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Lot 354

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Description:

World Trade Center "Windows on the World" Restaurant Dishware, 8 Pcs; Avoided Destruction by Being Used at a Private Dinner Party Right Before 9/11

A partial coffee service from the World Trade Center's "Windows on the World" restaurant complex, comprised of four coffee cups and four matching saucers. The Deco style porcelain dishware was spared destruction because it was used at a private dinner party right before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Provenance: From the collection of Ron Hoskins, assassinologist.

The main dining rooms of the "Windows on the World" restaurant complex were located on the 106th and 107th floors of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Originally opened in 1976, the restaurant was temporarily shuttered following the 1993 bomb explosion, renovated, and reopened with great fanfare in 1996; its 25th anniversary celebrations were slated for October 2001. Prior to its destruction on September 11, 2001, the "Windows on the World" restaurant ranked as the highest-grossing restaurant in the United States, typically serving 800 lavish dinners per night, and attracting many celebrities.

The coffee cups and saucers in this lot were part of a Milton Glaser-designed yellow, cobalt blue, and white porcelain restaurant dinner service, examples of which can be seen in the attached archival photos of the restaurant. In addition to the cups and saucers, the dishware also included star-, moon-, cloud-, and sun-decorated dinner plates, demi-lune salad plates, dessert plates, soup bowls, and flatware. Glaser's distinctive restaurant logo, dishware, menu design, and select interior decoration elements emphasized the restaurant's spectacular vantage point high above the Manhattan skyline.

The coffee cups and saucers feature stylized blue suns with radiating blue rays silhouetted against a yellow sky. Each piece bears under-glaze stamps citing its manufacturer, Lilien Porzellan of Austria, and the design house, Minners Designs of New York: "Lilien / Austria / [various serial numbers] / By Minners Designs / New York." All four saucers are marked "K3" while two coffee cups are marked "N2" and two "T11" (probably indicating the date of manufacture.) In near fine condition. The cups measure 3.5" diameter, 2.5" high. The saucers measure 6" diameter.

There are very few remaining examples of any "Windows on the World" dishware. A handful of pieces can be found in the "September 11: Bearing Witness to History" collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of History (see attached photo.) This is because the restaurant, along with all of its furnishings, was obliterated in the collapse of the World Trade Center. It's estimated that approximately 120 restaurant staff, breakfast patrons, and conference attendees died in the "Windows on the World" restaurant after Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower at 8:46 am on September 11, 2001, blocking off all exits.

Provenance

"To Whom It May Concern:
 
These WTC dish sets were acquired by our uncle, Ronald Hoskins, we think back in 2013-2014. He stated to me, his niece Rebecca Redding, that he purchased the dishes from a lady who either was a manager of, or knew a manager who was employed at, the 'Windows of the World' Restaurant in the WTC.  She took them home for a private dinner and after the tragedy of 9/11 was never able to return them. He stated that he came across the dishes on eBay and made the purchase. He had them from the date of purchase until his passing in June 2020.  Now the heirs to his collection of historical significance have offered to put these WTC dishes up for auction.  
 
I, Rebecca Redding, have written my own account as to the significance of these WTC dishes and their acquired timeline. This statement is true and accurate upon my knowledge of the said items.  

Signed:  Rebecca Redding
(Heir to Ronald Hoskins Collection)."

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.

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September 30, 2020 10:30 AM EDT

Westport, CT, US

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