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  • NEW YORK DEBUT FOR TEFAF SPRING

    April 18th, 2017

    THE focus is on modern and contemporary art and design at the New York spring debut of TEFAF.  The European Fine Art Fair will be at the Park Avenue Armoury from May 4-8 with an opening preview on May 3.  The fair will feature 92 of the world’s most illustrious dealers who specialize in Modern and Contemporary Art and Design. In addition, a small number of dealers will exhibit jewelry, African & Oceanic art, and antiquities. The inclusion of African & Oceanic works and classical antiquities will cement the coherent aesthetic that is popular among contemporary and modern collectors.

    TEFAF New York Spring follows the successful first edition of TEFAF New York Fall, launched in October 2016 at the Park Avenue Armory, concentrating on fine and decorative art from antiquity to 1920. Both TEFAF New York Fairs are an important expansion of the TEFAF portfolio, providing an additional platform for today’s collectors and museums. Among the world-class dealers exhibiting are:  Acquavella Galleries, Applicat-Prazan, Di Donna, Richard Green, Hauser & Wirth, Paul Kasmin, Sean Kelly, Eykyn Maclean, Helly Nahmad, Lisson Gallery, Galerie Perrotin, Christophe van de Weghe, White Cube and David Zwirner. Here is a small selection:

    Doric Light by Sean Scully at Richard Green

    Campbell’s Elvis by Andy Warhol (1928-1987) at White Cube

    Homage to the Square by Josel Albers (1888-1976) at David Zwirner

    T1962 H27 by Hans Hartung (1904-1989) at Galerie Perrotin

     

    VISIONS IN GLASS 1926-62 BY CARLO SCARPA AT CHRISTIE’S, NEW YORK

    April 17th, 2017

    The only single-owner collection of works by the Venetian architect and designer Carlo Scarpa ever at auction comes up at Christie’s in New York on May 4.  Carlo Scarpa: Visions in Glass 1926-1962, A Private European Collection encompasses around 90 pieces of Italian art glass. The collection provides an overview of the pioneering styles Scarpa created for M.V.M. Cappellin and subsequently Venini. In his collaboration with the two glassmakers and in particular with Venini, Scarpa developed a modern vocabulary for the century-old techniques of glass making and paved the way for the resurgence of the island of Murano as a centre of glass with a modern outlook. Trained as an architect Scarpa developed a range of new surface treatments and techniques, while being inspired by ancient Roman glass as well as Chinese works of art. Here is a small selection:

    Carlo Scarpa (1906-1978) A Summerso Vase c1934-36 ($30,000-40,000)

    A Murrine Opache dish c1940 ($100,000-150,000)

    A Tessuto Battuto vase designed 1938-40 ($20,000-30,000).

    A rare Murrine Romane vase c1936 ($40,000-60,000).

    COLLINS LETTER TO KITTY KIERNAN AT SOTHEBY’S, NEW YORK

    April 15th, 2017

    “Ireland will have cause to remember her present day extremists” the Irish patriot Michael Collins wrote with considerable prescience to his fiancé Kitty Kiernan on June 1, 1922 during the Treaty negotiations. The letter is part of an extensive archive of Easter Rising material due to come up at Sotheby’s in New York on April 24. They were to have been married the following November. Just over two months later he was shot dead at Beal na mBlath in Co. Cork. Lot 89 in the sale of the Maurice Neville Collection of Modern Literature (Part III) relates to the Easter Rising and the Irish Rebellion.

    It comprises 22 pamphlets and books, eight broadsides and handbills and about about 28 autograph items from Dublin and London from 1910 to 1925.  There are two letters to Kitty Kiernan, dated March 31 and June 1, 1922 when Collins was part of the Irish delegation negotiating the Treaty. In March he wrote:  “We came to an agreement on certain things with Craig yesterday – I am not very sanguine about the future from any point of view. We have however secured release of all the prisoners…. but the news from Ireland is very bad and the “powers that be” here are getting very alarmed that there may be a bust up at any moment.  Were it not for the awful consequences I’d almost welcome it…. yet one has the responsibility. It would be cowardly to shirk from standing up to it. The whole business is casting a gloom over me and in spite of what is a big human hope I cannot  keep thinking that as a people we are destined to go on dreaming, vainly hoping, striving to no purpose until we are all gone”.

    On June I he reported to his fiancé:  “Things have got very much worse overnight & I am looking forward now to my last appointment with them.  I’m returning tonight no matter what happens as I feel I can do no more good here.  Ireland will have cause to remember her present day extremists. The whole thing is ghastly but I’ll tell you more about it when I see you. It was only after my scribble yesterday I heard about Joe McGuinnesses death. He is a great loss to us but apart from that I feel the personal loss more keenly. He was the one most responsible for the recent peace. It makes the present position all the more tragic”.
    Lot 89 contains a copy of the Proclamation, two copies of the Irish War News and letters and signatures of Charles Stewart Parnell, de Valera, Childers, McBride,  WT Cosgrave, The O’Rahilly, Kevin O’Higgins, Desmond FitzGerald and others. There is a souvenir programme of the funeral of O’Donovan Rossa to Glasnevin Cemetery in August 1915 and Eamon de Valera’s copy of Frank Gallagher’s The Invisible Island:  The History of Partition in Ireland, London ,1958 signed and dated May 3, 1958 by de Valera. The lot is estimated at $7,000-10,000.

    Letters from Michael Collins addressed to Miss Kitty Kiernan, Granard, Co. Longford

    The archive of material relating to the Easter Rising

    A 92 CARAT HEART SHAPED DIAMOND AT CHRISTIE’S GENEVA

    April 13th, 2017

    La Légende a 92 carat D color Flawless heart-shaped diamond

    La Légende a 92 carat heart-shaped diamond pendant signed by Boehmer et Bassenge will lead Christie’s sale of Magnificent Jewels on May 17 in Geneva. The Maison de Haute Joaillerie was launched last year and named in honour of Charles Boehmer and Paul Bassenge, Parisian jewellers of the 18th century. Working exclusively with a handful of large, D colour, flawless clarity diamonds of perfect polish and symmetry, combined with years of experience and preparation, the Maison Boehmer et Bassenge operates with an uncompromising attitude to quality. Just a few creations are produced each year.

    La Légende is the largest D Flawless heart shaped diamond ever offered at auction. It is suspended from a cultured pearl sautoir.  The necklace is estimated at US $14-18 million. Exceptional diamonds and gemstones will lead this spring season, along with important private properties such as the Cartier and Art Déco collection assembled by Éric Nussbaum, one of Cartier’s most eminent experts. A particular focus has been set on Italian jewellery design from the 1900s to the present day in the dedicated Dolce Vita section.

    CURIOSITIES AT MATTHEWS AUCTION IN CO. MEATH

    April 13th, 2017

    With everything from an original Victorian deep Sea diver’s helmet to a 1.2 carat Tiffany solitaire ring from a broken engagement to a small library of books and a Victorian carved ivory penis the weekend antique and interiors sale at Matthews of Oldcastle, Co. Meath on April 22 and 23  is brimful of curiosity.  Over 1,100 lots will come under the hammer.  The ivory lot is pithily described as a forget-me-not in from an old Anglo-Irish military family.  The catalogue is due to go online on April 14.  Here is a small selection:

    Victorian deep Sea diver’s helmet.

    Victorian carved ivory penis

    Two antique African bronzes

    IMAGES OF BOWIE EVOLING INTO CHARACTER BY BRIAN DUFFY

    April 12th, 2017

    BRIAN DUFFY (1933-2010)
    David Bowie, Aladdin Sane, Contact Sheet, 1973 – CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2017

    A contact sheet by late London Irish photographer Brian Duffy (1933-2010) documenting David Bowie evolving into the character Aladdin Sane for the 1973 album of the same title is part of Christie’s Photographs auction on May 18.

    The sale will showcase the broad spectrum of those practising in the medium from icons of 20th century photography such as Richard Avedon, Guy Bourdin and Erwin Blumenfeld, to the fashion photographers Steven Meisel and Patrick Demarchelier as well as contemporary artists Richard Mosse, Taryn Simon and Julie Cockburn. Highlights include Helmut Newton’s Private Property Suites I, II and III, the complete set from his personal collection, that capture familiar faces from the worlds of art and fashion – Andy Warhol and David Hockney and the models Charlotte Rampling  and Raquel Welch (1984, £200,000-300,000).  Prices range from £2,000 to £200,000. The Bowie contact sheet is estimated at £10,000-15,000.

    William Eggleston
    Untitled – CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2017

    Erwin Blumenfeld
    Solarized Profile with Jewelry, New York
    1946 – CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2017

    PAUL HENRY’S SAILING BOAT ON A LOUGH TOP LOT AT MORGAN O’DRISCOLL

    April 11th, 2017

    Paul Henry’s tranquil Sailing Boat on a Lough, possibly Achill Sound in 1916-17, was the top lot at Morgan O’Driscoll’s Irish and International art auction in Dublin last night. It mad a hammer price of 62,000. Other top lots included The Park Pond by Frank McKelvey (24,000),  Torso by Louis le Brocquy (24,000), Jack the Lad by Basil Blackshaw (18,000), The Dark Pool by William Crozier (16,000), 9.13.02 by Sean Scully (16,000) and Ventral by Mark Francis (10,000).  Tribal Dance by Michael Flatley failed to find a buyer in an auction where 67% of lots were sold.

    Sailing boat on a Lough by Paul Henry sold for 62,000 at hammer.

    BASIL BLACKSHAW – THE DUST SETTLES SOLD FOR 16,000 AT HAMMER

    PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973) – PICADOR (1953) (120/500) SOLD FOR 2,200

    Curved Oar Boat III by John Behan madd 3,800 at hammer.

    SLEEPER LOT MAKES 120,000 OVER ESTIMATE OF 500-800 AT JAMES ADAM

    April 10th, 2017

    ITALIAN SCHOOL (19TH CENTURY)
    Jesus Wearing the Crown of Thorns

    Jesus Wearing the Crown of Thorns, an oil on copper panel measuring just  34 cm by 24 cm made a hammer price of 120,000 at the James Adam interiors sale in Dublin yesterday. It had been estimated at 500-800.

    A number of bidders had registered to bid on the phone and on the internet for the lot.  Eventually there was a bidding battle for the work between two internet bidders, neither of whom had actually viewed the painting.

    The work came from an institution that was having a clear out. Auctioneer James O’Halloran said he spotted it in a corridor because of the fantastic frame in which it was contained.  It was labelled “Italian School” and 19th century.  Copper is notoriously difficult to date, and it is now assumed that the work is from the 17th century.  The artist remains unknown at this stage.

    The work aroused strong interest from Italy and it is now leaving Ireland.  It is what auctioneers describe as a “sleeper”, a lot where the bidding unexpectedly takes off once it opens. This 120,000 hammer price followed a five minute bidding battle.

    THE MOST VALUABLE EARRINGS EVER SEEN AT AUCTION

    April 10th, 2017

    The most valuable earrings at auction, ever.

    THE most valuable earrings ever to appear at auction comes up at Sotheby’s in Geneva on May 16.  The Apollo and Artemis diamonds, one Fancy Vivid Blue, one Fancy Intense Pink, are to be offered separately as individual lots.  The Apollo Blue, internally flawless and 14.54 carats, is estimated at US$38-50 million, the 16 carat VVS 2 clarity Artemis Pink at US$12.5-18 million. The Apollo Blue is the largest internally flawless fancy vivid blue diamond ever offered at auction.

    David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, said: “’The Apollo and Artemis Diamonds’ will be the stars of our May sale in Geneva – by far the most important pair of earrings ever offered at auction. These exquisite coloured diamonds are enormously rare and each is a wonderful stone in its own right. Together, as a pair of earrings, they are breathtaking. We have named them after Apollo and Artemis, a twin brother and sister of great power and beauty who were among the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. These are diamonds of great distinction, with extraordinary presence, and we are honoured that Sotheby’s has been chosen to bring them to auction in May.”

    OPERA MEMORABILIA FROM THE MET AT CHRISTIE’S

    April 10th, 2017

    Rare musical manuscripts and memorabilia from the Metropolitan Opera Guild collection will come under the hammer at Christie’s in New York on June 15.  Highlights, including the sole surviving autograph musical manuscript by Schubert for his Piano Sonata in A flat Major ($350,000-500,000), will be previewed in London from April 19-27 and in Hong Kong from May 26-29.  In addition two pieces of jewellery will be sold in the Magnificent Jewels auction on June 20. The sales will benefit the Opera Guild and the Metropolitan Opera.

    Among around 90 lots is a selection of autograph material from some of the most important composers of the Western classical tradition from the Baroque to the 20th-century. Additional highlights include annotated manuscripts and letters by Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. Also included is Enrico Caruso’s Cartier gold eyeglass case with glasses and Arturo Toscanini’s Gubelin open-faced pocket watch. Most manuscripts come from the carefully assembled gift of Edwin Franko Goldman (1878-1956), renowned American composer and trumpeter with the Metropolitan Opera.

    SCHUBERT, Franz (1797-1828). Autograph manuscript signed for his piano sonata in A-flat major, D. 557, May 1817 ($350,000-500,000)

    AN ART DECO CORAL AND DIAMOND TIARA, BY CARTIER ($200,000-300,000)