Lewis referred to the 120,000-square-foot club's contents as "pieces of history," things like a 20th-century Adams Quarry marble mantle and fireplace, framed photos of the Bayou City's early days and bronze busts of local notables like Ben Love. All will be sold in the no-reserves, everything-must-go sale leading up to the demolition of its home for 50 years.
"The Houston Club is an icon as a social club and as Houston powerhouse," said Lewis, who rattled off a list of VIPs that have dined, met or spoken at the club (former presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter are among them).
Auction previews over the past few days have drawn more former visitors and event attendees, said Lewis, than actual club members. Their numbers have dwindled from 3,500 card-carrying members in the club's heyday to around 1,000 when it joined with the Plaza Club on Jan. 1 of this year.
Notable past members have included M.D. Anderson and Ben Taub, and George H.W. Bush and James Baker continue to claim membership.
Lewis estimates that a map of the United States from 1861 will be a high-dollar sell, as will a rare, elaborately-carved antique German wine barrel (which currently has the most hits in the online preview). Kitchen equipment and a stereo system are also likely to receive high bids.
As for a rare David Adickes tapestry featuring his trademark harlequin figures? That'll fetch a high dollar, too.
"I wouldn't be surprised at all if David Adickes himself bought it back," said Lewis.
The Houston Club auction will begin on Saturday at 11 a.m. Find more information here.