When Albert Hadley decided last year to shutter the day-to-day operations of his eponymous and well-renowned interior design firm, he wondered what to do with some of the eclectic and beautiful decorative objects and furniture he had amassed over the years and which were gathering dust in a warehouse. Sotheby’s (www.sothebys.com) was contacted and they put together some beautiful vignettes of the designer’s items which will be up for auction as part of their larger “Fine English and European Decorative Arts” auction slated for March 30 and 31. The lots, made up of some original designs of Mr. Hadley as well as some interpretations of iconic items, along with some of his room sketches, have reasonable price estimates assigned to them by Sotheby’s. But given their provenance I do suspect the gavel will go down on closing bids many times over those estimates. In case you miss the Sotheby’s auction, Stair Galleries in Hudson, New York (www.stairgalleries.com) will be hosting an auction of their own on April 1.
After viewing the lots in situ yesterday I was reminded that on Mr. Hadley’s desk, he keeps a yellowed newspaper clipping headline which quoted him years ago and which gives the key to his success and vision. “Keep it simple. That’s the secret.” Ah, now we know.
Top photos by Joel Woodard