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Webster House Gracefully Exits the KC Antiques Scene


By Circle Auction | August 2020


For two decades, Kansas City’s Webster House offered guests fine dining and a wonderful selection of European antiques. Guided by the vision of proprietor Shirley Bush-Helzberg, Webster House Restaurant and Boutique created a delightful atmosphere and experience while carving out a unique and vibrant piece of the Kansas City antiques scene. Sadly, during uncertain times, Webster House made the difficult decision to close their doors earlier this year. Circle Auction and Brown Button Estate Sales were honored to host a curtain call for the beloved boutique.

The online auction, made up of items from the collections of Webster House and of Shirley Bush-Helzberg, took place August 15, 2020. The auction featured fine 18th and 19th century antiques: excellent furniture from England and France, decorative arts ranging from mirrors and inkwells to tole and tantalus; porcelain by Sèvres, Dresden, and KPM, and fine arts including Ferdinand Preiss, Franz Richard Unterberger, Alexandre Bida, and several Japanese ukiyo-e woodblocks.

Among the highlights of the auction was a beautiful 19th century Navajo second phase chief’s blanket, which sold for a hammer price of $4200, just above the high estimate. Also exceeding the high estimate was a stunning marble bust of the Greek goddess Artemis, which sold for a hammer price of $4100. Two groups of unusual Odd Fellows Lodge scepters collectively for $3000. A graceful French paneled oak cupboard dating to the early 18th century sold for $4700, the highest mark in the auction. Altogether, registered bidders gathered from 40 countries around the world to participate in the online auction. 100% of the lots sold, with a very healthy 28% of lots exceeding the high estimate. View the full results from the auction here.

As we conducted both the auction and the Webster House Estate Sale, we were struck by the myriad people who spoke of their cherished memories at Webster House, a testament to the generosity and expertise of each of the managers, curators, kitchen staff, and hosts who helped build and run the establishment. They will be fondly remembered. We look forward to seeing what the next chapter holds for Webster House and its talented team members.


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