Nat King Cole auction stars $14,000 sale of Italian walnut secretary

An Italian walnut secretary that once provided the focal point of Nat King Cole's living room has sold as part of the auction of his estate at Mathesons' AA Auction on May 19.

Nat King Cole auction
This 18th century Italian secretary provided the focal point of the living room in Cole's Florida estate

The finely carved 18th century piece sold for $14,000, moving towards the top end of its $10,000-15,000 estimate.

It was consigned following the death of Maria Cole, Nat King Cole's wife and fellow jazz singer, in 2012. It had resided in the main room of their Florida mansion.

The sale was held in close association with Cole's twin daughters Casey and Timolin, who presented an eclectic selection of works that represented their parents' impeccable tastes.

Bringing the second highest bids of the furniture on offer was a 19th century teakwood cabinet from China, which featured three early painted porcelain panels. It sold for $8,500.

Eng Tay art Malaysia
People playing music is a recurring theme in Eng Tay's work, making for a perfect addition to Nat King Cole's art collection

Alongside the magnificent selection of Asian, English and Italian furniture that once filled the Florida mansion was Cole's superb art collection. Leading bids was a 1996 piece from Malaysian artist Eng Tay, which auctioned with a 142.8% increase on its $7,000 high estimate for $17,000.

Also starring was an original etching of Dutch artist Rembrandt and his wife, Saskia, which sold for $2,000 accompanied by a Harrods certificate.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has some fine English furniture for sale, including this wonderful cabinet from Burghley house in Lincolnshire, the ancestral home of the Marquess of Exeter.

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