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    Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

    There was a world record for a print by Banksy at Christie’s London Editions sale today. His Balloon Girl – Colour AP (Purple) sold for £791,250 over a top estimate of £350,000. The Banksy I Can’t Believe You Morons Actually Buy This Sh*t sale was 100% sold by lot and brought in £2,121,250. This is the highest total achieved for a dedicated Banksy auction. The London Editions achieved a combined total of £4,374,125.

    Banksy’s Balloon Girl – Colour AP (Purple)

    Modern British Art sale at Christie’s

    Friday, September 18th, 2020

    Works from a range of Modern British masters, including Elisabeth Frink, Bridget Riley, Graham Sutherland, Patrick Caulfield, Henry Moore and Walter Sickert come up at Christie’s Modern British Art sale on September 29. Irish art is represented by sculpture by F.E. McWilliam and paintings and drawings by Augustus John, William Orpen, Mary Swanzy and James Humbert Craig.

    Mary Swanzy, H.R.H.A. (1882-1978)
    Pink-roofed town, France (£6,000-8,000).


    Tuesday, September 15th, 2020

    Dolly Parton’s Swarovski-crystal bedazzled four-string dulcimer will lead an online only charity auction at Christie’s. Entitled “NASHVILLE: An Auction to benefit ACM Lifting Lives® COVID-19 Response Fund” it will lead a sale with items donated by some of the biggest names in country music including Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Marty Stuart, Bernie Taupin and Trisha Yearwood. The dulcimer has been owned by Dolly Parton for 30 years and was used to play “Jolene” during her 50th Anniversary performance at the Grand Ole Opry in 2019. It is estimated at $50,000-100,000.

    ACM Lifting Lives® is the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music dedicated to improving lives through the power of music. Through partnerships with artists and strong ties in the music industry it funds music health programs and serves members of the music community who face unexpected hardship.

    Dolly Parton performing with the dulcimer at her 50th Anniversary concert at the Grand Ole Opry / © Grand Ole Opry | Photo by Chris Holl


    Sunday, September 6th, 2020

    Listed as one of the hundred greatest punchers of all time the career of Tom Sharkey – born in Dundalk in 1873 – is recalled in Stag at Sharkey’s by George Bellows at Christie’s. The lithograph from the collection of media and entertainment magnate Jerry Perenchio is among the lots at A California Life at Christie’s online until September 17. Tom Sharkey ran away from home, went to sea as a cabin boy and joined the US Navy aged 19.  He is credited with winning 40 fights and introducing boxing to the navy.  Known as Sailor Tom he fought twice with heavyweight champion Jim Jeffries. They became friends and business partners in Sharkeys, an athletic club on Columbus Avenue in New York.  In 1909, when this work was completed, prizefighting was illegal and saloons like this, which did a booming business, were the equivalent of Prohibition’s speakeasies. Fighters were known as stags. Bellows, whose studio was nearby, was a leading exponent of the Ashcan School, known for depicting scenes of daily life in New York city.Perenchio, who sold his Univision Communications for $13.5 billion in 2007, was the promoter of the 1971 title fight between Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier, launched Elton John’s career in the US in 1970 and produced Driving Miss Daisy. He was a philanthropist whose bequest of European art masterworks will anchor the new permanent building at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, set to open in 2023. His collection at two landmark sales now running online features European furniture and ceramics, prints, Old Master drawings, sculpture, Chinese ceramics and works of art, silver, carpets and memorabilia.

    A Stag at Sharkey’s by George Bellows ($60,000-$80,000). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $52,500.


    Thursday, September 3rd, 2020

    Jackson Pollock’s Red Composition will highlight Christie’s evening sale of 20th/21st century art in New York on October 6. This early seminal and painting dates to the end of 1946. It is among the first paintings in which Pollock freed paint from the interference of his brush, allowing it to take on its own form and in the process become a manifestation of true abstraction.

    It is being sold by the Everson Museum in Syracuse, New York, as part of a larger museum commitment to refine and diversify its collection and establish a fund for future acquisitions of artworks by artists of colour, women artists, and other under-represented emerging and mid-career artists. The decision to sell is in keeping with guidelines established by the American Alliance of Museums and has the support of the Board of Trustees of the Museum as well as the foundation established by Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman who donated the work in 1991. 

    Red Composition first belonged to the legendary dealer and gallery owner Peggy Guggenheim, one of Jackson Pollock’s earliest an patrons. Guggenheim gave it to Jimmy Ernst, son of Surrealist painter Max Ernst, in 1947. Ernst Senior was married to Guggenheim between 1941 and 1946. Early in the 1950’s it was acquired by New York businessman Marshall Reisman and his wife Dorothy and in their personal collection for over forty years until it was donated in 1991 to the Everson Museum. It is estimated at $12-18 million.

    JACKSON POLLOCK (1912-1956)
    Red Composition


    Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020

    More than 30 donated artworks are under the hammer at an online charity auction at Christie’s until September 16. The Marie Curie great summer art auction – in aid of the UK charity which offers care and support to the terminally ill – was originally to have been held at the Royal Academy. Artists featured include Guy Allen, Darren Baker, Diana Bourne-Arton, Tim Bulmer, Sir Hugh Casson CH PRA KCVO, Simon Chalmers MA, Sophie M Cook, Haydn Cottam, Phoebe Cripps, Hugh Fairfax, Jeanette Hayes PPS, Dora Bertolutti Howard, Professor Ken Howard OBE RA RWS NEAC, Nicky Leigh, Radu Leon, Mollie Lord MB ChB hons DCH, Annabel Menheneott, Connor McIntyre, Professor Chris Orr MBE RA, Moira Purver SWA, Dr Barbara Rae CBE RA RSA RE, Paul Rafferty, Hildegarde Reid, Carolina Rubio-Bowater, Laura Stadtegger, Joan Steel, Tania Still, Piran Strange, Alice Timmis MA RCA, Penelope Timmis SWA ARBSA RSA, Laura Wallace and Roger Zogolovitch RIBA.

    Paul Rafferty, Life Guard – Cannes 2018 (£1,500-2,500)


    Tuesday, September 1st, 2020

    A two part landmark online auction of the collection of media magnate Jerry Perenchio opens at Christie’s today and continues until September 16/17. European furniture and ceramics, prints, old master drawings, sculpture, Chinese ceramics and works of art, silver, carpets, and memorabilia are curated across two themed online auctions. More than 400 lots with estimates from $500-$100,000 are on offer. The chairman and ceo of Univision assembled one of the most pre-eminent collections of Impressionist Art in the US. He bequeathed most of his collection to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

    The Salon at Chartwell, Perenchio’s Californian home


    Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

     A new global auction calendar has been added to the traditional Fall auction series by Christie’s. This follows the success of ONE, the $420 million live streamed global relay auction in July. The new calendar features a mid autumn marquee week of evening and day sales in New York ahead of the traditional November auctions and a synchronised series of sales in London and Paris devoted to the best of 20th and 21st century art. These will be conducted live and live streamed from the Rockefeller galleries on October 6 and 7. London and Paris auctions will be live streamed on October 22 and 23.

    The October New York sales will offer extraordinary examples of Impressionist, Modern, Post-War and Contemporary art, led by Paul Cézanne’s Nature morte avec pot au lait, melon et sucrier, a watercolor still life from the collection of the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan. The still life, which dates to 1900-1906, was acquired by Edsel Ford in 1933. In the region of $25 million, Nature morte avec pot au lait, melon et sucrier is the finest watercolor by the artist to come to auction in over thirty years.

     Paul Cézanne, Nature morte avec pot au lait, melon et sucrier
    watercolor over pencil on paper, Painted in 1900-1906.


    Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

    THE sale of James and Marilynn Alsdorf’s private collection of Asian art is at Christie’s in New York on September 24. The connoisseurship of this Chicago couple is widely recognised. They spent their 38-year marriage building a wide-ranging collection marked by both quality and diversity. For the Alsdorfs, collecting represented the opportunity for exploration, adventure and pursuit of beauty, extending from the art-filled rooms of their Chicago residence to China and India.

    They gifted and lent hundreds of works to the Art Institute of Chicago where he served as chairman from 1975-78 and she served for a time as president of the museum Women’s Board. In 1997, Mrs. Alsdorf presented the AIC with 400 works of Indian, Himalayan, and Southeast Asian art. Less than a decade later she supported the Renzo Piano-designed renovation of what are now the Alsdorf Galleries for Indian, Himalayan, and Southeast Asian Art. The collection will be sold across two sale sessions on September 24, with a complementary online auction from September 4 to 29.


    SOUTH INDIA, TAMIL NADU, CHOLA PERIOD, CIRCA 1050 ($1-1.5 million)


    Friday, August 14th, 2020

    Michael Jordan is rapidly becoming the ultimate collectible. A pair of his game worn sneakers has just sold for $615,000 at Christie’s. The game worn Air Jordan I Highs broke a record set in May when another pair of his sneakers sold for $560,000. The online sale of Jordan’s game worn and player exclusive rarities realised $931,875.

    Meantime the historic rookie NBA official Chicago Bulls game jersey presented to Michael Jordan will come up at Julien’s in Hollywood next December 4 with an estimate of $200,000-400,000. Regarded as the greatest basketball player of all time Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships and won the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award in each of those championships.

    (See post on for August 2, 2020)