THE most important coffee pot ever at auction comes up at Christie’s London in The Exceptional Sale on July 4. The Rococo masterpiece by Paul de Lamerie (1688–1751) – the greatest silversmith working in Britain in the 18th century – is expected to become the most valuable piece of English silver ever to be sold at auction. The George II silver coffee-pot was created in 1738, for a successful merchant and is now estimated at £3.5-4.5 million. It was the centrepiece of the British Silver exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum in New York.
Lamerie’s works have been prized for 250 years. He was apprenticed to his fellow Huguenot Pierre Platel in 1703, becoming free of his master in 1711. Within six years he was described as the King’s Silversmith. This coffee-pot was commissioned by London based trader and fellow Huguenot Sir John Lequesne. As a child, Lequesne came to Britain as a refugee with his younger brother, fleeing Rouen like so many of his fellow Protestants.
The first London coffee house was opened in 1652 by a member the English Levant company which traded with Turkey. From the coffee house came the Gentleman’s Clubs and City institutions such as the insurance market Lloyds of London.
THE title page of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
A 1997 first edition of Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone personally annotated by J.K. Rowling sold for £150,000 at Sotheby’s in London on May 21. This is a new record for a printed book by Rowling. The edition contained a revealing commentary and 22 of her own original illustrations.
Matilda by Roald Dahl with new illustrations by Quentin Blake sold for £30,000; Kazuo Ishiguro’s TheRemains of the Day, sold for £18,000; Julian Barnes’ Metroland, sold for £14,000; Alan Bennett’s The Uncommon Reader, made £11,000; Seamus Heaney’s Death of a Naturalist, made £17,000; Colm Toibin’s The Heather Blazing, made £15,500; Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall made £16,000; Edmund de Waal’s The Hare with Amber Eyes, made £14,500 and Ralph Steadman’s richly illustrated Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson made£14,500.
The First Editions, Second Thoughts auction featured 50 contemporary writers. They annotated and in some instances illustrated a first edition copy of one of their best-known works. The sale raised a combined total of £439,200 for English PEN, the writers’ charity which campaigns for freedom of expression.
A total of 190 lots will come under the hammer at Whyte’s sale of Important Irish Art at the RDS in Dublin on May 27. The sale offers collectors a chance to acquire a wide variety of works in an Irish market where estimates must be realistic and works need to be carefully chosen. This is the season for buyers. The catalogue is on-line. Here is a small selection.
Upper Lough Mask, Co. Mayo by Letitia Marion Hamilton RHA (1878-1964) – 6,000-8,000.
One of a pair of equine works by William BrocasRHA (c.1794-1868). This depicts Col. Westenra’s Freney with Jockey and Attendants on the Curragh, Co. Kildare. The estimate for the pair ifs30,000-40,000.
Fishing Boats off a Harbour by Edwin Hayes RHA RI ROI (1819-1904) – 20,000-30,000.
Errigal from Cashel na-Gor, Co. Donegal by FrankMcKelveyRHA RUA (1895-1974) – 4,000-6,000.
Late Spring by Daniel O’Neill (1920-1974) – 20,000-30,000.
The Strand, Marble Hill, Co. Donegal by Frank McKelvey RHA RUA (1895-1974) – 2,500-3,500.
The Potato Diggers by Paul Henry at Adams. Click on image to enlarge.
The catalogue cover for Adams sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin on May 29 features Paul Henry’s The Potato Diggers. The 1911 work has been in the same family collection since the 1930′s. It was last seen in public more than 20 years ago at the Hugh Lane Gallery “Irish Art and Modernism” exhibition. Described by Dr. S.B. Kennedy as “his masterpiece” the painting is estimated at 250,000-350,000.
The auction catalogue features 179 carefully chosen lots including a second, classical work by Paul Henry of Thatched Cottages with Lake and Mountains beyond. It is estimated at 120,000-160,000.
Different strands of Modernism from artists across Europe are represented in the Branco Weiss collection to be offered at Sotheby’s in London on June 19. Artists including Wassily Kandinsky, Joan Miró and Alexander Calder are included in a collection to be offered as a stand alone sale preceding the Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale. Thirty works will be offered. Further examples from the collection will come up at the Impressionist and Modern Art day sale, the Contemporary Art day sale, the Swiss Art Sale in Zurich, Sotheby’s Russian art sale and 20th century British art sale in London and the Contemporary Art sale in Paris.
The collection is expected to reach a combined total of around £12 million. Proceeds will beneft the Branco Weiss Fellowship at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Weiss was a renowned high tech entrepreneur who established several international high tech companies. His collection was assembled over 25 years from 1975.
Kandinsky, Wassily., Ineinander, 1928, (£600,000–800,000). Click to enlarge.
Calder, Alexander., Untitled (Tuning Forks), 1939, (£300,000-400,000). Click to enlarge.
Magritte, René – La Bonne Aventure, 1937, (£1 – 1.5 million). (Click on image to enlarge).
A copper plate etching by Rembrandt dating from 1642 is among the more unusual lots at O’Reilly’s sale of antique and vintage jewellery, silverware, watches and paintings at Francs St. in Dublin on May 22. St.Jerome in a Dark Chamber measures 151 x 173 mm and was with Harcourt’s Gallery in San Francisco in 1983. Here is a small selection from the auction.
REMBRANDT VAN RIJN, ”St Jerome in a Dark Chamber’, copper plate etching 1642, 151 x 173 mm (800-1,200).
A diamond brooch modelled as a bee (700-800).
A c1940′s diamond plaque bracelet (20,000-22,000).
A diamond cluster pendant set with old cut stones.
A re-discovered seascape by Roderic O’Conor, a painting by Paul Henry last seen in 1973, John Butler Yeats’ portrait of his son William Butler Yeats and a tapestry by Louis le Brocquy are among 30 Irish artworks estimated to bring in around one million euro at Sotheby’s in London on May 23. Here they are. (Click on any image to enlarge).
Red Rocks and Sea by Roderic O’Conor (£200,000-300,000).
John Butler Yeats (1829-1922) – Portrait of William Butler Yeats 1907 (£40,000-60,000).
Paul Henry (1876-1958) Achill Woman £70,000-100,000).
Louis le Brocquy (1916-2012) – Allegory (£60,000-80,000).
Christie’s video featuring original footage from 1950 of Jackson Pollock whose Number 19, 1948 has just sold for $58,363,750. The painting features Pollock’s iconic drip style and had been estimated at $25-35 million. The previous record for a Pollock was $40.4 million but his paintings are said to have sold for higher sums privately.
Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) Number 19, 1948, sold for $58,363,750. Image courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2013.
Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) – Dustheads sold for $48,843,750. Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2013.
Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Art auction in New York last night achieved $495,021,500. This is the highest total in auction history. The top lot was Number 19, 1948 by Jackson Pollock which was chased by four telephone bidders and sold for $58,363,750. It was last at auction in 1993 when it sold for $2.4 million, and had changed hands since.
Lichtenstein’s Woman with a Flowered Hat made $56,123, 750 and Basquiat’s Dustheads made $48.8 million. All but four of the 70 lots on offer sold.
The auction was notable for the number of bidders willing to climb above $20 million. Jussi Pylkkanen, who was the auctioneer on the evening, commented afterwards that we are in a new era in the art market.
This pear-shaped, D colour, Type IIA, flawless, diamond of 101.73 carats sold for $26.7 million and was named the Winston Legacy. IMAGE courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2013.
THE most perfect diamond ever offered at auction made $26.7 million at Christie’s in Geneva last night. The flawless, pear shaped D colour 101.73 carat diamond was bought by Harry Winston and will be named the Winston Legacy. The price represents a world record for a colourless diamond.
The record breaking sale brought in $102 million and set records for diamonds, pearls and sapphires. This was the highest result ever for a various owner jewellery auction at Christie’s. There were world records for The Star of Kashmir, a cushion shaped Kashmir sapphire of 19.88 carats which made $3.48 million US; for a single strand natural pearl necklace, which made $8.45 million US; for a pair of natural pearl drop shaped ear pendants which made $2.44 million US and for a fancy red diamond ring which sold for $3.52 million US. This is a world record price for a red diamond.
More than 20 lots sold for over $1 million. There was 147 buyers from 31 countries across five continents.
(See post on antiquesandartireland.com for March 13, 2013).