after his death in 1937, his wealth continues to flourish to this day, and the Rockefellers remain one of the most powerful and richest families in the country.
And now, after 150 years of waiting, it’s finally our turn to live like a Rockefeller. Next week, two of John D. Rockefeller’s great-grandchildren, Margaret “Peggy” Dulany and David Jr., are teaming up with Christie’s to auction off their prized collection of antiques. All proceeds from the estimated $500 million haul will be donated to charity, making it the most significant philanthropic auction ever presented.
The sprawling collection includes original works by Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, Georgia O’Keefe, Diego Rivera and more, as well as stunning pieces of fine china that would make any Southern grandma swoon. With prices as low as $100 (!), much of the collection is available via online auction from now through May 11th.
And because we’re always on the lookout for heirloom china, scroll down for a few highlights from the Rockefeller’s extensive collection of porcelain:
Six continental porcelain cups and saucers, circa 19th century
Decorated with sprigs of puce flowers, with rims edged in gilt. Bid here.
10 Furstenberg porcelain pierced dessert plates, circa 1785.
This beautiful 10-piece set—painted with flower-sprays, within pierced borders and gilt line rims—were a Christmas gift from Abby Aldrich Rockefeller to Peggy Rockefeller in 1945. Bid here.
Chinese shipping-themed cup and saucer, circa 1770.
Each is decorated with vessels under sail, traders, houses and mountains across the water. Bid here.
Messien porcelain tea and coffee service, circa 1780
This tea and coffee service features painted flower bouquets and gilt geometric borders. Bid here.
Paris green ground porcelain dessert service, circa 1820
This part dinner service is painted In the Sèvres style, with bouquets and stunning gilt cartouches. The set includes two ice-pails, covers and liners; two circular bases with paw feet; and six dessert-plates. Bid here.
Five Meissen porcelain cups and five saucers, circa 1770.
These saucy saucers are painted in the style of Watteau and feature amorous couples in landscape vignettes. Bid here.
11 Chinese Famille-rose side plates, circa 1770.
A delicate flower spray is centered on each side plate, with a turquoise border at the scalloped rim. Bid here.
Paris porcelain gold-ground coffee service, circa 1830
This large coffee service is decorated with continuous riverscapes gilt band borders. The set includes a coffee-pot and cover; a hot-water-jug and cover; a milk-jug; a two-handled sugar-bowl and cover; and eleven coffee-cups and ten saucers. Bid here.
Seven Tournai porcelain teacups and eight saucers, circa 1780
This set of Tournai porcelain teacups and saucers is painted with loose bouquets of flowers within gilt line rims. Bid here.