Sotheby’s January 2004 Americana Week will feature American Folk Art from the Collection of Raymond and Susan Egan. The single owner offering is comprised of folk paintings by Ammi Phillips, Sheldon Peck, Ruth and Samuel Shute, M.W. Hopkins, William Kennedy and Sturtevant J. Hamblin, among others and will also include a small selection of carvings and painted furniture. The sale of approximately 35 items is estimated to bring in excess of $1 million. A highlight of the sale is Ammi Phillips’ Portrait of a Young Woman in White Bonnet, circa 1836, a stunning example of one of the artist’s graceful women leaning slightly forward within a solid, dark background. Nancy Druckman, Director of Sotheby’s American Folk Art Department, said, “This is one of the works by Phillips in which all of the stylistic elements for which he is so famous come together in a harmonious way. The handling of her face, the detailing of the eyelet around her bonnet and collar, the sheen of her bow and the elongation of her figure and hand are all exquisite.” Ammi Phillips was born in 1788 and had launched a career as a portraitist by 1811, working in western Connecticut and Massachusetts and in the several neighboring counties of upstate New York. The work is estimated to sell for $40/60,000.
Sotheby’s January 2004 sale of Old Master Paintings is highlighted by A Winter Scene with Many Figures Skating on a Frozen River, one of the finest works by the Dutch artist Hendrick Avercamp left in private hands. Painted at the dawn of the Dutch Golden Age, probably between 1610 and 1615, it shows the delights of a rozen winter’s day enjoyed together by people of all ages: skating; sledging, ice-yachting, fishing and standing about gossiping in their finery, or muffled against the icy chill. Avercamp resolves the apparent contradiction of the physical onslaught of a brutally cold winter’s day with the delights enjoyed by the local population in the face of such a potentially severe trial of nature by introducing warm reddish tones: brick, clothing, flags; which provide a visual counterpart to the remorselessly cold gray of the sky and the ice, without diluting their intensity. The present work is estimated to sell for $4/6 million.
Sotheby’s December 2003 sales of 20th Century Design totaled $19,525,400 and were highlighted by the sale of Mies van der Rohe’s masterpiece, The Farnsworth House, which sold to the National Trust for Historic Preservation for $7,511,500. Competition was also fierce for Property from the Collection of Wolfgang Joop which brought a total of $4,678,860, surpassing a high estimate of $2.9 million. Alexandre Noll’s Important Carved Mahogany Armchair, from the Joop Collection sold for an extraordinary $680,000, establishing not only a record for the artist at auction, but also for Postwar Design and a 20th Century chair at auction. Additional auction records set over the three separate auctions include Louis Sognot and Charlotte Alix, Jacques Adnet, Jean Royère, Charlotte Perriand, Serge Mouille, Mies van der Rohe, John Risley John Mouseman Thompson and Ferdinand Parpan. The grand total of $19.5 million is a record for a series of 20th Century Design sales at Sotheby’s.
In an overflowing saleroom today, collectors vied for works of outstanding quality by American artists, driving the total to $31,263,400 over a $30 million high estimate. Bidding was at times fierce, as evidenced by the $7,176,000 achieved for Albert Bierstadt’s Yosemite Valley, exceeding the $6 million high estimate and establishing a new world record for the artist at auction. Artist records were also set for Arthur Dove, Daniel Garber and David Johnson.
The Sala Alcala de Madrid auction house will sell later today the work “Apostle’s Head” by Velazquez, oil on canvas that measures 38 cm. by 29 cm. The work comes from the Marquis of Casa Torres of Madrid and was later in the collection of the Countess of Saltes and then to a private collection. The work was exhibited in the “Velazquez y lo Velazqueno” show that took place in Madrid in 1961, in the 1990 Velazquez exhibition and the Velazquez in Rome exhibition of 2001.
To accompany the dazzling exhibition Faberge at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace (through 7 March 2004) the Royal Collection has commissioned an exclusive range of products inspired by some of the most celebrated works by the great Russian jeweller and goldsmith. The Faberge Range includes colourful espresso cups and saucers, exquisite jewellery and photograph frames, and charming hand-carved animals.
The espresso cups, produced in Stoke-on-Trent, are decorated with geometric moire waves. One of Faberge’s favourite designs, this pattern imitates the enamelling on the famous cigarette case given to King Edward VII by Mrs Keppel in 1908. The cups are available in blue, turquoise, lilac, pink, yellow and green, Faberge’s favourite colours. Each piece is embellished with 22ct gold and finished by hand. The espresso cups and saucers are available individually or as a set of six. They are presented in gold boxes bearing Faberge’s name, in Russian, and the Imperial Arms of Russia.
Sotheby’s is delighted to announce that it will hold an exciting single-owner sale of Old Master Drawings from the celebrated Unicorno Collection on May 19, 2004, in Amsterdam. The Collection was put together over a period of more than fifty years by the collectors Mr Saam Nijstad and Mrs Lily Nijstad-Einhorn.
It is a special event for the international art world when an important private collection such as the Unicorno Collection is offered at auction. The collection comprises around 500 drawings, all of which have been housed in the Unicorno collection for many years and which are therefore ’fresh’ to the market.
For centuries, French 18th century porcelain has been the prized possession of the rich and famous – from Madame de Pompadour, one of the world’s most celebrated courtesans to the multimillionaire U.S. steel magnate, J. Pierpont Morgan. Through January 18, 2004, the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art will proudly present Passion and Porcelain: Pre-Revolutionary French Ceramics from the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, an exhibition of priceless porcelain exclusively on loan from the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut that were gifted to the museum by financier J.P. Morgan in 1917.
A manuscript which describes the final hours of the Titanic by the most senior officer to survive the sinking is set to be auctioned.
The 17-page unpublished document by Charles Lightoller, the vessel’s Second Officer, is going under the hammer with other memorabilia relating to the famous ship.
Mr Lightoller was the last person to be taken aboard the rescue boat Carpathia.
This impressive and highly finished late Queen Anne model of a 40/44 gun 5th rate ship, right, created a huge splash in Christie’s South Kensington’s 554-lot sale of Maritime models and marine paintings on November 19 when it sold for GBP 600,000 (plus 17.5/10% premium), single-handedly providing over a third of the sale’s GBPB 1.36m total.
The multi-estimate price far exceeds the previous auction record, the GBP 260,000 realised by a William and Mary Royal yacht at Sotheby’s in 1996.