New York - Starting May 2, New York City-based auction house Guernsey’s in conjunction with Mid-Hudson Galleries, will offer for sale the collection of Seymour Stein, co-founder of Sire Records and Vice President of Warner Bros Records. The Seymour Stein Auction will feature approximately 2,400 items of original art, rare advertising, ceramics, and a wide assortment of other collectibles from the music mogul’s private collection.
Stein is most notably known in the music industry for signing pioneer artists such as Madonna, the Pretenders, the Ramones, Talking Heads, and The Undertones. His career began as early as high school, working part-time for Billboard in the 1950s. In 1966, Stein and record producer Richard Gottehrer founded Sire Productions, which led to Sire Records. In 1975, Stein signed the Ramones, ushering in an 18-year period of unrivalled success for the label, whose artists have achieved record shattering revenues, awards and recognition over the last four decades.
His talent as a music industry executive is only rivaled by his eye as a collector of fine art. According to Art Daily, Madonna stated that Stein “started collecting Art Deco back in the early 1960s, long before it was in vogue and moved onto the Symbolist and Pre-Raphaelite paintings a few years later.” Ahmet Ertegun, Co-founder of the legendary record label Atlantic, added that “Seymour Stein has been an avid collector of art, objects d’art and antique furnishings. His love and knowledge of music is matched by his aesthetic sense in the selection of the articles in his collection.” Stein’s works of art amassed over the past two decades, many discovered during his frequent trips to Europe to scout musical talent, has culminated into a large, wonderfully diverse collection. Items for sale include:
Lot 69: Rare Art Deco Gate, Edgar Brandt - Three-part Art Deco wrought iron panel made by Edgar Brandt. Hand-hammered, central panel depicts a bronze diving girl on a platform. (Starting price: $2,000)
Lot 172: Sir John Everett Millais - Sir John Everett Millais painted this picture when he was 17 years old and it is one of his earliest known works. The painting depicts the Tribe of Benjamin Seizing the Daughters of Shiloh. In 1840, Millais became the youngest student every admitted to The Royal Academy, where he exhibited his first painting, Pizarro Seizing the Inca of Peru. A work of considerable importance to his oeuvre, Tribe of Benjamin was the second painting Millais exhibited at the Academy in 1849; it won a gold medal there when Millais was only 19 years old. (Starting price: $50,000)
Lot 174: Robert Tait McKenzie - American bronze, “The Relay” signed and dated 1910. (Starting price: $10,000)
Those who are unable to attend the auction but would like to participate can view the full catalogue online, and leave advance absentee bids, as well as bid live as the sale is taking place at www.liveauctioneers.com.
Guernsey's welcomes inquiries from the media regarding both past and upcoming events. PDF copies of the press release and links to media coverage of our Seymour Stein Collection are available below: