Matheson's Auctions To Sell Property From The Late Mrs. Nat King Cole

Matheson’s has been working closely with the twin daughters of the late singer and his wife

May 9, 2013

“Unforgettable, that’s what you are…” is a line from a classic song by Nat King Cole, and unforgettable is what Matheson’s Auctions’ upcoming two-day sale of property from the late Mrs. Nat King Cole is shaping up to be. The event will be held the weekend of May 18 and 19 in Matheson’s gallery, at 600 East New Haven Avenue in Melbourne, Fla.
Lloyd and Jan Matheson have been working closely with Casey and Timolin, the twin daughters of Nat King Cole and Maria Cole, after being introduced to them by Maria’s friend, Ron Bourgeault of Northeast Auctions. The cataloging and transportation of Mrs. Cole’s vast collections to Matheson’s Auctions’ facilities in Melbourne have been recently completed.
“This promises to be an amazing and eclectic two-day sale,” said Lloyd Matheson of Matheson’s Auctions. “The range of antiques and art to be offered is truly grand.” To make the sale even better, Matheson’s, in conjunction with United Appraisal Group of Miami, will also offer select property from four prominent South Florida estates. Start times on both days will be 11 a.m.
Heading up a wonderful selection of European, American and Asian furniture will be a monumental 9.5-foot-tall 18th-century inlaid secretary, which was the focal point of the living room in the Coles’ Florida estate. It is expected to realize $10,000-$15,000. Also sold will be a lovely period Georgian mahogany breakfront measuring 7 feet by 8 feet (est. $15,000-$20,000).
Continental furniture pieces from the 18th and 19th centuries are heavily carved or ormolu mounted. The 18th-century pieces will feature a shoe-foot table, a banister back arm chair and a set of six Hepplewhite dining room chairs. Asian furniture will include a carved zitan wood 19th-century Chinese settee inset with six painted porcelain panels (est. $3,000-$4,000).
Many other pieces of Asian furniture are profusely carved and inlaid with mother of pearl. Decorative pieces will feature a pair of palace-sized 19th-century rose medallion vases, 24 inches tall each (est. $3,000-$5,000). Bidders will also be treated to numerous examples of fine antique china and glassware, estate jewelry, sterling silver, estate carpets, fine art and sculptures.
The fine art category is dotted with some of the foremost names in the industry, starting with Pablo Picasso. His 1950 Madoura ceramic plate, titled Goat’s Head in Profile, measures 10.25 inches in diameter, is hand numbered in black glaze (96/200). The original round/square plate of white earthenware clay shows decorations under a partial glaze (est. $6,000-$8,000).
Also sold will be an original oil on board by the renowned French artist Henri Baptiste Lebasque (1865-1937). The 10 .5 inch by 14 inch painting depicts a young girl outdoors, wearing a hat in a colorful garden setting with flowers. It is signed on the lower right and is expected to fetch $25,000-$35,000. Lebasque was famous as a painter who spread “joy and light” in his works.
Perhaps the top lot of the sale will go to an oil on canvas portrait of Eleanor Slater, the granddaughter of Samuel Slater, known as the Father of the Industrial Revolution. The portrait, by American artist Robert (Henry Cozad) Henri (1865-1929), is signed and dated (1911) on the lower right and measures 31 inches by 26 inches. It is expected to gavel for $35,000-$45,000.
Additional fine art will include a highly detailed stone sculpture of a hat by Spanish artist Juan Mora (b. 1944), signed and dated (1979), 12 inches by 7 inches (est. $10,000-$15,000); a large original painting by the noted Danish-born American artist Emil Carlsen (1848-1932); Chinese art by Chen Chi (1912-2005); and a group of 25 photogravures by Edward Curtis (Am., 1868-1952).
A large Buccellati Milano sterling flatware set and large sets of Herend and Royal Copenhagen china are indicative of the lifestyles of their former owners. The Royal Copenhagen set, for example, is a 118-piece mix of blue fluted full and half lace, and includes a full service for 12, four candlesticks, a waste bowl, salt and pepper shakers and more (est. $2,500-$3,500).
The estate jewelry pieces are dazzling, and are made up of over 50 lots, featuring: a 14kt yellow gold diamond, emerald and sapphire foliate pin with a total gross weight of 32 dwt. (est. $2,000-$3,000); and a 14kt yellow gold diamond, emerald and sapphire cocktail ring with a total gross weight of 17.30 dwt. (est. $1,200-$1,800). Other rings, necklaces, brooches, pins and earrings will also be offered.
Returning to artwork, the auction will also feature works by Thomas Eakins, Georges Roualt, Giuseppe Napoli, Charles Bouchez, Marc Chagall, Joan Miro, Wilfredo Lam, Frank Kleinholz, Robert Pearson, Loet Vanderveen, John Stobart, Peter Max, Georges Braque, Edward Borein, Giuseppe Mazzolini, William Logsdail, Gustavo Novoa and Giordano Giovanetti.
The list continues with Misha Podryski, Georges LaChance, Hayley Lever, Auguste Herbin, Marcel Gromaire, Walter W. Quirt, John Hilton, an 8-foot-long Umberto Romano and several Old Masters. Important bronzes will include a sculpture by Solomon Borglum and a marble sculpture by F. Pugi. Also auctioned will be a signed copy of the book “The Philosophy of Andy Warhol.”
Internet bidding will be facilitated by and absentee bids will also be accepted (at 321-768-6668). Previews will be held on auction days from 9 a.m. until the first gavel comes down at 11 a.m. (and by appointment). In all, more than 600 lots will come up for bid on Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19. All of the lots can be viewed via
All purchases will be subject to a 17 percent buyer’s premium in-house, phone and absentee bids and 20 percent (on for purchases up to $200,000; and a 12 percent premium for in-house and 15 percent over that. Matheson’s Auctions is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To inquire about consigning an item, estate or collection, call Matheson’s Auctions at 321-768-6668 or e-mail them at
To learn more about Matheson’s Auctions and the upcoming May 18 to 19 multi-estate auction featuring property from the late wife of legendary singer Nat King Cole, please log on to for a direct link to the LiveAuctioneers catalog.


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