The Deering Estate at Cutler once housed one of the most extensive and valuable art and antique collections in south Florida. Several historic inventories document the content of the houses between 1916 and shortly after Charles Deering’s death in 1927. The vast collection included paintings by Goya, Murillo, El Greco, Zuluaga, Sorolla , Padilla, Tiepolo, Degas, Boldini, Winslow, Whistler, Gainsborough, Fortuny, Zorn, John S. Sargent and Ramon Casas. The artwork also included one of the largest and most valuable collections of carpets and tapestries from Spain and the Orient to be found in the United States at that time.
In 1985, when the Estate was purchased by the State of Florida and Metro-Dade County, the remaining items of the collection found in the homes were not included. Today, the Deering Family through the Deering Estate Foundation has made numerous donations. Many of these valuable antiques and works of art have returned to the property.
In 1999, family donated approximately 340 historic books pertaining to Charles Deering. This unique collection includes: a 1699 edition of John Dunton’s The Dunlin Scuffle; a 1716 edition of The Constitution of the Catholic Church and the Nature and Consequences of Schism set forth in a Collection of Papers; a four volume 1782 edition of The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santellane; a four volume 1792 edition of The History and Adventures of the Renowned Don Quixote; a two-volume 1800 edition of the History of Tom Jones; a twelve-volume collection of the 1859 edition of The Complete Works of William Hickling Prescott; an 1857 edition of W. B. Yeats Collected Works; a collection of the 1860 edition of Sir Walter Scott’s Waverly Novels; and the 1924 limited edition (20 copies only) of The Charles Deering Collection: A Catalogue of Carpets of Spain and the Orient. This valuable collection is currently on exhibit in the Stone House Library.
Art pieces unique to the Deering Estate have returned. The 1866 Ramon Casas Carbo oil-on-canvas painting “Procesión de Miércoles de Cenizas en Barcelona” that originally hung in the Stone House Ballroom is once again on display. The early 20th Century Hispanic Gothic Revival twelve-light bronze chandelier that originally hung in the Stone House Library is once more in place. Ramon Casas Carbo’s 1908 oil-on canvas painting of Richard Flint Howe and William Deering Howe; his 1917 pastel of James Deering and his 1920 portrait of Barbara Deering; the 1907 watercolor of Sitges by M. Crusal; and of course Charles Deering’s 1894 oil-on-canvas paintings of General William Denison Whipple (his father-in-law) and of his stepmother Mrs. William Deering (Clara Cummings Hamilton), are among the many on exhibit at the Estate.
Other elements that once graced the rooms at the Estate have also been donated and are currently on the Estate. A valuable collection of early 20th century wicker furniture, original to the Richmond Cottage; a collection of eighteen original pieces of Charles Deering’s 17th and 18th Century collection of cast iron and hammered steel collection; a 15th Century Portuguese/Spanish Coverlet is on exhibit in the Stone House Ballroom; and approximately, 5,075 wine and spirit bottles from the Stone House Wine Cellar are currently being classified for selection, accession and exhibit. As of 2003 a total of 822 items have been accessioned into the Deering Estate at Cutler Collection.