Conductor Anthony Morss's antiques collection will bring music to the ears of collectors
An impressive collection of antiques belonging to conductor Anthony Morss is led by a Steinway piano
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Wednesday 15 February 2012
The collections of Anthony Morss, music director and principal conductor of the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera in Fort Lee, are to be sold later this month.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Morss studied music at New York's New England Conservatory and National Orchestra Association. Whilst he was still a student, Leopold Stokowski chose him to be choral master and associate conductor for his Symphony of the Air.
Morss's career took off from there. One of the highlights was conducting the US premiere of Massenet's Marie Magdalene with Regine Crespin at Avery Fisher Hall, and he has had a string of high profile guest conducting roles around the world.
All Morss's collectibles belongings from his seven-room dwelling and three-room guest house are going under the hammer.
The antiques are eclectic in their range, but of a consistently high quality all through the sale. Asian antiques collectors will be impressed by Oriental rugs, glass and china, and particularly a 125 year old Japanese scroll screen.
Americana fans will perhaps be keener on a folk art duck decoy in its original paint, whilst those on the lookout for 19th century timepieces will be impressed by a swinging statue clock, a wonderful include an early 19th century Eli Terry pillar-and-scroll clock, and perhaps the pick of the lot: an Elmer Stennis banjo clock.
All will be sold from the Morss family home in Litchfield, Connecticut.
"The uniqueness of this auction is that Mr. Morss and his wife chose this property in Litchfield as their dream getaway home more than twenty years ago, a place they could retreat to from the hustle and bustle of New York City and relax in a country environment." commented auctioneer Tim Chapulis.
"To show the merchandise on-site - which very few auction houses do - is a huge plus, both for the owner as well as the buyers."
Numismatists will have plenty to keep them interested with a selection of well looked-after gold and silver coins (the former including not only a Indian head gold coins of both the $2 ½ dollar and $5 varieties, but also a rare $20 St. Gaudens gold coin).
Likewise rare book collectors will have much to engross them with a range of vintage, leather-bound texts on offer. Most of these are cook books, having belonged to Morss's wife, who was a chef.
However, the most impressive items are those with a musical connection, which include a lift-top music box with bells and a prized mahogany Steinway grand piano.
Originally a 1928 wedding present to Morss's mother from his uncle Noel, the piano holds huge sentimental value, but even for those uninterested in its life-history the coveted Model L , which measures 5 feet 9 inches in length, will prove hard to resist. The auction takes place on February 25.
Collectors interested in musical collectibles may wish to take a look at this autograph page of musical notes by Cole Porter.
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Images: Tim's Auctions