Mementos from The Manor and Northern NJ Banquet Venues

Willow Auction House is proud to be working with the Knowles family, as they redesign and update The Manor of West Orange, as well as some of their other locations.

For the first time in over a half-century, this multi-generational family of New Jersey restauranteurs are allowing a portion of their vast collection of dining-centric décor and furnishings, amassed over decades of European travel and antique collecting, to be released for public purchase with Willow Auction House, located in Lincoln Park, NJ. The auction will take place online only on May 25th at 12 Noon EST. 

In addition to The Manor, the Knowles family’s other properties include the historic Highlawn Pavilion in West Orange, and the South Jersey venue the Ram’s Head Inn.

Now, as the family renovates and shifts the composition of their collections and properties, selected pieces displayed in their various public venues, as well as portions of the personal collection of the family’s matriarch, the late Doris Knowles, are being offered.

Those who have celebrated a milestone event at a Knowles venue or dined at one of their properties will be familiar with many of the pieces up for auction, such as a large silverplate roast beef serving trolley once used at the Highlawn Pavilion (lot 84, estimated $1000-2000). Visitors to The Manor will recognize the unparalleled collection of hand painted Limoges, including a 10-piece Lewis Strauss & Son fish set (lot 101, $500-600), as well as many vases, monumental serving bowls and beautiful display pieces. Guest of The Manor will also remember the two gilt framed Ludolf Liberts oil paintings that once adorned the historic mansion’s walls (lots 125 and 126, each estimated $2000-3000).

Throughout the years, these pieces have been on display for the tens of thousands of guests that have visited these prestigious establishments, including dignitaries, celebrities, and innumerable other honored guests. The Belgian tapestries, large carved mirrors and elegantly framed artwork would add refinement to any wall. Custom hand hammered planters, a pair of Maitland Smith Pin Shell Balloon Lamps (lot 90, estimated $800-900), neoclassical lighting, brocade table runners, or a set of 8 crescent shaped oyster plates (lot 139, $400-600) all give collectors an opportunity to own pieces that are not only special decorative items, but also mementos from a local landmark.

Throughout the mid- and late-20th century, the Knowles family and these establishments played a significant role in creating the gold standard for elegant weddings and social events. With the Knowles Family Collection, Willow Auction House is proud to offer an opportunity for those who grew up in New Jersey and beyond the opportunity to own a piece of local history.

Willow Presents First Curated Auction of 2021

Willow Auction House is pleased to announce our first finely curated auction of 2021.

Among the items up for sale, a large selection of artwork including paintings by Kurt Trampedach, Vincent Stiepevich, Julio Romero de Torres and Emile Claus; multiples including lithographs by Larry Rivers, as well as screenprints by Alex Katz and Robert Rauschenberg.

Highlighting the auction are paintings by Kurt Trampedach (1943-2013), a Danish painter and sculptor known for surreal portraits. Paintings include Oil Portrait of a Woman (lot #168), a Mixed Media Portrait of a Child (lot #169), an Oil on Board Portrait of a Woman (lot #170), and an Oil on Paper of a face (lot #171). Each painting is estimated to sell at prices ranging from $10,000 to $15,000. 

Also included in this sale, a selection of original screenprints including Alex Katz’s Julia & Alexandra (lot #97) and Ada & Alex (lot #95); estimated to sell for prices between $8,000 and $12,000.

The middle of the auction includes ornately carved furniture in the style of RJ Horner, as well as a selection of mid-century and Danish modern items; glass including Lalique and Saint Louis crystal, Galle, iridescent, and Steuben Aurene; a selection of jewelry, silver, vintage toys and trains, and a grandmother clock by Elmer Stennes.

Rounding out the sale, a collection of one-of-a-kind, circus-themed American folk art items. The pieces, acquired from the estate of a New York collector, include hand-painted, pre-war wooden toys. 

A noteworthy piece is a hand-painted wooden sideshow wagon train, with eight oil on board sideshow attraction panels (lot #74). The panels depict historical and fictional sideshow acts including Bonnie Atwall the Bearded lady, Sylvaria the Mystery Girl, Sebastiana the Swallower of Swords, and others. Included with the panels are ticket boxes, tent poles, electrical fixtures, and a fitted wooden crate. The circus was by James Francis Doolan, a hobbyist who displayed his miniature circus in various parts of Southern New England. Though not a renowned artist, Doolan’s work demonstrates the quality craftsmanship seen in American folk art. The piece is estimated to sell at a price ranging from $1,000 to $2,000. 

The auction also features two lots of hand-painted Ringling Brothers and Hagenbeck Wallace circus wagons (lots #72 and #73), a mechanical circus wagon with horses (lot #71), folk art miniature accessories and figurines (lots #75 and 76), and a vintage Schoenhut Humpty Dumpty toy circus (lot #70). 

For More Information about the Great Estates Summer Curated Auction and to view the complete auction catalogue and calendar, please visit: