Items from the Hyde Park Antiques auction

Three pairs from the Hyde Park Antiques: Past, Present and Future sale at Sotheby’s New York on January 31. A pair of pair of George II giltwood mirrors after a design by Matthias Lock (estimate at $120,000-180,000); a pair of c.1784 documentary Chinese Export punch bowls (estimate $40,000-60,000); and a pair of c.1765 George III mahogany dressing commodes in the manner of William Gomm (estimate at $60,000-100,000).

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

The decision to downsize its large holdings of stock at auction was made after the gallery recently reduced its space from two floors to one.

However, having sold the freehold of the premises, the family-owned business will continue to trade from its 10,000 sq ft ground floor gallery at 836 Broadway and show at fairs.

The firm, which specialises in English furniture from the William and Mary through to Regency periods, Chinese export and English porcelain as well as 19th century sporting art, will be at the New York Winter Show at the Park Avenue Armory from January 20-29.

Hyde Park Antiques globes

Also among the lots at the Hyde Park Antiques: Past, Present and Future is this oil on canvas, The Majesty of Greenwich, by James Webb (1825-95) estimated at $15,000-25,000; a c.1779-85 Chinese export Hong bowl estimated at $100,000-150,000; a c.1815 late George III satinwood ebony and calamander inlaid drum table estimated at $12,000-18,000; and a pair of early Victorian library globes by Newtons (dated 1845 and 1846) on mahogany stands estimated at $40,000-60,000.

The auction at Sotheby’s, called Hyde Park Antiques: Past, Present and Future, will be held in two parts: a January 31 live sale of around 110 lots followed by an online-only sale on February 1 of about 370 lots.

Firm foundations

The firm was founded by Bernard and Barbara Karr who were joined by daughter Rachel in 1995. Barbara died in 2017 but Bernard, now 90, still comes into the gallery every day. The Karrs work with gallery director Patrick Bavasi.

Rachel Karr said: “My parents were very smart when they bought the building in the Broadway antiques district in the early 1980s. As rents increased and tastes changed, we watched as many of our neighbours were forced to close

Thankfully, as my father said, we had a very understanding landlord, ourselves. But times kept changing and with that, my father and I made the difficult decision to sell the building.

“It will allow us to focus on being antique dealers not landlords.”

Giving up the second floor meant the firm were faced with a “daunting amount of inventory”. Karr added: “We simply no longer have room for everything. We partnered with Sotheby’s in an effort to introduce fine period design to a new generation of collectors.”