Apr 16, 2014
01:52 PMStyle & Shopping
Own a Piece of Connecticut Landmark Where Bogart, Bacall, Liz Taylor Stayed
“It is the end of an era,” Frank Whitman, proprietor of the historic Silvermine Tavern, writes in his swan song posted on the tavern’s website.
The Norwalk landmark closed the doors to its inn March 31, following the closure of the tavern and restaurant in 2009.
Founded in 1929 by John Kenneth Byard, Silvermine Tavern was first a weekend getaway for New Yorkers looking to do some antiquing in the country. But over the years it changed with the times, transforming into a restaurant and a beloved bed-and-breakfast for travelers. (A full history can be found on the website.)
It’s a history punctuated by the stays of Broadway and Hollywood stars like Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman.
“Alas, the Tavern has outlived its economic life,” Whitman writes. “[Eighty-five] years is a long time in an industry where many startups don’t last [eight] months and [eight] years is well established. Changing tastes and demographics – a view towards the future more than an interest in the past, a more mobile society, and an expanding choice of restaurants – gradually siphoned off the customers.”
Shoppers and collectors will have the opportunity to claim a small piece of the history as their own when the Silvermine sells its extensive collection of antiques in an estate sale on April 25 to 27.
The entire collection will be for sale, including period furniture, folk art, antique household implements and one-of-a-kind inventions.
(Four poster bed, above, and candlesticks, left, from New England Estate Sales website.)
Some significant objects include a collection of works by artists of the Silvermine art colony, including Dorothy Randolph Byard and Gayle Simon Hicks. Original Gates Moore light fixtures will also be available.
“Byard was the proprietor of the renowned Silvermine Tavern and Galleries from 1929 until 1947,” states a press release for the event. “The collection reflects Byard’s keen eye and diverse taste.”
The sale is being handled by New England Estate Sales and will take place at the Tavern from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Each item will be individually priced.
Brian Vazquez of New England Estate Sales says there are thousands of items to look through. Folks who love antiques, history and the arts culture of Fairfield County can easily make this an all-day event.
Visit the New England Estate Sales website for more information.