2017-03-09

FIC123 NEW WEBSITE

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We are currently migrating from our old site to the new site.
 
We will stop posting on the old blogs for a few days, so be sure to update your bookmarks and join us on this new site. One central stop for all your cultural info in Belgium, Europe and the USA.
 
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7505 - 20170315 - Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions to offer silver from the descendants of the van den Steen de Jehay family - Newbury - 15.03.2017

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A pair of late 17th/early 18th century silver parcel gilt figure groups by Abraham Drentwett II, Augsburg, circa 1800 (Lot 35, £30,000-50,000)
 
 Featuring in the Jewellery, Silver and Watches sale at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions on 15th March at Donnington Priory is a wonderful collection of 18th and 19th century Belgian, Dutch and French silver and objects of vertu, consigned by the English descendants of the van den Steen de Jehay family.

Château de Jehay is a castle near Amay in the province of Liège in Belgium. Lambert van den Steen, lord of Saives (1664-1757) was the first representative of the van den Steen family to bear the title of lord of Jehay. In 1720, the château and its lordship was purchased by Lambert van den Steen who was an advisor to the Prince-Bishop of Liège. The family went on to keep the domain for 280 years. The title of comte (count) was conferred in 1840.

A highlight from this collection comprising 13 lots in the sale on 15th March is a striking pair of late 17th/early 18th century silver parcel gilt figure groups by Abraham Drentwett II, Augsburg, circa 1800. One features a cherub with a spear tackling a wild boar and the other a seated cherub with a bow with a rearing hind, each on an oval base (Lot 35, £30,000-50,000).

Additional standout pieces include a stunning mid 18th century Belgian silver large baluster chocolate pot by Jacobus van de Vyvere, Ghent 1747-48 (Lot 26, Est: £5,000-8,000) and a Meissen doublée d'or and diamond mounted cartouche shaped porcelain snuff box, circa 1740 (Lot 59, Est: £3,000-5,000).

During and after the Second World War the castle was used as a children's home and was in rather poor condition. It was given back to Count Guy van den Steen in 1950. Guy van den Steen was a sculptor and many of his works now adorn the château’s grounds. Guy’s death in 1999 brought to an end the van den Steen de Jehay family line.

The castle and its collections were acquired by the province of Liège. Guy van den Steen's legacy was to leave the house open to the public in as pristine condition as possible.

Website : Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions

Source : Artdaily
 

2017-03-08

7504 - 20170314 - Sotheby's Sale of Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art - New York - 14.03.2017

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Horace van Ruith, Untitled (A Brahmin Household). Signed 'HORACE VAN RUITH' Bombay' lower left. Oil on canvas, 40¼ x 60⅜ in. (102.3 x 153.4 cm.). Estimate $40/60,000. Photo: Sotheby's.
 
Sotheby’s New York announced the full offerings of Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art. To be auctioned on 14 March, the 58 paintings from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, all from private collections, highlight the depth and breadth of this category. From works originating from the Chester and David Herwitz Collection, which established the market for Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art, to masterpieces of modernism, from paintings of abstraction to those of the late 19th century, the sale features artists from many of South Asia’s artistic movements. Following a travelling exhibition of highlights in Delhi, Sotheby’s galleries of Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art will open on 7 March, alongside its online sale of A Lyrical Line: Paintings and Drawings by Francis Newton Souza, which is open for bidding from 3-20 March.

CELEBRATED PROVENANCE
Five paintings from an Important Swiss Collection underline the strength of provenance in this season’s sale. Sayed Haider Raza’s Paysage, Maqbool Fida Husain’s Untitled (Four Women) and Ganesh Pyne’s Untitled (Krishna with Flute) are of particular note, having been off the market since their purchase at Sotheby’s New York on 3 April 1996. Originating from Chester and Davida Herwitz– passionate collectors based in New York who assembled an impressive group of modern and contemporary art of which half was donated to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem Massachusetts and the other half was sold at Sotheby’s in a dedicated sale – these paintings marked a significant turning point in the Modern & Contemporary South Asian market.

Sayed Haider Raza’s Paysage from 1983 was painted at the apex of the artist’s career (estimate $200/300,000). Marking the artist’s progression towards total abstraction, the work embodies characteristics of Hindu philosophy, specifically its emphasis on geometry. The work’s composition and palette hark back to Indian miniature painting; in fact the colors utilized in this work of art are inspired by the traditional hues of Rajasthan.

Four Women from 1971 is a masterpiece in the oeuvre of Maqbool Fida Husain (estimate $400/600,000). Closely linked in composition to Between the Spider and the Lamp, which drew inspiration from Pablo Picasso’s Cubist masterpiece Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Four Women flawlessly merges European Modernism and Indian sensibility. In fact, Husain’s addition of silent masks and obliteration of background allows the artist to isolate and alienate the women in this painting – symbolic of his deep awareness of the human condition.

JEWELS OF MODERNISM
For connoisseurs of modern & contemporary South Asian art, Jehangir Sabavala and Francis Newton Souza are considered leaders in the field. The 14 March auction in New York features significant works of art from their artistic output, including a monumental landscape and a characteristic portrait.

Jehangir Sabavala’s City-II is one of his most celebrated works. Concentrated on the sky, one of the artist’s favorite subjects, the oil on canvas is archetypal in its use of parallel layer. With cumulonimbus clouds pluming over the setting sun in downtown Bombay, the heavens dominate the canvas and dwarf the urban setting – a reference to the power of nature over man. This stunning work of art from 1999 carries a pre-sale estimate of $250/300,000.

Francis Newton Souza’s Untitled (Portrait of a Lady) is a beautiful example of the artist’s characteristic monumental two-dimension head and torso compositions (estimate $80/120,000). Set against a thick impasto background devoid of context, the subject becomes the sole focus of the viewer. In addition to its artistic significance, this 1960 portrait is also fascinating in that the sitter has been identified; spotted by Francis Newton Souza at a bar called the North Star in London, the current owner of the painting sat for the artist and was gifted the painting in 1963.

STAR OF THE 21ST CENTURY
Following in the footsteps of Jehangir Sabavala and Francis Newton Souza are a group of strong South Asian artists, who combine their national identities with international perspective. Amongst these rising stars is Bharti Kher, a British-Indian contemporary artist who engages with issues of migration, identity, femininity and sexuality.

Vincent van Gogh’s iconic The Starry Night inspires Bharti Kher’s Starry Night after V.G. (estimate $70/90,000). The Dutch Post-Impressionist’s use of brilliant colors and undulating composition is echoed in the Indian contemporary artist’s medium of reflective mirror surfaces and dynamic movement of the swirls. However, by appropriating the bindi – the mark of pigment applied to the forehead with the Hindu symbol of the third eye – Bharti Kher infuses this work of art with meanings of commercialism, gender roles and popular culture.

DAILY AND THEATRICAL SCENES OF INDIA
At the turn of the 19th century, Horace van Ruith and Raja Ravi Varma were amongst the most well-established artists in India. Working during the British Raj, the rule of the British Crown in India, highlights from this season’s auction fittingly sit at the intersection of East and West.

An Italian artist who specialized in portraiture, landscapes and genre scenes, Horace van Ruith began working on scenes of daily life in India during and following his trips to Bombay between 1880 and 1884. Untitled (A Brahmin Household) is characteristic of his work, capturing an intimate family moment in the serenity of their own home (estimate $40/60,000). As paintings by the artist are rare and seldom appear on the market, this large-scale tableau-style work is a significant offering this March.

Raja Ravi Varma, now considered a National Heritage Artist, painted Untitled (Damayanti) based on a composition taken from a photograph of a European performance of ‘The Feast of Roses, L’inamorata’, circa 1900 (estimate $500/700,000); in place of the Western actors, Varma re-imagined the scene with the heroine of a popular Sanskrit play, Damayanti. By dressing her in a glimmering sari, the artist brilliantly combines classic Indian mythology with European Realism whilst showcasing his exceptional skill in portraying women. Like many other paintings in the sale, this work by Raja Ravi Varma has celebrated provenance – having originated from the Collection of Fritz Schleicher, the German owner of the renowned printing press in Lonavala.
 
 
 
 

2017-03-07

7503 - 20170314 - Sotheby's New York announces 'Ming: The Intervention of Imperial Taste' - New York - 14.03.2017

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An Exceptionally Rare and Important Blue and White Moon Flask Ming Dynasty, Yongle Period Estimate $2.2/3 million. Photo: Courtesy Sotheby’s.
 
On 14 March, Sotheby’s New York will commence it’s Asia Week New York sales with Ming: The Intervention of Imperial Taste. An exploration of imperial influence and technical refinement, the sale chronologically examines the three hundred-year reign of the Ming Dynasty. From the perfection of white porcelain after the transfer of power from Yuan to Ming, to the expansion of blue and white designs by the end of the 16th Century, these fourteen works of art encapsulate the vested interest and pride of the Ming emperors and their courts in such works of art. In the words of Dr. John Alexander Pope, ‘it may well be that no product, either industrial or artistic, or both, ever combined greater beautify and utility or exercised wider influence over such a large part of the world as did Ming porcelain’. The New York exhibition of Ming: The Intervention of Imperial Taste opens to the public on 9 March 2017, along with all other Asia Week New York auctions and selling exhibitions.

An Exceptionally Rare and Fine Anhua-Decorated Tianbai-Glazed Meiping
Ming Dynasty, Yongle Period
Height 12 5/8 in., 32.2 cm
Estimate $2.3/2.8 million
While the Yuan Dynasty attributed special significance to white porcelain, its perfection was achieved under the reign of the Yongle Emperor. The tianbai glaze, described by writer Huang Yizheng as ‘immaculate like piled-up snow’, is a striking illustration of technical development; in the present example, the intricate peony scrolls beautifully materialize from under the luminous, luscious white glaze.

Property from an Important Private Collection
An Exceptionally Rare and Important Blue and White Moon Flask
Ming Dynasty, Yongle Period
Height 11 3/8 in., 28.8 cm
Estimate $2.2/3 million
Under the watchful eye of the Yongle Emperor, the imperial kilns of Jingdezhen in Jiangxi produced porcelain of the highest caliber, with many reserved for diplomatic missions led by Admiral Zheng He. Traded for rare animals, medicinal and food plants, pearls, precious stones, ivory and other luxury goods in major ports across South and Southeast Asia and as far afield as the Middle East, such works of art were perceived to be incredibly rare, valuable and symbolic of the Middle Kingdom. It is therefore unsurprising that the only surviving companion of the same design was preserved by in the Ottoman royal collection, and now resides at the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, Turkey.

Property of a Gentleman
An Exceptionally Rare and Large Fine Blue and White Reserve-Decorated ‘Peony’ Dish
Xuande Mark and Period
Diameter 15 1/4 in., 38.6 cm
Estimate $1/1.5 million
During the Xuande period, ceramics previously destined for far-away lands – as had been the case in the aforementioned Yuan Dynasty – were re-directed towards the imperial courts. This decision significantly impacted designs of works of art, including reserve-decoration wares, as standards of quality were raised to meet the lofty expectations of the Emperor. In this Exceptionally Rare and Large Fine Blue and White Reserve-Decorated ‘Peony’ Dish, the meticulous application of both blue and white glazes is highlighted by the smooth and even surface.

Property from an Important Private Collection
A Superbly Painted Rare Blue and White ‘Dragon’ Brush Washer
Xuande Mark and Period
Diameter 8 1/8 in., 20.7 cm
Estimate $1.5/2.5 million
Praised by foreigners, blue and white porcelain garnered admiration amongst the Chinese during the Xuande Period for its graceful shapes and delicate painting. The present brush washer – a shape that would have been treasured by the Xuande Emperor, a lover of calligraphy and ink painting – is extremely rare. With its exceptionally painted dragon roundels and the inscription of the Xuande reign mark, this work of art would have been exclusively created for the imperial court.
 
 
 

2017-03-06

7502 - 20170329 - Unsseen Jackie Kennedy letters to British aristocrat revealed for the first time at Bonhams - London - 29.03.2017

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Jackie writes about devastating pain following JFK’s assassination. Photo: Bonhams.
 
Heartfelt personal letters from Jackie Kennedy to David Ormsby Gore (the 5th Lord Harlech), Britain’s Ambassador in the USA during the Kennedy Presidency are to be sold at The Contents of Glyn Cywarch – the Property of Lord Harlech Sale at Bonhams in London on Wednesday 29 March on behalf of Jasset, 7th Lord Harlech. They reveal for the first time that Ormsby Gore proposed marriage to Jackie Kennedy, why she turned him down and why, shortly afterwards, she married Aristotle Onassis.

The letters form part of a cache of papers that have been locked away unseen in two despatch boxes at Glyn Cywarch, the Harlech family house, since Lord Harlech’s death in 1985, including personal correspondence from President Kennedy and from British Prime Ministers, Harold Macmillan, Sir Alec Douglas-Home and Harold Wilson. The archive is estimated at £100,000-150,000.

Bonhams Head of Fine Books and Manuscripts in the UK, Matthew Haley said, “For decades, biographers have speculated on the precise relationship between Jackie Kennedy and David Ormsby Gore. These letters now show without doubt how close they came to marriage and why Jackie decided to marry Onassis instead. The correspondence has been sitting in two official red Government despatch boxes for more than 40 years. The keys were nowhere to be found and in the end we had to call a locksmith to slice through the locks. It was one of those astonishing moments when you can’t quite believe what you’re seeing.”

The 18 handwritten and one typed letters from Jackie Kennedy to David Ormsby Gore, 5th Lord Harlech, cover her days as First Lady from the assassination of President Kennedy until her marriage to Onassis in October 1968. They show a warm and very close relationship which deepened during 1967 after the tragic death in a car accident of Lord Harlech’s wife, Sissy, in May of that year. At the time, Jackie Kennedy wrote to him movingly, “Your last letter was such a cri de coeur of loneliness – I would do anything to take that anguish from you – You want to patch the wounds & match the loose pairs – but you can’t because your life won’t turn out that way.”

During the following months, the two spent an increasing amount of time together, often on private holidays, and in February 1968 Harlech proposed marriage. Among the newly discovered documents is a draft of his wounded response to her rejection of the proposal.

“All the pathetic plans I had brought with me for visits to Cyrenaica, holidays near one another and a whole variety of solutions to our marriage problem, including one for a secret marriage this summer – plans which I saw us eagerly discussing, calmly and with complete frankness as we did at the Cape and in Cambodia for the next wonderful ten days – all had become irrelevant trash to be thrown away within a few hours of my landing in New York. As for your photograph I weep when I look at it. Why do such agonizing things have to happen? Where was the need for it? I have tried for hours and hours to understand your explanation and I suppose I do in a way, without agreeing with it; but what I find unbearable and in a way, dearest Jackie, untrue is that you could come to such a categorical conclusion…”

Her reply to him, is tender and soothing. “We have known so much & shared & lost so much together – Even if it isn’t the way you wish now – I hope that bond of love and pain will never be cut… You are like my beloved beloved brother – and mentor – and the only original spirit I know – as you were to Jack.”

In June of that year Robert Kennedy was assassinated while seeking the Democratic Party nomination for the Presidency. Harlech was one of the pall bearers at the funeral. Shortly after the suppression of the Prague Spring by Soviet Forces in August, Jackie wrote to Harlech lamenting the state of the world, “I thought your speech about Czechoslovakia so beautiful – it brought tears to my eyes – Reading it you cant believe that the same things are being said – or rather done – all over again – and that as before, it is England who is the bravest… Ones private despair is so trivial now – because wherever you look there is nothing to not despair over – I keep thinking of what Jack used to say – ‘that every man can make a difference & that every man should try.”

In the final letter written from Aristotle Onassis’s yacht Christina, Jackie tries to explain why she had married the billionaire Greek shipping magnate, “You and I have shared so many lives and deaths and hopes and pain – we will share them forever and be forever bound together by them… If ever I can find some healing and some comfort – it has to be with someone who is not a part of all my world of past and pain – I can find that now – if the world will let us.”

Jasset, Lord Harlech, the grandson of David Ormsby Gore, said “Though he sadly passed away before I was born, I knew even from an early age that my grandfather had been British Ambassador to the United States. There is much history that binds the Kennedys and the Ormsby Gores together. The more I read or was told about David by other relatives, the more I wanted to know. He seems to have been a most insightful and intelligent man. He had a career spanning military service, politics and diplomacy; he set up his own television station and was chairman of the British Board of Film Classification; all impressive in their own right, but I am told his greatest attributes were his thoughtfulness, charm, and sense of morality.”

Political letters revealed for first time in the Ormsby Gore despatch box
The strong personal and family links between John Kennedy and David Ormsby Gore influenced the decision of British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan to appoint the latter, a non-career diplomat, as Ambassador to Washington in 1960. (Ormsby Gore assumed the title of Lord Harlech in 1964 on the death of his father, a year before he ceased to be ambassador). Robert Kennedy described Ormsby Gore as being “almost a part of the government”, recalling that his brother the President “would rather have his judgment than that of almost anybody else… He’d rather have… his ideas, his suggestions and recommendations than even anybody in our own government.” This became especially important during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

A handwritten letter from Kennedy to Ormsby Gore in the cache attests to this closeness. “…I appreciate as you know, in all these critical matters your judgement – which I have found to be uniformly good and true. The P.M was excellent this week – I do not like these stories which have as their object a disparagement of the real value of our alliance. I am sure Your government knows better”

Harold Macmillan had equal faith in Ormsby Gore’s abilities, writing to him after his first year as Ambassador, ““I think your position is really something unique in the annals of the British Embassy in Washington and we are all really grateful for what you are doing”.

Other letters in the archive include:

• a note from Prince Philip’s uncle Lord Mountbatten promoting a film he wanted to be shown at the White House;

• a letter from Sir Alec Douglas-Home shortly after he succeeded MacMillan as Prime Minister in September 1963, “This is an unexpected responsibility, but I shall do my best. You know what a great help you are in Washington.”

• and a note from the private secretary to UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson who came to power in 1964, passing on Wilson’s request to prevent his notoriously erratic Foreign Secretary, George Brown, from meeting President Lyndon B. Johnson (who succeeded John Kennedy at US President in 1963).

Harvey Cammell, Deputy Chairman of Bonhams UK said, “Of all the many discoveries we have made in this wonderful collection, the Kennedy Harlech papers are surely the most remarkable. I am expecting unprecedented interest in this unique auction, the contents of which has kept our team enthralled since our first visit to this incredibly beautiful and historic house. It is, without doubt, one of the most fascinating private collections to come on the market in recent times.”

David Ormsby Gore, 5th Baron Harlech
David Ormsby Gore was born in 1918. Educated at Eton and New College Oxford, he was elected to Parliament in 1950. He held a number of Government Ministerial positions in the Foreign Office, but resigned in 1961 in order to take up the post of British Ambassador to the United States. He became the 5th Lord Harlech on the death of his father in 1964. After his return to the UK in 1965, he had a successful career in television, founding the independent TV company, HTV. Lord Harlech died from injuries sustained in a car accident in 1985. Senator Edward Kennedy, Jacqueline Onassis and other Kennedy family members attended his funeral.
 
 
 
 

2017-03-03

7501 - 20170328 - Spink announces fifth sale of the Lord Stewartby collection - London - 28.03.2017

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A Henry VIII (1509-47), third coinage, Groat, Tower mint, m.m. lis (over annulet on obverse), HENRIC 8 DI G AGL FRA Z HIB REX, broken saltire stops, crowned facing large bust 2, rev. POSVI DEV ADIVTORE MEV, trefoil stops, long cross over shield, pellet in annulet in forks and very rare with this initial mark. Estimate: £200-250.
 
Spink announced that it will be seeing spring in with a host of coin auctions in March in London and New York. There will be two auctions in Spink USA and two in Spink London, one of which is the fifth and much awaited part of the Academic Collection of Lord Stewartby. This portion will focus on his assorted Tudor and Stuart coins. There are many superb and intriguing pieces bound to attract furious bidding on the 28th March 2017.
 
One of these choice pieces is lot 1712, an Edward VI (1547-53), Shilling from 1549 minted in Canterbury. It is from an m.m. G die. Dies m.m. G were prepared for use at York under George Gale, but not used. They are encountered overmarked for use at other mints, in this case Canterbury under William Tyllsworth. For collectors with an interest in mint oddities, this will prove a very popular item for its rarity and attractiveness. Lot 1712, estimated: £200-250

Another item with an interesting minting quirk is lot 1641, a Henry VIII (1509-47), third coinage, Groat, Tower mint, m.m. lis (over annulet on obverse), HENRIC 8 DI G AGL FRA Z HIB REX, broken saltire stops, crowned facing large bust 2, rev. POSVI DEV ADIVTORE MEV, trefoil stops, long cross over shield, pellet in annulet in forks and very rare with this initial mark.

It is unclear whether the obverse mintmark is over a simple annulet, or a pellet in annulet. Although the latter is seen on Testoons, neither mark is known on the Groats of this period and so may be unintentional. Lot 1641, estimated: £200-250

Last but not least, mention must be madde of lot 1800, the beautiful Charles I (1625-49) Crown chosen to adorn the front of the catalogue. An exceptionally attractive coin sure to ignite bidding from the room, phones and internet. Lot 1800, estimated: £2,500-3,000
 
 
  
 

2017-03-02

7500 - 20170328 - A rare 1684 violin by Antonio Stradivari to be offered at Sotheby's London -28.03.2017

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Played by world leading musicians including acclaimed German violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann. Photo: Sotheby's.
 
On 28 March 2017, specialist musical instruments auctioneers Ingles & Hayday will offer a rare 1684 violin known as the Ex-Croall; McEwen by Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737) for an estimate of £1.3 – 2 million/ HK$12-19 million. Stradivari’s name has become synonymous with perfection in the field of musical instruments. Considered by leading authority W.E. Hill & Sons as a fine example of Antonio Stradivari’s violins from the 1680s, the instrument represents a key stage in the development of the luthier’s distinctive style. The auction will take place at Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries in London.

Stradivari’s output during his long career included only approximately 1,000 instruments, with only approximately 500 or so violins surviving today, and the majority of which are in private collections or museums. The violins from the 1680s are the first ones built on a larger, broader model and which are considered suitable for concert/solo use. The Ex-Croall; McEwen violin, in excellent condition and bearing an original label, has a back crafted from a single piece of maple with irregular flame and Stradivari’s trademark golden varnish.

Antonio Stradivari – An Unparalleled Genius
For some 200 years, Antonio Stradivari has been recognised as the greatest violin maker of all. Born in Cremona, northern Italy, around 1644, Stradivari made his first violin in 1666 and his developments in violin design, combined with excellent workmanship and superb materials, produced instruments that, both tonally and aesthetically, have never been surpassed.

Building on skills acquired during his apprenticeship, Stradivari began to alter established techniques and to challenge some aspects of traditional design. He improved the arching and fine-tuned the thickness of the wood; transformed the shape of the scroll, the varnish became more highly coloured and the tone more powerful. At the time the Ex-Croall; McEwen was produced, Stradivari’s reputation was spreading further afield and he was also establishing a name for himself in his native Cremona, later to become known as the centre of violin making.

Impeccable Provenance
The Ex-Croall; McEwen has a long documented history, passing through the hands of many titled owners. The first traceable owner of the violin was Mary Elizabeth Nina Townsend, or Countess Seafield, wife of Scottish nobleman James Olgivie-Grant, 11th Earl of Seafield.

In 1885/1886, the violin was sold to a Mr. William Croall, the son of a wealthy family of carriage makers; Croall was an active participant in Edinburgh’s musical scene and was known for his collection of fine stringed instruments which included several Stradivaris. In 1906, the violin was sold to his friend Frederick Smith, another collector of great violins. It then landed in the hands of distinguished violin dealers W.E. Hill & Sons who soon found a buyer, another Scotsman, named Mr. R.F. McEwen. By 1968, the violin found its way into the possession of the Countess of Scarborough, who put it up for auction at Sotheby’s on 19th December of that year. The winning bidder was Mr. F. Mitchell who purchased the violin for the sum of £9,500, and he later sold it to the Swiss luthier, Henry Werro of Bern. In 1995, the violin was acquired by the Westdeutsche Landesbank of Düsseldorf as part of their collection.

World-class Players
The Ex-Croall; McEwen has been played by some of the world’s leading musicians, most notably by acclaimed German violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann between 1985 and 1990. Other notable performers who have played the instrument include the young German talents Alexander Gilman and Suyoen Kim
 
 
  
 
 

2017-03-01

7499 - 20170309 - Art and emblems of friendships with the Kennedys offered in Bonhams' New York sale - 09.03.2017

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A going away gift jewelry with letter of recommendation to Jackie Kennedy’s personal secretary. Estimate: $3,000-5,000. Photo: Bonhams.
 
The “Kennedy Years”, a special section in the Fine Books & Manuscripts sale in New York on March 9, has several items on offer that tell the story of JFK’s days as a young senator arriving in Washington D.C. with his beautiful young bride, his nomination to the Democratic ticket, and his presidential campaign and presidency.

Leading the sale is the original plaster maquette for the bust of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, modeled by renowned sculptor Felix De Weldon, best known for his Marines Corps Memorial, in mid to late 1963, estimated at $150,000-200,000. After Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, Jackie Kennedy worked closely with the sculptor to ensure the most accurate depiction of the fallen president. Most notably she re-shaped the mouth so the bust portrayed JFK smiling.

Prominently featured in the sale are groups of photographs taken by Orlando Suero from Three Lions Picture Agency, that offer a rare glimpse into JFK and Jackie’s first year of marriage in 1954. From a five-day shoot with the couple in and around their first home in Georgetown, the first group of photos show Jackie in class and around the campus of Georgetown (estimate $3,000-5,000). The second group presents JFK relaxing at home whilst discussing a senate bill with Jackie, and playing a friendly game of football with brother Robert while his wife and sister-in-law watch (estimate $4,000-6,000).

Additional highlights include items from Jackie’s personal assistant, Mary Gallagher, who served JFK when he was a young senator before working for his wife. Gallagher met Jackie in her bedroom at 9:30 am each morning, and liaised between her, designers, artists, and the president. Jackie’s famed relationship with Paris-born designer Oleg Cassini comes to life in a collection of notes, delivered to her exclusive couturier, estimated at $3,000-5,000. These include Jackie’s hand-drawn sketches of dresses on White House stationary. Jewelry and a goodbye note from Jackie at the end of Gallagher’s employment estimated at $3,0005,000, are also in the sale.
 
 
 
 

2017-02-28

7498 - 20170308 - Landmark Jean-Michel Basquiat to lead Sotheby's London Contemporary Art Evening Auction - London - 08.03.2017

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Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (One Eyed Man or Xerox Face) acrylic, spray paint, oilstick and Xerox collage on panel, 182.9 by 121.9 cm. Estimate: £14,000,000-18,000,000 / $17,060,000-21,940,000. Photo: Sotheby's.
 
Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction on 8 March will be led by Untitled (One Eyed Man or Xerox Face), one of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s finest full-length male figures from his series of grand-scale paintings that took the art world by storm in the early 1980s.

Now estimated at £14-18 million, Untitled (One Eyed Man or Xerox Face) last appeared at auction in 1987, the year before the artist’s death, when it sold for $23,100. This was among the highest prices ever paid for the artist at the time.

Basquiat’s heroic male figures, always depicted with both arms raised aloft, and often shown with a studded halo or roughly pronged crown, formed the centrepiece of almost all the artist’s most important early works. Often based on the black athletes whose prowess allowed them to transcend racial boundaries in mid-20th century America, these figures were of huge personal importance to the artist. As a young black man raised in a middle-class family in Brooklyn, he readily felt the effects of racial segregation in art history: “I realised that I didn’t see many paintings with black people in them”.

Alex Branczik, Head of Contemporary Art, Sotheby’s Europe: ““The hero figures in Basquiat’s paintings refer to the stars of sporting, musical and artistic worlds who, thanks to their extraordinary talents, transcended their social status to become the nation’s icons. Painted with their arms held aloft and wearing a crown of thorns they also reflect Basquiat’s own dramatic ascent from street artist to gallery sensation, and to his present status as one of the most valuable and talked about artists in the world.”

Dating from 1982, Untitled (One Eyed Man or Xerox Face) is painted with the unbridled confidence and conviction of an artist at the zenith of his career. This was the moment when, as the prodigy of the painterly elite, he had become a dominant force in the international art world. His breakthrough had come a year before with the renowned New York/New Wave show at the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Centre. In 1982 he was the subject of six solo shows and became the youngest artist ever privileged with an invitation to exhibit in documenta 7 alongside the likes of Gerhard Richter, Joseph Beuys, Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol. Looking back on this astonishing year, Basquiat recalled “I made the best paintings ever.”
 
 
 

2017-02-27

7497 - 20170302 - Swann Auction Galleries to offer landmark deluxe portfolio of Chagall lithographs - New York - 02.03.2017

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Marc Chagall, Four Tales from the Arabian Nights, complete deluxe edition of 13 colour lithographs, New York, 1948. Estimate $250,000 to $350,000.
 
Swann Auction Galleries will offer a landmark series of lithographs by Marc Chagall in their 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings auction on March 2.

Created to illustrate ‘The Arabian Nights’ for Pantheon Books in 1948, the 13 images were Chagall’s first colour lithographs and won the Graphic Prize at the Venice Biennale of that year.

Between them, they illustrate four of the tales: ‘The Ebony Horse’, ‘Julnar the Sea-Born and her Son King Badr Basim of Persia’, ‘Abdullah the Fisherman and Abdullah the Merman’, and ‘Kamar Al-Zaman and the Jeweller’s Wife’.

The recurring theme of the tales and the lithographs is one of love, loss and reunion, and it is thought that the artist was influenced by the loss of his wife, Bella Rosenfeld, who had died in 1944.

The series is considered to be among the best examples of lithography from the first half of the 20th century.

The regular edition (limited to 90) includes only 12 lithographs, but this set – the publisher’s own – is one of only 11 copies produced of the deluxe portfolio, which also features the bird standing over the king and Scheherazade (pictured above). This makes it extremely rare, an attribute reflected in its estimate of $250,000 to $350,000.
 
 
  
 
 

2017-02-24

7496 - 20170318 - Outstanding Galle, Daum Nancy, Weller, Roseville pieces offered at Woody Auction - Douglass, KAN - 18.03.2017

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Brides basket consisting of a pair of pink satin diamond quilted mother of pearl square bowls set on a Reed & Barton #1105 silverplate stand.
 
Woody Auction is offering a surefire cure for cabin fever with what it’s calling the finest art glass auction ever held at its Douglass gallery, opened in 2015. Offered will be over 350 lots, featuring three core collections of mainly art glass and art pottery. The sale will be held Saturday, March 18th, starting at 9:30 am Central time. The gallery is located at 120 East 3rd Street in Douglass
 
Expected top lots will include Galle and Daum Nancy “bat” vases, a Galle marquetry vase, brides baskets, Weller and Roseville art pottery. For those unable to attend in person, internet bidding will be provided by LiveAuctioneers (full link at www.Liveauctioneers.com/woody-auction-llc. Absentee bids will also be accepted. As with all Woody Auction sale events, everything will be sold without reserve.

The entire catalog may be viewed online now, with crisp color photos, at www.woodyauction.com. Particularly beautiful are the two “bat” vases, the Daum Nancy example an extremely rare signed French cameo art glass vase, 10 ¼ inches tall, depicting eight bats in flight over a church steeple. The vase has a yellow, orange and amethyst mottled background, with cameo carved amethyst overlay.

The Galle “bat” vase, diminutive at 5 ¼ inches tall, is signed, with a white and dark lavender carved design that features bats in flight silhouetted by the moon over a village. The Galle marquetry vase, also signed and 5 ½ inches tall, has a white background with wheel carved pink overlay and large marquetry blossoms. An inscription in French, translated, reads, “Happiness in the new century.”

A pair of signed Galle French cameo art glass vases – one having a green background with strong carved pink floral blossom overlay, the other boasting vibrant translucent mottled seaweed green coloring with cameo carved branch, leaf and berry design – will attract bidder interest, as will a signed Emile Galle French art pottery figural owl, 13 inches tall, with a life-like brown glaze, on a red base.

Signed Daum Nancy French cameo art glass vases will be plentiful. Top lots will include a lovely and colorful 7 ½ inch vase with a fall scene décor along a lakeside and flowing creek; an 11 ¼ inch blown mold vase with forest décor and yellow and orange mottled background; and a 19 ¾ inch vase showing a cameo carved amethyst tree décor with multi-colored falling leaves. All three are must-see examples.

The Tiffany name always snaps bidders to attention. The sale will feature a 4 inch by 9 inch watercolor on paper beach scene with sailboats in the background, signed “Louis C. Tiffany” and mounted in a 9 inch by 14 inch frame; a signed art glass paperweight vase having a yellow opaque background and a large red blossom design; a signed favrile art glass vase, 7 inches tall, multi-color caramel shading to green; and an art glass flower form in a beautiful green pulled feather design and gold iridescent foot.

Beautiful Handel lamps will also come up for bid. These will include a marked reverse painted lamp having a chipped ice shade with exotic birds of paradise in flight against an orange and black mottled background, artist signed “HB”; and a marked reverse painted lamp, also with a chipped ice shade, with colorful parrots and butterfly among blossoming peonies, against a charcoal gray matte ground.

Brides baskets will feature a cream satin art glass ruffled bowl with coralene floral décor, set on a Monarch #556 silverplate frame; a pair of pink satin diamond quilted mother of pearl square bowls set on a Reed & Barton #1105 silverplate stand; and a Mt. Washington unmarked Crown Milano tri-color bowl with lovely pansy and geometric blossom décor, set nicely on a Pairpoint #2261 silverplate stand.

Vases by the French maker Le Verre Francais will cross the auction block. Lots will feature a signed French cameo art glass pedestal vase having a mottled orange background with dark amethyst cameo carved overlay featuring a scarab design; and a signed French cameo art glass vase having a pink and white mottled background with blue and green mottled Cypress pattern. Both are marked “Charder.”

Returning to Galle, other featured lots will include a rare signed ‘Emile Galle Nancy’ French art pottery wall pocket with a maroon background and embossed grasshoppers and blossom décor, 9 inches by 6 inches; and a marked “Emile Galle” French art pottery vase with four dimpled sides, two handles, and embossed floral and butterfly design. The vase, in brown, green and tan tones, is 7 ½ inches in height.

Back to Daum Nancy, and more spectacular offerings, to include a signed French cameo art glass vase boasting possibly the finest winter scene item Woody Auction has ever sold, 14 ¾ inches tall; a signed French cameo art glass covered jar in a rare shape and with a rare winter scene décor with pattern cut and enameled lid; and a signed French cameo art glass creamer with an ice blue background and springtime scenic décor.

Stunning vases by other makers will include a signed Thomas Webb & Sons English art glass vase with crystal clear blank, made for the 1889 Paris Exposition and marked “Tiffany & Company”; a French art glass vase made circa the 1920s by Maurice Marinot, signed, with green controlled bubble design; and a signed Muller Freres Luneville French cameo art glass vase featuring a scene of two birds near a lake.

Additional noteworthy lots include an unmarked Roseville Carnilian II pattern palace vase in mauve mottled tones, at 29 ½ inches tall the largest piece of Roseville Woody Auction has sold; an Austrian bronze mechanical statue of an Art Nouveau woman wrapped in a fur coat (which opens to reveal her as nude when the mechanism is triggered), 9 ¼ inches tall and mounted on a marble base; and a signed “G. Argy-Rousseau” pate de verre French art glass figural floral blossom with pink and lavender petals.

Internet bidders are encouraged to register a day or two ahead of the auction. Absentee bids should be submitted with a written statement indicating the amount of the bid. All bids must be received no later than Thursday, Mar. 16th. Bids may be fax’d to 316-746-2145, or e-mailed to info@woodyauction.com. Douglass is 35 miles southeast of Wichita. The gallery is a half-block from Woody Auction’s offices.

As for lodging, the recommended hotel is the Holiday Inn Express, located in Andover, Kansas, about a 15-20 minute drive away. To reserve a room there, call 316-733-8833. Many more area lodgings are also available. Moving forward, Woody Auction will conduct regular auction events in the Douglass location. Other auctions will be held at the St. Charles Convention Center in Missouri, as well as Iowa.
 
 
 
 

2017-02-23

7495 - 20170315 - Rare Rolex ordered by the Ministry of Defence in fine watch auction - Newbury - 15.03.2017

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Bovet Sportster Saguaro ref. C806.1, an 18 carat gold wristwatch, no. 014479, circa 2010, Est £8,000-12,000. Photo: Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions.
 
Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions announced their sale of Fine Jewellery, Watches and Silver which will take place on 15 March at 10am. The auction, at Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire, offers buyers a superb selection of timepieces which will be on view, along with jewellery and silver items, in the run up to the sale from Sunday 12th March – Wednesday 15th March.

Prominent in the auction are timepieces by prestigious watchmakers including Rolex, Omega and Glashütte, along with important ladies watches by Louis Jardin and Jaeger-LeCoultre.

Of note is a particularly rare Rolex - an Oyster Perpetual Military Submariner, in stainless steel dated circa 1975 (Est £40,000-60,000). The 'Milsub' is an enhanced version of the civilian Submariner, Rolex’s classic diving watch. This model was ordered by the Ministry of Defence in the early 1970s with specific requirements. These included fixed bars, so that the straps could not be pulled off, and sword hands for increased legibility. The vendor of this piece was a scientific officer for a trials team at the Admiralty Underwater Weapons Establishment on Portland, Dorset. He was issued with two Rolex Submariners for use by himself and his team. This was to save them from damaging their own personal watches. After several trials the watches were locked away in a drawer in the laboratory for safe keeping. Months later the watches had vanished and as the vendor was responsible for them, he had to pay for their loss. When moving laboratories one of these watches was found in another locked drawer.

Other Rolex models in the auction this March include an Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in 18 carat white gold (Est £7,000 - 10,000, pictured) and, with an attractive estimate of £1,500 - 2,500, an Oyster Perpetual Datejust Thunderbird with a two colour bracelet wristwatch, circa 1971, which will serve as a great addition to any vintage watch collection.

A Glashütte Original 2006 Karree timepiece also features for £5,000-7,000 whilst Bovet, the luxury Swiss watch brand is represented by an attractive Sportster Saguaro (pictured, Est £8,000 - 12,000). This watch provides a rare opportunity to purchase a Bovet watch at auction. Currently Asprey in London is the only retailer for Bovet in the UK and they rarely come up on the second hand market.

An 18 carat and diamond bracelet wristwatch by Jaegar-LeCoutlre is a standout classic piece from the lady’s section of the sale (Est: £2,000-3,000). A highlight for fashion lovers following the current 70s trend is an elegant lady's gold, diamond and emerald bracelet wristwatch by Louis Jardin (dated circa 1970, Est £2,000-£3,000).
 
 

2017-02-22

7494 - 20170309 - English & Enlightenment works in Swann March Early Printed Books Auction - New York - 09.03.2017

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Hans Holbein, The Images of the Old Testament, first English-language edition, with 94 woodcut illustrations, Lyon, 1549. Estimate $10,000 to $15,000.
 
Swann Galleries will hold an auction of Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books, featuring a premier selection of early English material.

The top lot of the sale is a leaf from the Gutenberg Bible, Mainz, 1455, with the text of Ecclesiasticus 16:14-18:29, estimated at $40,000 to $60,000. Further doctrinal material includes the fourth edition of the first volume of Petrus Berchorius's Liber Bibliae moralis, Cologne, 1477, a thirteenth century encyclopedia of the Bible and the natural world ($10,000 to $15,000) and the first edition in English of Hans Holbein’s The Images of the Old Testament, 1549, featuring 94 woodcuts by the artist and valued at $10,000 to $15,000. A 1560 first edition of the Geneva Bible, the predominant bible in Elizabethan England, is expected to bring $10,000 to $15,000. The 1674 third edition of Baruch Spinoza’s Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, which includes the 1666 Philosophia S. Scripturae interpres by Spinoza’s friend and editor Lodewijk Meijer, a controversial work arguing for the philosophical interpretation of scripture, estimated at $2,000 to $3,000, also makes an appearance.

Early English books featured in this sale include Antonio de Guevara's manual of statecraft The Dial of Princes, 1568 ($3,000 to $5,000); the first English edition of Niccolò Machiavelli's The Florentine Historie, 1595 ($3,000 to $5,000); Michel de Montaigne's The Essayes, the precursor of the modern essay form, 1603 ($8,000 to $12,000); and Sir Philip Sidney's influential prose romance The Countess of Pembrokes Arcadia, 1598 ($3,000 to $5,000). Also available is the third edition of the English translation by Sir Thomas North of Plutarch’s The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romaines, London, 1603, from Jacques Amyot’s French version of the original Greek, as well as the first edition of Samuel Johnson’s 1755 Dictionary of the English Language, ($1,500 to $2,000 and $6,000 to $9,000, respectively).

From the travel section comes An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham, Emperour of China, 1673, written by Jan Nieuhoff et al and originally published as part of John Ogilby’s series of travel atlases ($4,000 to $6,000). Several tomes recount exploration into the Middle East, including the first edition of Jean de la Roque’s Voyage de l’Arabie Heureuse, 1716-22, with three engraved folding plates of coffee plants, valued at $1,500 to $2,500.

A thirteenth-century noted ferial psalter and hymnal in Latin, with Western and Low German Saints’ Days ($3,000 to $5,000) is one of several rare manuscripts in the sale. Also available is a collection of 15 prayers composed by Charles V of Spain with engraved illustrations of gospel scenes, written in Spanish in Brussels in 1676; this volume, in an embellished red cloth binding, is expected to fetch $3,000 to $5,000.

Further highlights include the Italian translation by Leonardo Cernoti of Claudius Ptolemaeus's Geografia, Venice, 1598-97, with notes by the astronomer Giovanni Antonio Magini. This edition includes a double-hemisphere world map after Rumold Mercator, as well as 63 half-page maps; it is valued between $3,000 and $5,000. The second edition of Christophorus Georgius de Honestis’s Expositio super Antidotario Mesue, printed in Bologna in 1488, is also present. This late fourteenth-century commentary is based on the Antidotarium ascribed to the Baghdad court physician Mesuë the Younger, a popular pharmacopeia based on Muslim knowledge ($3,000 to $5,000).

In addition to a first edition of Paradise Lost by John Milton, 1668 ($6,000 to $9,000), there is also an extensive selection of philosophical works by important figures of the Enlightenment, including René Descartes, John Evelyn, Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, John Locke and François-Marie Arouet de Voltaire.

In the medical section is an archive of letters from Harvey Cushing to the great-niece of Elisha Bartlett, regarding the collection of Bartlett material he assembled with her help, estimated at $5,000 to $10,000. A sizable offering of seventeenth- to early twentieth-century works from the philosophy library of Professor Jan Ludwig features first editions by David Hume and Immanuel Kant, including Kant’s Critik der reinen Vernunft, printed in Riga in 1781 ($8,000 to $12,000).

The auction will be held Thursday, March 9, beginning at 10:30 a.m. The auction preview will be open to the public Saturday, March 4 from noon to 5 p.m.; Monday, March 6 through Wednesday, March 8, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
 
 
 
 

2017-02-21

7493 - 20170308 - Artists use materials recovered from The Glasgow School of Art fire to create works to be auctioned at Christie's - London - 08.03.2017

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Chantal Joffe Self Portrait with Ishbel at Glasgow School or Art , 2016 42 x 59 cm Estimate: £2,000 - £3,000 © Chantal Joffe
 
25 leading international artists, including Simon Starling, Sir Antony Gormley, Grayson Perry, Cornelia Parker, Jenny Saville, David Shrigley and Douglas Gordon have used materials retrieved from The Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh library after the fire to create original works of art to help raise money for restoration of the Mackintosh Building.

Each one of the diverse and distinctive pieces, covering a range of practices including Sculpture, Photography, Drawing and Painting has been created using remains from the fire, from charred timbers and debris to books and furniture.

In an auction titled Ash to Art, created by J. Walter Thompson London in collaboration with The Glasgow School of Art Development Trust, the new art works will be displayed at Christie’s in London King Street in a special exhibition between 3rd and 7th March 2017, then auctioned during the Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale on 8th March 2017. The proceeds will be donated to The Mackintosh Campus Appeal.

Artists chosen by J. Walter Thompson London, and including seven Turner Prize winners, come from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds to create a distinctive body of work, reflecting the international importance and influence of the Mackintosh Building on those who studied there and further afield. Other leading artists participating include Anish Kapoor, Tacita Dean, Conrad Shawcross, The Chapman Brothers and Sir Peter Blake.

Each artist was sent a piece of debris specifically chosen for them with a note telling them what it was, where it was from and explaining the concept. The brief was left open for each artist to interpret what they received and create their own new piece of art.

The diverse body of work includes Anish Kapoor’s wood fragments in red Perspex box, Douglas Gordon’s burnt wood cast in bronze and Grayson Perry’s ceramic with the words “Art is dead. Long live Art”.

The idea was created by J. Walter Thompson London’s Bill Hartley and Giles Hepworth.

Douglas Gordon, said: “I was sent a small section of wood that came from the famous library in the building. It sat in my studio in Berlin, on my desk, next to a classic 60's ashtray that a friend had given me - the irony. In any case it reminded me of my times in the library, where one either craned ones neck in order to look up very high, or bent one's head in order to read a book. It has a kind of (traditional) religious or at least a devotional gesture to it. And when I looked at the pieces of wood, I moved them slightly and realised that it was, indeed, a cross. Regarding the material and the process - I wanted to use EXTREME heat in order to make something that would not burn - therefore, the bronze.”
 
 
 
 
 

2017-02-20

7492 - 20170308 - Rare Georg Baselitz masterpiece set to break artist record at Sotheby's sale in London - 08.03.2017

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Georg Baselitz, Mit Roter Fahne (With Red Flag), 1965 (Estimated £6.5m-8.5m). Photo: Sotheby's.
 
 
A rare masterpiece by the German painter Georg Baselitz (estimated £6.5m-8.5m) is set to break the record for the artist at auction when offered at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction in London on 8 March 2017. Mit Roter Fahne (With Red Flag), 1965, from the artist’s ground-breaking ‘Heroes’ series, is a painting that cemented the artist’s reputation as one of the most provocative and compelling voices of the post-war era.

Baselitz’s striking canvas is one of an outstanding group of 17 works by German artists to feature in Sotheby’s flagship contemporary auction in London, representing around a quarter of lots on offer. Further highlights include Gerhard Richter’s desolately beautiful Eisberg (estimate: £8-12m; dedicated release available here), Anselm Kiefer’s monumental Athanor (estimate: £1.5-2.5m), Sigmar Polke’s Pop-inspired Die Schmiede (estimate: £1-1.5 million), a major painting by Martin Kippenberger (estimate: £3-4 million), alongside key works by Wolfgang Tillmans, Albert Oehlen, Thomas Schütte, Günther Förg, Günther Uecker and Michael Krebber.

Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s Head of Contemporary Art, Europe said “Seismic moments of social and political change in history have always created seismic changes in art, something we undoubtedly see in post-war Germany. Many of these artists tackled challenging; some might say profound, subject matter, while at the same time creating new visual languages which redefined European art history.”

The Growth of German Contemporary
The market for German contemporary art has gone from strength to strength in recent years, led by the £30.4m ($46.3m) achieved for Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild at Sotheby’s London in 2015, a record for any living European artist. Richter is just one from a wave of German post-war masters defining today’s contemporary art market.

• Over the last 5 years there has been a 31% increase in the number of bidders on German Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s auctions worldwide.

• In Sotheby’s flagship Evening London contemporary sales in 2016, around 20% of the works offered were by German artists.

• At Sotheby’s October 2016 ‘Frieze Week’ sales in London, the 9 works offered by German artists accounted for 43.3% (£20.76m) of the overall sale total.

• In the last two years alone, new auction records have been set for Wolfgang Tilmans, Gerhard Richter, Albert Oehlen, Thomas Schütte, Georg Baselitz, Martin Kippenberger, Günther Uecker, Sigmar Polke, Michael Krebber and Günther Förg.

AUCTION HIGHLIGHTS

Georg Baselitz, Mit Roter Fahne (With Red Flag), 1965 Oil on canvas 161.9 by 130.8 cm. 63¾ by 51½ in. Estimate: £6.5-8.5m
Born in 1938 and aged seven at the end of the Second World War, Georg Baselitz once poignantly described the past that he inherited by saying, “I was born into a destroyed order”. Considered one of the most important painters of his time, the artist has assiduously challenged the realities of history and art history in order to deliver a searing analysis of human existence in the era following the Second World War. Just as Berlin and the Wall became concrete metaphors for the global stand-off of the Cold War, so Baselitz’s Hero paintings today stand as icons of a history that informs our existence in the Twenty-First Century.

The tremendous import of Mit Roter Fahne is attested to by its storied exhibition history, having been displayed in countless retrospectives of the artist’s work across the globe, including the landmark retrospective at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 2007, curated by Norman Rosenthal. The painting is expected to surpass the current auction record for the artist (£4.69 million / $7.45 million) in Sotheby’s March sale.

Anselm Kiefer, Athanor, 1991 Oil, sand, ash, gold leaf and lead foil on canvas 281.9 by 381.6 cm. 111 by 150¼ in Estimate: £1.5-2.5 million
Executed on a monumental scale, Anselm Kiefer’s Athanor is a provocative exploration into Germany’s past, and the vicissitudes of history and memory. On 27 February 1933 the Reichtsag, home to the German parliament, burned down. The event is now seen as pivotal in the establishment of Nazi dictatorship in Germany, with Hitler manipulating the incident to expel the Communist party from parliament and imprison its leaders. In Athanor the building appears shell-like, as if we are witnessing the last burning embers of the fire. This pioneering work must be seen as one of the artist’s most important and ambitious paintings.

Gerhard Richter, Eisberg, 1982 Oil on canvas 100.5 by 151 cm. 39⅝ by 59½ in Estimate: £8-12 million
Gerhard Richter’s Eisberg is the ultimate example of the artist’s rejuvenation of the landscape painting genre. No other subject has fascinated the artist so extensively nor occupied him over such a long period, yet the total number of the landscape paintings that Richter has made is relatively low, making them rare in his oeuvre. A masterclass in technique, composition and subject matter, Eisberg is the largest of only three paintings Richter made on the subject, based on photographs taken during a journey through the icy straits of Greenland in 1972. At the time, the artist’s marriage to Ema was in crisis; his Eisberg series are widely considered to be a metaphor for the artist's state of mind. The National Gallery, Prague, has requested that this work be included in the artist’s first retrospective in the Czech Republic, due to open in April 2017.

Wolfgang Tillmans, Freischwimmer 119, 2005 Chromogenic print, in artist’s frame 180.6 by 237.8 cm. 71⅛ by 93⅝ in Estimate: £80,000-120,000
Executed in 2005, Freischwimmer 119, belongs to Wolfgang Tillmans’ highly coveted eponymous series, whose title refers to German levels of swimming proficiency, and embodies the artist’s most conceptually complex and visually enigmatic contribution to contemporary art. Created in the darkroom without the use of a camera, these works echo the avant-garde photographic experiments of Man Ray and György Kepes. However unlike these early iterations of the photographic medium, the exact process behind Tillman’s Freischwimmer works is shrouded in mystery. In 2000, Tillmans was the first photographer and non-British artist to win the Turner Prize and his multifaceted practice will be celebrated with a seminal exhibition at Tate Modern, London from February to June 2017.

Martin Kippenberger, Die Mutter von Joseph Beuys, 1984 Oil on canvas, in 4 parts 240 by 200 cm. 94½ by 78¾ in £3-4 million
Die Mutter von Joseph Beuys is one of two monumental paintings depicting the artist’s likeness in the guise of Joseph Beuys’ mother. The portrait is based upon a photograph of the Joseph Beuys - the legendary conceptual artist - as a child walking with his mother. In the source image the face of Beuys’ mother is obscured, hidden underneath a rain-hat in a grainy photograph. By presenting his own distinctive image in place of Beuys’ mother, Kippenberger satirizes and undermines the revered legacy of the godfather of German conceptualism, placing himself at the heart of art historical debate.

Sigmar Polke, Die Schmiede, 1975 Acrylic and metallic paint on cotton 150 by 130.4 cm. 59 by 51⅜ in Estimate: £1-1.5 million
Hailed by Sigmar Polke as “one of his most important paintings”, Die Schmiede presents an extraordinary multi-layered painting; with its fusion of abstraction and figuration, and appropriation of Pop imagery, it strikingly combines several elements that were of particular importance to the artist’s output during the 1970s. Born in 1941, Polke came of age in an environment rife with political conflict and division in the critical decades following the Second World War. In 1963, when he was just twenty-two years old, Polke and his contemporaries Gerhard Richter, Manfred Kuttner and Konrad Lueg, staged a direct response to the climate of their upbringing by initiating the radical stylistic notion of Kapitalischer Realismus (‘Capitalist Realism’); a pithy riposte to the state-sponsored ‘Socialist Realism’ of the German Democratic Republic as well as the aesthetics of consumer culture that dominated Western Europe.


  
 

2017-02-17

7491 - 20170308 - Uecker offered at auction in Bonhams' Post-War and Contemporary Art Sale - London - 08.03.2017

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                                Günther Uecker (German, born 1930), Oval (1958), estimated at £450,000-650,000. Photo: Bonhams.

Two works by the Zero group founding member Günther Uecker lead Bonhams March sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art at Bonhams New Bond Street.

Oval (£450,000-650,000) and Vogel (£400,000-600,000), painted in 1958 and 1962 respectively, represent a key period in the German artist’s early career, reflecting the dynamism of his practice in and around the time he was founding the avant-garde Zero group along with Heinz Mack and Otto Piene.

Ralph Taylor, Bonhams Senior Director of Post-War and Contemporary, says “We are delighted to be offering two important works by Günther Uecker. These pieces by one of the most exciting artists of the post-war era represent an exciting opportunity for collectors.”
Günther Uecker was born in 1930 in Wendorf, Germany, his work is included in the collections of international institutions such as the Tate Modern, London; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and the Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

Uecker studied painting at the Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee from 1949 to 1953, and further pursued his artistic training in 1955 at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Throughout the 1950s, Uecker cultivated a strong interest in repetitive practices and purification rituals, and became fascinated with the philosophies of Buddhism and Taoism. In response to these he developed rituals of his own, including the lengthy, repetitive, and meditative hammering of nails.

Uecker examined this effect further in the 1960s by introducing kinetic elements into his works through the use of engines, shifting his methodology from using precise, geometric patterns to more organic and irregular arrangements. In 1961, he joined the Zero Group founded by artists Heinz Mack and Otto Piene, who advocated a new ways of interacting with art. The group would soon reach out to embrace artists throughout Europe and become one of the most dynamic forces in post-war European art.

After the dissolution of the Zero Group in the mid-1960s, Uecker's began to incorporate body, Conceptual, and Land art into his oeuvre. In the 1970s he designed stage sets for several operas and in 1974 started teaching at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, which he would continue to do so until 1995.

Uecker has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, such as the Staatspreis des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen in 2015. His work has been exhibited at museums around the world, including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Budapest Museum of Fine Art, Budapest; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Ca’ Pesaro, International Gallery of Modern Art, Venice; and the Belvedere Museum, Vienna.

Other highlights include:

• Séi, a 1991 painting by the Gutai group founding member Kazuo Shiraga. Estimated at £500,000-700,000, this work follows on from impressive results in recent Bonhams sales for works by Shiraga and other members of the Gutai group.

• Shiraga (1924-2008) was one of the most original painters in post-war Japan. Famed for painting with his feet while suspended by a rope, he considered physical actions as fundamentally linked to spiritual experiences.

• The Gutai group, which means 'concrete', was founded in 1954 and sought to redefine art as a medium that could relate to post-war Japan.
 
 
 

2017-02-16

7490 - 20170305 - Notable Sam Francis, Ed Ruscha works announced for Los Angeles Modern Auctions' Winter 2017 Auction - 05.03.2017

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Ed Ruscha, Zip Rooster, 1994, Acrylic on linen, Estimate: $150,000–200,000. Photo: Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)/Susan Einstein.
 
Los Angeles Modern Auctions has announced the date of its Winter auction, which will take place on Sunday, March 5, 2017 at 12pm (PST).
The curated LAMA auction will represent many of the most coveted examples of contemporary artwork in today’s market. The LAMA auction will include rare paintings by Sam Francis, Ed Ruscha and Alma Thomas, sculptural works by Jenny Holzer and Harry Bertoia as well as prints, multiples and works on paper by Keith Haring, Richard Diebenkorn and Roy Lichtenstein. Additionally, the auction will have a strong representation of Modern Design with works by George Nakashima, and Sam Maloof among others.

One of the twentieth century’s most prolific Abstract Expressionists, Sam Francis is known internationally for his striking use of color, influenced by his time in Paris and later in Tokyo. Untitled (SFF.535) (1969-70, Acrylic on canvas, Est.: $250,000-350,000) demonstrates a command of the medium, as well as the negative space on the canvas. Francis was precise and methodical in his work, and this piece highlights his awareness of the relationship between color and light.

“This auction has the most diverse works of vintage, contemporary art from local estates and collections that we have ever offered,” said Peter Loughrey, Founder and Director of Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA). “LAMA has grown over twenty-five years to include many original works that previously could only have been sold in New York. However, the Los Angeles market has matured over the last five years to support contemporary art at the highest level."

Alma Thomas, a preeminent African-American Expressionist, will be represented in the March 5, 2017 auction with Spring Flowers in Washington, D.C., (1969, Acrylic on canvas, Est.: $125,000-175,000) a rare and vibrant work. Spring Flowers in Washington, D.C. has been in the same family’s collection for nearly 50 years. Thomas was 75 years old before she showed her abstract work, but was the first African-American woman to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum and the first female African-American artist chosen by the Obamas to be displayed in the White House.

"Alma Thomas' work has been overlooked for a generation and is now enjoying a much-deserved reevaluation,” Loughrey said. “Spring Flowers in Washington, D.C. alludes to the annual blooming of the cherry blossoms in the U.S. Capital but can also be seen as an emblem of renewal. In 1969, when this painting was created, Richard Nixon was newly inaugurated and the civil rights movement was just beginning to gain national acceptance. A nearly identical work has hung in the private residence of the White House for the last eight years which was acquired by The George B. Hartzog, Jr. White House Acquisition Trust.”

One of the most influential artists working today, Ed Ruscha, draws upon recognizable icons and images. Zip Rooster (1994, Acrylic on linen, Est.: $150,000-200,000), comes at an appropriate time as 2017 is the year of the Rooster in the Chinese zodiac. Lucky colors for this sign are brown, gold and yellow: the exact color palette of this featured work.

As proven leaders in California art and design, LAMA’s March 5, 2017 auction will include over 300 items representing West Coast and International artists and artisans including Sam Maloof, De Wain Valentine, Raymond Pettibon, Charles Arnoldi, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, and Mike Kelley.

The March 5, 2017 Modern Art & Design Auction will be conducted at the LAMA showroom: 16145 Hart Street, Van Nuys, CA 91406 and will start at 12 p.m. (PST). Auction Preview: February 20–March 4, 2017; open daily.
 
 
 
 

2017-02-15

7489 - 20170311 - RM Sotheby's extends 2017 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance sale to two days - Amelia Island, FL - 10-11.03.2017

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The exquisitely restored 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta, chassis no. 2639 GT. Photo: Erik Fuller © 2016 courtesy RM Sotheby’s.
 
If early entries are anything to go by, RM Sotheby’s 2017 Amelia Island sale will feature one of the most thrilling offerings ever presented in Amelia Island auction history. The official auction house of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance today announced a superb 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta and a 58-car private collection as the latest highlights for its 2017 March sale. The addition of the latter, a superlative group of Rolls-Royce, Bentleys and other sporting icons, will see the company’s 19th annual Amelia Island auction extended to two days, with the private collection to be offered during its own dedicated sale session on Friday, March 10. RM’s traditional Amelia Island sale, featuring a curated selection of 80 blue-chip automobiles, will follow on March 11.
“Our Amelia Island sale is a perennial favorite on the global collector car calendar and interest in our 2017 sale has been extraordinary,” says Gord Duff, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s. “When you look at what our team has secured thus far in terms of early entries—highlights such as the one-of-three Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet by Vanvooren, and now, this incredible Ferrari 250 GT SWB along with the collection of Orin Smith—it is shaping up to be the biggest auction ever held during the concours weekend. And, there’s still plenty more to come.”

Maranello’s Finest Dual-Purpose Grand Tourer
RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island auction has been witness to the sale of some of the world’s most important Ferraris over the years. The tradition will continue in 2017 with early highlights led by the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta, chassis no. 2639 GT.

An outstanding example of one of Ferrari’s most beloved berlinettas, 2639 GT was completed by the Factory in 1961, outfitted as a luxury street version with several competition-style features including a steel body with aluminum hood and deck lid, as well as roll-up windows. Sold new to Marion Dall’Orso of Genoa, Italy, it was soon thereafter exported to the United States, where it spent much of its early life in California and Texas, before returning to Europe in the 1980s. It was eventually acquired by its current owner in 2011, who promptly commissioned the renowned Ferrari specialists at Motion Products of Neenah, Wisconsin, to conduct a comprehensive restoration. Beautifully presented, the quality of the restoration has earned 2639 GT numerous accolades, including Best of Show at Concorso Italiano, as well as Platinum Awards at the Ferrari Club of America International and the Cavallino Classic. Highly eligible and complete with the all-important Ferrari Classiche Red Book certification, 2639 GT is expected to command in excess of $9.5 million when it takes center stage at RM’s Ritz-Carlton sale in March. Ahead of the Amelia Island auction, the car will be on preview at the 26th annual Cavallino Classic, January 25-29 in Palm Beach Florida.

“It is easy to see why the SWB tops many enthusiast’s lists; a true dual-purpose car, it combines sensational looks with incredible driving dynamics, and its versatility means you could race it at Laguna Seca, take on the roads of the Colorado Grand and everything in between,” says Gord Duff, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s. “From its various unique features to the incredible quality of its restoration—– confirmed by a string of awards—– 2639 GT is a car worthy of close inspection. The fact that it is eligible for virtually every important motoring event on the planet and will outperform nearly everything in its class, makes it all the more attractive.”

‘A Gentleman’s Collection: The Pride and Passion of Orin Smith’
In addition to the SWB, RM’s 2017 Amelia Island docket is further bolstered by ‘A Gentleman’s Collection: The Pride and Passion of Orin Smith’, a meticulously presented 58-car collection, which will be offered March 10 as a prelude to RM’s traditional Amelia Island sale.

Well-known and highly respected on the international show circuit, Orin Smith was a consummate enthusiast and active concours competitor with a keen eye for detail. His collection—the result of two decades of meticulous curation—represents, at its core, one of the world’s finest groups of coachbuilt Rolls-Royces and Bentleys. In total, 22 vehicles from the two marques will be featured at the March 10 sale. For those with a predilection for Rolls-Royce, highlights include an authentic 1929 Phantom I Henley Roadster by Brewster, one of only two Henley prototypes built on the Phantom I chassis; an award-winning 1948 Silver Wraith Cabriolet by Franay, complete with streamlined one-off coachwork for French cabaret star “La Môme Moineau”; and the world’s most famous PII Continental, the ex-Raymond Gentile 1934 Phantom II Continental Drophead Sedanca Coupe by Gurney Nutting. For Bentley enthusiasts, the collection contains a show-stopping 1947 Mark VI Cabriolet, one of two bodied by Franay and featuring one-off coachwork commissioned by its original owner, A.J. Liechti; along with a beautifully restored, factory left-hand-drive 1952 R-Type Continental Fastback Sports Saloon by H.J. Mulliner, formerly of the Bud Lyon Collection and complete with factory 4.9 engine upgrade.

Beyond its concentration on Rolls-Royce and Bentley motor cars, the Gentleman’s Collection has a secondary focus on sports and performance vehicles, including powerful examples from the likes of Allard, Jaguar, Lancia, Mercedes-Benz and more. In the market for an Aston Martin? The collection covers everything from prewar to modern models, including a 1966 Aston Martin Short Chassis Volante, the first such example built. Then there is unique, jet-age design, showcased by such striking examples as the 1953 Lancia Aurelia PF200 Cabriolet, a unique Pinin Farina concept on the rare Aurelia B52 chassis, displayed at the 1953 Geneva and Turin motor shows; and, an exquisite 1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic by Ghia, originally delivered to powerboat racer Lou Fageol.

“I had the great pleasure of knowing Orin Smith and found him to be a true gentleman in every sense of the word,” shares Don Rose, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s. “In addition to his impressive gathering of some of the finest Rolls-Royce and Bentley automobiles, Orin displayed an eclectic taste with a keen eye for other icons of style, including sporting machinery from prewar to the best of the contemporary. The common thread here is beauty, in both design and engineering; fitting for a man of generous spirit devoted to excellence. Because of those qualities, Orin Smith was beloved to the Amelia Island crowd, which makes the offering of his collection at our Amelia Island venue all the more poignant.”
 
 
 
 

2017-02-14

7488 - 20170303 - Christie's to offer the Collection of Earl and Camilla McGrath - New York -01- 03.03.2017

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Ed Moses (B. 1926), Untitled #1, signed with the artist’s initials, titled and dated ‘EM 82 #1’ (lower right), watercolor on paper, 14 x 11 in. (35.6 x 27.9 cm.). Executed in 1982. $4,000-6,000. © Christie’s Images Limited 2017.
 
This March, Christie’s will present the Collection of Earl and Camilla McGrath. Married for 44-years, Earl was the former head of Rolling Stone Records and a bicoastal gallerist, and Camilla was an Italian countess and an exceptional photographer. The McGraths were a social power couple who counted many of the leading artists and intellectuals amongst their friends, and their collection reflects a remarkable life spent alongside the greatest creative forces of the 20th century. Comprising over 135 examples of Post-War and Contemporary art, the collection will be offered in both a dedicated eponymous auction on March 3, and within the various owner Prints and Multiples sale on March 1. Highlights from the exhibition will be on view in Los Angeles February 9–11 at the De Re Gallery.

“Earl is the Gertrude Stein of our era,” artist Ron Cooper once noted. “He had a salon like Stein. I met Andy Warhol through him and Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper and Michelle Phillips and Michael Crichton and Joan [Didion] and John [Dunne] and… just an amazing roster of people.” The couple’s residences in New York and Los Angeles were gathering places for the world’s most influential social figures, including artists such as Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Larry Rivers, Brice Marden, Bruce Nauman and Robert Graham. Naturally, the McGraths surrounded themselves with works by the same artists.

Earl and Camilla McGrath were beloved partners in art and culture. In the 1960s, Earl met Ahmet Ertegun, the co-founder and president of Atlantic Records. Ertegun became one of the McGraths’ dearest friends, and invited Earl to join Atlantic Records in 1970. Seven years later, the collector was named president of the Rolling Stones’ eponymous record label. The McGraths became immersed in the free-spirited heyday of rock and roll, jetting alongside Ertegun and Mick Jagger, touring with the Stones, and hosting late-night jam sessions in their New York apartment.

After leaving the music industry in the early 1980s, Earl chose to focus his energies on art, transforming his West Hollywood home into an Arata Isozaki-designed space to showcase both established and emerging artists. His emphasis was always on artists and their work, and how to best promote multiple generations of talent to collectors and patrons. Art proved to be Earl’s ultimate passion and puzzle: a source of inspiration and delight to which he would devote decades.

Both in Los Angeles or New York, Earl brought his signature vivacity to Post-War and Contemporary art, once remarking, “Collect art that you love to have on your walls that you want to be part of your life.” The McGrath’s filled their walls with art that reflected the couple’s exuberance and discernment, as well as their unwavering dedication to the artists and their processes.

Auction Highlights from the standalone sale of The Collection of Earl and Camilla McGrath, March 3
Cy Twombly was one of Earl and Camilla’s oldest and closest friends. The McGrath’s bore witness to many of Twombly’s most significant moments, and gave the dinner that followed Twombly’s 1979 retrospective opening at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Among the top lots is Cy Twombly’s Untitled from 1963 ($250,000350,000). In the early 1960s, the artist creativity erupted in a torrent of vigorously worked drawings that brim with powerful, enigmatic motifs. Created at the height of his Roman period, Untitled illustrates the major pictorial themes of this era, particularly those inspired by the passions of love and war, as embodied by the myths of Venus and Mars. By the end of 1963, this theme reached its apotheosis in the epic, multi-panel Nine Discourses on Commodus, which now occupies the Collection of the Guggenheim Bilbao.

A highlight of the dedicated sale on March 3, is Larry Rivers’ depiction of the couple. Completed just two years after their wedding, Formal Marriage Portrait of Earl and Camilla McGrath, 1965 ($15,000-20,000) only teeters on the traditional. The narrative does not unravel in a single coherent picture, but rather in emotional vignettes. Camilla and Earl are placed among a lush, painterly landscape with Italy floating just above their heads, memorializing Camilla’s birthplace, and the country where the couple met. Earl’s head appears twice, once in profile looking towards Italy and again facing the viewer. In the painting’s center, “McGrath” is shown in a deep red stenciled lettering, and Camilla’s maiden name, “Pecci-Blunt” is included in the lower left.

Created during a profound turning-point in Marden’s career, Talisman for Earl 1981-1982 ($300,000500,000), holds particular personal significance for the artist. Marden titled the work after Earl, who was a dear friend. Created between 1981 and 1982, Talisman for Earl demonstrates new developments in Marden’s work, including a deeper emotional range and a heightened sense of feeling, both of which came to define his work during this era. Talisman for Earl demonstrates the intense, dynamic grids that Marden created at this time, and though each drawing displays a similar formal construction, Marden’s variation on the theme is remarkable.

Auction Highlights from The Collection of Earl and Camilla McGrath within the Contemporary Editions Sale, March 1
Highlighting the 76 lots included in the March 1 Contemporary Editions sale in New York, is a sweeping representation of Bruce Nauman’s most successful endeavors in printmaking. The McGraths cultivated a particularly close relationship with Nauman, and avidly collected (and sold) prints from nearly every phase of the artist’s extensive career. Earl, being such an enthusiastic supporter of Nauman’s work, often purchased multiple impressions from publishers to place in the collections of friends and collectors. For their own collection, the McGraths favored Nauman’s witty text-based works with deep philosophical ironies lurking just below the surface. Such works were hung throughout the McGrath residences, notably Shit and Die, 1985 ($10,000-15,000), which bears a personal inscription reading “Earlie Proof.” The earliest example of Nauman’s engagement with printmaking included within this grouping is Studies of Holograms ($2,000-3,000), which was the result of his choreographed performance pieces of the late 1960s.

The prints selection is also underlined by a range of dynamic examples by Jasper Johns, led by Flags II, 1973 ($25,000-35,000).