This October Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will offer property from the estate of Steve and Peggy Fossett. This landmark collection will be sold October 30 and 31 at auction and will be on view in Chicago October 26 – 29.
J. Steven Fossett and Peggy Viehland Fossett shared a pursuit of many varied passions, collecting worldly objects that spoke to their senses of adventure and intellect. The two met in 1968, in St. Louis, where Mr. Fossett attended Washington University and Mrs. Fossett attended Webster University. After a year in New York and a year in Detroit, the two built their lives together in Chicago. There, Mr. Fossett enjoyed a successful career as a commodities broker; he also founded two exchange firms with locations in Chicago, New York and London. In Chicago, Mrs. Fossett achieved her own career success as a Vice President at First National Bank of Chicago.
Mr. Fossett developed a passion for adventure sports. Though Mrs. Fossett never embraced the media attention that followed her husband, she faithfully supported all of his pursuits. Mr. Fossett became known worldwide for his adventures in balloons, sailboats and aircraft. In 2002, he became the first person to circle the globe, uninterrupted, in a balloon. He went on to do the same, in 67 hours, in an airplane. He held dozens of world records in numerous categories of speed and distance. Mrs. Fossett, meanwhile, focused on the couple’s philanthropic endeavors and their three homes in Carmel Highlands, California, Beaver Creek, Colorado and Chicago.
On September 3, 2007, Mr. Fossett took off for a flight across Nevada’s remote Black Rock Desert and tragically disappeared while searching for a location to test his Land Speed Record Car. The massive search for him was national news and included as many as two dozen aircraft and the assistance of Google Inc. and tycoon-fellow adventurist Richard Branson, Mr. Fossett’s close friend. More than a year passed before remains from the wreckage of Mr. Fossett’s aircraft were located on a slope of the Ansel Adams Wilderness in Madera County, California. Mrs. Fossett passed away ten years later, in 2017.
Steve Fossett, the celebrated adventurer, and Peggy Fossett, the accomplished philanthropist, gave enormous financial support to organizations including Boy Scouts of America (establishing the Steve Fossett Spirit of Adventure Base Camp in Dotsero, Colorado), the Adler Planetarium, Webster University, Washington University, the International Music Foundation and Vail Valley Foundation. Their contributions to education and the arts are remembered worldwide.
On October 30, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will offer the Fossetts’ collection of antiquities, fine art and Asian works of art in the single-owner sale: Worldly Pursuits: An Adventurer’s Collection; The Estate of Steve and Peggy Fossett. On October 31, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will present Part I of the sale: The Adventure & Exploration Library of Steve Fossett. The sale will offer significant works in the fields of aeronautics, Arctic and Antarctic exploration, circumnavigation and mountaineering as well as works relating to some of the most notable figures in the field of exploration.
Further selections from the Fossetts’ Beaver Creek home will be sold in our Denver saleroom this November.