Art News & Views

What Happened and What's Forthcoming

Post Auctions



Early writing instruments make history in the US

February 22

A stellar result for the Bonham's and Butterfield's first substantial offering of vintage pens in the United States on February 22, 2011 produced outstanding results. Timed to coincide with the annual Los Angeles International Pen Show, the Fine Writing Instruments auction featured examples from several of the major collecting categories, including rarely seen pens and models close to 100 years old.

"It was a very dynamic sale that demonstrated strength in the market for exceptional and unique writing instruments. The auction, which was the first substantial offering of vintage writing instruments in the US, attracted bidders from Africa, Asia, Brazil, and Europe, as well as North America. Vintage collectors around the globe will now be looking to Bonhams & Butterfields in the US as a resource for early pens," said Rick Propas, Fine Pens Consultant Specialist, Bonhams & Butterfields.

Vintage highlights included a Pilot Maki-e fountain pen, 1930s (est. $5,000-7,000, sold for $14,640); a Watermans Red Ripple #20 fountain pen, circa 1910 (est. $7,000-9,000, sold for $9,760); a 47 Pregnant Lucky Curve Fountain Pen, circa 1909 (est. $6,000-8,000, sold for $7,320); and a gold-filed overlay 38 Snake Lucky Curve Fountain Pen, circa 1905 (est. $6,000-8,000, sold for $9,150).

Modern pens of note included a Montblanc Lorenzo de Medici Patron of the Arts Limited Edition Fountain Pen (est. $4,000-6,000, sold for $6,710), a Montblanc Year of the Golden Dragon Limited Edition fountain pen (est. $2,000-2,500, sold for $5,490), a Namiki Japanese lacquerwork Yukari Royale Fall Flowers fountain pen with gold dust and abalone highlights (est. $2,000-3,000, sold for $3,904) and a set of four hand-painted Stipula Arcimboldo Limited Edition fountain pens, representing the four elements (est. $2,500-3,500, sold for $3,904).



Raza clinches the limelight

March 16-17

Saffronart's just concluded online Spring auction ended with promising results for the Indian Contemporary & Modern masters. SH Raza once again clinched the limelight with the highest price achieved in the auction through his work titled Tanava. It was the only work of art in the auction to cross 1crore mark. The painting achieved US$ 420,900 (Rs 1,85,19,600). The auction experienced another painting by Raza to be among the top 10 lots sold through his Untitled work depicting Italian Village.

The sale realized a total of US$ 3,118,770, selling 65% by lot, of which 35% lots were sold above their high estimates. Beside SH Raza, works by FN Souza saw great interest, one of them, The King, realized US$ 218,500. Another significant work at the auction was Subodh Gupta's Untitled, clinching US$ 209,300. Rameshwar Broota, Jehangir Sabavala, Arpita Singh, Akbar Padamsee, Ram Kumar were among the other artists to achieve high prices at this online auction.



Property of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands raises more than €5 million

March 17

Sotheby's four-day sale of Property from the Estate of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands concluded today, raising more than €5 million for charity, well in excess of the pre-sale estimate of €1.5 million.

Proceeds achieved will be divided into two portions; the first part will be donated to The Red Cross, chosen by the four heirs because of the long term involvement of Queen Juliana in its work. The remaining portion will be divided into four equal parts; The Princess Beatrix Fund which is the choiceof Queen Beatrix, Princess Irene chose The Nature College, Princess Margriet chose the Red Cross and the Princess Christina Concours was chosen by Princess Christina.

Cees Breederveld, Secretary-General of the Netherlands Red Cross, said: “As Netherlands Red Cross, we are pleasantly surprised by the spectacular result of Sotheby's auction. Part of the proceeds will go to the silent disasters in the world. Disasters that get little attention, but where the needs of the people are urgent, like for example the situation of the victims of the continuing clashes on the Ivory Coast. For the other part we will choose a good destination. We are very grateful to the Royal Family for this grand and personal gesture.”

The top three lots of the entire sale:

Lot 308, an Extensive Chinese Silver-Gilt Tea Service, Qing Dynasty, 18th/19th Century, sold to a buyer in the saleroom for €204,750 ($284,459) against an estimate of €30,000-50,000.

Lot 87, a rare and extensive Doccia Ginori Porcelain Dinner Service, circa 1780-1810, with puce decoration of Italianate landscapes, sold for €168,750 ($233,172) against an estimate of €40,000-60,000. Four bidders competed for five minutes, pushing the price up to four times over the low estimate.

Lot 988, Bomschuiten in the Breakers by Hendrik Willem Mesdag, watercolour heightened with white on paper, sold for €82,350 ($114,409), over eight times the low estimate (€10,000-15,000).

Akbar Padamsee made history

March 25

Sotheby's historic sale of Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art this spring features one of the most important modern Indian paintings ever to appear on the market. Akbar Padamsee's rare, monumental Reclining Nude created in 1960 was sold at a historic price of 1,426,500 US$, well above its higher estimate of US $ 700,000. Untitled (Reclining Nude) was executed in 1960, at a time when Padamsee produced few paintings and only worked in shades of grey. It was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in Montreal the same year. The monotone of the current work gives the figure an amazing subtlety and presence, and stands in contrast to the rich colour palette of his early paintings. Described by the artist as one of his “best” paintings, Untitled (Reclining Nude) is one of only three large paintings from the important Juhu series, with the two equivalent paintings in esteemed private collections. MF Husain's Untitled work was sold at US$ 602,500, on the other hand, Rabindranath Tagore's work titled Death Scene was sold at us$ 338,500. Highlights of the auction was a noteworthy group of Bengal School paintings by masters Rabindranath, Abanindranath, Gaganedranath Tagore and Jamini Roy, centered by Rabindranath's Tagore’s famous Death Scene formerly in the Collection of Mildred and William Archer. Also included in the sale were seminal works of impeccable provenance by India's leading modern artists MF Husain, SH Raza, Krishen Khanna, Rameshwar Broota and Arpita Singh. The auction also feature works by noted contemporary artists Ravinder Reddy, Subodh Gupta, Bharti Kher, TV Santhosh and Reena Kallat, together with new introductions from Pakistan.

Forthcoming auctions


Unique lifesize portrait of mughal emperor estimated to sell for £1m

April 5

The largest known Mughal painting is to be offered at Bonhams on April 5 for an estimated price of upwards of £1m. It is in the style of a European portrait of the early 17th century.

The portrait which will lead a sale of works of Indian and Islamic art is a unique painting of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir who ruled India 1605-1627 and is attributed to the Mughal artist Abul Hasan, Nadir al-Zaman or “Wonder of the Age”.

Previously shown in the National Portrait Gallery in an exhibition on the Indian Portrait in 2010, the Emperor is shown seated on a gold decorated throne holding a globe, wearing elaborate robes and jewellery. The surrounding Persian inscription states it was painted at Mandu in the 1617.

Alice Bailey, Head of Indian and Islamic Art at Bonhams comments: “This is one of the rarest and most desirable 17th century paintings ever to come to auction. There is no other work of its kind known and its importance cannot be underestimated. The extraordinary detail and complexity of the painting both fascinate and bewitch the viewer.'

30,000 toy soldiers on sale

April 5

A vast collection of 30,000 toy soldiers accumulated by Dutch collector, Gijs Scholtens, is to be sold at Bonhams, Knowle, as part of its auction of Toys, Dolls and Soldiers on 5 April 2011.

Echoing the historic journey of Stadtholder William III of Orange (later King William of England, married to Mary II of England), in which he landed on British soil in 1688 with Dutch troops, and quickly shifted to relying on the British Army, Scholtens arrived in Britain this year with his own extensive army, already comprising mainly British troops.

Scholtens, a former lawyer, has been fascinated by anything army-related for his whole life. As a student he was a member of the University of Leiden's Pro Patria 'defensibility' society; aged 58, he became Reserve Officer in the rank of Major in the Army, and later Chief; and in 2007 and 2008 he was sent to Afghanistan to establish a legal authority in Uruzgan.

He started to collect toy soldiers in 1993, sparked by a visit to a London toy store Hamley's with his daughter, who was 16 years old at the time. Having acquired his first boxes of Britain's toy soldiers, series 8800, he began to buy at collectors' fairs and markets.

As is evident in the collection, his favourite toy soldiers are the British Household troops and colourful Highland Regiments. Highlights include Britain's Infantry of the Line on Guard (estimate £200–300); Britain's General Staff (estimate £200–300); Britain's Medal Model Mounted Household Cavalry (estimate £300– 400); and Scottish Toy Soldier Company Napoleonic Dutch Imperial Guard Regiment (estimate £200–300).


Exceptional modern and contemporary Southeast Asian paintings on sale

April 4

Sotheby's Hong Kong's 2011 Sale of Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings will be held on 4 April at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, offering over 145 exceptional works estimated in excess of US $4.6million. The sale will continue to lead the market in breadth and depth of its selection, bringing a vibrant array of modern and contemporary works by the region's most sought-after artists while providing a unique opportunity for collectors worldwide to acquire Southeast Asian paintings with remarkable quality, provenance and freshness.

The sale will also present photographies featuring various innovative photographers in the region such as Indra Leonardi, Angki Purbandono, Agan Harahap, Wimo Ambala Bayang, Wawi Navarroza, Juan Caguicla, MM Yu, Thavorn Ko-Udomvit, Tanapol Kaewpring and Genevieve Chua.

The star lot of the sale is S. Sudjojono's Kami's Ibu Pertiwi (Stand Guard for Our Motherland), estimated at US$257,000– 386,000. Another highlight from the sale is Die Schlittschuhläufer (The Ice Skaters), estimated at US $ 450,000-710,000 by German artist Walter Spies.

Photographs sale to be led by rare Man Ray works

April 6 

Sotheby's spring Photographs auction on 6 April in New York will offer a variety of exceptional works, from a recently-rediscovered Mathew Brady daguerreotype to Contemporary photographs by Hiroshi Sugimoto, Richard Prince, and the multi-media master Peter Beard. Of special note are masterpieces of 20th-century photography by Man Ray, Jaromír Funke, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Walker Evans, Richard Avedon, and Irving Penn, among many others. The pre-sale exhibition opens on April 2.

The catalogue's front and back covers feature superb 1930s photographs by Man Ray, a rare Surrealist image that was included in the artist's definitive early monograph Photographs by Man Ray 1920 Paris 1934; and a Man Ray, Photomontage with Nude and Studio Light (est. $100,000 to $150,000) Man Ray, Solarized Male Torso (est. $70,000 to $100,000)

Jaromír Funke, the great Czech Modernist, is represented by a dynamic abstract Composition from his Abstraktní Foto series of the 1920s (est. $50,000 - 70,000). Brassai's Le Corset Noir (est. $20,000 - 30,000), one of the few extant prints of this sexually-charged image, captures another side of between-the-wars Paris. August Sander's Handlanger (Hod-Carrier), printed by his son Gunther, likely in the 1950s (est. $30,000-50,000), is one of the key images from his Antlitz der Zeit series.


Jewels and Watches

April 6-7

From delicate period jewels to bold contemporary designs, Saffronart's spring online auction of fine jewels & watches comprises a wide selection of styles to ensure there is something for every taste and occasion. Besides jewels there will be wristwatches from Patek Phillipe, Jaeger Le Coultre, Rolex, Vacheron Constantain and other leading brands. The highest estimated lot of the sale is a natural pearl necklace, designed as five gradual strands of 568 natural pearls, weighing approximately 410.21 carats in total, joined by a diamond-set clasp, which has an estimation of $ 136,365 to $ 159,095. Necklaces hold the key as another pearl necklace, estimated at $ 90,910 to $ 113,640 will be on focus. A pair of emerald & diamond ear clips will also create interest with an estimation of $ 56,820 to $ 63,640.

A Patek Phillipe 18 K Gold Travel time wristwatch will be on focus when it comes to watches. This particular watch, estimating $ 18,700 to $ 20,700 is designed with jewels & applied with Arabic numerical at 3 and 9o' clock. Beside wristwatches, there would be several pocket watches and desk clock available in the sale, which would definitely create interest to the buyer.


Art of the Islamic and Indian world

April 7

2010 marked a record year for the category of Islamic Art at Christie's London, with sales totalling in excess of £30million/$45million and a new world auction record for any Islamic work of art established when a 17th century Kirman 'vase' carpet fetched £6.2 million, at Christie's in April last year. The auction of Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds on Thursday April 7 will continue to meet the hunger of this market for beautiful works of quality and rarity with over 400 richly decorated lots spanning a wide range of geographical areas, materials and time. Leading the sale is a highly important Fatimid bronze gazelle, dating to the late 10th or first half of the 11th century, Egypt (estimate: £800,000-1million) and a 16th century gold and turquoise hilted knife, which is an exquisite example of jewelled metalwork from the golden period of Ottoman art (estimate: £400,000-600,000)

Among the many works offered with important provenance, the sale includes property from two private collections: the Estate of the Late Simon Digby, connoisseur, collector, scholar and linguist and that of Max Palevsky, an American innovator and forerunner in computers and systems technology. Other media featured includes Qur'ans and manuscripts, furniture, ceramics, metalwork, arms and armour, textiles, jewellery and miniatures, with estimates ranging from £1,000 to £1million. This sale is preceded by the auction of Oriental and European Rugs & Carpets including Turkmen Weavings from the Collection of Erik Risman on Tuesday April 5, and is followed by Christie's South Kensington's sale of Art and Textiles of the Islamic and Indian Worlds on Friday April 8.

This gazelle is a very precisely observed and executed animal, both in its stance and physical attributes (estimate: £800,000-1,000,000). Of charming proportions, it measures 7.3/4in. (19.5cm.) high; 5.7/8in. (15cm.) long. Gazelles, along with antelopes, are also found in Fatimid lustre pottery, exemplified by a dish in the Islamic Art Museum in Cairo. This lot, like the impressive signed deer in the Völkerunde Museum in Munich, has openings under the belly which may indicate use as a fountainhead, in a similar way to the magnificent 10th century bronze hind sold at Christie's in 1997, which is now in the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar. A smaller Fatimid work of note is a carved rock crystal bottle dating to the second half of the 10th century (estimate: £200,000-300,000).

Saudi Arabian artists to auction works at Christie's Dubai

April 19

Edge of Arabia, the internationally recognized, pioneering art project that has shed new light on the largely unknown contemporary art and culture of Saudi Arabia, will be selling by auction six works at Christie's Dubai sale of Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art on 19 April, 2011. The sale is a fundraiser to enable the expansion of Edge of Arabia's education programme and art workshops in Saudi Arabian schools and universities, which will culminate in December 2011 with an international symposium in Jeddah to bring local and international Saudi contemporary art enthusiasts together for the first time. The group of works from selected artists is estimated to rise in the region of $150,000.

Stephen Stapleton, Edge of Arabia founder, commented: “The artists in this sale include the founding members of the Edge of Arabia stable and are considered the pioneers of Saudi contemporary art. In a humbling act of appreciation, six artists have generously donated iconic works, previously shown in major Edge of Arabia exhibitions in London, Venice, Berlin and Istanbul, in order to support the expansion of an education programme targeting local communities and especially young people”

The highlight of the sale is a three metre wide wood and copper dome symbolising the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem by Abdulnasser Gharem, a leading contemporary Middle Eastern artist and co-founder of Edge of Arabia. Entitled Message/ Messenger and created in 2010, it hides beneath its vast diameter a small dove, the symbol of peace and is estimated at $70,000-100,000. This piece was one of the highlights of Edge of Arabia's groundbreaking exhibition in Istanbul.



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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.