DECONSTRUCTED: Take a walk on the wild side

What more could a person ever ask for than sitting down at a piano once played by John Lennon and Michael Jackson, overlooked by a 14-foot topiary King Kong?

Okay, it’s not what the great musicians would possibly have had in mind when penning the likes of “Imagine” and “Billie Jean”, but that’s what was on offer when Central Park’s landmark restaurant, The Tavern on the Green, auctioned off its fixtures and fittings last month.

Tavern on the green 

The restaurant, which has been a favourite among New York’s local and tourists alike since it opened in 1934, closed its doors for a final time on New Year’s Eve after the owners failed to get their 20-year lease renewed and were forced to seek bankruptcy protection.

Indeed, it appeared no stone (or fixture) was left unturned with the auction list including for sale not only the topiary King Kong, but 59 chandeliers (as well as an emerald-coloured masterpiece originally made for the Maharajah of Udaipur); a baby grand piano used by John Lennon, Michael Jackson and Duke Ellington among others; 41 Moët champagne buckets; footmen’s dress uniforms; disco balls; two life-sized wooden elks and 34 brass samovars. A topiary giraffe was estimated to fetch $1,000 to $4,000 alone.