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  • Archive for November, 2014

    THE MOST EXPENSIVE TIMEPIECE IN THE WORLD AT SOTHEBY’S GENEVA

    Tuesday, November 11th, 2014
    The Henry Graves Supercomplication.

    The Henry Graves Supercomplication.

    The hammer came down at $24 million US dollars on the most expensive timepiece in the world at Sotheby’s in Geneva on November 11.  The Henry Graves Supercomplication re-established its supreme status as the most valuable timepiece in auction history beating the record of $11 million it established in 1999. Five bidders competed for the watch completed by Patek Philippe in 1932. It  went to an anonymous buyer in the room. It is the most complicated watch ever made by human hands – without computer-assisted technology.   In 1925, Patek Philippe was commissioned by Henry Graves, a prominent New York banker, to produce the most complicated watch in the world. The product of three years of research and five years’ effort by the most skilled technicians, this extraordinary timepiece is a gold openface minute repeating chronograph clockwatch with Westminster chimes.  It incorporates a perpetual calendar, moon phases, sidereal time (used by astronomers), power reserve, and indications for time of sunset and sunrise and the night sky of New York City.

    Commenting on the results of the sale, Tim Bourne, Sotheby’s Worldwide Head of Watches, and Daryn Schnipper, Chairman of Sotheby’s Watch Division, said: “This evening’s stellar result confirms the “rockstar” status of The Henry Graves Supercomplication. It is more than a watch. It is a masterpiece which transcends the boundaries of horology and has earned its place among the world’s greatest works of art. The fascination it has attracted over the past few months, as Patek Philippe celebrates its 175thanniversary, is a fitting tribute to the genius of the Swiss manufacturer.”

    ROTHKO’S FROM THE COLLECTION OF MRS. PAUL MELLON

    Tuesday, November 11th, 2014
    Mark Rothko Untitled (Yellow, Orange, Yellow, Light Orange) 1955 ($20-30 million).

    Mark Rothko
    Untitled (Yellow, Orange, Yellow, Light Orange) made $36.5 million.

    A brace of paintings by Mark Rothko from the collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon sold for $76.5 million at Sotheby’s in New York last night.  The white glove (100% sold) auction of the most significant fine art from the collection achieved $158,737,250. Bidders from 32 countries participated. Rothko’s Untitled from 1970 made $39.9 million and Untitled (Yellow, Orange, Yellow, Light Orange) sold for $36.5 million.   Both works had been in the Mellon collection for more than four decades.

    Contemporary works from the collection achieved $116.6 million. Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park made $9.68 million and all five works by Nicolas de Stael exceeded their high estimates. Sotheby’s sales of Mrs. Mellon’s collection continue this month with Jewellery and  Objects of Vertu on November 20 and 21  and Interions on November 21-23.

    Bill Ruprecht, Sotheby’s President, Chairman and CEO, commented: “Mrs. Mellon was an American icon, but tonight’s sale was truly an international. With works spanning four centuries and evoking her refined and eclectic taste, collectors from every corner of the globe competed tonight for a part of her distinguished legacy – leading to a rare ‘White Glove’ sale. These results are not only a fitting tribute to Mrs. Mellon, but a wonderful start to the spectacular series of exhibitions and sales from her Collection that continue this November.”

    (See posts on antiquesandartireland.com for July 1 and September 12, 2014).

    SOTHEBY’S TO SHOW IRISH ART IN DUBLIN

    Monday, November 10th, 2014
    Louis le Brocquy - Sick Tinker Child.

    Louis le Brocquy – Sick Tinker Child. UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR 266,500

    A seminal le Brocquy from his famed Tinker Series will lead 23 works by leading Irish artists at Sotheby’s British and  Irish art sale in London on December 10.  They will be shown in Dublin in November.  There are five le Brocquy’s as well as art by William Orpen, Mainie Jellett, Paul Henry, Jack B. Yeats, Gerard Dillon and Basil Blackshaw. The 23 lots are estimated to bring in a combined total of around £700,000.

    Sick Tinker Child  is the second largest work from le Brocquy’s  Tinker series, created at the start of a career of international renown.  The painting is estimated at £200,000-300,000.  It will be on display at Sotheby’s, Molesworth St, Dublin on November 28, 29 and 30.

    CELTIC GOLD TORC THE TOP LOT AT WHYTE’S

    Sunday, November 9th, 2014
    Celtic Torc

    Celtic Torc

    A c1200-500 BC Celtic gold torc was the top lot at Whyte’s sale of history, literature and collectibles in Dublin on November 8.  It made 8,000.  The dress uniforms of General Sir J.G. Maxwell, who command the British troops in Dublin after the 1916 Rising, sold for 6,600.  An Iron Age stone head made 6,000.

    A c1770 Ibane and Barryroe Infantry cross belt plate made 1.400 at hammer.

    A c1770 Ibane and Barryroe Infantry cross belt plate made 1.400 at hammer.

    A 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic sold for 5,600, a 1916 Service Medal awarded to William Partridge made 4,800 and the duty log of the Dublin fire brigade ambulance  service for the period from January to May 1916, covering the Rising, sold for 3,800. It went to an institutional archive. A series for letters from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle pleading for clemency for Sir Roger Casement sold for 2,400.  The auction realized 230,000 and was 84 per cent sold.

    (See posts on antiquesandartireland.com for September 1 and October 27, 2014)

    WHITE STAR LINE POSTER AT LYNES AND LYNES

    Saturday, November 8th, 2014
    An original White Star Line poster, an antique framed map of Cork city, an 1820 brass bound military chest probably made in Cork and silver teaspoons by Richard Garde are among the lots from the late collector Patrick Cremin at the Lynes and Lynes sale in Carrigtwohill on November 15.  Mr. Cremin, who had retired from the Irish Army at Collins Barracks was a well known figure at auction rooms and antique shops in Cork.
    His collection ranges from porcelain, china and glass to silver, lead soldiers and collectors items.  There are red glass lustres (150-250), Oriental brass vases (200-400), Royal Crown Derby vases (100-200), a pair of Staffordshire greyhounds (60-100) and a set of fox hunting prints by Edith Somerville (400-600). Among the curiosities is an old American travelling trunk inscribed The Lord Monteague, Irish Guards (30-50).   The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection.

    An original framed White Star Line print (60-120).

    An original framed White Star Line print (60-120).   UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 170

    n antique three section over mantle mirror (80-150

    n antique three section over mantle mirror (80-150).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 180

    A pair antique red glass lustres  (150-250).

    A pair antique red glass lustres (150-250).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 220

    SCOTT, MCWILLIAM AND SCULLY AT SOTHEBY’S MODERN AND POST-WAR AUCTION

    Friday, November 7th, 2014

    There is a selection of works by F.E. McWilliam and William Scott, an untitled work by Sean Scully and an Irish Street Scene by Edward Burra at Sotheby’s Modern and Post War British Art sale in London on November 18 and 19.  Here is a small selection:

    EDWARD BURRA IRISH STREET SCENE  pencil, ink, watercolour and wash (1948) (£200,000-300,000).

    EDWARD BURRA
    IRISH STREET SCENE
    pencil, ink, watercolour and wash (1948) (£200,000-300,000).

    WILLIAM SCOTT, R.A. ORANGE STILL LIFE (£60,000-80,000).

    WILLIAM SCOTT, R.A.
    ORANGE STILL LIFE (£60,000-80,000).

    FREDERICK EDWARD MCWILLIAM, R.A. CAIN AND ABEL VII (£8,000-12,000).

    FREDERICK EDWARD MCWILLIAM, R.A.
    CAIN AND ABEL VII (£8,000-12,000).

    FREDERICK EDWARD MCWILLIAM, R.A. HAND OF PRINCESS MACHA OF THE GOLDEN HAIR OF THE HOUSE OF ULSTER bronze 1/3 (£6,000-8,000).

    FREDERICK EDWARD MCWILLIAM, R.A.
    HAND OF PRINCESS MACHA OF THE GOLDEN HAIR OF THE HOUSE OF ULSTER bronze 1/3 (£6,000-8,000).

    WILLIAM SCOTT, R.A. TABLE STILL LIFE signed and dated 53 (£200,000-300,000).

    WILLIAM SCOTT, R.A.
    TABLE STILL LIFE
    signed and dated 53 (£200,000-300,000).

    SEAN SCULLY UNTITLED signed and dated 5.28.94 (£8,000-12,000).

    SEAN SCULLY
    UNTITLED
    signed and dated 5.28.94 (£8,000-12,000).

    PHOTOGRAPHS OF TITANIC IN BELFAST AT WHYTE’S AUCTION

    Thursday, November 6th, 2014
    Titanic in Belfast at Whyte's auction.

    Titanic in Belfast at Whyte’s auction.  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 250

    A c1960 Aer Lingus Dublin Horse Show poster (100-150).

    A c1960 Aer Lingus Dublin Horse Show poster (100-150).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 200

    A set of seven celluloid photographic transparencies of the Titanic in Belfast is one of the highly collectible lots at Whyte’s in Dublin on November 8.  There are celluloid transparencies of the Titanic at Harland and Wolff shipyard together with prints of each photograph.   The estimate for the lot is 120-180.

    Another nostalgic lot is a c1960 Aer Lingus Dublin Horse Show poster estimated at 100-150. The sale offers an enormous cross section of lots with everything from a fist edition of Brendan Behan’s The Borstal Boy (80-120) to a large collection of German World War II photographs (500-700), from ancient Celtic carved heads to a letter from Michael Collins to signed poetry books by Seamus Heaney.  The catalogue, with 494 lots, is online.

    MANET’S LE PRINTEMPS MAKES $65 MILLION RECORD AT CHRISTIE’S

    Thursday, November 6th, 2014
    EDOUARD MANET, Le Printemps, oil on canvas, 1881, $25-35million. Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2014.

    EDOUARD MANET, Le Printemps, oil on canvas, 1881, $25-35million. Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2014.

    Edouard Manet’s Le Printemps brought a new world record at Christie’s Impressionist and Modern evening sale in New York last night when it sold for $65 million. It had been estimated at $25-30 million.  The work has been on loan to the National Gallery of Art in Washington for the past 20 years.  The previous record for a Manet was $33 million which was paid for a self portrait by the artist at Sotheby’s in London in 2010.  The 40 lot sale brought in a total of 165,635,000.

    Stele III by Alberto Giacometti made $9.9 million, Joan Miro’s Tuilerie a Mont-Roig made $8.67 million, Renoir’s Le Jeune Fille  au cygnet ou la jeune fille au heron  made $5.7 million, Guitare by Pablo Picasso made $5.3 million and Nu Assis, Fond Bleu by Henri Matisse sold for $5.4 million.  While the record price for Manet drove the evening’s headlines, the sale was also notable for consistently high sell-through rates at the middle market level, between $500,000 and $5 million. For example, works priced in the $1-2 million range were 92% sold by lot.  Similarly, works priced in the $2-5 million range were 93% sold by lot. Together, these impressive rates are an indication that collectors are seeking high-quality Impressionist and Modern art across a broad spectrum of prices.

    Christie’s confirmed later that the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles is the new owner of Le Printemps.

    (See posts on antiquesandartireland.com for October 20 and August 1, 2014)

    GIACOMETTI MAKES $101 MILLION AT SOTHEBY’S $422.1 MILLION NEW YORK SALE

    Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

    Led by two icons of modern sculpture Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art sale totalled $422.1 million in New York last night.  The highest result for any auction in Sotheby’s history was led by Giacometti’s Chariot which achieved $101 million and Modigliani’s Tete which made $70.7 million, a new auction record for the artist.  Van Gogh’s Still Life, Vase with Daisies and Poppies sold for $61.8 million.  Bidders from 40 countries registered for the sale, with the highest proportion from the US, Europe and Asia, the new home for the Van Gogh still life.

    A total of 12 sculptures brought in $191 million.    Three works by Claude Monet totalled $61.9 million led by  Alice Hoschedé au jardin which sold for $33.7 million.

    Simon Shaw, Co-Head of Sotheby’s Worldwide Impressionist & Modern Art Department, commented: “Tonight’s historic results bookend an exceptional year for Impressionist & Modern Art at Sotheby’s – our fourth consecutive year as leaders in this market. We opened this February with our best-ever sale in London, and tonight set a new benchmark for any auction in the Company’s 270-year history.”

    This was the second highest price for a Giacometti sculpture. His L’homme qui march I sold for $104.3 million at Sotheby’s in London in February 2010.

    (See posts on antiquesandartireland.com for October 28 and October 22, 2014).

    Alberto Giacometti’s Legendary CHARIOT

    Alberto Giacometti’s Legendary
    CHARIOT

    Amedeo Modigliani’s Totemic Goddess TÊTE

    Amedeo Modigliani’s Totemic Goddess
    TÊTE

    Vincent van Gogh’s STILL LIFE, VASE WITH DAISIES AND POPPIES

    Vincent van Gogh’s
    STILL LIFE, VASE WITH DAISIES AND POPPIES

    APPLE-1 DISCOVERED AT STORAGE LOCKER SALE TO MAKE MILLIONS

    Tuesday, November 4th, 2014
    The Ricketts Apple-1 pc.

    The Ricketts Apple-1 pc. UPDATE: IT MADE  $365,000

    Discovered at a storage locker auction in Virginia the only known surviving Apple-1 documented to have been sold directly by Steve Jobs to an individual from his parents’ garage comes up at Christie’s in New York on December 11.  The American cultural icon The Ricketts’ Apple-1 Personal Computer will come up as part of Christie’s  inaugural Exceptional Sale at Rockefeller Center. It is named after its first owner Charles Ricketts.  The estimate is $400,000 – 600,000, the highest estimate yet for an original Apple-1 offered at auction.

    It is fully operational.  23 years after Ricketts bought the Apple-1 from Jobs in Los Altos, it was acquired by Bruce Waldack, a freshly minted entrepreneur who’d just sold his company DigitalNation. The Ricketts Apple-1 was auctioned at a sheriff’s sale of Waldack’s property at a self-storage facility in Virginia in 2004, and won by the present consigner, the American collector, Bob Luther.

    UPDATE: IT FELL SHORT OF ITS ESTIMATE TO SELL FOR $365,000.