Neiman Marcus sells part of his corporate art collection put together by Stanley Marcus

Neiman Marcus is auctioning off part of his story and valuables that have been exhibited and stored as part of the retailer’s corporate art collection for decades.

Original 1970s Halston ink fashion sketches for Neiman Marcus and photos by fashion photographer Bill Cunningham are some of the items available for sale on Heritage Auction’s website. The auction starts this week and ends on May 2nd.

“We have remarkable pieces that we would like to pass on to other collectors so that they can be carefully kept,” said Amber Seikaly, spokeswoman for Neiman Marcus. “These are things that deserve to be in people’s homes.”

Some of the pieces come from corporate premises, stores, and the company’s archives. The luxury retailer permanently closed several stores and vacated two large offices in downtown Dallas as part of its bankruptcy last year.

Neiman Marcus, who operates 37 Neiman Marcus stores, Bergdorf Goodman, New York, and five Last Call stores, had its balance sheet backed by cash from a debt refinance in March, the sale of two distribution centers in Irving and Longview, and lower interest payments. Last month there were no loans for a line of credit of $ 900 million and $ 200 million in cash.

Large 122 “x 125” cell phone designed by Alexander Calder, purchased by Stanley Marcus in 1951, which began a long tradition of buying original artwork for Neiman Marcus stores when they opened.

Neiman Marcus has not publicly released its quarterly results since it went bankrupt last year. The New York Post reported Sunday that it had received a confidential report to investors dated March 18, showing significant sales declines during the pandemic. In-store sales decreased 34% and online sales decreased 6% for the six months ended January 30.

Neiman Marcus declined to approve the report.

There will be more auctions in the next few months, Seikaly said. Items to be made available soon include framed antique textiles, tribal robes, and embroidery – all handcrafted items from China, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Oceana region of the Pacific.

Many of the pieces were personally collected by Stanley Marcus in the 1960s through 1980s.

Neiman Marcus’ art collection dates back to 1951 when Marcus Mariposa bought a large cell phone from Alexander Calder and a long tradition began. Marcus continued to buy original artwork for new stores as they opened. Mariposa was purchased for the company’s first “suburban store” in the Preston Center, which was later closed and relocated to the NorthPark Center.

The Calder piece, which was 122 by 125 inches, was last on public display in the Neiman Marcus Hudson Yards store, which closed last year. It was sold at a Sotheby’s auction in December and fetched $ 18.2 million, more than double the high estimate of $ 8 million.

Framed sketches for Neiman Marcus by the fashion designer Halston.Framed sketches for Neiman Marcus by the fashion designer Halston.(Heritage Auctions /

Items and their estimated prices listed in the Heritage Auction are far more accessible when compared to the Calder:

  • $ 500 to $ 700 for Halston sketches made in black ink on legal note paper in the 1970s.
  • $ 1,000-1,500 for a set of four vintage gelatin silver print photos taken by Bill Cunningham in 1973 and presented in a black frame.
  • $ 8,000 to $ 12,000 for a 1953 70-inch bronze sculpture by Étienne Hajdú.

One of the larger pieces in Heritage sales is a signed Manuel Rivera wire mesh over painted wood, with an estimated price of $ 15,000 to $ 20,000.

The Neiman Marcus Collection had a dedicated curator for many years and comprised several thousand pieces.

For a set of four framed bags from the 1960s, Neiman Marcus Fortnight-Events limited-edition tote bags are on sale for $ 600 to $ 800.

Twitter: @MariaHalkias

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