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antiquesandartireland.com

Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world

Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

SIR ALEX FERGUSON’S WINE COLLECTION AT CHRISTIE’S

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Part of the impressive wine collection of Sir Alex Ferguson CBE, the most successful manager in British football history, is to be sold by Christie’s across three auctions in coming months. The collection includes fine and rare wines featuring Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundies and many finest First Growth Bordeaux ranging from the 1986 to 2011 vintages, during which time Sir Alex guided Manchester United through the most celebrated chapter in its history, winning two European Cups, 12 Premier League titles, five FA Cup victories, four League Cup victories, the UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, the Inter-Continental Cup and the FIFA World Club Cup.

Fine & Rare Wines from The Collection of Sir Alex Ferguson CBE will be offered in Hong Kong on May 24 with 257 lots, London on June 5 with 140 lots and at an online-only auction which will run from June 9 to 23 with 85 lots.  All  buyers in the online-only sale will receive a signed catalogue. Alongside some of the wines in the Hong Kong and London auctions, Christie’s will also be offering select pieces of signed footballing memorabilia. With estimates ranging from £350 to £65,000, the collection is expected to realise in excess of £3 million.

FROM THE ONLINE SALE: 12 bottles of Pétrus 1988 estimate: £12,000 – 15,000 Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2014.

FROM THE ONLINE SALE: 12 bottles of Pétrus 1988
estimate: £12,000 – 15,000 Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2014.

6 bottles of Romanée-Conti Grand Cru 1999, which are offered with a Manchester United Retro Champions League shirt from 1999 signed “Best wishes Alex Ferguson” estimate: HK$650,000-850,000/ £50,000-65,000/ €60,000-80,000

6 bottles of Romanée-Conti Grand Cru 1999, which are offered with a Manchester United Retro Champions League shirt from 1999 signed “Best wishes Alex Ferguson”
estimate: HK$650,000-850,000/ £50,000-65,000/ €60,000-80,000 Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2014

OLDEST BIBLICAL MANUSCRIPTS ON-LINE AT CHESTER BEATTY LIBRARY

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

The Biblical Papyrus Collection  at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin – with some of the oldest and most important Biblical manuscripts in the world - is being digitised.  The oldest manuscript of Paul’s Letters is dated A.D. 200.  The oldest surviving copy of all four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles in one Codex and portions of the Book of Revelation dating to the 3rd century are among the manuscripts on display.  The work involved partnership with the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) in Texas. It involved the digitisation of more than 5,000 images. The director of the library, Fionnuala Croke said the project was fostering new and exciting research on the papyrus collection.

Romans, Philippians, Colossians Pauline Epistles Greek text on papyrus c. AD 180-200, Egypt - the earliest book of St. Paul's letters in existence.

Romans, Philippians, Colossians
Pauline Epistles
Greek text on papyrus
c. AD 180-200, Egypt – the earliest book of St. Paul’s letters in existence.

Gospel of St John Greek text on papyrus c. AD 150-200, Egypt - this is among the oldest Gospel texts in the world.

Gospel of St John
Greek text on papyrus
c. AD 150-200, Egypt – this is among the oldest Gospel texts in the world.

Here is a video about the digitisation process:

GARDENS OF PLEASURE: SEX IN ANCIENT CHINA AT SOTHEBY’S HONG KONG

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Gardens of Pleasure:  Sex in Ancient China is the arresting title of an exhibition at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong from April 16 to May 3. The auction house will present part of the Ferdinand M. Bertholet Collection, the world’s largest collection of erotic art.  The exhibition features more than 100 pieces, with objects dating from the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) to the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911 AD).   These include works in silk, ivory, bronze, and are whispers and slivers of tantalising tales from days gone by.  Within these works, made up of alluring albums and provocative porcelains, an older, more mischievous China unfolds.  As a collection, such pieces offer an unparalleled view into an exceptional story of sex in the ancient Middle Kingdom.

Love games in a flowering garden, late 17th century, one from a set of eight.

Love games in a flowering garden, late 17th century, one from a set of eight.

Meiren at her bath, early 19th century scroll.

Meiren at her bath, early 19th century scroll.

A set of seven small porcelain figures (19th-20th century).

A set of seven small porcelain figures (19th-20th century).

AUCTION CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL INTERIOR DESIGN

Friday, April 4th, 2014

A sale which celebrates the best of international interior design and decoration is to be held by Christie’s in South Kensington, London on June 4.  Following a very successful collaboration last July Christie’s invited Sibyl Colefax and John Fowler to contribute to a carefully curated selection of 60 lots which celebrates the world class reputation of Colefax and Fowler.  It will be offered alongside a collection formed over the course of a lifetime by the late Melbourne born interior designer Lex Aitken and his partner, the fashion illustrator and designer Alfredo Bouret Gonzalez. The auction includes furniture, ceramics, pictures, lighting and decorative objects with estimates from £300 to £80,000.

The Yellow Room, Sybil Colefax and John Fowler, Brook St., Mayfair.  Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2014.

The Yellow Room, Sybil Colefax and John Fowler, Brook St., Mayfair. Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2014.’

The interior of the home of Lex Gonzalez and Alfredo Bouret Gonzalez.  Courtesy, Christie's Images Ltd., 2014

The interior of the home of Lex Gonzalez and Alfredo Bouret Gonzalez. Courtesy, Christie’s Images Ltd., 2014

Colefax and Fowler, Brook St., Mayfair, London.  Courtesy Christies Images Ltd., 2014

Colefax and Fowler, Brook St., Mayfair, London. Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2014

CHRISTIE’S NEW ART SPACE IN BEIJING

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014
Christie's new art space in Beijing.

Christie’s new art space in Beijing.

THE  global nature of the art and antiques market is underlined by Christie’s latest move to Beijing. The auction house has announced the opening of a brand new art space at The Imperial Club in the Chinese capital.  This follows the launch of the James Christie Room at Alexandra House in Hong Kong in February.  The Beijing establishment is Christie’s first art space in mainland China

It will serve as a multi-purpose platform for collectors and art lovers by holding uniquely curated exhibitions, lectures, art programs and private sales.  It follows  in the same spirit as similar spaces developed by Christie’s in London, Paris, New York and Hong Kong.

THE FINEST VIOLA IN EXISTENCE TO MAKE MORE THAN $45 MILLION

Friday, March 28th, 2014
Antonio Stradivari (1644 – 1737) - The Macdonald viola 1719

Antonio Stradivari (1644 – 1737) – The Macdonald viola 1719

THE finest viola in existence. The ‘Macdonald’ Viola by Antonio Stradivari (1644 – 1737) – will be offered in a sealed bid process this spring by  Sotheby’s and Ingles & Hayday.  The maker Stradivari has become synonymous with perfection in the field of musical instruments.  The ‘Macdonald’ of 1719 is one of only two violas made during Stradivari’s ‘Golden Period’ (1700 – 1720), which saw the production of his finest instruments.

A Stradivari viola is the ultimate prize for collectors. These violas are the rarest of all. Only ten survive.  His output during a long career included 600 violins and 50 cellos.  In terms of condition, beauty of appearance and playing quality, the ‘Macdonald’ is without peer. The viola will be offered through a sealed bid process, with bids expected in excess of US$45 million.

The ‘Macdonald’ viola was purchased for Peter Schidlof of the Amadeus Quartet in 1964 and is being offered for sale by the family of the late musician, who died in 1987. The ‘Macdonald’ has a long documented history, passing through the hands of many titled owners. It was purchased by Godfrey Bosville, the 3rd Baron Macdonald – from whom its names derives – in the 1820s.

Below is a link to a video which features rising star violinist David Aaron Carpenter performing on the Macdonald viola.

http://www.sothebys.com/content/sothebys/en/news-video/videos/2014/03/the-macdonald-viola-by-stradivari.html

FABERGE FIND – THE IRISH CONNECTION

Thursday, March 20th, 2014
The Imperial Egg that  saved from being melted down for scrap.

The Imperial Egg saved from being melted down for scrap.

THE Irish connection in the in the finding of a fabulous long lost Faberge egg in the American mid-west comes through Mayfair jeweller Wartski. Kieran McCarthy, a Faberge specialist and director of Wartski, is from west Kerry and clinched the deal to sell the egg while on holidays in his homeland. A scrap metal dealer bought the egg at a flea market in the American mid-west to be melted down for gold.  He paid around $10,000 based on its weight and the estimated value of the diamonds and sapphires it contained. He intended to sell it to a buyer who would melt it down but prospective purchasers thought he had over-estimated the price and turned him down.  The egg stayed in his kitchen for years until one night in 2012 he googled “egg” and “Vacheron Constantin”, the name etched on the timepiece inside.  Up came an article from the Daily Telegraph featuring a picture of his egg and naming Mr. McCarthy as the expert.  Never having been to Europe before he flew to London with a picture of the egg.  Mr. McCarthy then flew to the US to verify the discovery.

The egg was one of 50 created by Fabergé for the Russian Royal family. Measuring 8.2cm high, it was given by Tsar Alexander III to the Tsarina for Easter 1887. It was seized by the Bolsheviks and last recorded in Moscow in 1922 when the Soviets sold it as part of their “Treasures into Tractors” policy.  Valued at around £20 million Wartski bought the egg on behalf of a private collector.  This deal was clinched while Mr. McCarthy was on holiday in Kerry.  The new owner is lending the egg to Wartski for public display from April 14-17 at the firm’s headquarters in Grafton Street, Mayfair.

THE LOUVRE MUSEUM UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN ABU DHABI

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
The Louvre under construction in Abu Dhabi, March 4, 2014.

The Louvre under construction in Abu Dhabi, March 4, 2014.

An image taken on March 4, 2014 of the building site that will become the Louvre in Abu Dhabi next year.  Located just minutes from the business centre at Saadiyat Island the museum is designed by the Pritzker Prize winning architect Jean Nouvel.  The design combines modern architecture and Arabic traditions. Two thirds of the museum is to be covered by a white dome, 180 metres in diameter.  An arrangement of geometric openings inspired by interlaced palm leave traditionally used as roofing material will create a “rain of light” and make it possible to control the temperature inside.  The design reflects a desire to create a universal museum in which all cultures are brought together.  The museum is scheduled to open in 2015.  The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, designed by Frank Gehry, is scheduled to be completed on an adjacent site on Saadiyat Island in 2017.

RECORD YEAR FOR SOTHEBY’S IN 2013 – 2014 EVEN BETTER SO FAR

Friday, February 28th, 2014
The Hutton-Mdivani necklace.

The Hutton-Mdivani necklace.  UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR $27.44 MILLION US

Sotheby’s reports a record year in 2013 with sales to date in 2014  significantly up on last year.  Consolidated sales grew by 17% to $6.3 billion, the highest total in company history.  Private sales grew by 30% to nearly $1.2 billion, the highest total Sotheby’s has ever recorded in this category, and profitablility increased by 20%.

At auctions the number of clients from Asia increased by 24%. In 2013 sales more than doubled in Chinese Contemporary Art, Indian & Southeast Asian Art, 20th Century Chinese Art and Jadeite Jewelry.  The number of successful purchases through Sotheby’s BidNow programme grew by 36% last year.

All of which augurs well for the sale of the world’s greatest jadeite bead necklace which comes in Hong Kong on April 7.  The Hutton-Mdivani necklace is estimated to sell for more than $12.8 million US.

A GIFT TO MAKE CHRISTMAS AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF IRELAND VERY SPECIAL

Monday, December 23rd, 2013
A gift of 107 pieces of antique Irish silver would make Christmas very special for the National Museum of Ireland.  The Museum of Decorative Arts at Collins Barracks in Dublin is seeking a sponsor for a private collection valued at 1.75 million.  It is available to the museum until the end of February 2014.  After that it will be broken up and sold.

Highights include the earliest known Cork bullet teapot by Thomas Lily (1723); a trowel used to lay the foundation stone for New Geneva in Co. Waterford in 1784, an 18th century project to settle Protestant Swiss craftspeople in this country which never materialised; the John Pennyfather Strawberry Dish of 1717 and a pair of George I Cork tazzae by William Clarke 1715 for Fota House in Co. Cork.  A process exists whereby an Irish taxpayer could offset 80 per cent of the market value of the purchase.   A catalogue of the collection can be seen on the website of silver dealers L and W Duvallier at www.antiqueirishsilver.com

This contains a letter from the Director of the National Museum of Ireland Dr. Raghnall O Floinn which states that this acquisition would: “Transform the National Museum of Ireland’s Collection into the premier collection of its type, surpassing the Irish silver holdings of rival institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the San Antonio Museum, Texas. Collections of this quality are exceptionally rare and are not normally offered for sale collectively but are usually sold off as individual lots. The dispersal of this collection piecemeal either by private teaty or at auction would represent a great loss to the country”.

A Cork bullet teapot by Thomas Lily 1723.

A Cork bullet teapot by Thomas Lily 1723.

A large Cork gallery tray by John Nicholson.

A large Cork gallery tray by John Nicholson.