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  • Archive for November, 2015

    THE MOST EXPENSIVE WORK SOLD AT SOTHEBY’S WORLDWIDE IN 2015

    Thursday, November 12th, 2015

    An exceptional Cy Twombly blackboard painting made $70.5 million at Sotheby’s contemporary art sale in New York last night.  Untitled, New York City instantly  became the most expensive work sold at Sotheby’s worldwide in 2015.  A rare large-scale Mao by Andy Warhol made $47.5 million and works by Jackson Pollock, Lucio Fontana and Francis Bacon performed well. Combined with last week’s auctions of the Collection of A. Alfred Taubman, Sotheby’s contemporary art sales this season have so far totalled $434 million.

    Pollock’s No. 17, 1949 made $22.9 million; Fontana Concetto Spaziale, Attese, 1965 made $16.1 million; a portrait by Francis Bacon made $15.6 million;  an untitled Basquiat work from 198 made $8.3 million and Le Tissu Social, 1977 by  Jean Dubuffet made $7.1 million.

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for September 16, 2015)

    Cy Twomby's Untitled, New York City, 1968

    Cy Twomby’s Untitled, New York City, 1968

    Jackson Pollock - No. 17, 1949

    Jackson Pollock – No. 17, 1949

    A NEW WORLD RECORD PRICE FOR A DIAMOND

    Thursday, November 12th, 2015
    The 12.03 carat internally flawless fancy vivid blue diamond The Blue Moon of Josephine.

    The 12.03 carat internally flawless fancy vivid blue diamond The Blue Moon of Josephine.

    A Hong Kong private buyer set a new auction record for any diamond when he paid US$48.5 million at Sotheby’s in Geneva last night for a 12.03 carat blue diamond. It was promptly named “The Blue Moon of Josephine”.  This was a record for any diamond of any colour, or any gemstone. The price per carat for this internally flawless stone works out at US$4,028,941.  This is the first time any gemstone has reached over $4 million per carat. The sale last night of magnificent jewels and noble jewels brought in US$139,085,346.

    David Bennet, Sotheby’s chairman of jewellery said: “I am absolutely delighted with this evening’s record result – this show-stopping blue diamond surely is a once-in-a-lifetime stone. I’m also pleased to say that tonight’s sale takes our total in Geneva for this year to an unprecedented 300 million dollars, following our record-breaking sale in May. The star of the evening, the ‘Blue Moon of Josephine’ was discovered at the Cullinan Mine, which is owned by Petra Diamonds, and was polished to perfection by Cora International. It now takes its place among the world’s greatest diamonds.”

    The previous auction record for any diamond was held by The Graff Pink (24.78 carats), which sold for US$46.2 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in 2010.

    FREUD’S PORTRAIT OF ANDREW PARKER BOWLES MAKES $34.8 MILLION

    Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

    The Brigadier, Lucian Freud’s portrait of Andrew Parker-Bowles in army dress uniform, sold for $34,885,000 at Christie’s in New York last night. The Post War and contemporary art evening sale brought in $331,809,000.  Parker-Bowles is dressed in his ceremonial uniform as a former Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry.  This is a rare portrait by Freud of a clothed sitter which has been widely acclaimed as an intensely personal portrait of a deeply private man.  Artist and sitter met through their shared love of horses.

    A Spider by Louise Bourgeois sold for $28,165,000.  These mammoth bronze sculptures have gained public and critical appreciation from Tate Modern in London to the Guggenheim in Bilbao and The National Gallery of Art in Washington. Concetto Spaziale, La Fine di Dio by Lucio Fontana made $29,173,000, an untitled Cy Twombly  work sold for $17,525,000, Four Marilyns by Andy Warhol made $36,005,000 and Little Electric Chair by Warhol made $11,589,000.

    Lucian Freud - The Brigadier

    Lucian Freud – The Brigadier

    Louise Bourgeois - Spider

    Louise Bourgeois – Spider

    MODIGLIANI SELLS FOR RECORD $170,405,000

    Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

    Amedeo Modigliani’s Nu couché  aold for $170,405,000 at Christie’s in New York last night.  This is the second highest price for any work of art at auction.  It was bought by the Long Museum of China.  Roy Lichtenstein’s Nurse made $95,365,000 in a sale which brought in $419,352,000 and got Christie’s November week sales series off to a flying start.

    Bidders from 35 countries took part. The auction was 71% sold by lot and 87% by value. Five new artist records were achieved, for Courbet, Balthus, Lichtenstein, Modigliani and Nara, as well as and two new records for sculpture by Gauguin and Kirchner. Paul Gauguin’s Thérèse, 1902-03, sold for $30,965,000 and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s Tänzerin mit gehobenem Bein, 1913, sold for $8,005,000,.

    Jussi Pylkkänen, Christie’s Global President said: “In recent years we have created very meaningful relationships with collectors in China and we are delighted to confirm that the Long Museum has purchased our top lot of the evening, Modigliani’s ‘Nu couché’’”

    The previous record for a Modigliani was achieved by Sotheby’s in New York a year ago when Tete (stone) sold for $70 million.  The most expensive painting ever sold at auction was Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O) which made $179 million at Christie’s in  New York in May.

    (See posts on antiquesandartireland.com for October 20 and September 3, 2015)

     

    Amedeo Modigliani’s Nu couché

    Amedeo Modigliani’s Nu couché

    Roy Lichtenstein - Nurse - sold for $95,365,000

    Roy Lichtenstein – Nurse – sold for $95,365,000

    FIRST EDITION OF 1854 BOOK THAT LED TO CREATION OF INTERNET

    Monday, November 9th, 2015
    An inscribed first edition of George Boole’s theory which led to the creation of the internet comes up at Fonsie Mealy’s rare book auction in Dublin on December 15.  In the year when UCC is celebrating the bicentenary of the birth in 1815 of their first Professor of Mathematics and inventor of Boolean Logic this extremely rare work is conservatively estimated at just 5,000-7,000. The first 1854 edition of An Investigation into the Laws of Thought published by Walton and Maberly is inscribed to:  “Mrs. Hill, with the Author’s respects”.

    The book is in good condition with some light spotting and an errata leaf at the end. It is in its original black bind stamped cloth,which has suffered slightly from damp. Often described as the father of the internet Boole in this work expounds the  theory which invented the first practical system of logic in algebraic form. This enabled more advances to be made in the science of logic in the latter decades of the 19th century than in the previous twenty two centuries combined. His work led to the creation of set theory and probability theory in mathematics, to the philosophical work of Peirce, Russell, Whitehead and Wittgenstein and to computer technology via the master’s thesis of C.E. Shannon (1937).  Shannon recognised that the true/false values in Boole’s algebra were analogous to the open and closed states of electric circuits.  The invention of the binary digit or bit made possible the development of the digital computer.

    UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR A HAMMER PRICE OF 11,000.  IT WAS PURCHASED BY UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, CORK.

    The first edition of George Boole's theory.

    The first edition of George Boole’s theory.

    The inscription by George Boole to Mrs. Hill.

    The inscription by George Boole to Mrs. Hill.

    IRISH PROVINCIAL SILVER AT WOODWARDS

    Sunday, November 8th, 2015
    Cork, Limerick and Dublin silversmiths will feature at Woodwards bi-annual auction of silver and art in Cork on November 11.   Highlights include a c1750 Limerick Georgian silver French style serving spoon by Samuel Johns (3,000-4,000) and a Cork silver dish or potato ring by William Egan 1916 (1,500-2,000). There is a George III bright cut Limerick silver serving spoon by Patrick Connell c1785 (1,000-1,500). Cork made pieces include a pair of c1827 George IV cream or sauce ladles by Richard Garde (300-500), a bright cut serving spoon in the neo-classical style by Joseph Gibson c1790 (100-150), a sugar bowl with Celtic design band and Sword of Light hallmark for 1966 by William Egan (80-120) and a sugar tongs with fiddle pattern handles by Carden Terry and Jane Williams with Dublin hallmarks for 1813 (50-100).

    A George III London silver tankard c1768, makers mark FC

    A George III London silver tankard c1768, makers mark FC

    A Limerick Georgian serving spoon by Samuel Johns c1750 (3,000-4,000).

    A Limerick Georgian serving spoon by Samuel Johns c1750 (3,000-4,000).

    GOTHIC REVIVAL FURNITURE BY STRAHAN AT TRALEE SALE

    Saturday, November 7th, 2015
    An unusual selection of furniture in the Gothic manner by renowned Dublin makers Robert Strahan comes up at auction in Tralee on November 14.  Lynes and Lynes will offer contents from The Mercy Convent, Balloonagh, Tralee.  The convent, located in a fine cut stone building in the Pugin manner, opened in 1858 at around the same time as nearby Oakpark House, a jewel of the Irish Gothic Revival, was built. Convent furniture in the library and back parlour was acquired at auction in the 1920’s from Oakpark House when the Collis-Sandes family sold up.

    The Strahan furniture is labelled and stamped and was designed specifically for Oakpark House. A large seven door breakfront bookcase c1860 (5,000-10,000) is complete with the Collis-Sandes crest. An oak dining table with five spare leaves (3,000-5,000) which can seat up to 24 has features which match this bookcase and is stamped by Strahan.  The oak sideboard by Strahan (1,000-2,000) also carries the family crest and there is a fine oak library table (1,500-2,000). There are no fewer than eight oak refectory tables.  There are fender, clocks, slide lanterns, garden furniture, porcelain, glass and kitchen equipment among more than 500 lots.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for November 2).

    An oak pedestal sideboard with the Collis-Sandes crest.

    An oak pedestal sideboard with the Collis-Sandes crest. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,500

    The dining table can seat up to 24 people

    The dining table can seat up to 24 people. UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,200

    The Strahan library table

    The Strahan library table.  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,600

    LA GOMMEUSE SELLS FOR $67.45 MILLION AT SOTHEBY’S

    Friday, November 6th, 2015
    La Gommeuse - Pablo Picasso

    La Gommeuse – Pablo Picasso

    Picasso’s La Gommeuse, a Blue Period work, sold for $67.45 million at Sotheby’s in New York last night.  It was the top lot at the Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale which brought in a total of $306,712,000 and a new auction record for a Blue Period Picasso.  The American billionaire Bill Koch bought it for just $3 million in 1984.

    Van Gogh’s Paysage sous un ciel mouvements sold for $54 million and Mystic Suprematism by Kazimir Malevich made $37.8 million. The sales total across three sales of art at Sotheby’s in New York this week is $725,000,000.  The evening and day sales of the Taubman collection came to $420 million. A total of seventeen paintings sold for more than $10 million.

    Simon Shaw, Co-Head of Sotheby’s Worldwide Impressionist & Modern Art Department, commented:Tonight’s sale spoke to the desires of the market today – our top lots alone tell the story of how diverse that market is, with strong results spanning classic Impressionism, Post Impressionism, Suprematism and Expressionism”.

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for October 9, 2015).

    TAUBMAN MASTERWORKS BRING IN $377 MILLION AT SOTHEBY’S

    Thursday, November 5th, 2015
    Modigliani, Portrait de Paulette Jourdain

    Modigliani, Portrait de Paulette Jourdain

    Masterworks from the Taubman collection brought in $377 million at Sotheby’s in New York last night. In its first appearance at auction Modigliani’s portrait of Paulette Jourdain made $42.8 million after five bidders from around the globe competed. It went to an Asian buyer. A total of twelve works achieved more than $10 million and Frank Stella’s Delaware Crossing more than doubled the previous auction record for the artist when it made $13.7 million.

    Willem de Koonings Untitled XXI sold for $24.9 million. A private European collector paid $20.4 million for Mark Rothko’s Untitled (Lavender and Green) and Femme assize sur une chaise by Pablo Picasso (a portrait of Dora Maar) made $20 million.  A selection of six works on paper by Egon Schiele sold for $13.5 million and all 14 sculptures were sold, with a combined total of $37.9 million.

    More than 400 works from the collection of the late A Alfred Taubman are to be sold across various auctions at Sotheby’s throughout 2016. (All images courtesy Sotheby’s).

    (See posts on antiquesandartireland.com for October 4 and September 7, 2014).

    Schiele, Freundin, Rosa-Blau

    Schiele, Freundin, Rosa-Blau

    Stella, Delaware Crossing

    Stella, Delaware Crossing

    de Kooning, Untitled XXI

    de Kooning, Untitled XXI

     Rothko, Untitled (Lavender and Green).

    Rothko, Untitled (Lavender and Green).

    TWO WORKS BY SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL AT SOTHEBY’S

    Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

    The art of Sir Winston Churchill is hot.  His Goldfish Pool at Chartwell sold for £1.7 million last year.  Sotheby’s will offer two works by the wartime leader at the Modern British and Post War art sale in London on November 17.  One of is Venice, the other the South of France.  His  Scuola di San Marco in Venice dates from 1951 when he was 77 and is estimated at £250,000-350,000.  An earlier work, St Jean de Vie between Cannes and Grasse is from the 1930’s and is estimated at  £120,000-180,000.

    Lynn Chadwick’s Stabile with Mobile Element comes to the market for the first time. Off the radar for over 60 years and previously only known through the artist’s original sketch it is being sold by the family of its one and only owner, who acquired it in 1954, just two years after it was made.  It is estimated at £400,000-600,000.

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for October 14, 2014).

    Sir Winston Churchill, K.G., O.M., F.R.S., HON. R.A. ST JEAN DE VIE BETWEEN CANNES AND GRASSE

    Sir Winston Churchill, K.G., O.M., F.R.S., HON. R.A.
    ST JEAN DE VIE BETWEEN CANNES AND GRASSE

    Sir Winston Churchill, K.G., O.M., F.R.S., HON. R.A. THE SCUOLA DI SAN MARCO IN VENICE

    Sir Winston Churchill, K.G., O.M., F.R.S., HON. R.A.
    THE SCUOLA DI SAN MARCO IN VENICE

    Lynn Chadwick, R.A. STABILE WITH MOBILE ELEMENT

    Lynn Chadwick, R.A.
    STABILE WITH MOBILE ELEMENT