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    Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022
    Entrance to the Grand Canal looking East, with Santa Maria della Salute at right

    The legendary Ann & Gordon Getty Collection will be sold at Christie’s through a series of landmark auctions beginning next October. The collection stands alone in its quality, rarity and beauty. Nearly 1,500 works of  English and European furniture, Asian works of art, European ceramics, Chinese export porcelain, silver, European and Asian textiles, and Impressionist and Old Master paintings from the couple’s San Francisco residence will be offered. The sales in October are expected to achieve as much as $180 million. Proceeds will benefit the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation for the Arts and designated beneficiaries include California based organisations like the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Symphony, University of San Francisco, Berkeley Geochronology Center, and the Leakey Foundation.

    Chrysanthèmes dans un vase de Chine

    Gordon Getty commented: “Though she left us far too soon, I know Ann would be proud that her exquisite eye and unmatched dedication to craftsmanship and scholarship are being shared with the world, and that the philanthropic planning around our art collection is being realised. These sales are a continuation of the longstanding philanthropic goals of the Getty family first established by my father, J. Paul Getty.”


    Friday, April 22nd, 2022
    EMANUEL LEUTZE (1816-1868) – Washington Crossing the Delaware signed ‘E. Leutze’ UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $45 MILLION

    Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze, which hung for decades at the White House, will be a highlight at Christie’s 20th Century evening sale in New York on May 12. Painted in 1851 it is one of two extant versions by Leutze.  The other is in the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Leutze’s powerful imagining of a key moment in American history has been a cultural phenomenon from the minute it was seen and has been reproduced more than almost any painting in American history. This picture, which defined its era and has had a profound and lasting impact on art history and popular culture. It was commissioned by the original purchaser of the Metropolitan’s painting, the art dealers Goupil, Vibert & Co. They wanted a smaller version that could be more easily reproduced by the engraver, Paul Girardet, as a print.  This painting was also exhibited in its day at major venues in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Thanks to the engraving, within short order the image was everywhere. “Every town and village along that vast stretch of double river-frontage had a best dwelling,” wrote Mark Twain in Life on the Mississippi, 1883. “Over middle of mantel, engraving—Washington Crossing the Delaware; on the wall by the door, copy of it done in thunder-and-lightning crewels by one of the young ladies …”. It is estimated at $15-20 million.

    Among the other highlights are Claude Monet’s Parlement, Soleil Couchant, Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, and Mark Rothko’s Untitled (Shades of Red).


    Friday, April 15th, 2022

    Saint Dominic and the Stigmatisation of Saint Francis, recently featured in an exhibition at the Prado in Madrid, comes up at Christie’s sale of Masterworks from the Alana Collection in New York in June.  The exceptionally rare small panel by Fra Angelico (c1395-1455) is estimated at $4 million – $6 million. It was originally part of a diptych.  The second panel is the Madonna and Child with four angels and is in the Detroit Art Institute.  The Alana Collection, owned by Chilean economist  billionaire Alvaro Saieh and his wife Ana Guzman, is the most significant collection of Italian Old Master Paintings, Sculpture and Antiquities to be offered in New York in living memory.   Other highlights include works by Orazio Gentileschi and El Greco.


    Tuesday, March 8th, 2022
    Sir John Lavery – The Croquet Party (1890-93). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £2,922,000, A WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR LAVERY

    THE Croquet Party by Sir John Lavery comes up at Christie’s Modern British and Irish Art evening sale on March 22. The work powerfully showcases Lavery’s abiding interest in modern life, transforming a traditional group portrait into a dynamic composition that revels in the elegant fashions and pastimes of his subjects.  It is estimated at £1,200,000-1,800,000. The auction is now online for browsing.


    Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022
    Pablo Picasso’s  La fenêtre ouverte (1929)  made £16,319,500

    The Shanghai to London sale series at Christie’s established a pioneering cultural dialogue between two of the art market’s major hubs and made a total of £249,070,155. Sell-through rates of 90% by lot and 93% by value demonstrated the confidence of the market, building on the successes we witnessed in 2021. Across the three sales, registered bidders from 34 countries and 5 continents reflect the strength of global demand, with 21% of buyers from Americas, 31% APAC and 49% EMEA. Millennial collectors accounted for 28% of registrants.

    Shanghai to London led with museum quality paintings by Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Franz Marc, and Pablo Picasso: Franz Marc’s The Foxes (Die Füchse) sold for £42,654,500, setting a new world auction record for the artist and the highest price ever achieved in Europe for a restituted work of art. Francis Bacon’s Triptych 1986-7 made £38,459,206 and Lucian Freud’s  Girl with Closed Eyes (1986-87) made £15,174,500.


    Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

    The only Darwin Microscope to have ever been offered at auction made £598,500 at Christie’s  in London today. This is a record for a 19th century microscope. It came up at a sale of valuable books and manuscripts. The Gould type microscope by Cary was gifted by Charles Darwin (1809-1882) to his son Leonard Darwin (1850-1943) in 1864. It had since passed by descent through the family for nearly 200 years.


    Saturday, November 6th, 2021
    Pablo Picasso – Mousquetaire a la pipe II at Christie’s UPDATE: THIS MADE $34,710,000

    In the era of shredded Banksy’s the New York sales over the next two weeks art will be presented in an innovative way that has broken away from traditional sale categories like Impressionism and Contemporary Art.
    Artists from Banksy and Basquiat to Peter Doig and El Anatsui to Cindy Sherman and Arcadia will kick off the non traditional art sale season in New York at Christie’s 21st century evening sale on November 9. Arcadia is an NFT – non fungible tokens allow people to buy the rights to online art – by contemporary visual artist Andres Reisinger, Grammy award winning musician RAC and poet Arch Hades. Combining music, visual art and poetry this is the first collaborative interdisciplinary NFT to come to auction.  RAC, who was born in 1985, is the oldest of the three. UPDATE: Arcadia sold for $525,000.

    A year ago few of us had heard of NFT’s – now they are big business. In March US artist Beeple (aka Mike Winklemann born 1981) made worldwide headlines when an NFT of his digital artwork “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days” sold for $63.9 million. Beeple is back at Christie’s on November 9 with an NFT called Human One. By September Christie’s had shattered the $100 million dollar barrier for NFT sales. UPDATE: HUMAN ONE SOLD FOR $28,985,000.

    Sotheby’s has launched twice yearly sales of NFT’s. The jury is out on whether this is merely a temporary craze or a more permanent feature of the art market. The buyers of NFT’s, including cyber punks and crypto currency gazillionaires, tend towards the non traditional.

    Christie’s say their global 20th/21st century  auction series reflects evolving market demands and collecting habits.  It is also helping to discover new works, physical and digital.  The sale on Tuesday offers 39 lots with established contemporaries like Richard Prince and Christopher Wool being sold alongside new market darlings like Nicolas Party, Harold Ancart and Xinyi Cheng.

    On November 11 Christie’s will offer The Cox Collection: The Story of Impressionism. With masterpieces by Caillebotte, Cezanne and Van Gogh this is billed as one of the greatest American collections ever to appear on the market. Dallas based Edwin Cox, who died aged 99 a year ago, spent his career in oil and gas exploration and was ceo of his own investment company.  The auction will be followed immediately by the 20th Century evening sale. This ranges from Impressionism in Paris in 1880’s to Pop Art in New York in 1980’s with masterpieces by Picasso and Monet and a Warhol portrait of Jean Michel Basquiat.

    Untitled IV by William de Kooning at Sotheby’s in New York on November 15. UPDATE: THIS MADE $18,935,250

    On November 15 Sotheby’s will offer the Part One of the Macklowe Collection which they describe  as one of the most important collections of any kind ever to appear on the market.  The sale will include masterworks by Alberto Giacometti, Mark Rothko, Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol. The Macklowes are a spectacularly rich warring New York couple in their ’80’s. A judge has ordered the sale of the collection as part of their protracted divorce proceedings.  Sotheby’s Modern evening auction is to take place on November 16 and this will be followed two nights later by an evening auction called Now focusing on art made in the last 20 years.


    Thursday, October 14th, 2021
    A Chinese Export black and gilt lacquered kneehole desk or dressing table and a Queen Anne black and gilt dressing mirror. UPDATE: THE DESK MADE £11,250, THE MIRROR MADE £5,625.

    On November 10 Christie’s will offer Mackinnon: Fine Furniture and Works of Art in a live auction, marking ten years since the gallery opened in St. James’s, London. The company founded by Charlie Mackinnon is known for fine 18th century and early 19th century furniture by celebrated makers such as Chippendale, Vile & Cobb and Gillows, with an emphasis on distinguished provenance. The sale presents a curated group of 170 lots.


    Monday, September 13th, 2021
    Sir Winston Churchill, The Bridge at Aix en Provence (1948) UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £1,702,500. 

    The Bridge at Aix en Provence by Sir Winston Churchill will highlight Christie’s Modern British Art evening auction in London on October 20. The painting was originally gifted to the Swiss paint manufacturer Willy Sax who supplied Churchill with his artistic materials and would become a lifelong friend. Churchill had already been using oil paint produced by Sax Farben, a family run paint manufacturer just outside of Zurich, when the pair formed a strong bond after their first meeting in Switzerland in September 1946. The resulting relationship ensued for the rest of their lives. The scene depicted in The Bridge at Aix en Provence would have been especially appealing to Churchill, not only due to his love of painting water, but also because this particular vista was also visited by Paul Cézanne, who inspired Churchill. The painting is estimated at £1,500,000-2,500,000.


    Friday, September 3rd, 2021

    The most valuable Einstein manuscript ever offered at auction comes up at the Exceptional Sale at Christie’s in Paris on November 23. The 54-page autograph manuscript written by Albert Einstein and Michele Besso between June 1913 and early 1914 documents a crucial stage in the development of the theory of general relativity. This theory re-shaped modern understanding of how the universe works. It is estimated at €2,000,000-3,000,000).

    The manuscript is also a particularly valuable record of Einstein’s relationship with Michele Besso, the Swiss engineer who was his collaborator, confidant, and lifelong friend. 

    Adrien Legendre, Director of the Books and Manuscripts department, commented: “We are delighted that Christie’s will be able to promote this extraordinary manuscript to its international network of collectors for our Exceptional Sale. Einstein’s autographs from this period, and more generally from before 1919, are extremely rare. As one of only two surviving manuscripts documenting the genesis of the General Theory (along with the so-called Zurich notebook from late 1912/early 1913 – now in the Einstein Archive at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem), it provides a remarkable insight into Einstein’s work and a fascinating dive into the mind of the greatest scientist of the 20th century.