Lay hold of Barbara Walters’ US$8 million collection at Bonhams

American art, jewellery and objets d’art are amongst the trailblazing broadcaster’s impressive estate going on Bonhams

Auction house Bonhams is set to unveil a treasure trove of over 300 lots from Barbara Walters: An American Icon on 6 November 2023 in New York. The collection, originating from Walters’ Upper East Side residence, offers a profound insight into the life of a media pioneer who reshaped the industry for women.

Barbara Walters, who left an indelible mark on journalism, was the first female co-host and anchor of a US network news programme. Her career spanned over five decades, where she showcased her adept interview skills on top-rated shows like 20/20 and created groundbreaking programmes like The View.

Barbara Walters bonhams
Barbara Walters. Photo by Bonhams

The collection, curated from Walters’ tastefully decorated Upper East Side apartment, reflects her personality and style. Designed by Mario Buatta, the apartment features a harmonious blend of classical décor and modern statement pieces. The extensive collection includes American Art, jewelry, fashion, furniture, and personal effects that tell the story of Walters’ multifaceted life.

Not just a media icon, Barbara Walters was a committed philanthropist. In alignment with her wishes, the net proceeds from the sale will go to charities close to her heart, further solidifying her legacy as a trailblazer both in her professional and personal endeavours.

Walters’ home, often a backdrop for gatherings overlooking Central Park, mirrors her vibrant personality. From hosting elaborate parties to inviting her crew for Chinese food and major interview viewings, Walters’ home was a sanctuary where she could relax and savour the moments.

Barbara Walters Harry Winston platinum 13.84 carat diamond ring, estimate_ US$600,000-900,000. Credit Bonhams (1)
Barbara Walters’ Harry Winston platinum 13.84-carat diamond ring, estimated to go for US$600,000 to US$900,000. Photo by Bonhams

The collection will embark on a tour, starting in Boston at Bonhams Skinner, then Los Angeles, followed by an international tour to Europe and Asia before culminating in the final sale in New York. As admirers and collectors get ready to bid on pieces that encapsulate the essence of Barbara Walters, this auction promises to be a celebration of a woman who not only interviewed the powerful and famous but left an indomitable legacy for generations of female anchors and television stars to come.

“My mother was a devoted journalist, loyal friend, and loving mother. Our home was always filled with interesting and beautiful reminders of her incredible, diverse life,” remarked Walters’ daughter Jacqueline Danforth. “I know she would find comfort that these pieces she cherished so much will be enjoyed and cared for.”

Bonhams will present highlights from Barbara Walters: An American Icon at its salesrooms in Boston, Los Angeles, Paris, London, and Hong Kong, in advance of the final live auction on Monday, 6 November 2023. An online sale will run from 29 October to 7 November 2023.