Art, Home Furnishings, Decorative Arts and More

Martha Stewart’s props to be auctioned off in Beverly

Photos by Hadley Green

By Staff Writer Arianna MacNeil, Salem Evening News

BEVERLY — If you’ve ever wanted to decorate your home, kitchen or garden like Martha Stewart’s, here’s your chance.

Kaminski Auctions will be selling off roughly 5,000 items from the design maven’s personal collection of studio props.

The auction catalog runs the gamut, from typical home furnishings and kitchen items like colanders, cups, pots, and tea kettles to gardening gloves, a small collection of different colored thermoses and a variety of dog toys. There’s also many tables, chairs, candelabras and other decorative items.

Everything had been in a building on the West Side of Manhattan. It took seven trucks to bring them to Beverly.

“And 90 percent of that stuff was picked by Martha,” said Vincent Manzo, a longtime personal friend of Stewart’s. “She knows what she wants.”

It’s a side of Stewart’s life that few get to see, but of which many of her fans may want a piece. The woman, whose name is synonymous with home decor, has hosted television shows and authored dozens of books.

Stewart has turned down other auctioneers before, Manzo said, but agreed to work with Frank Kaminski.

The auction is scheduled for May 5 and 6 at Kaminski Auction’s headquarters, at 117 Elliott St.

Kaminski said he met with Stewart’s staff last November in New York.

“We went to the prop section and on my way there were all these various kitchens, all of her test kitchens,” he said. “It was so much fun. … We looked at all the props, I put together a proposal.”

Kaminski had just one request: To meet Stewart, and that was granted when she had a few moments in between meetings.

“So I met her and I was introduced to her, and she’s just as beautiful as you see on TV,” Kaminski said. “She was very, very nice to me.”

Stewart’s auction is among the largest Kaminski has done, he said. His biggest was a collection of Oprah Winfrey’s things back in 2013. He’s auctioned off other celebrities’ items, too, he said, but some do not want their names disclosed.

Despite the amount of things she had, Stewart’s collection was pre-labeled, and some of the items say when they were used. There’s an antique toboggan that Stewart used in a Christmas special that she autographed for the auction.

“She was meticulous in inventorying her collection,” Kaminski said, noting that many of the items have a sticker that reads “Martha Stewart Living” on it.

Manzo, an antique dealer, first met Stewart about 20 years ago, when he owned a store with Stewart’s daughter, Alexis. Stewart has purchased items from him in the past, and he’s been invited to her country home.

Stewart, who Manzo said has much appreciation for famed chef Julia Child, has influenced the way the world decorates their homes and gardens, he said.

“She spurred a lot of incredible interest in a lot of the above,” Manzo said. “She really does it good, she lives it. I’ve seen it in action.”

Part of the auction’s proceeds will go to the Martha Stewart Center for Living at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. The center wants to change the way people view older adults and aging while also helping people in that age bracket with “access to health care resources.”

“I’m just really happy it all worked out,” Manzo said. “She really wanted everything to go to a good home.”