Art News & Views

Auction Reports

What happened and what's forthcoming

Post Auctions


Warhol's Silver Liz fetches $10.2 million

30 June
The Post-War and Contemporary Evening Auction took place this evening at Christie's and realised $68,642,861 selling 84% by lot and 85% by value. “We curated this sale very carefully, offering a diverse range of works that were exciting and fresh, had great energy, and were of excellent quality. As a result, the market responded with real enthusiasm,” said Francis Outred, Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie's

Europe. “The signature work in the sale was arguably Mappa by Boetti; it acted as a symbol as a global audience competed for international artists and achieved £1.8 million, double its low estimate. Younger artists shone alongside the established names and the results demonstrate a continued desire to acquire Post-War and Contemporary Art.”

The top price was paid for Silver Liz, 1963, by Andy Warhol (1928-1987), one of only two paintings by the artist to depict the Hollywood icon with her legendary violet eyes. It sold to an anonymous bidder for $10,168,920. Further highlights of the evening included Loopy, 1999, by Jeff Koons (b. 1955), showing childhood motifs from the artist's Easyfun series, which sold for $5,115,480 (almost touching its higher estimate), a record for a painting by the artist.

Mappa, 1989, by Alighiero Boetti (1940-1994), an exceptional work of art from the celebrated series by the artist which predicted the power of globalization, sold for a new auction record for the artist at $2,757,208 (much higher than its highest estimate).

New records achieved for Pencz, Guercino, Bellini, Joli, Wouwerman, Gandolfi, Rosa and Bonvin
July 6

The Evening Sale of Old Master & 19th Century Paintings, Drawings, and Watercolours realized $64,270,223, selling 70% by lot and 92% by value. The evening's top price of $13,663,898 the second highest price at auction for a work by Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) - was achieved for A Commander being armed for Battle. This highly important portrait was one of two star lots offered from the Spencer Collections. The painting was a comparatively late arrival to the Spencer collections, having only been at Althorp since 1802 when it hung as an overdoor.

The painting was offered alongside King David, a monumental work by Il Guercino (1591-1666) which realised $7,883,354, far exceeding the previous auction record of £1.3 million set for the artist's Semiramis Called to Arms in 2005. Measuring over 2 metres in height, King David was acquired in Rome through the Scottish painter and dealer Gavin Hamilton by John, 1st Earl Spencer in 1768. Originally commissioned in 1651 by Giuseppe Locatelli for the Palazzo Locatelli in Cesena and depicting the Old Testament Hebrew prophet, King David, the work was bought specifically to hang in the Great Room at Spencer House and remained there until the 1920's, when it was moved northwards to Althorp.

In total, 12 lots sold for over $1 million. Buyers were 28% UK, 53% from the rest of Europe, and 19% from the Americas.

Swords and uniforms overtake carriages
July 7 & 8
Despite not being the top draw of the lots sold at the Althorp Attic SaleIncluding the Spencer Carriages, the sword and items of uniform relating to a Captain of the 1st Life Guards, the sword by Henry Wilkinson and the uniform supplied by Hawkes & Co. London actually achieved the highest bidding price, and sold for $45,330, almost 10 times its higher estimate.

However, it was the Spencer State Chariot that remained the top draw, selling for $201,341, much above its higher estimate of $120,000. In fact the sale went very well, with all sold lots achieving prices above their higher estimates. The auction was sold 93% by lots and 96% by value.

Margaret Sarah Carpenter sets world record at Old Masters
July 9
The Old Master's and 19th century Art sale at Christie's sold 64 per cent by lots, with Margaret Sarah Carpenter's (Salisbury 1793-1872, London), Portrait of a young girl, thought to be Henrietta Carpenter, bust length, in oriental dress sold for a world record price for the artist at an auction, at $49,292, three times its higher estimate. In fact, the interest in Old Masters was upbeat, with the sale achieving 76% by value, at $1,689, 452. The other highlights of the auction were the Portrait of King Charles II, from the studio of Sir Peter Lely ($ 49,292) and The Martyrdom of Saint Catherine of Alexandria from the Circle of Jacques Stella ($47,469), both exceeding their higher heigher by quite a few notches.

A 100 per cent sell-out
July 14-15

The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum Collection Sale at Chriesties new York proved to be a hundred percent sale-out, both in terms of volume and value. This according to authorities was a result of interest among buyers as well as the rational estimates for sale. In fact, all lots far exceeded their higher estimates, with Saddle from Trigger by Edward H. Bohlin, fetching the highest price at $386,500, more than double its higher estimate of $150,000.


The J. Paul Getty Museum acquires J.M.W. Turner's Masterpiece

July 7

J.M.W. Turner's great masterpiece Modern Rome Campo Vaccino took centre stage at the Sotheby's sale of Old Master and British Paintings, when it soared above its pre-sale estimate of £12-18 million and sold for £29,721,250 / $44,935,558 setting a new auction record for the British Master. The work was acquired by Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox, London Dealers, who bid for the work on behalf of The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. The previous auction record for a work by Turner was £20.5 million / $35.9 million and this was set by his view of Venice, Giudecca, La Donna della Salute and San Giorgio, in April 2006.

The auction in total realised the above-estimate total of £53,484,350 / $80,862,989 (pre-sale expectations were £33.8-49.6 million). The auction achieved sell-through rates of 68.4% by lot and 90.2% by value, and saw 43.6% of the sold lots achieve sums in excess of the pre-sale high estimates.

Discussing the record-breaking price achieved for Turner, David Moore-Gwyn, Deputy Chairman, UK and Senior Specialist in British Paintings at Sotheby's, said: “Turner's Modern Rome Campo Vaccino has achieved a tremendous and much-deserved result this evening. This breathtaking image shows the artist at his absolute best and, for collectors, it ticked all the boxes quality, superb condition, provenance and freshness-to-the-market. Over the last few months it has been wonderful to observe the response that the painting has received from collectors who come from all over the world. Turner is an artist who transcends the boundaries of British Art and the sale of this exceptionally rare painting by him represented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to which collectors responded (on the evening of July 7).”

Jiang Guao fascinates buyers
July 7

The superb collection of Asian art, lovingly assembled over a decade by a single enthusiast while living and working in the Far East and South East Asia was received with great enthusiasm at Bonhams.

Among the most fascinating pieces was a painting by the internationally celebrated Chinese artist Jiang Guo Fang who became a personal friend of the collector when he was living in Shanghai in the early 1990s. The painting, 'Reclining Court Beauty' shows a beautiful model posing pensively in the costume of the 19th century Chinese court. It is from the artist's well known 'Forbidden City' period and was estimated at £20,000-30,000.

Early 9th Century Burmese Pagan bronzes, stucco heads and votive items epitomising the simplicity and serenity of South East Asian art and found elsewhere in the collection in sculptures from Thailand, Cambodia and Laos were also on offer. From Tibet, furniture and rugs as well as practical items for home furnishing formed the lots.

Prices ranged from the lower hundreds for rugs, paintings and furniture, to £1,000-2,000 for large and impressive bronze Buddhas and £15,000 18,000 for a 16th century Khmer wood standing Buddha. This made many of these stunning objects eminently affordable for private buyers and interior decorators alike.

Munch's mistress mesmerizes buyers
July 13

An impression of Edvard Munch's controversial work Madonna sold for an amazing £1,252,000 at Bonhams twice its lower estimate of £500,000. This makes it the most expensive print ever sold in the UK and the second most expensive print in the world. Another Munch image, Vampire II, sold in Oslo in 2007 at the height of the market for around £1,256,000.

Munch was responsible for some of the most radical and experimental advances in printmaking, and this impression dates from the time when he turned increasingly towards graphic art as a means of expression. Thought to be the first hand coloured version of this iconic image, the print shows the Madonna in yellow and white set against a halo of blue, green and red. The central figure is surrounded by a border containing spermatozoa and a foetus in a vivid blood red.

The model for the Madonna was Munch's mistress, Dagny Juel, a femme fatale who, after numerous ill-fated affairs, was shot dead by a young lover in a Tblisi hotel aged just 33. Munch produced the image in seven different states between 1895 and 1902 and this impression is from the very first state. It is in excellent condition and had been in the same family for over 100 years.

Duleep Singh's rupee teams with Mutiny medals to become the Star
July 15

An Indian Mutiny medal a re-is£720 sue example, with two bars Defence Lucknow and Lucknow, named to Lieut O L Smith 48th Regt N.I, together with a another Mutiny medal with off center and staggered naming to Lieut O Smith, a Rupee given by Rajah Duleep Singh as payment to his troops, a belt and belt pouch hallmarked for London 1891, by Edward Thurkle, the belt in silver and gold thread with stylised mounts, the pouch bearing arms of Scinde Horse, a photograph of Colonel Raymond Barry Smith of the 17th Bengal Lancers, in full regalia, and a damaged enamel inlaid Indian tulwar sold for £2,520 inclusive of buyer's premium, was the top draw at Bonham's sale of a private family collection of items relating to the Indian Mutiny of 1857/58 during their Summer Athenaeum sale.

Other top draws included family jewellery comprising an 18 carat gold signet ring, with feather crest, an 18 carat gold and bloodstone intaglio ring, London 1940, an early Victorian hair brooch, cartouche form set with seed pearls and amethysts, monogrammed P.F.H.B. April 19th 1841, a hair brooch, early 19th century, painted with oval miniature, bordered by seed pearls and two yellow metal lockets that sold for £600 inclusive of Buyer's Premium. A fine pair of 19th century Grand Tour photograph frames fetched £720 while Lt. General Octavius Ludlow Smith's (one of those whose private collection the sale consisted of) own inscribed copies of some of his contemporaries first hand published accounts of the mutiny, all first editions dating from 1858 could manage only £324.


Fine ceramics are the highlights

July 10

The highlights of the morning auction of European Furniture and Decorative Arts on Saturday, in Boston featured a great offering of Fine Ceramics of 450 lots, much of it coming from great collections built over a lifetime. The entire auction was just over 1,000 lots, and estimates ranged to fit every budget.

Fine Ceramics highlights included the Wedgwood collection of Joe Skirchak and Pat Cerra. Pat and Joe have collected Wedgwood for 30 years and have been dealing in it since 1984. Encompassing the full breadth of Wedgwood's manufacture, the collection numbered approximately 350 lots and included many fine examples in jasper of all colors and a wide selection of black basalt. Also well represented were queen's ware decorated by Emile Lessore and others, several earthenware Peace plaques, Thomas Allen decorated Shakespeare chargers, and a wide range of wares produced by the many freelance and studio potters. These included works by Alan Best, John Skeaping, Ernest Light, Keith Murray, Arnold Machin, Norman Wilson, Harry Sheldon, Peter Wall, Louise Powell, Daisy Makeig-Jones among others.

Complimentary ceramics in the auction included a set of four 18th century Wedgwood and Bentley period oval plaques, a collection of reticulated Royal Worcester featuring a number of double-walled vessels and a teapot attributed to George Owen, Belleek porcelains, a set of eleven Wilkinson commemorative toby jugs and Royal Doulton offerings highlighted by a Mark V. Marshall decorated stoneware owl vase.

Decorative arts offerings were highlighted by the icon collection of Louis Albert McMillen, a prominent American architect, and founder of The Architect's Collaborative (TAC) along with Walter Gropius and six other architects. The collection comprised of more than 45 Greek, Russian and Arabic Christian Icons. Also offered was a nice group of impressive bronze and stone statuary, highlighted by Two French Soldiers on the Filed of Battle, La Defense Du Drapeau by Jean-Louis Gregoire. This patriotic bronze was one of at least five different compositions that Gregoire executed to protest the Prussian territorial land grab and occupation of Alsace-Lorraine in 1870. An alabaster figure by Edmonia Lewis, also known as Wildfire Lewis, was also up for bid. Lewis was the daughter of an African American father and a Chippewa mother. She studied for a time in Boston, and then travelled to Rome where she joined the women's classical sculpture group known as the White Marmorean Flock. Lewis's works included scenes of American Indians, as well as depictions of freedom from slavery. She is regarded as one of the first African American female sculptors to gain international fame.

Forthcoming Auctions


Beatles' Abbey Road piano under the hammer

August 15

The Pioneers of Popular Culture sale, brainchild will take place at the inaugural Goodwood Vintage Festivalthe brainchild of fashion designers Wayne and Gerardine Hemmingway in conjunction with Lord March.

The sale celebrates all that is cool and iconic from the period 1940-1990, combining important and interesting objects from Entertainment Memorabilia, Vintage Guitars, Cars, Motorbikes, Scooters, Robot and Television Toys, Fashion Accessories, Wristwatches, Photographs, Prints, Posters and 20th Century Designer Furniture.

One of the major highlights of the sale is the Challen upright piano from Abbey Road studios, played by The Beatles and Pink Floyd. The piano features on several Beatles songs including Tomorrow Never Knows and Paperback Writer. Originally located in Studio Three at Abbey Road until it was retired from service in the 1980s, the piano is also believed to have been used by Pink Floyd on a number of recordings, including the Wish You Were Here and Dark Side of the Moon albums. The pre-sale estimate for the piano is £100,000 150,000.

Other exciting lots offered in the sale are a 1953 Electric Solidboy Fender Telecaster guitar (estimate £25,000 35,000); a jacket worn by Brian Jones during the famous Terry O'Neill Stoned Alone photo shoot (estimate £12,000 15,000); and a Union Jack decorated 1968 Lambretta SX150 (estimate £4,000 5,000).

Highlights also include a three-strand simulated pearl necklace formerly owned by Jackie Kennedy Onassis, which she wore during the early 1960s, which has been estimated at £25,000 35,000.

Leslie Hunter is the top draw
August 17-20

An exceptional late still life by Scottish Colourist, George Leslie Hunter, (est £100,000 150,000) is the star lot in this year's annual Scottish sale. Entitled 'Still Life', it showcases the full range of Hunter's talents, and features his keynote motifs of pink roses, goblet, fruit, fabric and drapery. The sale also features a fine, 'Iona', by Samuel Peploe. Painted in 1933, it shows the Sound of Iona, looking to Mull and Ben More and is priced at between £80,000 100,000. Peploe first visited the tiny island of Iona in 1920 and showed ten views at the celebrated 'Three Scottish Colourists' show at the Leicester Galleries in London in 1923. He was much inspired by the light, white sand and pink rocks, and this larger-format oil shows the spontaneity and freshness which was more characteristic of his later landscapes.

Another perspective on Iona is offered in a work by Francis Cadell, who is credited with introducing his fellow colourist Peploe to the island. It is estimated at between £25,000 35,000.

There are also two paintings by Anne Redpath. A beautiful and subtle view of Cagnes-sur-Mer on the French Riviera painted in the late 1930s (£60,000 80,000) is one of the artist's first major “hill town” oils rendered in the characteristic chalky palette of the period. 'Houses on the Lagoon, Murano' is a very late work from 1964, when according to critics, her painting achieved a purity in which form and content had become inseparable.

Pen sales make a comeback
August 19

After June, fine writing instruments again make a comeback in August at Bonham's. Consisting of just over 400 lots, the sale will include rare, limited edition pens by Montblanc, Dunhill, and Loiminchay as well as feature a number of Dunhill-Namiki pens exemplifying the collaboration between the two iconic makers.

Amongst the most sought after lots will be a Dunhill-Namiki Lake Biwa Maki-e fountain pen. This artist signed vintage maki-e fountain pen combines several of the finest Japanese lacquer techniques and is the result of the famous 1930s collaboration between Dunhill and Namiki. Extremely rare, this outstanding example is estimated at $15,000-30,000. Another Dunhill-Namiki Motorities Maki-e limited edition fountain pen will be an added attraction. Detailed in gold dust and mother-of-pearl Raden, the design incorporates wheels and flames in honor of Dunhill's original early 1900s "Dunhill Motorities" line of automobile accessories. Limited Edition 09/25, the pen is offered with all original packaging and papers and carries an estimate of $20,000-30,000.

A Montblanc Magical Black Widow skeleton limited edition 88 fountain pen is certain to garner collector attention. One of the most coveted of Montblanc pens, the Black Widow is encased by a web of white gold, featuring a filigree spider studded with black diamonds on the clip. In some countries, the spider is seen as a symbol of luck, and, in honor of the lucky spider, whose figure '8' shaped body symbolises infinity, Montblanc produced only 88 of these beautiful pens. Offered in a black lacquered presentation box along with all original packaging and papers the pen is expected to fetch $18,000-24,000.

Another Montblanc highlighting the sale is the maker's 4th July limited edition 56 pen. Paying tribute to the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, the body is made of red precious resin and is striped in mother-of-pearl and white gold filigree, representing the red and white stripes of the flag. The body and cap are star-studded and feature 13 signatures selected from the 56 signers. Estimated at $10,000-15,000, this patriotic lot is sure to attract bidders.

Rounding out the sale is a Krone Pink Stingray limited edition fountain pen. Recalling tropical beaches, this pen is made in sterling silver with a genuine pink stingray cap with pink diamonds encircling the cap and surmounting the top. Limited edition 3/8, the pen is estimated at $8,000-10,000.


The sale of American Furniture & Decorative Arts

August 14-15

The sale of American Furniture & Decorative Arts will be held on Saturday (lots 1-463) and Sunday (lots 500-1272) in Skinner's Marlborough, MA gallery. Skinner is among the world's foremost authorities on American furniture and decorative arts, and their Americana auctions offer American formal and country furniture and decorative arts, including folk art, naive portraiture, marine arts, pottery, fine clocks, Shaker artifacts, American textiles and needlework, American silver, Chinese export items, trade signs, and early glass.

 Bid & Hammer

Indian antique Books, Maps, Prints and Photos on sale

August 17

Indian Arts and Antiques, described by Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India as “The Greatest Galaxy of Monuments in the World” reached its zenith during the Company period the golden era of the British Raj, a subject endearing enough to have captivated generations of collectors and public over the years. Spanning a period of two hundred years or more, it is one of the most vibrant epochs of Indian history, keenly researched and documented by historians in India and abroad. It presents a wide panorama of sociological and aesthetic contexts exemplified by the affluent lifestyles of the Rajas and Nawabs, the Native sects like the Palki bearers, Pankhawalas, Soldiers, Nautch Girls and the Englishmen.

The European's zeal for documentation found its scope through the production of innumerable series of books/albums of prints and later photographs (hand-colored) commissioned by Colonial officers and prosperous merchants. These albums encapsulated in minute detail the lush abundance of the tropical flora, fauna, scenic landscapes, native lifestyles and local architectural marvels. Over the years these albums enthralled the audience abroad and gained such popularity that they became cherished family collectibles and heirlooms.

With this in mind, Bid and Hammer will be organizing the sale of Antiquarian Books, prints, maps and photographs.


Contemporary Design at Sudeley Castle
Till August 31

The Sotheby's selling exhibition, arranged in association with Carpenters Workshop Gallery, showcasing a series of one-off and limited edition pieces by leading contemporary artists and designers including Marc Quinn, Lionel Scoccimaro, Pablo Reinoso, Marcel Wanders, Jurgen Bey, Wendell Castle, Robert Stadler, Vincent Dubourg and Ingrid Donat, as well as the design ateliers Studio Job, Demakersvan and Atelier Van Lieshout has been going on from 28 May and ends this month.

Highlights include a number of specially commissioned works: Pablo Reinoso's exuberant Huge Sudeley Bench and Lionel Scoccimaro's playful Giant Jar. Many other works shown for the first time include Studio Job's Pouring Jug, Sebastian Brajkovic's intertwined chairs entitled Lathe X, Marcel Wanders' delectable Bon Bon Gold chair and Jurgen Bey's fantastical installation, TeaSceneryDeLuxe. Prices range from £10,000 to £250,000.


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art etc. news & views is a monthly magazine published from India in order to promote art and culture. It intends to raise awareness about art all around India and the world. The magazine covers art exhibitions, auction highlights, market trends, art happenings besides Antique, Collectibles, Fashion, Jewellery, Vintage, Furniture, Film, Music and Culture.