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  • Posts Tagged ‘Christie’s’


    Monday, October 22nd, 2018

    Christie’s will offer 22 lots from the estate of legendary physicist Stephen Hawking in an online sale entitled “On the shoulders of giants” which will run from October 31 to November 8.  They range from Hawkings own printed copies of his most important papers including his seminal “Black hole explosions” of 1974 to a selection of medals and awards.  Estimates start as low as £100.

    A copy of his best selling “A Brief History of Time” is signed with his thumbprint and there is a script from one of his appearances on The Simpsons. The last lot of the auction, one of his wheelchairs, will be sold to benefit the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.  Stephen Hawking died last March.

    A bomber jacket


    Thursday, October 18th, 2018

    Diego Giacometti, ‘En Souvenir de la Levrette Bucky’ Table. ($250,000-350,000) © Christie’s Images Limited 2018.

    A sale of 27 lots created by both Giacometti brothers will take place at Christie’s in New York on November 12 as part of their marquee 20th century week.  Lots on offer represent their crucial contribution to the field of decorative objects, lighting, and furniture.

    Highlights include an ‘Arbre Au Hibou’ table, circa 1980 ($200,000-300,000), and a ‘Grecque’ table, circa 1965 ($250,000-350,000) by Diego Giacometti.

    There is a sculpture of Giovanni Giacometti, ‘Tête du Père Ronde II’ ($300,000-500,000) and a drawing of Diego, ‘Tête’ ($30,000-50,000) both by Alberto Giacometti.

    In the Post-War and Contemporary evening sale Christie’s will be auctioning an Alberto Giacometti Cat estimated at$14-18 million

    Highlights will be on view in Paris from October 19-21 and at the Rockefeller galleries in New York from November 4-11.


    Thursday, October 4th, 2018

    The Macallan 1926 painted by Michael Dillon.

    Hard on the heels of the sale of the most expensive bottle of whisky in the world  for £848,000 at Bonhams in Edinburgh this week  a unique bottle of 1926 Macallan painted by the Irish artist Michael Dillon will lead Christie’s sales of finest and rarest wines and spirits in London next November 28-29.

    The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 60-year-old sold at Bonhams was in a vat for 60 years and then bottled,. It fetched £700,000 plus a £148,000 sales premium. Experts describe it as the holy grail of whiskies, because of the combination of its rarity, vintage and unique artwork. Another bottle of The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 was sold at Bonhams Hong Kong in May this year for a then world record £814,081. Macallan commissioned pop artists Peter Blake and Valerio Adami to design labels for a limited edition of 24 bottles -12 Adami and 12 of Blake.

    The most collectable single malt of the 20th century at Christie’s,  The Macallan 1926 60-Year-Old, is presented in a unique bottle painted by the Irish artist Michael Dillon. The Macallan distillery located near the river Spey in North East Scotland was founded in 1824 and produces stunning examples of cask-matured single malts, particularly their highly prized and exceedingly rare single-cask, limited edition bottlings and Fine & Rare Collection. This is the only bottle of this ultra-rare elixir to be hand-painted by Irish artist Michael Dillon. Considered the ‘Holy Grail’ for collectors, it is poised to set a new world auction record for a bottle of whisky.

    Christie’s International Director of Wine, Tim Triptree commented: “Over the past five years we have seen sell-through rates for whisky offerings increase by over 20% and in recent years, along with the consistent interest from US and European collectors, clients from Asia have been highly active in the whisky market.”


    Monday, September 24th, 2018

    Bacon, Richter, Koons and Grotjahn are among the greats whose work will feature at Christie’s  Post War and Contemporary art evenign sale in London on October 4.  The season will be led by Francis Bacon’s Figure in Movement (1972)(£15,000,000-20,000,000), a seminal work which creates a vivid sense of the transition from life to death, and Gerhard Richter’s Schädel (Skull) (1983)  unveiled for the first time in 30 years.

    Alongside these are masterpieces by American Contemporary artists Jeff Koons and Mark Grotjahn, as well as the finest examples of European Post-War Abstraction with works by Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni, Yves Klein, Jean Dubuffet and Pierre Soulages, and German artists such as Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer, Martin Kippenberger, Albert Oehlen and Sigmar Polke. Three works from the personal collection of Paul Maenz and 12 works by Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud will be offered.  This is the largest and most diverse selection of works by these artists ever at auction.

    Francis Bacon (1909-1992)
    Figure in Movement © Christie’s Images Limited 2018

    Gerhard Richter (b. 1932)
    Schädel (Skull) courtesy CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2018

    Mark Grotjahn (b. 1968)
    Untitled (Yellow and Green Low Fall Face 41.80 courtesy CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2018

    Jeff Koons (B. 1955)
    Cracked Egg (Blue) courtesy CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2018


    Monday, September 17th, 2018

    THE finest example of Assyrian art to come to the market in decades – a 3,000 year old relief of a winged genius from the Palace of Ashurnasirpal II – will come up at Christie’s antiquities sale in New York on October 31.  The work will be sold on behalf of the Virginia Theological Seminary to underwrite a scholarship fund.

    G. Max Bernheimer, International Department Head of Antiquities said: This Assyrian relief is without question the most exquisite to come to the market in more than a generation, in terms of the style, condition and subject.  The last example, sold by Christie’s London, was the Canford School relief which depicted two figures that were only preserved from the waist up, while here we have a complete figure, perfectly-preserved from head to toe.  The Canford School relief set a world-record in 1994 when it sold for nearly $12 million.  The Virginia Theological Seminary acquired this relief through the American missionary Dr. Henri Byron Haskell (1781-1864) in 1859, who bought it directly from Sir Austen Henry Layard, the excavator of the royal palace at Nimrud. The relief arrived in Alexandria in 1860, making it one of the earliest-known examples of ancient art to reach American soil.”

    The large-scale gypsum relief is over seven feet tall. It once adorned the walls of the massive Northwest Palace commissioned by King Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 B.C.) at Nimrud in modern-day Iraq.  It depicts a Winged Genius, a deity also known as an Apkallu, holding a bucket and a cone-shaped object, signifying fertility and protection for the king. The Apkallu has feathered wings and wears elaborately detailed robes, a horned headdress, an earring, a necklace and armlets, and has two daggers and a whetstone tucked into fabric folds at his waist.


    Thursday, September 6th, 2018

    A large and diverse selection of 12 works by Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud will come up for auction at Christie’s  this October during London’s Frieze Week.  The group is led by Francis Bacon’s Figure in Movement (1972), held for 41 years in the prestigious collection of Magnus Konow. The work is a poignant meditation on human existence, expressed through the memory of Bacon’s muse and lover George Dyer, whose tragic suicide took place less than thirty-six hours before the opening of Bacon’s career-defining retrospective at the Grand Palais. Within Bacon’s oeuvre, Figure in Movement sits at the centre of the black triptychs. In addition, a collection of some of the earliest works on record by Bacon, comprises six pieces including his earliest surviving large-scale work, Painted Screen (circa 1930), a precursor to his famed triptychs. On loan to Tate, London, since 2009, the collection bears an outstanding provenance that includes Bacon’s first patron Eric Allden and his early artistic mentor Roy de Maistre. In the 1940s, five of the works entered the family collection of Francis Elek, who met Allden around this time; he acquired the sixth following de Maistre’s death in 1968.

    Similarly, Lucian Freud’s early Man in a Striped Shirt (1942)(£1,000,000-1,500,000), created when the artist was 19, also from the collection of Magnus Konow, is presented alongside a still-life celebrating the artist’s love for his wife Caroline Blackwood, and a 1980 portrait of his friend and lover Susanna Chancellor. Two of the first studies of Francis Bacon Freud created in 1951 are also included. The sale will take place on October 4.

    Francis Bacon, Figure in Movement (1972)

    Left: Lucian Freud, Man in a Striped Shirt (1942, estimate: £1,000,000-1,500,000)
    Right: Lucian Freud, Still Life with Zimmerlinde (circa 1950, estimate: £400,000-600,000)


    Saturday, September 1st, 2018

    This very rare large Cizhou sgraffiatto jar dates from the Jin Dynasty (1154-1234) and will feature at a series of auctions at Christie’s to mark Asian Art Week in New York from September 7-14.   It is the top lot in the sale of Masterpieces of Cizhou Ware: the Linyushanren Collection Part IV on September 13.

    The sale will focus on the wide array of ceramics made in the Cizhou kiln from the Northern Song (960-1127) to the Yuan dynasties (14th- 15th century). There are 40 works assembed by a distinguished Japanese collector.   The Linyushanren Collection was formed with a focus on ceramics created mainly during the Song dynasty (AD 960-1279).

    The jar pictured here is accompanied by a Japanese double wood box inscribed by the scholar Fujio Koyama (1900-1975)  and is estimated at $100,000-150,000.  Asian Art Week sales at Christie’s will feature eight auctions and over 900 lots ranging from Chinese archaic bronzes to contemporary Indian painting.


    Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

    The Elizabeth Stafford Collection – the single owner collection of fine and decorative art from which Brancusi’s bronze Portrait of Nancy Cunard which made $71 million in May – comes up at Christie’s New York on November 21. This dedicated collection sale of approximately 290 lots will offer superb French furniture, Old Master paintings and drawings, decorative arts, and Sèvres porcelain.

    Additionally, several highlights from the collection will be offered across the fall sales of Old Masters, European Art and the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening, Day and Works on Paper sales featuring the artists Corot, Claude Lorrain, Monet, Pissarro and Sisley, among others.  A Love Affair with France: The Elizabeth Stafford Collection Christie’s Paris from September 6-10, during the Biennale in Paris, and to Hong Kong from September 28-October 3.


    Friday, August 24th, 2018


    One of America?s most legendary assemblages of Post-War and Contemporary art will come up at Christie’s in New York in November. The collection of Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson includes consummate examples from artists including David Smith, Alexander Calder, David Hockney, Vija Celmins, Martin Puryear, Philip Guston and Jasper Johns as well as Pablo Picasso and Alan D’Arcangelo will come up at Christie’s in New York in November. The pre-sale estimate is in the region of $30-50 million.

    The collection demonstrates over half a century of scholarship and dedication by Harry ?Hunk? and Mary ?Moo? Anderson. Encompassing approximately 200 lots, the present grouping represents a poignant representation of the Andersons? collecting vision, ranging from Post-War and Contemporary to Impressionist and Modern Art and Prints and Multiples to American Paintings. The selection will be sold over several auctions beginning with the Evening and Morning Sales of Post-War and Contemporary art in November followed by an Online Only sale in December.

    Inspired by a single visit to the Louvre Museum in the 1960s, the collection has come to encompass the very best in creative expression, providing a stimulating intellectual outlet for not just the Anderson family, but the countless students, scholars, and museum-goers who have benefitted from the Anderson’s profound generosity.


    Monday, August 20th, 2018

    As part of the ongoing dialogue over artificial intelligence and art Christie’s is set to become the first major auction house to offer a work of art created by an algorithm. Portrait of Edmond de Belamy ($7,000-10,000), created by artificial intelligence and conceived by the Paris-based collective Obvious, which will be included in the Prints & Multiples auction in New York from October 23-25. It is estimated at $7,000-10,000.

    The portrait depicts a gentleman, possibly French and — to judge by his dark frock coat and plain white collar — a man of the church. The work appears unfinished: the facial features are somewhat indistinct and there are blank areas of canvas. The portrait, however, is not the product of a human mind. It is one of a group of 11 unique portraits of the fictional Belamy family conceived by the Paris based collective Obvious consisting of Hugo Caselles-Dupré, Pierre Fautrel and Gauthier Vernier.

    Obvious is engaged in exploring the interface between art and artificial intelligence, using a method known as a ‘generative adversarial network’ or the acronym GAN. This series is referred to as “La Famille de Belamy,” was named as a tribute to the inventor of GANs, Ian Goodfellow (“Goodfellow” is roughly translated to “Bel ami” in French). Created by an algorithm composed of two parts, The Generator and the Discriminator, the system was fed a data set of 15,000 portraits. has to ask if this is some sort of flash in the pan or does it represent a new future.  No doubt AI can be taught the technical details of how to paint but can it ever evoke an emotional human response or can it achieve the essential human dimension that marks a great work of art?