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    Saturday, November 5th, 2022
    A pair of George III marquetry and giltwood console tables attributed to Ince and Mayhew at Christie’s. UPDATE: THESE SOLD FOR £163,800

    A pair of George III marquetry and giltwood side tables probably supplied to the Earls of Kerry in 1770 and attributed to Ince and Mayhew will be a highlight at Christie’s sale of the collection of Lord and Lady Weinstock in London on November 22. Estimated at £100,000-£150,000 (€116,230-€174,340) the tables are among a selection of works with strong Irish provenance in the sale. Arnold Weinstock was a leading businessman who transformed GEC into one of the most successful companies of the post war era. A keen racehorse owner he maintained strong Irish connections through Ballymacoll Stud in Co. Meath, which he owned, and where his 1979 Derby winning horse Troy was bred. 

    Among lots with Irish links are a set of four George IV gilt bronze wine coolers almost certainly commissioned by John Browne, 1st Marquess of Sligo, is estimated at £20,000-£30,000 (€23,000-€34,000); a pair of silver tazze by Joseph Walker, Dublin 1792 (€3,500-€5,700) and a pair of Irish giltwood mirrors (€23,000-€34,000).

     A set of four George IV wine coolers from Westport House at Christie’s. UPDATE: THIS SET MADE £40,320


    Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022
    PAUL GAUGUIN (1848-1903) – Maternité II (estimate in excess of $90 million). UPDATE: THIS MADE A RECORD  $105,730,000

    Highlights from the collection of Microsoft founder Paul G Allen will be part of an unprecedented $1 billion sale at two auctions at Christie’s in New York next week. The auctions on November 9 and 10 will include examples, often among the finest in private hands, by Jan Brueghel the Younger, J.M.W. Turner, Edouard Manet, Vincent Van Gogh, Georges Seurat, Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, Gustav Klimt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, and many others in more than 150 masterworks. All of the estate’s proceeds from this historic sale will be dedicated to philanthropy, pursuant to Mr. Allen’s wishes.

    Max Carter, Vice Chairman, 20th and 21st Century Art, Americas, remarked: “The Paul G. Allen Collection, like Cézanne’s breathtaking view of Mont Sainte-Victoire, is the summit of the mountain. From Brueghel’s Five Senses and the Venetian imaginings of Turner and Manet, to late 19th-century masterpieces by Van Gogh, Gauguin and Monet, Klimt’s Birch Forest and Freud’s Large Interior, W11 (after Watteau), arguably the greatest set piece of the last fifty years, the Collection is bounded only by vision and quality. And then there is Seurat’s Les Poseuses. Formerly in the collections of Alphonse Kann, John Quinn and Henry McIlhenny and featured in the 1913 Armory Show, when it appeared at auction for the one and only time in 1970, the art historian John Russell suggested that it was one of the three or four most beautiful works of art to be sold since the war. It remains so today.”

    (See post on for August 26, 2022)

    GEORGES SEURAT (1859-1891) – Les Poseuses, Ensemble (Petite version) (Estimate in excess of $100 million). UPDATE: THIS MADE A RECORD $149,240,000


    Wednesday, October 26th, 2022
    JEAN-ANTOINE WATTEAU (1684-1721) – Three head studies of a girl wearing a hat made: $3,420,000

    With global participation the sale of the Ann and Gordon Getty Collection at Christie’s made more than $150 million. This firmly established the collection, sold across ten auctions which concluded in New York yesterday among the top three fine and decorative art sales at Christie’s. It ranks alongside the collections of Yves St. Laurent and Pierre Berger and that of Peggy and David Rockefeller. Records were set for Mary Cassatt’s Young Lady in a Loge Gazing to Right ($7,489,000); Jacques-Émile Blanche’s Vaslav Nijinsky in ‘Danse Siamoise’ ($2,700,000); Jules Bastien-Lepage’s Portrait de Sarah Bernhardt ($2,280,000) and Jean-Antoine Watteau, Three Head Studies Of A Girl Wearing A Hat (work on paper) ($3,420,000).



    Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022
    Entrance to the Grand Canal looking East, with Santa Maria della Salute at right UPDATE: In the hours leading up to the auction, Christie’s announced the private sale of Venice, the Grand Canal looking East with Santa Maria della Salute by Giovanni Antonio Canal, called Canaletto, to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, enabled through a generous donation by Diane B. Wilsey.

    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 UPDATE: THIS MADE $5.1 MILLION

    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
    Fra Angelico (c1395-1455) – Saint Dominic and the Stigmatization of Saint Francis UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $4,740,000

    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.