The Ivy is one of world’s most in-demand restaurants, a uniquely British institution known throughout the world. An acclaimed refurbishment in 1990, with oak panelling, stained glass and site-specific commissions from leading contemporary artists, recast it as the grand restaurant of its early-20th century heyday. As then, it is a favourite with the pre- and post-theatre crowd, as well as attracting a devoted clientele from the arts and media and beyond. They come for its service, the atmosphere of intimacy and privacy, and for its large and unique brasserie-style menu. This offers dishes from around the world such as sashimi and Thai-baked sea bass but has a particular British flavour, with dishes such as Dover sole, roasts andshepherd’s pie.
This historical restaurant with 98 years of history, is currently undergoing renovation prior to its reopening in May 2015 and this week, The Ivy auctioned off iconic Ivy furniture, tableware and artworks that adorned its walls for so many years, achieving £1,051,125 through Sotheby’s to benefit Child Bereavement UK charity.
Fernando Peire, Director of The Ivy commented: “I am thrilled that through The Ivy’s sale of art and artefacts we were able to raise such a significant sum to benefit Child Bereavement UK. On the brink of the restaurant’s centenary, the extraordinary interest raised by the Sotheby’s auction underscores the public’s enormous affection for The Ivy and its Private Dining Room. We very much hope that the items sold tonight will become talking points in the homes for which they are destined—for at least another hundred years.”
Among the items sold were the legendary oak front doors, estimated between £800-1,200, which sold for £27,500.
The top lot of the night was Bridget Riley’s The Ivy Painting which achieved £413,000 (est. £120,000-180,000).
Raising the bar was The Ivy’s private dining room bar, which sold for 30 times its pre-sale estimate and fetched £31,250 (est. £1,000-1,500).
Table six’s place settings achieved £6,875 (est. £1,000-1,500), while ten Ivy napkins sold for £2,750 (est. £60-80).
The iconic Ivy window pane shattered pre-sale estimate and sold for £31,250 (est. £100-150), while a pair of Champagne buckets by Future Systems soared to £7,500 (est. £100-150).
The cloakroom tip tray from the 1920s sold for £875 (est. £80-120) and cocktail shakers used to mix drinks for the great and good achieved £1,375 (est. £80-120).