(CARMEL, Ind.) – Art and furnishings from the Carmel estate of billionaire Mel Simon go on the auction block this weekend.
The shopping center developer and co-owner, with his brother Herb, of the Indiana Pacers died in 2009 at age 82. His widow Bren has donated the 107-acre estate, dubbed Asherwood, to the Carmel-based Great American Songbook Foundation.
It’ll take two days to auction an array of artwork, antique and custom-made furniture, marble statuary, and other valuables. Guernsey’s auction house president Arlan Ettinger says the bulk of the paintings and furniture are from the 17th through 19th centuries, but the Simons also had some new furniture built to their specifications. And he says there are occasional surprises. The upstairs Asherwood wing where the Simons’ grandchildren stayed was furnished in a faux log-cabin motif. And a neighboring suite is African-themed, with tribal masks and zebra- and leopard-patterned chairs.
The auction includes a his-and-hers Turkish sauna. And while Ettinger says the auction is light on souvenirs of Simon’s ownership of the Pacers, there are golf clubs and other golf-related items, including an eight-foot-tall modernist sculpture of a golfer in mid-swing.
Guernsey’s opened Asherwood to public tours to preview the auction items. The auction itself will be held at the Palladium, with Internet bidders on three different websites.
Ettinger won’t speculate on how much the auction will raise. He says there are no required minimum bids on any of the items, so the estimates in the auction catalogue may have no relation to the final sale prices.
(Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)