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    RARE CARVED CINNABAR LACQUER DISH AT SOTHEBY’S

    Friday, April 28th, 2017

    A Large Carved Cinnabar Lacquer Dish Late Yuan/Early Ming Dynasty

    A rare and large carved cinnabar lacquer dish from the late Yuan/early Ming period will lead Sotheby’s sale of Important Chinese Art in London on May 10. It is one of the finest examples from the period when lacquer carving in China experienced its peak. According to Sotheby’s the sensitive, naturalistic rendering of the flowers, the complexity and harmony of the interwoven flower design, the craftsmanship and monumental dimensions are hard to surpass. The century or so from the late Yuan (1279-1368) to the early Ming dynasty (1368-1644) witnessed the evolution of the art of carved lacquer ware in south China from a decorative craft to a branch of imperially produced artefacts of the highest order, in parallel to a similar development of Chinese blue-and- white porcelain. Lacquer ware of this period is rarer than contemporary porcelain.  It is estimated at £400,000-600,000.

    The sale will showcase a selection of notable Chinese ceramics and works of art across the disciplines of imperial porcelain, lacquer, jade and Buddhist sculpture.

    A white jade Ruyi sceptre, Qing Dynasty (£40,000-60,000)

    One of a pair of imperial yellow glazed dishes Zhende marks (£50,000-70,000)

    A MONUMENTAL BASQUIAT TO LEAD SOTHEBY’S NEW YORK SALE

    Thursday, April 27th, 2017

    Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled 1982

    Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled from 1982 will lead Sotheby’s Contemporary Art evening auction in New York on May 18.  This  monumental work has remained virtually unseen since it last appeared on the market in May 1984. At the time the work was completed he was virtually unknown to the art world.  Purchased at auction for $19,000 in 1984 it is now estimated to make in excess of $60 million.

    It is one of a number of iconic American post-war paintings in a sale that also features Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and Cy Twombly, as well as European masters including David Hockney, Rudolf Stingel and Gerhard Richter.

    Grégoire Billault, Head of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Department in New York, commented: “It is an enormous pleasure to bring a Basquiat of this magnitude to the market. The scale, subject matter, date and freshness, combined with recent record prices and increased demand for the artist’s work, make May the ideal time to present a masterpiece of this caliber – a truly outstanding achievement of recent art history – to the market.”

    SCHIELE MASTERPIECE AT SOTHEBY’S NEW YORK

    Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

    Egon Schiele’s – Danaë

    Egon Schiele’s first masterpiece Danaë will lead Sotheby’s evening sale of Impressionist and Modern Art in New York on May 16.  Painted in 1909, the work marks Schiele’s first major oil painting of a female nude, and is estimated to sell for $30–40 million.  The artist was just 19 years when he produced this extraordinary example of his daring technique. Danaë introduces the artist’s iconic aesthetic, and epitomizes the Jugendstil movement’s influence at the time. The composition also pays homage to Schiele’s informal mentor, Gustav Klimt, who championed the young artist throughout his career.

    Painted in 1969, a little more than a week before his 88th birthday, Pablo Picasso’s self-portrait Tête d’homme  is estimated at  $8/12 million.  It was painted in 1969, a little more than a week before his 88th birthday and was first exhibited in a one-man show that the artist curated himself in the hallowed halls of the Palace of the Popes in Avignon. Works emerging from a distinguished private collection include Impressionist pictures by Paul Signac, Alfred Sisley and Pierre Bonnard, as well as an important early sculpture by Alexander Archipenko. The group is led by Signac’s Le Pin de Bertaud ($3.5/5 million), a spectacular view of Saint-Tropez painted in 1899-1900

    Paul Signac – Le Pin de Bertaud

    Pablo Picasso’s self-portrait Tête d’homme

     

    MOORE, GIACOMETTI, ARP AT SOTHEBY’S NEW YORK

    Thursday, April 20th, 2017

    Works by Henry Moore, Alberto Giacometti, Jean Arp, Germaine Richier and Marino Marini from the Finn family collection will feature at Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale in New York on May 16. Together the five sculptures are estimated in excess of $17 million. This group is united further by the fact that each piece was conceived in the 1950s, during the period of turmoil and uncertainty following World War II.

    The five exceptional modern sculptures were collected by David and Laura Finn. David Finn, co founder of pr firm Ruder Finn, is a celebrated sculpture photographer whose prolific work championed the art form.  Through their collecting, they developed not only a staunch patronage but also enduring friendships with many artists – particularly Henry Moore. Mr. Finn photographed and published Moore’s sculptures over a number of decades, playing a vital role in expanding the artist’s audience internationally. Moore hand-selected Seated Woman (estimate $4/6 million) for the couple during a visit to his studio.

    Henry Moore
    Seated Woman
    Conceived in 1956-1957 ($4-6 million)

    Germaine Richier
    Don Quichotte
    Conceived in 1950-51 ($1.5-2.5 million)

    Jean Arp
    Torse de Pyrénées
    Conceived in 1959 $1.5-2.5 million

    Alberto Giacometti
    Buste de Diego
    Conceived circa 1957 ($10-15 million)

    FIRST EDITION OF SYNGE’S THE ARAN ISLANDS AT SOTHEBY’S

    Sunday, April 9th, 2017

    A 1907 first edition of Synge’s The Aran Islands with drawings by Jack B. Yeats comes up at Sotheby’s in New York on April 24.  The limited edition is one of 150 large paper copies signed by both Synge and Yeats. This classic account of the people of the Aran Islands was important milestone in modern Irish publishing. It was the only book published by Maunsel and Co. to include hand colouring of an artist’s work. It is estimated at $7,000-10,000.

    The signatures of Synge and Yeats

    An illustration by Yeats from the book.

    ONE OF TURNER’S GREATEST WORKS AT SOTHEBY’S IN JULY

    Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

    J.M.W. Turner (1775-1881) – Ehrenbreitstein

    One of the greatest works by J.M.W. Turner still in private hands comes up at Sotheby’s in July. Ehrenbreitstein is the most important oil of a German subject that Turner ever painted.  It depicts the ruined fortress of Ehrenbreitstein near Coblenz – a place of special significance for the artist. Painted in 1835  this late work is from a period widely considered Turner’s best.  Other works from this time now hang in the world’s greatest museums, with only a minute number of this importance and quality remaining in private ownership. The subject of enormous critical acclaim when it was first exhibited in 1835.  It comes up in London on July 5 with an estimate of £15-25 million.

    Major works of such quality by Turner are rare on the international market. The last example to be offered (Rome, from Mount Aventine, painted in the same year as Ehrenbreitstein and offered at Sotheby’s in 2014) made a record £30.3 million.  This was the highest price achieved for any British-born artist at auction, and placed Turner alongside Rubens and Raphael as one of just three artists from the pre-Impressionist era to have achieved prices at this level.

    Alex Bell, Co-Chairman of Sotheby’s International Old Masters Department, said: “This painting was one of five that Turner exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1835; the other four of which are now in some of the most distinguished institutions in the world. Of those five paintings, it was Ehrenbreitstein that caught the imagination of public and critics alike – and it’s easy to see why. Its extraordinary range and depth of colour, and typically inspired and imaginative use of light, would in any case mark this painting out as a masterpiece, but its true greatness lies in the way Turner applies his painterly genius to transform the ruins of the famous fortress into a poetic and symbolic image as resonant then as it is today.“

    Of the other four paintings exhibited by Turner in that year one is in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, one is at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, one is at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and one is in the Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio.

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for September 8, 2014)

    JOSEPH WALSH CHAIR AT SOTHEBY’S LONDON SALE

    Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

    Joseph Walsh – Enignum II  UPDATE: THIS MADE £13,750

    This Enignum II chair by the eminent Cork furniture designer maker Joseph Walsh comes up at Sotheby’s Made in Britain sale in London on April 5.  The internationally known Walsh makes innovative, sculptural one of a kind pieces using natural materials with an international team at his design studio at Riverstick.  Born in 1979 he founded his studio in 1999 and has exhibited around the world.

    His work is in the permanent collections of institutions including the National Museum of Ireland, the Pompidou in Paris, the Cooper Hewitt in New York, the Devonshire collection at Chatsworth and the private collection of Rafael Vinoly in Uruguay. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by UCC in 2015 in recognition of his contribution to design. The chair is estimated at £5,000-7,000.

    UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR £13,750

    ANTIQUE AVANT-GARDE CELTIC INSPIRED DESIGN FROM LIBERTY AND COMPANY

    Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

    Archibald Knox – Tudric clock model number 0369 produced by Liberty and Company,

    An Archibald Knox Celtic inspired clock dating from 1901-05 will feature at Sotheby’s Design sale in New York on March 29. Born on the Isle of Man, Archibald Knox (1864-1933) was the artist who defined The Liberty Style or English Art Nouveau.

    His Celtic inspired designs propelled Liberty & Co to the foreground of avant-garde decorative art in the late nineteenth and early twenty century.

    Knox’s Celtic heritage is inseparable from his island home. Knox was expert on the many Celtic crosses that dot the island, and was also inspired by masterpieces of Christian illumination like the Books of Kells. These sources of inspiration reflect in the elegant silhouettes and intricate decoration of his clocks and objects.

    In a catalogue note Sotheby’s say that the lots presented in this sale epitomize Knox’s talent to reinterpret the complex Celtic interlacing decoration and coloration that can be found in the early manuscript illumination and adapt them in his objects, though elegant lines realized in silver and pewter and enamelled decorations. The clock is estimated at $3,000-5,000.

    AN INTERIOR BY VILHELM HAMMERSHOI AT SOTHEBY’S

    Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

    Vilhelm Hammershøi – White Doors

    An interior by Vilhelm Hammershøi, long revered as one of Denmark’s most celebrated artists, comes up at Sotheby’s sale of 19th century European paintings in London on June 6.   Painted in 1899, White Doors perfectly reflects the interests and sensibilities of its distinguished owners, aesthetes from three generations of the same family. The work comes to sale from the estate of Jens Risom, the renowned Danish American furniture designer, best known for his mass-produced ‘Risom Chair’.  Mr. Risom died last December at the age of 100. The painting , which has never been on the market since it was painted, is estimated at £400,000-600,000.

    Hammershøi took the domestic interior as his principal subject, using his Copenhagen apartment as the setting for some of his most recognisable compositions. The sparsely furnished interconnecting rooms, dove-grey walls and solid white-painted doors provided the artist with the ideal environment in which he could immerse himself in a self-contained and hermetically sealed world. The natural daylight of the Danish mid-winter illuminates this sequence of spaces, and in White Doors its muted radiance is transformed into a poetic symphony of tone and light.

    CRESTS OF THE PRINCIPAL FAMILIES OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND

    Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

    The book on crests is on the far right.

    Crests of the principal families of Great Britain and  Ireland are included in a lot coming up at Sotheby’s sale of two great Scottish collections in London on March 28.  Lot 175 in  a sale of property from the Forbses of Pitsligo and the Marquesses of Lothian is a collection of six works on heraldry and peerage dating from 1716-1805.

    The Crests of the Principal Familes of Great Britain and Ireland was published in 1805.  There are 38 plates with prefaces.  The book belonged to Sir William Forbes and the lot is estimated at 600-800.   Property from Fettercairn House, for centuries the home to generations of Forbeses, leads the sale.  There are over 400 lots spanning the 16th century to the present day.  This will be followed by some 70 lots from the stores and attics at Monteviot House.