Category: Auctions

"...this evil proceeds from thy proud hart then take her: Devill."

June 16 2021

Image of "...this evil proceeds from thy proud hart then take her: Devill."

Picture: Trevanion Auctioneers

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Shropshire based auction house Trevanion are leading their upcoming June sale with what must be one of the most curious mid-seventeenth-century British paintings to come onto the market in recent years.

Created in c.1650, when the country was in the midst of what might be described as a puritanical dictatorship, this moralising painting shows two women whose faces are decorated with black patches in the form of kabbalistic symbols. The extended catalogue note provided explains more about the various potential meanings.

Most curiously of all, the canvas bears the inscription 'I black with white bespott y white with blacke this evil proceeds from thy proud hart then take her: Devill'. 

With 90 'watchers' and bids about to break through its top estimate of £4,000, this lot will be one to watch.

Sleeper Alert!

June 16 2021

Image of Sleeper Alert!

Picture: cambiaste.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News on Twitter (via @auctionradar) that the above Penitent Magdalene catalogued as 'Neapolitan School, 17th Century' sold for €380,000 over its €30k - €40k estimate earlier today at the auction house Cambi Auction House in Italy.

Sotheby's Evening Sale

June 15 2021

Image of Sotheby's Evening Sale

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Sotheby's London have published the online catalogue for their upcoming Old Master Paintings sale on 7th July 2021.

It seems that this summer's sale has a very strong Flemish flavour to it, particularly in relation to landscapes and still lifes. A few highlights include a lavish floral still life by Jan Brueghel the Elder estimated at £2.5m - £3.5m; a still life by Fede Galizia estimated at £400k - £600k; a Willem Kalf still life estimated at £800k - £1.2m; a Willem van de Velde coastal scene estimated at £400k - £600k; and two Boucher Landscapes estimated at £250k - £350k and £150k - £200k respectively.

As to be expected for AHN, another highlight of the sale must be Van Dyck's portrait of The Family of Cornelis de Vos estimated at £1m - £1.5m. The catalogue entry is rather interesting, particularly in relation to the composition and later attempts to update the clothing of the sitters. Make sure you zoom into the fine brushwork evident in the painting of the children. The loose painterly finish has that immediacy that we all know and love from the artists's oil studies and sketches, a delight to behold!

British paintings are also well represented, including a JMW Turner seascape estimated at £4m - £6m; two portraits from the Duke of Hamilton's collection including a Henry Raeburn portrait of the 8th Duke estimated at £200k - £300k and the aforementioned triple portrait of Emma Hamilton estimated at £400k - £600k; a fine Benjamin West of Prince William, later William IV, from the Digby collection estimated at £200k - £300k.

Chistie's London Evening Sale

June 14 2021

Image of Chistie's London Evening Sale

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Christie's London have published their online catalogue for their upcoming Old Master Paintings sale on 8th July 2021.

On a first glance, it seems that there are some really very choice pictures on the block. Amongst the highlights are Van Dyck's portrait of the Earl of Strafford estimated at £3m - £5m; Bernardo Bellotto's view of Verona estimated at £12m - £18m; Georges de la Tour's Saint Andrew estimated at £4m - £6m; A large banquet still life by De Heem estimated at £3m - £5m. There are many very strong pictures in the £400k - £1m range, including a fine Wright of Derby being sold by the Earl of Portsmouth (pictured). Other pictures I think worth pointing out are a Rubens head study, a Frans van Mieris music lesson and a serene Portrait of a Lady by Ferdinand Bol being sold from Lowood House.

Also worth a mention is the Marquess of Cholmondeley's The Prince Entering the Briar Wood by Edward Burne-Jones estimated at £2m - £3m. This important British nineteenth-century painting is being sold from Houghton Hall in Norfolk and was purchased as recently as 2001. Any admirers of Royal pageantry will know that as Lord Great Chamberlain the Marquess gets to carry the Her Majesty's crown during occasions such as the State Opening of Parliament.

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As an aside, if you would like to know what Thomas Lawrence's fabulous Portrait of Lady Wallscourt playing the guitar sounds like, then I must recommend guitarist Jamie Akers's recording LE DONNE E LA CHITARRA. This CD examines some of the previously underappreciated women performers and composers for the guitar in the nineteenth century.

Women in Art at Christie's

June 8 2021

Image of Women in Art at Christie's

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Alas, I'm still rather tied up with some pressing work that is due this Friday. I can only apologise. However, I thought I would point out some of the interesting upcoming sales instead.

Christie's Paris have published their upcoming Women in Art Sale which will be held on 16th June 2021.

On the old masters front, which have a particularly French twist, we have pictures by Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le BrunAnne Vallayer-Coster, Lavinia Fontana, Angelica KauffmannMaria Giovanna Battista Buzano Clemente and Adélaïde Labille-Guiard

My favourite is the above still life by Louyse Moillon, which really has something about it in my view.

Paris Sales

June 8 2021

Image of Paris Sales

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I thought I would point out that both major auction houses have upcoming sales in Paris this month.

Christie's Paris will be hosting a sale on 16th June 2021 with their top lots include works by the likes of Claude-Joseph Vernet (pictured), Alexandre-Francois Desportes, and Jan Bruegel the Elder.

Sotheby's Paris will be hosting an online sale between 10th - 14th June 2021 with their top lots including works by Giovanni Battista Pittoni, A Neapolitan School painting of St Agatha, and a pair of musical still lifes by the Studio of Bartolomeo Bettera.

The Duke of Hamilton's Emma Hamilton at Sotheby's

June 8 2021

Image of The Duke of Hamilton's Emma Hamilton at Sotheby's

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Ever wondered how many times you can fit the word 'Hamilton' into one sentence?

Sotheby's will be offering the Duke of Hamilton's portrait of Emma Hamilton as the Three Muses by Hugh Douglas Hamilton in their upcoming July Sale. The painting was commissioned by Emma's husband Sir William Hamilton and later came into the collection of his nephew William Beckford. The painting then descended into the Duke's family during the nineteenth century and had hung in Hamilton Palace, one of the country's greatest houses before it was demolished between 1921-1926.

This important British painting will be offered for sale in London on 7th July 2021 carrying an estimate of £400k - £600k. 

Here is the full list of highlights of Sotheby's upcoming London sale.

Christie's to offer the 'Hekking Mona Lisa' for €200k - €300k

May 26 2021

Image of Christie's to offer the 'Hekking Mona Lisa' for €200k - €300k

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I've spotted that Christie's Paris will be offering up The Hekking Mona Lisa in a single online sale between 11th - 18th June 2021. The work, which is catalogued as 'ÉCOLE ITALIENNE DU DÉBUT DU XVIIe SIÈCLE, SUIVEUR DE LÉONARD DE VINCI', will carry a rather impressive €200k - €300k estimate.

As their catalogue note makes clear, the punchy estimate reflects the growing trend for high prices achieved by copies of Leonardo's iconic painting. Notably, this includes a 17th century version which sold at Sotheby's in New York for $1,695,000, another version of the same date which sold in Paris in November 2019 for €552,500, and third version which sold at Christie's Paris in June 2019 for €162,500.

This particular version receives its name from its previous owner, the antiquarian Raymond Hekking (d.1977), who had made attempts during the 1950s and 60s to prove that his version was the original. Naturally, these claims have since been dropped.

NGA Acquires other half of Dosso Dossi Painting

May 25 2021

Image of NGA Acquires other half of Dosso Dossi Painting

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Gallery of Art in Washington DC have announced their acquisition of a Landscape by Dosso Dossi (also known as The Trojans Building the Temple to Venus at Eryx and Making Offerings at Anchises’s Grave) from the recent Christie's Old Master Paintings Sale in New York. Indeed, the gallery already owned the other half of the painting Aeneas and Achates on the Libyan Coast. This sixteenth century masterpiece was originally part of the decorations made for Duke Alfonso d’Este’s study in Ferrara. It is believed that work had been separated into two during the later nineteenth century.

Fortunately, Christie's spliced the two images together for their catalogue note, which makes for very interesting reading:

Sleeper Alert!

May 24 2021

Image of Sleeper Alert!

Picture: Enchères Côte d'Opale

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

There was news on Twitter over the weekend (via. @autionradar) that the above painting catalogued as 'Dans le Goût de SAENRENDAM Pieter Jansz' realised €290,000 (hammer price) over its €300 estimate at Enchères Côte d'Opale on Saturday.

(Women) Artists at Sotheby's (ctd.)

May 24 2021

Image of (Women) Artists at Sotheby's (ctd.)

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Online bidding has opened for Sotheby's new (Women) Artists Sale which ends on 27th May 2021. On the old masters front, there are works by Lavinia Fontana, Rachel Ruysch, Catarina Ykens (pictured), Mary Beale (reserve already met), and a picture attributed to Jeanne Elisabeth Chaudet. As usual, the catalogue notes make for very interesting reading.

I'll report back once the sale ends!

Sotheby's Results

May 21 2021

Image of Sotheby's Results

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Yesterday's Master Paintings sale at Sotheby's New York realised a total of $6,936,618 with 69.7% of lots sold.

Many of the top lots managed to hit their estimates. Amongst the pictures that exceeded their estimates were Allori's Portrait of a Lady which made $315,000 over its $150k - $200k estimate; Paris Bordone's Portrait of a Woman which made $75,600 over its rather tempting $15k - $20k estimate; a 'Workshop of Botticelli' Madonna and Child which realised $239,400 over its $100k - $150k estimate; Jan Brueghel II and Francken II's floral Madonna which made $63,000 over its $20k - $30k estimate and Rudolph von Alt's view of the Doge's Palace which made $132,300 over its $40k - $60k estimate.

Sleeper Alert!

May 19 2021

Image of Sleeper Alert!

Picture: Millon

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News on Twitter (via. @Mweilc) that the following marble sculpture catalogued as 'ECOLE ITALIENNE DU XIXÈME, DANS LE GOÛT DU BERNIN' smashed through its €6k - €8k estimate to realise €110,500 (inc. fees) at the auction house Millon in Paris. The name of Filippo Parodi (1630-1702) has been whispered by some online.

Lavinia Fontana's Lucia Bonasoni di Garzoni Doubles Estimate

May 18 2021

Image of Lavinia Fontana's Lucia Bonasoni di Garzoni Doubles Estimate

Picture: subastassegre.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Subastas Segre auction house in Madrid realised a rather impressive price today for Lavinia Fontana's Portrait of Lucia Bonasoni di Garzoni. The picture, dated to 1590, doubled its estimate of €40k - €50k and was eventually sold to a telephone bidder for €140,000. The Spanish press are speculating as to whether a Spanish institution will step in to try and keep the work in the country, if indeed the new owner intends to export the painting.

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As a lutenist, I am absolutely drawn to the beautifully depicted instrument that features within the painting. The attention to detail lavished on the strings and concaved ribs are lovely. Equally, it is just about possible to read the so-called Italian tablature that Fontana painted into the picture. I've strummed through it and it seems to make some sense. I'll let you know if I find the exact song it may refer to.

Dylan Thomas's Last Portrait Acquired

May 14 2021

Image of Dylan Thomas's Last Portrait Acquired

Picture: westerntelegraph.co.uk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The last portrait made of the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) has been acquired by the Carmarthenshire County Council. The work, painted in September 1953, was purchased for £15,000 with contributions from Art Fund and the Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the National Lottery.

To quote the news report linked above:

The council's executive board member for culture, sport and tourism, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths said: “We are absolutely delighted to be bringing this painting back to where Dylan Thomas spent his last years. It will take pride of place in the new gallery at Carmarthenshire Museum later this year for everyone to enjoy.” 

The painting will be professionally conserved before going on display in a new gallery at Carmarthenshire Museum from September. It will then go on tour to the Dylan Thomas Boathouse and other venues in the region before returning to Carmarthenshire.

Sleeper Alert!

May 14 2021

Image of Sleeper Alert!

Picture: Bertolami

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News on Twitter (via. @auctionradar) that this painting catalogued as 'Allegory of Painting or Self-portrait of painter - Emilian School, second half of the 17th century' made €167,500 (hammer price) over its €3,600 - €4,400 estimate at Bertolami Fine Arts auction in Italy this afternoon.

Alice Cooper to Sell Warhol he had 'Forgotten About'

May 14 2021

Video: Fox

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here's a curious news story that the Rockstar Alice Cooper is selling an Andy Warhol print that he had 'forgotten about'. It was purchased for Cooper by a former girlfriend during the 1970s for $2,500. Little Electric Chair will be auctioned off carrying an estimate of $2.5m - $4.5m.

Sleeper Alert!

May 13 2021

Image of Sleeper Alert!

Picture: Parker Fine Art Auctions

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The following grisaille of a Man on a Rearing Horse catalogued as 'Circle of Rubens' just realised £58,000 over its £300 - £500 estimate at Parker Fine Art Auctions in Surrey.

Fans of Rubens will know the series of studies that the artist made of horses and their riders in various poses. Indeed, one such study sold at Sotheby's New York in 2017 for $5,075,000.

Modern & Contemporary Sales Achieve High Results

May 13 2021

Image of Modern & Contemporary Sales Achieve High Results

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Both Christie's and Sotheby's have managed to achieve some rather enormous prices for their recent Modern & Contemporary sales in New York.

Last night's three sales at Sotheby's managed to achieve $596.8m over their $436.8m high pre-sale estimate. Substantial prices were realised for pictures by Monet, Andy Warhol, Basquiat and Robert Colescott.

Christie's 21st Century Evening sale eventually realised a total of $210,471,500 and saw records set for 11 artists. Their top lot was a $93,105,000 Basquiat, however, it seems to have been the high prices achieved for NFTs that has captured most of the popular attention. The auction house will be continuing their inaugural 20th and 21st Century week today and tomorrow with top ticketed lots by the likes of Georges Seurat, Van Gogh, Monet and Mondrian expected to achieve impressive results.

Dorotheum's June Sale

May 12 2021

Image of Dorotheum's June Sale

Picture: Dorotheum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Dorotheum auction house in Vienna have uploaded their online catalogue for their upcoming sale on 8th June 2021.

As usual, the sale is full of interesting pictures. The top lots include a Guercino, a Guardi of the Rialto Bridge, a Luca Penni mythological scene, and an Artemisia Gentileschi whose catalogue note makes for an interesting read.

The above Portrait of a Nobleman as Aeneas by Nicolas Régnier, estimated at €120k - €180k, may be my favourite from the sale.

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