Thursday, June 28, 2018

Brochure from Christie’s dated March 1995, auction of items in New York City: “Property from Mar-A-Lago”.

“Marjorie said she was going to build a little cottage by the sea, look what we got!”

—E. F. Hutton, the husband of Marjorie Merriweather Post,
a quote from Christie’s
auction book.* 

From the history of Mar-a-Lago† included
in the Christie’s brochure:

“On her death in 1972, she [Marjorie Merriweather Post] left the estate to the Federal Government, hoping that it would make Mar-A-Lago into a place for Presidents and visiting dignitaries to use away from Washington, D.C. However the government returned the property to the Post Foundation, and, after many years of remaining shuttered, the estate was sold to Donald J. Trump in 1985.”

Click on all images to enlarge.

“The history of Mar-A-Lago in inexplicably entwined with that of its first owner, Marjorie Merriweather Post.”

Christie’s chronicled the long history of Mar-a-Lago in their 145-page color brochure, including black & white images of Palm Beach history. 

“. . . Palm Beach, January 31, 1930.”

Mrs. Post would fly down from Washington, D.C. for The Season in her private plane called Merriweather.

From page 17. . .

“Marjorie was born in 1887 in Springfield, Illinois, the only child of C. W. Post and his first wife, Ella.”

The “Living Room” in 1995;
another image from the Christie’s brochure:

The structure Mar-a-Lago was completed in 1927 but the landscaping took an additional two years. The final construction cost was $2.5M, well over the initial estimate of $1M.

An item for auction in 1995:

In addition to being a noted philanthropist Mrs. Post was a collector of items world-wide.

From page 132:

Mrs. Post wrote in 1927, in another quote from the Christie’s brochure, “Apparently, building estimates are not worth the paper they are printed on. . .”

Mrs. Post’s husband, E. F. Hutton wrote in a 1927 letter included in the Christie’s auction broshure, “Marjorie said she was going to build a little cottage by the sea, look what we got!”

*The source material used by Christie’s
for historical background:

  • The Post Family Collections. Michigan Historical Collection, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.
  • Nancy Rubin, American Empress, the Life and Times of Marjorie Merriweather Post (New York, 1995).
  • Randolph Carter & Robert Reed Cole, Josef Urban (New York, 1992).
  • Donald W. Curl, Mizner’s Florida American Resort Architecture (Cambridge, 1992).
  • William Wright, Heiress: The Rich Life of Marjorie Merriweather Post (Washington, D.C., 1978).
  • Nettie Leitch Major, Mar-A-Lago (privately printed, 1969).

The original Spanish “Mar-A-Lago” (Sea-To-Lake) and “Mar-a-Lago” (with lowercase ‘a’) depend on the context: historic or present-day. Taken from source material always keep to the original usage. Over time, however, the lowercase ‘a’ has become the standard in modern American English. But again, that also depends on the context.