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    JAMES BOND DAY CHARITY BONANZA AT CHRISTIE’S

    Wednesday, October 5th, 2022
    NO TIME TO DIE ASTON MARTIN DB5 STUNT CAR. © Photographer Max Earey

    On October 5 – James Bond Day – Christie’s and EON Productions’ two part official charity sale Sixty Years of James Bond concluded with Part I and Part II making a total of £6,874,494 which will benefit over 45 charities.  Comprising a total of 61 lots overall, which were 100% sold, spanning the 25 films to date, the sale as a whole featured vehicles, watches, costumes, props, posters, memorabilia and experiences. This result surpasses not only all previous official Christie’s 007 sale totals, but also the combined total of £4,812,525 for all three previous sales. The top lot of the live sale was the No Times to Die Aston Martin Replica DBS stunt car which made £2,922,000. It was sold to benefit The Prince’s Trust; The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund; and three charities supporting serving and former members of the UK Special Forces.

    MASTERFUL APPROACH TO COMPOSITION IN THIS WILLIAM SCOTT WORK

    Tuesday, October 4th, 2022
    WILLIAM SCOTT, R.A. (1913-1989) – Frying Pan – Still Life, 1947

    Frying Pan – Still Life by William Scott at Christie’s Modern British and Irish Art evening sale in London on October 19 dates to 1947. It is emblematic of Scott’s approach to painting following the Second World War. At first glance, the simple arrangement of culinary objects speaks of the Northern Irish austerity that Scott experienced in his youth. Concurrently, however, the artist’s sophisticated exploration into the arrangement of colour, form and spatial geometry reflects a preoccupation that ensued throughout the artist’s celebrated career.  According to the catalogue notes in this work Scott demonstrates a masterful approach to composition – the ovoid shapes that reverberate across the canvas work in harmony with the linear diagonals that permeate the scene. The alignment of the eggs, positioned carefully on the table-top, create a subtle dynamism as they lead the eye towards the frying pan, whose crisp silhouette against the rich yolk-yellow of the background foreshadows the use of the motif as the most recognisable icon of his later work. The estimate is £300,000-£500,000.

    The sale will be led by L.S. Lowry’s Going to the Match, which is being offered by The Players Foundation. Estimated at £5,000,000-8,000,000, the painting is poised to set a new world auction record for the artist.  The catalogue is online.

    LAURENCE STEPHEN LOWRY, R.A. (1887-1976) – Going to the Match

    LARGEST PEAR SHAPED FANCY PINK DIAMOND EVER AT AUCTION

    Wednesday, September 28th, 2022
    The Fortune Pink – an 18.18 carat fancy vivid pink diamond. (US$ 25,000,000 – 35,000,000)

    The largest pear-shaped fancy vivid pink diamond ever offered for sale at auction comes up at Christie’s in Geneva on November 8. The Fortune Pink will lead the Magnificent Jewels sale. Weighing an auspicious 18.18 carats the diamond’s weight literally translates to definite prosperity in Asia and is sure to garner interest from collectors across the globe. According to Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s International Head of Jewellery, the colour is phenomenal.

    MUGHAL PASHMINA CARPET FROM THE COURT OF EMPEROR SHAH JAHAN

    Monday, September 12th, 2022
    Royal Mughal pashmina carpet c1650

    An extraordinarily rare survivor from the golden age of Imperial Mughal carpet production comes up at Christie’s in London on October 27.  This Royal Mughal pashmina carpet woven for the court of the Emperor Shah Jahan is of ‘Lattice and Flower’ design, exemplary for its brilliant colour and pattern, woven with the most luxurious and costly materials with prized pashmina goat hair woven onto a fine silk foundation. One of only four 17th century pashmina carpets remaining in private hands. This one is estimated at £2,500,000 – 3,500,000.

    The carpet is an example of the Flower Style in Mughal India which became popular in architectural decoration and the decorative arts under the emperor Shah Jahan (r. 1628-58). A variety of flowers represented  in profile and organised in rows is a hallmark of the style. In most rug-weaving cultures, silk is the most valuable and sumptuous fibre. In Mughal culture, in northern India, this was not the case. The most highly prized fibre for the pile was goat hair, pashmina, the undercoat of the Himalayan mountain goat. Each pashmina fibre measures almost one sixth the width of a human hair, which meant that these Mughal carpets were among the finest carpets ever woven. The highest knot count exceeds 2,000 knots per inch, which goes beyond what the eye can “read.” The majority of examples fall between 400 and 1,000 knots and the carpet discussed has an average of 672 knots per sq. inch. It will be a leading lot in the Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds including Oriental Rugs and Carpets auction.

    ANTHONY EDEN’S COLLECTION HITS THE AUCTION BLOCK AT LAST

    Thursday, September 8th, 2022
    SIR JOHN LAVERY, R.S.A., R.H.A., R.A. (1856-1941)
    Lady Gwendoline Spencer-Churchill in The Merchant of Venice. COURTESY CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2021

    Paintings and furniture in the home of a husband and wife over a remarkable span of almost 125 years will come under the hammer at ‘Churchill to Eden: The Collection of The Earl and Countess of Avon’ at Christie’s in London on October 21. On offer is an eclectic collection – the property of Sir Robert Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon, K.G., M.C., P.C. (1897–1977), the former British Conservative Party politician who served as Foreign Secretary (1935–1938; 1940– 1945 and 1951–1955) and Prime Minister of the UK (1955 – 1957) and his second wife, Clarissa Spencer-Churchill (1920–2021).

    The sale is an evocative journey into an almost vanished world of politics, society and inter-connections. It will include English furniture, Impressionist and Modern Art, Modern British Art, Antiquities, Chinese Works of Art, Islamic Works of Art, Books and Manuscripts and Silver, all collected by Lord and Lady Avon over many decades.  The couple met at a dinner party in 1947 and were married in 1952 in London, garnering international media attention. The reception was held at 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the Prime Minister and hosted by Winston Churchill. Eden eventually succeeded Churchill as Prime Minister in 1955. Upon retiring from the House of Commons and being elevated to the House of Lords, Eden was created Earl of Avon in 1961.

    Georges Braque, Verre et Huîtres, a gift from Anthony to Clarissa, Courtesy CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2021

    Away from his life of politics Eden had a passion for art from an early age, with a keen eye which helped to form this collection. Clarissa Eden counted friendships with Lucian Freud and Greta Garbo among others. Unsurprisingly for a British Prime Minister the collection is led by important Modern British Art; including two paintings by Winston Churchill given to Eden during his political career, three works by Sir John Lavery and works given to Lady Avon by her friends Cecil Beaton and David Jones. There is art by Picasso, Braque, Degas, Laurencin and Corot. The sale also features highlights from Lord Avon’s library including signed Churchill, Field Marshal Montgomery and de Gaulle editions, alongside signed works to Lady Avon from notable authors Evelyn Waugh, Noel Coward and Cecil Beaton.

    Many lots graced the Eden’s Green Drawing Room at 10 Downing Street and featured in archive issues of Country Life in 1961 and in Apollo in 1969 when Lord and Lady Avon were living at Fyfield Manor in Wiltshire where they resided until Lord Avon’s death in 1977. Clarissa lived to the age of 101 and died in 2021.

    HOCKNEY TO HIGHLIGHT CHRISTIE’S 20th/21st CENTURY SALE IN OCTOBER

    Thursday, September 1st, 2022
    David Hockney, Early Morning, Sainte-Maxime (1969)

    David Hockney’s Early Morning, Sainte-Maxime (1969) will highlight Christie’s 20th / 21st Century evening sale in London on October 13. Depicting a sublime view in the South of France it is a tribute to Hockney’s emotional state at the height of his relationship with Peter Schlesinger and anticipates some of the artist’s greatest works. The estimate is £7,000,000-10,000,000.

    This is one of four paintings based on photographs taken during a trip to France with Hockney’s then partner in autumn 1968. It was at this time that the pair first spent time in the home of the film director, Tony Richardson, near Saint Tropez. They became regular guests at the lavish parties Richardson threw at ‘Le Nid du Duc’, set in the mountains just outside Le Garde-Freinet. Hockney had returned to London in 1968 after spending four years in California. The South of France became an instant draw for him and Schlesinger and would come to play a central role in their relationship. It was Richardson’s home that became the setting for his masterpiece Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) when the relationship ended in 1971.

    ART FROM AFRICA AND ITS DIASPORA AT CHRISTIE’S

    Wednesday, August 24th, 2022
    Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Highpower (2007) (£600,000-800,000). © Christie’s Images Ltd 2022.

    The largest single owner collection dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora will be held at Christie’s in London on October 13. The sale of Robert Devereux’s Sina Jina Collection, which will include around 70 pieces, will raise funds to support environmental and arts charities. Sina Jina is Swahili for a place with no name and the founding principle of the collection is supporting artists to continue to create pioneering art. The sale will offer works by El Anatsui, Ibrahim El-Salahi, Nicholas Hlobo, William Kentridge, Marcia Kure, Elias Sime, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and others and is expected to realise around £2 million. The selection ranges from installations, sculpture and painting to photography. The auction will be held alongside the 20th/21st Century evening sale and will be part of Christie’s Frieze Week programme.

    Robert Devereus began acquiring works for the Sina Jina Collection in the early 2000’s. This coincided with a seminal show, Africa Remix curated by Simon Niami, which toured to the Museum Kunst Palast, Dusseldorf, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo and Hayward Gallery, London.

    AN ARCHITECT EARL AND WILLIAM KENT CHAIRS

    Monday, August 22nd, 2022
    A set of 10 c1754-56 chairs attributed to Benjamin Goodison from the Ann and Gordon Getty Collection. © 2022 Visko Hatfield for Christie’s

    A magnificent set of 10 chairs, described by Christie’s as the apogee of Kentian design and the ultimate flowering of the Palladian aesthetic, will come to auction in New York on October 20.  They are by no means the most expensive lot from the Ann and Gordon Getty Collection to be sold over four evening and day auctions in New York from October 20 but there is an Irish connection. The c1754-56 chairs attributed to Benjamin Goodison are thought to be after a design by the architect designer William Kent.  The delicately pierced backs and Vitruvian scroll aprons refine the Palladian style promoted by the foremost classical furniture designer of the day.

    It was his friendship with Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington and 4th Earl of Cork (1694-1753)  that promoted Kent as a painter, architect and designer. Known as the architect earl Boyle is credited with bringing Palladian architecture to Ireland and Britain. Major projects include Burlington House, Piccadilly, London (now home to the Royal Academy), Westminster School, Chiswick House and Northwick Park.  Boyle’s professional skill as an architect was extraordinary as an Anglo-Irish aristocrat. Andrea Palladio’s Four Books of Architecture accompanied him on a tour of the Veneto in 1719.  Back in London he employed the Scottish architect Colen Campbell for Burlington House and William Kent was assigned the interiors. The courtyard prominently sited in Piccadilly was the first major executed statement of Neo-Palladianism. Thanks to the Earl of Cork Palladian architecture with its Roman and Greek influences had arrived in this part of the world. Meantime Kent’s Palladian residences with their fully designed interiors became a template for his contemporaries and subsequent generations.  The chairs are estimated at €490,000-€780,000.

    The Getty dining room in San Francisco © Christie’s Images Limited 2022

    The Ann and Gordon Getty Collection sale will offer almost 1,500 lots from their San Francisco residence, considered one of the finest interiors in the world. There are decorative and fine art masterpieces of unrivalled quality and provenance. The New York sales will be complemented by six online auctions of textiles, handbags and jewellery between October 10-25.Leading lots include  American painting, English and European furniture and Asian works of art. There are Impressionist pictures by  Claude Monet and Edgar Degas and Old Master paintings and drawings by  Bernardo Bellotto and Jean-Antoine Watteau.Beginning in September highlights will be exhibited in Shanghai, London, Los Angeles, Paris and New York. Twelve jewels by JAR from the estate of Ann Getty (who died in 2020) made $5.9 million at a sale of Magnificent Jewels by Christie’s in New York in June.Proceeds will benefit the couples foundation for the arts, which is dedicated to supporting arts and science organisations. Beneficiaries will include the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Symphony, University of San Francisco, Berkeley Geochronology Centre and the Leakey Foundation. 

    GOOD EVENING MR BOND, MR BOND, MR BOND

    Sunday, August 7th, 2022
    Sean Connery as James Bond in a Goldfinger poster (1964). © 1964 Danjaq, LLC and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

    Fast cars, beautiful women and no less than six James Bonds over a 60 year span add up to exciting sales with much to entice and  little not to like at Christie’s.  If your taste runs to Aston Martin stunt cars, a gold-plated and Swarovski-encrusted prop egg commissioned from Asprey in the style of Fabergé, a Q Jet boat or a five night stay at Goldeneye, Ian Fleming’s Jamaican villa, then these are the auctions for you. Villains, temptresses and heroes don’t come cheap but it is all for worthy causes with no less than 45 charities set to benefit.

    To mark the 60th anniversary of the James Bond films, Christie’s and EON Productions will hold an official two-part charity sale next month and into October.  There will be 60 lots to mark the sale of  Sixty Years of James Bond.The cream of the crop is at a live auction of 25 lots on September 28.  This will be by invitation only to bid in person in the room with fans and collectors able to bid online or on the telephone. The auction will comprise vehicles, watches, costumes and props associated with the 25th film No Time to Die.  The final six lots will celebrate each of the six actors who have played Bond: Sir Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Sir Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. Each lot will be sold to benefit a charity chosen personally by the respective actor or their estates. An online sale opens for bidding on September 15 and will run until James Bond Day on October 5. This will comprise 35 lots from the 25 films including posters, props, costumes, memorabilia and experiences.

    Daniel Craig driving  an Aston Martin DB5 stunt car. © 2021 Danjaq, LLC and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc

    A silver birch Aston Martin DB5 stunt car, one of eight stunt replicas built for the film No Time to Die and fitted with ‘Q Branch’ modifications is the top lot. As the only DB5 stunt car to be released for sale this ultimate Bond collector’s prize is estimated at £1,500,000-£2,000,000 (€1.79 million-€2.38 million). Proceeds will benefit  The Prince’s Trust in its work with young people and the Prince of Wales charitable fund support for former members of the three  intelligence agencies and UK special forces.Two further No Time to Die Aston Martins come up, a 1981 V8 driven by Daniel Craig and a DBS Superleggera special edition.  Two Land Rover Defenders and a Range Rover from the film will be offered along with a Jaguar XF featured in stunt scenes.  Memorabilia includes Omega watches, Primo’s bionic eyeball, a Tom Ford dinner suit worn by Craig to a SPECTRE party, a Navy tactical costume worn by Lashana Lynch as Nomi.A clapperboard signed by Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Daniel Craig, Lashana Lynch, Léa Seydoux, Ana de Armas, David Dencik, Dali Benssalah, Naomie Harris, Linus Sandgren, Billy Magnussen, Hans Zimmer, Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell will be sold to benefit  Medecins Sans Frontiers.  It is estimated at £5,000-£7,000 (€5,952-€8,333).The online sale includes an otherwise unobtainable Champagne Bollinger experience celebrating a 40 year partnership  of Bollinger as the official champagne of 007. Eurostar to Paris, lunch at the former home of Madame Bollinger  hosted by her great nephew Etienne Bizot, an overnight stay at the Hotel le Bristol in Paris and a 1985 poster for A View to a Kill.There is sheet music signed by Sir Paul McCartney for Live and Let Die, a drax crew belt buckle from Moonraker, a cello case sled from The Living Daylights, a Michael Kors satchel used by Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, a Day of the Dead Aztec skeleton puppet from Spectre and a clock used by Judi Dench as M with a nuclear locator card. The last three official Christie’s 007 auctions have raised over €6 million for charity.

    James Bond (Timothy Dalton) and Kara’s (Maryam D’Abo) cello case sled  THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS © 1987 Danjaq, LLC and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

    FIGHT AGAINST COVID TAKEN TO THE NFT MARKET AT CHRISTIE’S

    Tuesday, July 26th, 2022
    The University Of Pennsylvania mRNA NFT

    A breathtaking 3d digital work that takes the viewer to the molecular level, showing a cutting-edge mRNA vaccine fighting COVID-19, sold for $226,800 at Christie’s on July 25. The one-of-a-kind digital University of Pennsylvnia mRNA NFT was designed by the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Drew Weissman, whose groundbreaking research helped create mRNA vaccines. The NFT comes with a storyboard that explains what the NFT depicts, the University of Pennsylvania-owned mRNA patent documents, and an original letter from Dr. Weissman, whose research produced key innovations that made mRNA vaccines safer and more effective. Proceeds from the auction will support ongoing research activities at the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Medicine.

    MRNA vaccines are a new form of technology that has been science’s main tool to fight the COVID virus. Unlike traditional vaccines, which use a weakened or inactive germ to trigger an immune response, mRNA vaccines are designed to teach the body to create a protein that triggers the immune response. This one-of-a-kind NFT features a stunning one-minute 3D sequence that uses color, shape, movement, and sound to show mRNA encapsulated inside of lipid nanoparticles, administered via a vaccine, and working in the body to teach cells to create a protein to help the immune system to fight COVID.

    In its review of the first half of 2022 Christie’s reported that the market for NFT’s is facing its first real endurance test.  It amounted to just $4.75 million (€4.71 million) in the half year. Collectors are responding by selecting the best digital artists from the rest and consolidating around a group more likely to survive the tumult of the broader cryptocurrency markets.