Babs on the Block

Tables, chairs and lamps sold at auction by Barbra Streisand fetched nearly $3 million Monday, with attention centering on a pair of Gustav Stickley oak cabinets that had caused some controversy. Craftsman Farms Foundation, which runs a Stickley museum in Parsippany, N.J. (the designer was the leading proponent of the Arts & Crafts style), paid $142,500 for the two pieces as a crowd cheered inside the gallery at Christie’s in New York’s Rockefeller Center. “We are tickled to have the cabinets back,” said Tommy McPherson of the foundation, which has been trying to reclaim the cabinets for 10 years. The foundation had made repeated appeals to Streisand, asking her either to donate the cabinets or arrange a private sale. Even its request for measurements, which the foundation hoped to use to reproduce the cabinets in lieu of the original ones, was ignored, McPherson said. But Streisand’s publicist, Dick Guttman, told PEOPLE that the entertainer was never contacted about the cabinets. “Barbra Streisand is one of the most philanthropic artists in the world,” Guttman said. “Her contributions are in the tens of millions of dollars. Barbra’s generosity is not to be questioned. But as with any philanthropist, she determines her own priorities.”

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