Dixie Cup Inventor’s Collection of Fine Art & Antiques to be Sold

“Portrait of Gabrielle de Bourbon,” depicting the daughter of Louis I, Count of Montpensier, a direct descendant of Saint Louis (1214-1270), carries an auction estimate of $4,000 to $6,000.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – It was an elegantly simple but universally embraced paper container—the cone-shape Dixie Cup—that enabled millionaire inventor and philanthropist Cesare Barbieri to amass a spectacular collection of European paintings, bronzes, Asian art and Oriental rugs.

Pieces from Barbieri’s collection will be featured at auction on Feb. 10, hosted by Myers Fine Art.

The Italian-born Barbieri (1878-1956) held more than 100 patents, including one issued in 1926 for the conical Dixie Cup and the machinery that manufactured it. He also possessed a finely tuned eye for classical art and design.

The 480-lot auction of Barbieri’s collection is the first of its type to be scheduled in two years and consists of fresh goods acquired almost exclusively from estates.

The collection includes paintings, bronzes, antique clocks, Oriental rugs, furniture and carved ivories. Among the top pieces is a graceful marble nude titled “The Flower of the Alps,” by Attilio Piccirilli (Italian, 1886-1945), which carries an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000. A signed Giuseppe Gambogi (Italian, 1891-1965) statue of Shakespeare’s “Ophelia” carries an estimate of $8,000 to $10,000.

In addition, the auction will include a painting from Villa Barbieri, “Portrait of Gabrielle de Bourbon,” which depicts the 26-year-old daughter of Louis I, Count of Montpensier, a direct descendant of Saint Louis (1214-1270). The richly detailed portrait, created possibly as early as the 15th century, is expected to achieve bids of $4,000 to $6,000.

Bidding will begin for the collection on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 12 noon Eastern Time. A preview will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9, and from 10 a.m. to noon on auction day. All forms of bidding will be available including live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com.

A full catalogue and more information about the sale can be found at Myers Fine Art’s website.