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Hamptons Life

Nov 10, 2017 4:03 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Estate Sale At Grey Gardens Is November 17-19

Grey Gardens COURTESY CORCORAN
Nov 13, 2017 10:55 AM

There will be an estate sale at Grey Gardens—once home to the eccentric Little Edie and Big Edie Bouvier Beale—in East Hampton from November 17 to 19, offering the opportunity to own a piece of the storied home.

Furniture, mirrors, hydrangea-printed hat boxes and other items that once belonged to the Beales will be for sale, as well as things that belonged to journalist Sally Quinn, who just sold the estate, and her late husband, Ben Bradlee, the former executive editor of the Washington Post. There will even be a refectory table for sale that predated the Beales’ ownership of Grey Gardens—it belonged to Anna Gilman Hill, who imported concrete walls from Spain to protect the estate’s gardens from sea air, according to Susan Wexler, of Behind the Hedgerows in Bridgehampton, who Ms. Quinn hired to oversee the estate sale.

The Beales—relatives of former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis—were the subject of the 1975 documentary “Grey Gardens” by brothers Albert and David Maysles, and the 2009 HBO film of the same name starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange. There is even a “Grey Gardens” musical, which had its Broadway premiere in 2006 and was presented in 2015 at Sag Harbor’s Bay Street Theater.

Though the Beales had been part of the upper-crust, by the time the Maysles brothers learned of them in the 1970s they were living in a deteriorating residence overrun by cats and wildlife. Ms. Quinn and Mr. Bradlee purchased Grey Gardens and its contents in 1979, and set about restoring it.

Ms. Wexler said she anticipates that many people will come to the estate sale just for the entertainment.

To that end, she has rented a 47-inch television to show a video to guests.

“I am trying to put together a loop that includes parts of the Maysles brothers’ documentary and some interviews with Sally Quinn, and some shots of the house before and after,” Ms. Wexler said.

She has already heard from people from California and Texas who plan on flying in to attend the estate sale, and she expects there will be a line hours before the doors open. “Anyone who’s interested in antiques will love this,” she said. And she said she is hoping for good weather because guests will want to take a walk through the gardens.

She is thrilled and honored, she said, to have the opportunity to stage Grey Gardens and run the sale. “It’s been a lot of fun—a lot of research, I learned a lot. People are just crazy for Grey Gardens. They want a piece of it. There’s lots to buy.”

Among the items that she has been sorting through, researching, and tagging with historic details and screenshots from the documentary, are wicker, painted furniture, antique desks, lighting, bureaus, chairs, lace pillows, blanket racks, beds—“almost any kind of furniture you can think of.”

Much of the furniture had been stowed in the attic when Ms. Quinn bought the estate, and the attic is now a finished living space, Ms. Wexler said. Among the items for sale that Ms. Quinn and her husband had accumulated are Mr. Bradlee’s office furniture, including a roll top desk.

Available items will range in price from as little as $8 to several hundred dollars, Ms. Wexler said, noting, “There’s nothing that’s going to be really, hugely, hugely expensive, but the provenance is so special.”

She added, “I’ve done some really special addresses and some beautiful homes, but this has some historical provenance that is unparalleled. You can’t beat it. I’m really lucky and privileged to be able to do this.”

Grey Gardens is located at 3 West End Road. There will be parking attendants working during the sale. The hours are Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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How many changes of ownership before the smell of cat pee is gone?
By hester prynne (1), Palm Beach on Nov 16, 17 5:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
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