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Press Release - February 23, 2010
Dorothy Factor Family to Auction Jewelry, Silver, Fine & Decorative Art for Beverly Hills Charities
Gala March 16 event honoring Dorothy & Sidney Factor, son of Max Factor Sr., kicks off series of auctions and new Heritage Auctions Beverly Hills galleries
LOS ANGELES – As selections of Jewelry, Silver and Fine Art from the Dorothy Factor Collection prepare to be auctioned off at Heritage Auctions Beverly Hills, over the course of four events and three months – all for the benefit of various charities near and dear to the Factor family – Heritage will host a March 16 celebration of Mrs. Factor, of the philanthropic heart of her late husband, Sidney Factor, son of make-up magnate Max factor Sr., and of the decades long love story that is the narrative of the love the two shared.
The event will take place at Heritage Auctions Beverly Hills, 9478 West Olympic Boulevard. The charities that will be the benefactors of the collection include the Norris Cancer Center, the Julia Ann Singer Center and Baron School for Exceptional Children, the Beverly Hills Education Foundation, the Beverly Hills Rotary Charity Fund, and the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles.
"I'm doing this for my husband, for the charities and scholarships he loved, so that his name will continue on outside the family for generations," said Mrs. Factor. "I want him to be remembered as a person – he was a very special man – and we're going to give every bit of the proceeds to charity."
The selections from the Dorothy Factor Collection will be sold starting with the Heritage Auctions Signature® Fine Silver & Vertu Auction on Wednesday, March 31, and will continue with the May 3 Signature® Fine Jewelry Auction, the May 26 Decorative Arts & Design Auction, before wrapping up with the June 9 Signature® Impressionist, Modern & Contemporary Art Auction, all of which will take place at Heritage Auctions headquarters in Dallas, TX, but will be simulcast on Heritage LIVE! at www.HA.com.
While the pieces consigned by Mrs. Factor are indeed spectacular, several of the lots stand out not only for their exceptional beauty, but also for the deep meaning they carry for her. She has dug deep into her collection for pieces that are evocative of Sidney, and the honorable and altruistic way he operated in the world and with his family.
"All of these pieces are the way he said things to me," Mrs. Factor said. "There are larger pieces and smaller pieces that a range of people will like. My hope is that whoever buys anything of ours will enjoy them the way we enjoyed them."
"Selections from the Dorothy Factor Collection will be on display as part of the fete for Mrs. Factor on March 16 in Beverly Hills," said Ed Beardsley, Vice President and Managing Director of the Fine Arts Department at Heritage Auctions, "and all are expected to draw serious bidding at auction from fans of the Factor family, philanthropists and collectors who simply love fine art, jewelry and silver."
The first among equals from the collection, however, and easily the most spectacular piece to be offered is a 13.75 carat pear-shaped diamond and platinum ring that will be a part of the May 3-5 Jewelry Auction at Heritage. Estimated at $125,000+, the ring is big, beautiful and was a surprise to Dorothy from Sidney. Mrs. Factor still vividly recalls when Sidney presented her with the gift.
"That ring really came as a big shock," she said. "My honey came into the room with a beautifully wrapped gift. I opened it up, and said, 'I can't believe this!' Sidney looked at me and in a gentle voice, said: 'It's special just like you.'"
To match the spectacular ring, on Dorothy's next birthday, Sidney gave her a gorgeous diamond and platinum bracelet. This, too, is offered as part of the collection, and is estimated at $25,000+
Dorothy and Sidney always loved to collect fine silver, and amassed a superb collection over the years. Sidney, the longtime head of the International Division of Max Factor & Co., traveled the globe extensively and, said Mrs. Factor, he always found an interesting piece or two to bring home. The result was a world class collection by any standard.
A massive 20th Century German Silver Flatware service, incomparably crafted by H. Meyen & Co, which was a gift from the couple to themselves for their 25th Anniversary, will be up for auction as part of the March 31 Fine Silver and Vertu Auction at Heritage (estimated at $40,000+), as will two round and two oval antique silver Benjamin Smith serving dishes from the 1830s (estimated altogether at $12,000+). When presented with a choice between the dishes and a new Mercedes from Sidney for her birthday, Dorothy didn't hesitate to choose the serving dishes.
"The Mercedes will go down in value when it is driven off the lot," she told her husband, "but the Benjamin Smith dishes will be an antique treasure that will go up in value as the years go by."
Two pieces of Victorian silver, said Dorothy, were particularly meaningful to Sidney: An 1827 James Fray Irish Victorian Silver Tray depicting the stage of the life of a racehorse – estimated at $30,000+ - and a matching oversized racehorse-themed Victorian Silver Tankard. 1886-87, designed by Charles Boynton II, estimated at $12,000+. Both are important pieces in their own right as they come from the Dodge Collection, a famous horse family, but they take on even more special meaning when viewed through the lens of Sidney's lifelong fondness of being an owner of thoroughbred horses.
When his thoroughbreds were no longer able to race Sidney gave the animals to Davis Veterinary, where they were cared for and used for what turned out to be excellent therapy for blind children. To keep that connection to horses and horseracing, one day Sidney bought the tray and the jug on Rodeo Drive.
Sidney's love of horses was just one facet of the active sporting life he led.
"Before becoming so successful in business, Sidney was a very fine athlete," said Dorothy. "He tried out from USC for the 1932 Olympics in swimming, competed for the California State Golf Championship and won the California State Tennis Championship while at USC against Ellsworth Vines, Jr. who won three Grand Slam events including Wimbledon and the U.S. Open."
Of the numerous paintings in the collection, among them four by Edouard-Léon Cortès (French, 1882-1969), to be offered in the April 22 Modern & Contemporary Art Auction, Dorothy pointed to one Cortès painting in particular, Porte St. Martin, that she and Sidney purchased from Sheridan Art Galleries in Chicago. It is estimated at $20,000-$40,000.
Dorothy's son, Max Factor III, is also doing his part in the name of his father's charitable works to benefit the families chosen charities.
"On behalf of my sister Maxine and my brother Jim," said Max, "we have been blessed with wise and generous parents whose great love embraced life to the fullest, and who always respected others and tithed to express the importance of each of us to one another."
In the May 23 Decorative Arts & Design Auction will include a spectacular Lalique hexagonal "Bellecour" vase, signed by Rene Lalique, estimated at $15,000, and a set of eight Royal Vienna plates, est. $5,000.
Finally, among other pieces, the Modern & Contemporary Art Auction, several pieces from Max Factor III's collection will be offered, including a bronze by Arman, Accumulation Colombienne, 1979/1980, edition of three, est. $20.000-$30,000, and Tom Wesselmann's 44" x 80" Nude with Bouquet and Stockings, silkscreen on paper, 80/100, est. $10.000-15.000, the proceeds also benefiting Factor charities.
Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world's third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com.
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