Property from the Estate of Mary Griggs Burke to be Sold in Chicago and Milwaukee  

Property from the Estate of Mary Griggs Burke to be Sold in Chicago and Milwaukee

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will handle property from Forest Lodge, Mary Griggs Burke’s historic summer home in Cable, Wisconsin, during auctions taking place this summer and fall in Chicago and Milwaukee. The home has been in Mrs. Burke’s family since the early 20th century when it was purchased by her father, Theodore Wright Griggs. Mrs. Burke passed away on December 8, 2012; her estate graciously donated the home to the Chequamegon National Forest.

Mrs. Burke was born in 1916 in St. Paul, Minnesota to descendants of railroad, banking and manufacturing titans. She studied at Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University but is remembered best for her comprehensive collection of Japanese art. Mrs. Burke spent more than half a century collecting paintings, sculpture, textiles, ceramics and other works with a passion incited by her first trip to Japan in 1954. Her collection was so vast that it had to be housed in its own apartment, adjacent to hers on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Highlights from the collection have been exhibited all over the world, including at the Tokyo National Museum.

Forest Lodge, as it was used by Mrs. Burke and her family every summer, is situated on Lake Namekagon. The property includes a large family house, a smaller secondary house and a portable pre-fabricated cottage manufactured by the E.F. Hodgson Company. Mrs. Burke’s family used the cottage as a children’s play house, but Hodgson Company buildings were among the first pre-fabricated houses sold in the United States; the company sold the structures through magazine advertisements and catalogues and shipped them to customers by rail. Forest Lodge’s Hodgson cottage is estimated at $4,000 / 6,000 in Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ July 25 auction in Milwaukee, though the structure itself will remain at Forest Lodge until it is removed by the buyer. The cottage includes a variety of child’s-size furnishings and accessories.

Other lots from Forest Lodge to be sold at auction in Chicago include an assembled English silver flatware service ($7,000 / 9,000), an extensive Meissen Blue Onion dinner service ($5,000 / 7,000) and an American case clock by Luman Watson of Cincinnati ($4,000 / 6,000). English, American and Continental furniture from the home will also be sold in Chicago on July 14-16. Lots to be offered in Milwaukee on July 25 include a landscape by Constantin Aleksandrovich Westchiloff ($3,000 / 5,000), American furniture and a collection of early American hooked rugs.

Mary Griggs Burke and her husband, the late Jackson Burke, were known and remembered throughout New York, Minnesota and Wisconsin as consummate collectors and champions of civic causes wherever they lived. Previews of the property from Forest Lodge will take place July 10-13 in Chicago and July 21-24 in Milwaukee.

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