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Antony Pier 4

By October 18, 2021February 22nd, 2022No Comments
Antony Pier 4

Kaminski Auctions is pleased to present the collection of the legendary restauranteur Anthony Athanas of Anthony’s Pier 4 fame, Saturday, and Sunday, October 23rd and 24th, at the Athanas restaurants warehouse in Danvers, Massachusetts. The auction will include furniture, furnishings, and the extensive wine collection from his four restaurants.

A self-made millionaire and philanthropist, Mr. Anthanas, emigrated from Albania to the United States with his mother in 1915 to join his father and brothers. They settled in Lynn, Massachusetts. At the age of thirteen, he left school and started working in restaurants to learn the business. In the 1950’s he opened his first restaurant, Anthony’s Hawthorne Café, in his hometown. Not long after, it became the largest-volume restaurant in Massachusetts, grossing more than $1 million a year.

He later opened his iconic restaurant Anthony’s Pier 4 on an abandoned landfill on Boston’s waterfront. In the 1960s and 70’s Anthony’s Pier 4 was the place to be seen in Boston. The powerful from all walks of life in Boston dined at Anthony’s Pier 4, and it was the go-to restaurant for out-of-town celebrities, athletes, and film stars visiting the city. The iconic restaurant’s foyer walls were lined with photographs of Anthony greeting celebrities and the who’s who of Boston business, politics, and athletics.

With sales of close to 12 million dollars annually and serving over 700,000 meals per year, Anthony’s Pier 4 restaurant became one of the highest-grossing restaurants in the United States. Anthony’s empire eventually included four restaurants with Hawthorne by the Sea Tavern in Swampscott and Anthony’s Cummaquid Inn in Yarmouth Port, Cape Cod.

Anthony Athanas was a visionary, recognizing long before others that Boston’s waterfront would be an attractive location. He was one of the first to offer complimentary popovers, for which the restaurant became famous and an extensive selection of fine wines. His hard work and attention to detail permeated every aspect of running his restaurants, including decorating each one with unique original furniture and nautical antiques. In May of 1970, Mr. Athanas attended the auction conducted by the David Weisz Company, which auctioned off the furniture and furnishings from the Metro Goldwyn Mayer film sets in Hollywood, California. Many of the furnishings original to his four restaurants came from this historical sale, including original English oak cabinets and French Louis XV and XVI furniture from the Marie Antoinette film set.

Of particular interest is a 19th-century French mahogany partner’s desk with a leather top and ormolu trim from the movie set of Dinner at Eight starring Jean Harlow, and a Louis XVI-style giltwood suite of two armchairs, chairs, and settee from the movie set of Marie Antoinette. A pair of continental upholstered throne chairs are also from the movie set of Marie Antoinette.

There are several English cupboards on offer, including a Gothic eight-door oak cupboard with mirrored upper doors, an English Gothic two-door oak cupboard with carved panels of a man and woman, possibly a marriage piece, and an antique English oak coffer with hand-painted panels and a family crest initialed J. H. and dated illegibly.

An eclectic selection of furniture includes a Biedermeier cabinet from the movie “How The West Was Won” and a Belter rosewood sofa from the movie “Meet Me In St. Louis.”

Among the other items are the mirrors, marine paintings, and architectural decorations that graced the walls of the iconic restaurant. Of particular interest are a pair of 19th-century French bronze architectural brackets, vintage gold and silver gilt-framed mirrors, and several 18th-century portraits of English naval officers and noblemen.

Decorative items continue with a vintage heirloom illuminated globe by Replogle, a period Georgian flame mahogany rolling wine cellarette, and a vintage French tin figural horse head display from a butcher shop. Many of the original signs that hung in Anthony’s Pier 4 are on offer, including the vintage painted wood English bakery sign advertising ‘Fresh Popovers’ and the carved, and gilt sign announcing, ‘Fresh Seafood.’

The collection of antique ship models from the restaurants is also on offer in the auction. The highlights include a circa 1900 cased wooden ship model by Robert Langly, with a plaque ‘Circa 1850 Top Sail’, another cased wooden ship model with a plaque ‘HMS Speedwell-Launched 1752- 8 Gun Ketch Rigged Sloop: Maker H. W. Shoulder 1875’. There is also a cased wooden ship model of ‘The Swift,’ flying the American flag, an oak cased British wooden ship model of the ‘Hazard 1744’, and a cased wooden ship model of ‘The Cumberland 1842’.

Silver from the restaurants includes a 19th century English Sheffield plate highly embossed four-piece tea service, with figural falcon spouts and floral finials, a 19th century English Sheffield plate hot water urn with figural dolphin spout, a pair of 19th century English Sheffield plate wine coolers, with fruited vine motif, and engraved family crest and a 19th century English silver plate roll-top warmer, with inner pierced tray, marked ‘H. B. & H. S.’

There is a lot of Boston history and nostalgia associated with Anthony Athanas and his legendary restaurants. Apart from the furnishings, Anthony’s Pier 4 was famous for being one of the first restaurants in the country to offer an extensive and exclusive list of fine vintage wines from vineyards all over the world. Sunday will feature Part One of the wine collection from all four restaurants. The head sommelier that worked with the restaurant group for years has created some impressive lots of wine and will be on hand during preview to answer any questions. Preview is by appointment at the General Glover House in Vinnin Square in Swampscott, Massachusetts. These fine wines have been housed in a climate-controlled environment and are an opportunity for wine lovers to add exclusive and rare vintages to their cellars.

This exciting auction will take place Saturday and Sunday, October 23rd & 24th, at 44 Garden Street in Danvers, Massachusetts, starting at 10:00 am EST. Preview days are Wednesday- Friday, October 20-22nd, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. The days of the sale preview begins at 8:00 am, and the preview is open while the auction is live.