It is exceptional: a woman collects Dutch old masters. Bokje Koenen, a seventeenth-century painting specialist at Sotheby’s in Amsterdam, cannot easily remember another example. “Tai Schumann was a particularly tough lady,” says Coenen of the American collector. Early next year, Sotheby’s will auction its collection in New York, which consists primarily of paintings made in Amsterdam.
That the auction house proposed to preview the so-called Selling one owner At a historic site in Amsterdam, it was one of the reasons Schumann’s heirs gave the sale to Sotheby’s, says Coenen. For security reasons, the auction house does not want to be in the newspaper where the private preview is. From Thursday to Sunday, the Scheumann collection can be viewed by appointment at Sotheby’s office in the capital.
Tylene “Tai” Schumann died in December at the age of 90 in her hometown of Bellevue, Washington. I Left Still Life with Oysters by William Claes. Heda is at the Seattle Museum of Art, an institution in her hometown where she worked. Twelve other works from her collection – Still Life, Forest, City and Seascape by famous old masters such as Aert van der Nier, Frans van Meers and Jacob van Rusdael – will be presented on January 26 in New York as Tai Schumann group It is sold by public auction. The auction house estimates the proceeds at at least eight million euros.
Tai Shuman came from a good family. Her grandfather William Piggott founded a trucking company in Seattle in 1905, which, under her father Paul’s leadership, grew into the multinational Baccar Corporation, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of heavy trucks – and Dutch Duff is one of the company’s brands. Her stepfather John McConne was director of the CIA’s Foreign Security Service during the Cold War in the early 1960s.
Tai Schumann herself has also held out, according to an obituary that appeared in US media at the beginning of this year. She has five children from her first husband, who died young. She loved the outdoors: she enjoyed hunting and fishing, playing tennis and golf, riding horses, got a pilot’s license, and at age 69, she was still crossing the North Atlantic by sailboat. She also kept several pets, including Gertrude the hippopotamus.
In the equestrian world, Ty Scheumann was known as a breeder and trader. She founded Grousemont Farms. There she bred many racehorses of international caliber which were sometimes traded for millions of dollars. The most famous racehorse, Noble Nashua, won several major American races and was sold to the Breeders Guild for $11 million in 1981.
The group of Old Dutch Masters hailing from her parents’ friends, Ed and Hannah Carter (who inherited from LACMA in Los Angeles in 2009), inspired Ty Scheumann to start collecting herself. Baukje Coenen: „Schumann wanted only old Dutch masters of the highest quality. It’s an increasingly complex task, because those paintings are dwindling in markets and dwindling, and they often go to museums.”
The top piece from the Scheumann collection is a Frans van Mieris the Elder panel, a small A4 panel completed circa 1667 of a young woman wanting to stamp a message with a touch pen. Van Meres was a brilliant painter who wanted to represent reality as accurately as possible. He did this in elaborate style, reportedly sometimes using brushes with just one hair. The target price for the portrait of the young woman is 1.5 to 2 million euros.
Five other paintings fetched target prices of nearly 1 million from Sotheby’s. Forest landscape by Jacob van Ruisdael, Forest view by Aert van der Neer, and Amsterdam Canal by Jan van der Heyden each should yield 1 to 1.5 million. The painting with the whaler Prince Willem of Rotterdam marine painter Lief Verschuer and a small but fine seascape by Willem van de Velde the Younger has been estimated at 800,000 to 1.2 million.
In addition to the old masters and horses, Tai Schumann was passionate about American football. according to Seattle Times The weekend before her death, she was still watching TV coverage of one of her favorite teams, the Seattle Seahawks. They lost 20-10 to the Los Angeles Rams.
The Tai Schumann group They can be viewed Thursday through Sunday by appointment at Sotheby’s Auctions in Amsterdam. Information: firstname.lastname@example.org, 020-5502200
A version of this article also appeared in The September 21, 2022