Dorotheum: Bright Spots

 Claude Monet, Nympheas, 1917/18, € 370.000 - 420.000

In mid-May modern and contemporary art, design, art nouveau, silver, jewellery and watches will all have their day in the sun. During the Dorotheum Vienna’s 2nd auction week of this year, to be held from 11th till the 15th May 2009, all these categories will present selections of international standing and import.

Reminding us of the delights of the table of a bygone age, the silver auction on 11. May 2009 includes an ornamental tureen from Berlin dating to 1830 (€ 18.000 – 24.000) as well as a pair of four-armed candelabra from St. Petersburg (1856; € 30.000 – 35.000). Though perhaps less practical, a Hungarian coconut goblet of gilt silver dating to the second half of the 18th century would be a worthy addition to any treasure chamber (€ 10.000 – 15.000). In addition, this auction also features a particularly fine collection of Judaica, the second part of which will be put up for sale this autumn.

In what promises to be a highly international selection, the auction of modern art on 12th May 2009, includes among its highlights Claude Monet’s „Nympheas“ of 1917/18 (€ 370.000 – 420.000), and a landscape by Giorgio Morandi. Massimo Campigli’s „Promenade“ recalls certain archaic murals (€ 100.000 – 150.000) while Giorgio de Chirico’s View of Venice belongs to the great tradition of vedutisti (€ 120.000 – 180.000). Among the Austrians, Oskar Kokoschka offers an early mixed technique Mother and three children („Mutter mit drei Kindern“ € 50.000 – 70.000) alongside two works by Albin Egger-Lienz.

Contemporary art in the auction on 13th May 2009 covers the entire range of this diverse category: Georg Baselitz turns another one of his paintings on its head („Pullover oben“, 1997, € 200.000-240.000), while Nam June Paik’s mask-like video sculpture „String of Pearls“ of 1995 combines modern communication technology with archaic images (€ 60.000 – 80.000), and David Salle blends advertising pop with abstract elements (€ 85.000 – 100.000). Works by Herbert Brandl, Otto Muehl, Karl Horst Hödicke or Georges Mathieu all illustrate very diverse aspects of painting.

On 14th May 2009, the Vienna Dorotheum focuses on international design, which has now been one of our auction categories for 15 years. This booming category ranges from early fin de siècle designs such as that for a Josef-Hoffmann dining room (€ 250.000 – 300.000), via design classics like Gerrit Rietveld’s „Steltman“ chair (€ 15.000 – 20.000), up to contemporary prototypes, e.g. a „Moraine“ sofa of Polyurethane foam and fur designed by Zaha Hadid (€ 24.000 – 28.000). That the transition between contemporary art and design can occasionally be very fluid becomes evident in such design auction lots as Ron Arad’s „Victoria and Albert Chair“ (€ 45.000 – 55.000), or Tom Dixon’s „S-Chair“ which uses rubber bands wrapped around an organically shaped steel frame (€ 10.000 – 15.000). Design highlights of the nineteen-eighties include the „Bazaar“ seat ensemble by Superstudio/Milano (€ 20.000 – 30.000) and Shiro Kuramata’s bench „How High the Moon“ – a dream of translucent metal latticework (€ 50.000 – 60.000).

Collectors’ eyes will certainly not be the only thing to shine at the art nouveau auction on 13th May 2009 where the superior selection includes a symbolic thistle lamp by Maurice Bouval, as rare as it is surreal (€ 22.000 – 30.000). A „Lily“ lamp by Tiffany will light up many a collector’s heart (€ 18.000 – 24.000), while the femme fatale „Antinea“, an object by Antoine Bouraine dating 1925, will likewise present itself in the most favourable light (€ 45.000 – 60.000). Dating to 1914, a design for a silver brooch is also by Josef Hoffmann (€ 10.000 – 15.000).

Last but not least, the auctions of jewellery and wrist- and pocket watches to be held on 15th May 2009, will provide a fitting finish to this second Dorotheum auction week. Glittering highlights

Include a white-gold lady’s sapphire ring (€ 50.000 – 70.000) which would go very well with a diamond and sapphire bracelet of platinum (€ 26.000 – 40.000). Pride of place in the watch selection will no doubt go to an eighteen-carat gold gentleman’s wrist-watch with Westminster carillon and tourbillion, the „Opera One“ by the Swiss watch manufacturer Girard-Perregaux (€ 100.000 – 150.000).


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