Art News & Views

What Happened and What's Forthcoming

Auction Report

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Contemporary Art

June 1

Major series of Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary Art sales at Sotheby's Paris – having achieved a grand total of €41million ($ 58.9 million), was well in excess of the Pre-Sale High Estimate €34.9 million ($50.1 million). Best Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary Art sales ever to be held at Sotheby's Paris. New Auction Records were set for paintings By Pierre Soulages and Nicolas de Staël in The Contemporary Art Evening Sale. Eleven Works sold for more than €1 million ($1.4 million), eight works sold for more than $2 million. In 1954, under the Sicilian blazing sun, Nicolas de Staël painted Agrigente, an authentic masterpiece done three years before the artist's death. The Sicilian landscapes, have always been considered as one of de Staël's most successful series: combining the shocking colors inherited from the Fauves to the abstract schematization of surroundings coming from his own vision. The piece was estimated at 1,200,0001,800,000 EUR and the hammer price with buyer's premium was 2,472,750 EUR


19th Century European Painting on sale

June 7

The sale of 19thCentury European Painting at Sotheby's Amsterdam brought €1,586,925 ($2,312,848), within pre-sale expectations (est. €1.5  2 million). The auction achieved sell through rates of 46.9% by lot and 69.2% by value, and set three new artist records. The highest price achieved was for Winter in the Streets of a Dutch Town Streets painted by Willem Koekkoek (1839-1895), one of the most distinguished painters of townscapes, which realised €228,750 ($333,389) against a pre- sale estimate of €100,000  150,000. Koekkoek's works were greatly admired all over Europe for their nostalgic mood and uniquely refined and detailed style of painting. This painting is an impressive example, not only because of its size, but also because of its ability to capture Holland's Age of Romanticism.

Speaking after the sale, Mrs. Eveline van Oirschot, Chairman of Sotheby's Amsterdam, said: 'This very successful total result shows us again the strong demand nowadays for paintings of good quality coming from private collections.'


Important Chinese ceramic & works of art

June 1

World auction record for Qingbai porcelain
An exceptionally rare Qingbai seated figure of Guanyin (Southern Song Dynasty)1127-1279  modelled with the upper body gently leaning forward, seated with legs crossed and arms folded under a voluminous robe, the garment is worn over the head partially exposing a finely reticulated floral diadem accommodating the Amitabha, the rounded face exquistely and naturalistically carved with finely detailed eyes, a straight nose and indented lips providing a serene expression, the toro adorned with a network of beaded jewellery chains, suspended above the multi-folds of the inner garment, the outer robe is covered with a characteristic pale blue glaze, pooling in recesses, reserving the head and upper body in the biscuit, the base unglazed 11 1/2 in. (29.2 cm.) high. The estimated price was HK$7,000,000 - HK$9,000,000 ($904,002 - $1,162,289). It sold for HK$25,300,000($3,267,338). Price includes buyer's premium.




June 9

Roman renaissance
A Roman Isis (1ST-2ND A.D.), in the Archaistic style, standing with her right leg advanced, wearing thick-soled sandals, a floor-length chiton with crinkly folds, buttoned on the right sleeve, and a voluminous himation wrapped tightly around her body, revealing her voluptuous form beneath, the himation over her left shoulder, diagonally across her breasts and under her right elbow, the overfold falling in stepped folds across her thighs, with a long vertical fold falling between her legs and cascading irregular folds clinging to her legs, a mass of zigzag folds falling below her left arm, the arm originally projecting outward, her right arm bent at the elbow, holding a lotus flower in her raised hand, her hair falling in corkscrew curls, two tendrils onto each shoulder, with a long mass cinched at the back of the neck and splaying below; with late 18th century restorations, including the right forearm, some drapery edges, and part of the plinth including the front of the right foot, 24 in. (60.9 cm.) high, was estimated at $500,000 - $800,000 and sold for $962,500. The second highlight of the sale was a Roman marble head of Appolo (1-2 century A.D.) depicted over-lifesized, with a smooth forehead, gently-arching brows that merge with the bridge of his slender nose, convex eyes with slight articulation of the pupils, and heavy upper lids that extend slightly beyond the lower at their outer canthi, the tear ducts naturalistically defined, his small mouth with the lips slightly parted, the philtrum tapering, his luscious wavy locks center parted and pulled up into a loose top-knot, the strands of hair defined by deep drill work and incising 15 1/8 in. (38.4 cm.) high. This was estimated at $200,000 - $300,000 and sold for $902,500.


Jamini Roy makes a mark

June 1

After a pretty long time, the works of Jamini Roy made a reappearance on the international circuit. Deities and Cows, tempera on card, signed lower right, framed, 50.8 x 59.7cm (20 x 23 1/2in), estimated at £5,000 - 8,000, $ 8,200 - 13,000 acquired from a private collection in USA from an estate sale in Missouri. Sold for £12,000. His Landscape with Pond, tempera on card, initialed J.R. lower right, an unfinished landscape painting on the reverse, framed, 32 x 41.2cm (12 5/8 x 16 1/4in) is estimated at £3,000 - 5,000, $ 4,900 - 8,200 acquired from a private collection of the Fine Art Centre, Wiesental, Germany in 2004. Sold for £7,800.


June 8

Victorian jewellery and cutlery fetches good price
A canteen of late Victorian flatware by G.M.Jackson, London 1895, of Old English pattern, crested, comprising eighteen tablespoons, eighteen table forks, eighteen dessert spoons, eighteen dessert forks, two sauce ladles, two gravy spoons and a soup ladle, together with eighteen large and eighteen small knives, Sheffield modern, weighable silver 174oz. (one dessert spoon replaced) sold for £6,240 inclusive of Buyer's Premium.

A ruby and diamond necklace, formed as a graduated row of open oval links, set throughout with circular-cut rubies and joined by bars set with trios of old round brilliant-cut diamonds, to a diamond-set clasp, length 44cm, the rubies estimated to weigh approximately 9.36cts in total, the diamonds estimated to weigh approximately 4.50cts in total sold for £5,400 inclusive of Buyer's Premium.

Fine Watches a favourite again

June 8

A very fine Patek Philippe and rare platinum tourbillon chronometer wristwatch with 10-day power reserve still sealed in its factory plastic together with fitted presentation box and Certificate of Origin 29-jewel Cal.28/20 manual wind half plate engine turned movement, with Gyromax balance and Breguet flat balance spring, antique rose dial with applied black Roman numerals, black hands, 10 day power reserve indication at 12, running seconds at 6, heavy polished curved rectangular case with triple stepped curved sides, "Top Wesselton" diamond set between the lugs at 6, glazed exhibition back held by four screws showing tourbillon carriage within, fitted leather strap with platinum Patek Philippe buckle, together with fitted wooden presentation jewellery box with front drawer and key, outer cards, large boxed leather file containing Certificate of Origin, Chronometer Certificate and instruction details, the watch within its original sealed plastic cover with swing tags, case, dial and movement signed 30m, sold for £168,000 inclusive of Buyer's Premium.

Another Patek Philippe, a fine and rare 18ct gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases and together with Certificate of Origin and spare back, 24-jewel Cal.CH 27-70Q nickel-finished lever movement stamped with the Geneva seal, Gyromax balance, free sprung regulator, silvered matt dial, applied gold baton numerals, outer five minute divisions, two windows for day and month, three subsidiary dials for running seconds and 24 hours recording, 30 minute register and leap year indicator, date and moon phases, circular gold case with down turned fluted lugs, glazed screw display back, two rectangular-shaped chronograph buttons in the band, 18ct gold Patek Philippe deployant clasp, together with fitted Patek Philippe box and outer card, Certificate, instruction booklet, setting tool and 18ct gold spare numbered case back, case, dial and movement signed 40mm sold for £90,000 inclusive of Buyer's Premium.

Forthcoming auctions


July 5

Chinese Ceramics and Asian Art
The July sale of Chinese ceramics and Asian art at Bonhams, London, has two highlights. Lot No: 92, Two carved agate snuff bottles, (1760-1840), estimated at £5,000 - 8,000. Both very well hollowed, each with flat lip and flat oval foot surrounded by a broad oval footrim, the first carved through the amber inclusions on one side to depict a caparisoned horse tethered to a post, with a bat in flight above, jadeite stopper and gilt bronze collar; the second carved through the honey brown inclusions on one side to depict two horses with lightly incised rockwork, tourmaline stopper and gilt bronze collar; 5.7cm and 6cm high (2). The second highlight is Lot No: 84, Three archaistic jades (Qing Dynasty), comprising a green and russet jade semi-circular chilong plaque, 17th/18th century, 13.3cm wide; a white jade archaistic dragon plaque, 17th/18th century, 11.5cm wide; and a large green and russet jade bi disc, wood stand, Qing Dynasty, 23.2cm diam, estimated at £3,000 - 4,000.


Old Master Prints

July 7

The Christies sale of Old Master Prints has two highlights. Albrecht Dürer's Adam and Eve (B., M., Holl. 1; S.M.S. 39) engraving, 1504, watermark Bull's Head (M. 62), a superb Meder II a impression, printing with great depth, clarity and definition, trimmed on or just inside the platemark but retaining a fillet of blank paper outside the borderline, partially remargined below, otherwise in excellent condition S. 251 x 194 mm. Estimate £250,000 - £350,000($408,750 - $572,250). The second is a Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Christ crucified between the two Thieves: 'The Three Crosses' (B., Holl. 78; H. 270), drypoint with engraving, 1653 - circa 1661, watermark Strasbourg Bend (Hinterding D-a-a or D-a-b), a fine impression of the fourth state (of five), printing with considerable burr, with thread margins, trimmed to or on the platemark in places, two very skilfully repaired short tears at the lower right and centre right, a thin abraded line in the upper centre, generally in good condition S. 385 x 452 mm. Estimate £250,000 - £350,000($408,750 - $572,250)

Works of Art from the Collection of the late Dr. Tony Ryan

July 14

Highlights are Hugh Douglas Hamilton, R.H.A. (Dublin 1740-1808) Portrait of Arthur Hill, 2nd Marquess of Downshire (1753-1801), small full-length, in a yellow frock coat and breeches, his left arm resting on a cane, with a coach and four beyond, in a landscape pastel, on paper 37½ x 25¼ in. (95.2 x 64.2 cm.) Estimate £200,000 - £300,000 ($326,800 - $490,200)

Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A. (Plympton, Devon 1723-1792 London) Portrait of Mrs. Thomas Edwards Freeman (1758-1782), three-quarter-length, in a white satin gown with a pink wrap, seated on a sofa in an interior oil on canvas 49 7/8 x 40 in. (126.7 x 101.6 cm.) Estimate £50,000 - £80,000 ($81,700 - $130,720)




July 8

Old Master Sculpture and Works of Art
Originally part of Sir Richard Temple, 1st Viscount Cobham's famous 18th century gardens at Stowe, Buckinghamshire, Woden and Seatern are the last two great Saxon deities in private hands. Commissioned in the late 1720s the gods represent the days of the week, Wednesday and Saturday, and epitomise the height of 18th century antiquarianism. The gardens at Stowe were one of Britain's finest contributions to the European Enlightenment and the importance of the Saxon deities was first fully described by John Kenworthy-Browne in 1985. Rysbrack used the finest Portland stone that has retained much intricate detail and the heroic characterisations have developed a timeless mystery, enhanced by the picturesque weathering of nearly 300 years.

From 13th-century enamels to 16th-century cameos; 14th -century stone gargoyles to 17th-century bronze angels; 15th-century terracotta Madonnas to 18th-century terracotta lions, the Old Master Sculpture and Works of Art sale this July is unique in its focus on the finest European works of art of the last 1000 years.


24-Hour Auction '99 Modern Paperworks' 

July 20 to 21

Saffronart is showcasing a significant selection of works on paper by 22 Modern Masters at its next 24-Hour Auction. The selection includes works by leading Indian artists Tyeb Mehta, V.S. Gaitonde, F.N. Souza, Nasreen Mohamedi, Arpita Singh, Jogen Chowdhury, Kartick Chandra Pyne and more. The auction, begins from July 20, 2011 at 8.00 pm (IST).

The aesthetic quality of the lots in this auction, coupled with their competitive estimates, offers young collectors a unique opportunity to acquire their first significant modern Indian artwork, and established collectors had a chance to enhance their holdings with a range of works on paper by leading modernists, including an important selection of drawings by founder members of the seminal Progressive Artists' Group F.N. Souza, M.F. Husain and H.A. Gade. The catalogue also features significant works from the oeuvres of respected associates of the group like Tyeb Mehta, Akbar Padamsee, V.S. Gaitonde and Krishen Khanna, and other well-known modern artists like Nasreen Mohamedi, Ganesh Pyne, Jagdish Swaminathan, Kartick Chandra Pyne Arpita Singh, Bhupen Khakhar and Jogen Chowdhury.

A collection of lots on offer in this auction by F.N. Souza, dating from the 1950s to the 1980s, includes drawings in pencil, pastel and ink, chemical alterations on printed magazine paper, watercolours and mixed-media works, illuminating the artist's mastery over medium and the diversity of his body of work. Also included in the catalogue is a 1962 painting by V.S. Gaitonde, underlining the artist's almost ascetic practice, and an untitled 1993 charcoal drawing of a falling figure by Tyeb Mehta. Amongst the lots by Akbar Padamsee are two rare mixed-media portraits from the 1950s, reminiscent of his early, highly sought after 'Prophet' series of paintings. Other highlights include an early charcoal rendering of Banaras by Ram Kumar, a study for Krishen Khanna's seminal painting 'The Game II', and two meticulous pencil drawings by Nasreen Mohamedi.




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