Auctions | April 17, 2015

Music Mogul Seymour Stein’s Private Art Collection Goes on Sale

NEW YORK—Starting May 2, New York City-based auction house Guernsey’s in conjunction with Mid-Hudson Galleries, will offer for sale the collection of Seymour Stein, co-founder of Sire Records and Vice President of Warner Bros Records. The Seymour Stein Auction will feature approximately 2,400 items of original art, rare advertising, ceramics, and a wide assortment of other collectibles from the music mogul’s private collection. 

Stein is most notably known in the music industry for signing pioneer artists such as Madonna, the Pretenders, the Ramones, Talking Heads, and The Undertones. His career began as early as high school, working part-time for Billboard in the 1950s.  In 1966, Stein and record producer Richard Gottehrer founded Sire Productions, which led to Sire Records. In 1975, Stein signed the Ramones, ushering in an 18-year period of unrivalled success for the label, whose artists have achieved record shattering revenues, awards and recognition over the last four decades.

His talent as a music industry executive is only rivaled by his eye as a collector of fine art. According to Art Daily, Madonna stated that Stein “started collecting Art Deco back in the early 1960s, long before it was in vogue and moved onto the Symbolist and Pre-Raphaelite paintings a few years later.” Ahmet Ertegun, Co-founder of the legendary record label Atlantic, added that “Seymour Stein has been an avid collector of art, objects d’art and antique furnishings. His love and knowledge of music is matched by his aesthetic sense in the selection of the articles in his collection.” Stein’s works of art amassed over the past two decades, many discovered during his frequent trips to Europe to scout musical talent, has culminated into a large, wonderfully diverse collection. Items for sale include:

Lot 69: Rare Art Deco Gate, Edgar Brandt- Three-part Art Deco wrought iron panel made by Edgar Brandt. Hand-hammered, central panel depicts a bronze diving girl on a platform. (Starting price: $2,000)

Lot 172Sir John Everett Millais- Sir John Everett Millais painted this picture when he was 17 years old and it is one of his earliest known works. The painting depicts the Tribe of Benjamin Seizing the Daughters of Shiloh. In 1840, Millais became the youngest student every admitted to The Royal Academy, where he exhibited his first painting, Pizarro Seizing the Inca of Peru. A work of considerable importance to his oeuvre, Tribe of Benjamin was the second painting Millais exhibited at the Academy in 1849; it won a gold medal there when Millais was only 19 years old. (Starting price: $50,000) 

Lot 174: Robert Tait McKenzie- American bronze, “The Relay” signed and dated 1910. (Starting price: $10,000)

Previews: April 30-May 1, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Meet the collector reception with Seymour Stein: May 1, 6-8 p.m., Arader Galleries.

Auction: May 2 at 11 a.m. Arader Galleries

Previews: May 7-8, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Stewart International Airport

Auction: May 9 at 11 a.m. Stewart International Airport

Auction: May 10 at 11 a.m. Stewart International Airport

For additional information contact Guernsey’s at 212-794-2280 or Mid-Hudson Galleries at 914-882-7356. Please also visit www.guernsey’ or Internet bidding is available on


In its fortieth year, Guernsey's has built a reputation as the auction house known for representing the most extraordinary properties. From the largest auction in history (the ocean liner S.S. United States) to vintage racing cars on to artwork from the Soviet Union, pre-Castro Cuban cigars and the $3 million baseball, the firm has few rivals when it comes to the presentation of wildly diverse artwork and artifacts. The John F. Kennedy, Franklin Roosevelt, Princess Diana, Elvis Presley, Jerry Garcia, John Coltrane, Dick Clark, Mickey Mantle and the Beatles events were all conducted by Guernsey's.  

Guernsey’s is particularly proud of its work with the Library of Congress in the preservation of the complete Rosa Parks Archive. In the midst of its series devoted to the legendary, Holocaust-related poster collection of Dr. Hans Sachs, other upcoming sales in 2015 include the Urban Archaeology Collection, Historic Artifacts from the Kennedy White House, Atocha Undersea Treasures, and a remarkable, recently-discovered work by Pablo Picasso. 


Mid-Hudson Auction Galleries has conducted auctions since 1976 including The Alice Curtis Desmond Estate; The Harry Burstein Collection of Advertising and The Jean Pierre Hallet Collection of African Art.  President, Joanne C. Grant has been the auctioneer for Guernsey’s for more than 30 years.