Hindman Auctions presents a much-anticipated auction of antique furniture from the world-class private collection of iconic Chicago collectors Fred and Kay Krehbiel.

The Krehbiels’ Chicago home, with one of a pair of George III Goncalo Alves demilune cabinets ($8,000 to $12,000) and one of a pair of George III giltwood mirrors ($8,000 to $12,000) INTERIOR PHOTO BY TOM ROSSITER
The Krehbiels’ Chicago home, with one of a pair of George III Goncalo Alves demilune cabinets ($8,000 to $12,000) and one of a pair of George III giltwood mirrors ($8,000 to $12,000)

The name Krehbiel has long been known throughout Chicago as one of the most influential families in the city’s philanthropy scene; now, the collection of the late Fred A. Krehbiel, former CEO of Lisle-based electronics company Molex, and his wife, Kay Krehbiel, will be auctioned by Hindman in a sale of great anticipation among collectors across the country. The Krehbiels’ impressive collection features historic fine English furniture, delicate porcelain and silver, and artworks. Their Chicago and Palm Beach homes were decorated with the help of interior designers Imogen Taylor and Colin Orchard, both of whom worked at the renowned Anglo-American design firm founded by Sibyl Colefax and John Fowler and whom the Krehbiels worked closely with for over three decades.

Online and live sales will take place in Chicago on March 15 and in Palm Beach on the 16th before an online sale on the 17th. Here, Corbin Horn, Hindman’s vice president and senior specialist for European furniture and decorative arts, shares a sneak peek at the most exciting items to come to auction.


Irish George II gilt-gesso table, circa 1740


“An extraordinary table, a fine example of luxury furniture and emblematic of the quality throughout the Fred and Kay Krehbiel Collection. The lush, deeply carved decoration depicts sunflowers and lion masks, distinctly Irish motifs. The table is a meaningful example of the family’s connection to and interest in 18th century Irish design.”


Important Cartier carved rock crystal, aventurine and moonstone lily of the valley flower study, circa 1925


“Exceedingly rare, the House of Fabergé’s prized flower studies have been owned by members of the Imperial Russian Court, Queen Elizabeth II and titans of industry around the world. This delicate sculpture was made by Cartier in the 1920s. Cartier employed some of the lapidary artisans who left Fabergé after the Russian Revolution, so it is possible this ‘lily of the valley’ was carved by those same hands. Its basin is carved from rock crystal to resemble a pot of water.”


Pair of George III carved giltwood armchairs, attributed to Thomas Chippendale, circa 1775


“Not only attributable to Thomas Chippendale, the Shakespeare of English furniture, but probably part of a princely commission. This pair was likely made for Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester, the brother of King George III. A group of matching chairs is in the British Royal Collection at Clarence House, London. Is there a better conversation piece for a room than a chair with royal history?”


George III “Lac Bergaute” and black and gilt-japanned secretary cabinet on stand, circa 1765


“From the rare variety of Chinese lacquer to the carved legs recalling the designs of Thomas Chippendale, [it’s] a tour de force of English furniture-making. While the original maker of this cabinet is not known, its quality and the expense of its exotic materials suggest an aristocratic patron. We know that this cabinet belonged to Sir Philip Sassoon for his bedroom at Trent Park House, north of London. The famous house and its gardens were photographed in the 1930 issue of Country Life magazine. It is a surprisingly modern-looking cabinet, which would energize any room.”