Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
  • About Des
  • Contact
  • Posts Tagged ‘Christie’s’


    Sunday, June 7th, 2020

    Change is gathering pace in the global art market.  The restrictions wrought by pandemic has forced the market to adapt in all sorts of inventive ways. ONE: A global sale of the 20th Century is a new auction event at Christie’s on July 10.  Using streaming technology Christie’s will hold a relay style auction of Impressionist and Modern, Post War and Contemporary art and design across four time zones.  The aim is to create an engaging platform for selling major works of art  to a global audience. With $20-30 million works like Picasso’s Les femmes d’Alger Version F, Lichtenstein’s monumental Nude with joyous painting and Ed Ruscha’s Annie all available this amounts to a further blurring of the line between digital and live sales. There will be four consecutive sessions in Hong Kong, Paris, London and New York. It will replace New York’s 20th Century evening sale originally scheduled for June 22.
    In this brave new topsy turvy world Oliver Barker, an auctioneer at Sotheby’s, will take to the rostrum in London on June 29 to conduct an auction in New York. This digital auction, live streamed in high definition around the world, will allow bidders participate by phone or online, in a sale of Contemporary Art immediately followed by the Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale.  These big ticket sales at Sotheby’s were originally scheduled for New York in May.  Works can be viewed online from June 8 or by appointment at Sotheby’s Manhattan galleries. Francis Bacon’s 1981 “Triptych inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus” is estimated to make at least $60 million.  Bacon’s theme of divine punishment is taken from Aeschylus’s most famous trilogy The Oresteia in which Clytemnestra murders her husband Agamemnon in revenge for the sacrifice of their daugher Iphigenia.  When Orestes finds out he kills his mother to avenge his fathers death, provoking the avenging Furies who drive Orestes insane as a punishment. At times like this the highest levels of the art market tend to be best insulated against price drops largely because sellers at these stratified levels can afford to hold back. There was a 5% drop in the global art market last year, representing a $3.3 billion drop in sales over the stellar year of 2018.  Digital sales by major auction houses so far this year have been highly successful with many lots going over estimate.  Expectations are high.

    Roy Lichtenstein – Nude with joyous painting. UPDATE: THIS MADE $46,242,500


    Friday, May 22nd, 2020

    Before television and the internet dominated news and entertainment, popular culture was propagated largely through illustrated magazines. Christie’s is running an online private selling exhibition, The Art of the Cover until June 19. It features some of America’s most loved illustration artists and explores how they created a visual narrative of modern American life in the first decades of the 20th century. Among the 23 lots are works by Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth, George Hughes and Joseph Kernan. The price ranges from under $100,000 to over $5 million.

    Garth Montgomery Williams (1912-1996) – Cover for Charlotte’s Web (a pair)


    Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

    ONE: A global sale of the 20th century at Christie’s on July 10 is a new auction event offering Impressionist and Modern, Post-War and Contemporary art and Design. With streaming technology the first of its kind relay-style auction will take place in real time across the time zones from four of the art world’s major hubs: Hong Kong, Paris, London and New York. The sale will offer a range of exceptional works over four consecutive sessions led by principle auctioneers in each region, starting in Hong Kong. 

    The new format aims to create an adaptable, inclusive and engaging selling platform to present important works of art to global bidders.  Presented to both in-person and online audiences, the event will capture the excitement and drama of the gala evening sale, while offering access regionally and the accessibility of the online platform. It will replace the New York 20th Century Evening sale previously scheduled for the week of June 22.

    Pablo Picasso’s Les femmes d’Alger (version ‘F’), 17 January 1955 (estimate in the region of US$25 million) will highlight the group of works being sold in New York. It is from the series of fifteen canvases based on Eugène Delacroix’s masterwork Les femmes d’Alger executed between 13 December 1954 and 14 February 1955. Version F was painted around the halfway point in the cycle. 

    Pablo Picasso – Les femmes d’Alger (version ‘F’). UPDATE: THIS MADE $29,217,500


    Saturday, May 16th, 2020

    The onward march of the virtual world in this new era of online auctions, pent up demand and postponed sales cannot be overstated.  Some of the rapid adjustments made in this time of pandemic are temporary, others will prove to be far more permanent.Just a few short months ago at the beginning of the year the idea of conducting a sale with no option to view physically would have been beyond the imaginings of many. Now they are not only commonplace, but working. At a time when traditional viewing is out of the question auctioneers are finding new and imaginative ways to sell.Take Christie’s, currently running a sale called The Collector online until June 1. This 264 lot auction with estimates from £200 to £35,000 is focused on bringing craft and design us in lockdown. To promote the auction of English and European furniture, silver, ceramics, gold boxes and works of art from the 17th to the 19th century, they have created a series of virtual viewing viewing rooms filled with the lots on offer. These virtual vignettes are designed to inspire the inner interior decorator unleashed by all this enforced time at home.  Head of sale Paul Gallois commented:  “During this unprecedented period in our lives, whilst a great many are spending more time than ever at home, interiors have become a major focus of comfort, familiarity and aesthetic expression.”


    Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

    The largest D colour diamond ever offered online will come up at a sale at Christie’s from June 16-30. The spectacular diamond ring of 28.86 carats, D color, VVS1 clarity is estimated at $1-2million. This is the highest valued lot ever offered for sale online at Christie’s. The shape of the stone, the emerald-cut, is one of the oldest diamond shapes with stylistic origins tracing back to the 1500’s. During the Art Deco movement in the 1920’s the cut was modernised based on a shape initially created for emeralds and the style rose to popularity.

    For the first part of 2020 Christie’s has witnessed unprecedented engagement from clients participating in online sales from over 150 countries with new registrants as high as 80% for select sales. In particular, strong results were achieved for Jewels Online sales with sell-through rates ranging from 89% through 99% with overall sale totals achieving double their pre-sale estimates.

    The 28.86 carat diamond


    Thursday, April 30th, 2020

    The fifth largest piece of the moon known on earth – larger than any returned by the Apollo Programme – is on offer for private sale at Christie’s. Found in the Sahara Desert two years ago NWA 12691 is valued in the region of £2 million. Weighing over 13.5 kg the specimen is available for immediate purchase via Christie’s Private Sales.

    Lunar meteorites arrived on Earth after having been blasted off the lunar surface by the collision with an asteroid or comet. All of the Moon’s large craters were created by such  impacts. This particular meteorite was part of a large meteorite shower straddling the Western Saharan, Algerian and Mauritanian borders, responsible for nearly half of all known lunar meteorites. Approximately 30 different meteorites were  collected, analysed, classified and assigned different NWA numbers in the belief they might be from different events and represent different lunar samples; but it has been determined that they all originate from the same lunar impact.

    Christie’s will also offer for private sale a group of 13 aesthetic iron meteorites. Shaped by forces terrestrial and extra-terrestrial, this group of natural sculptures forms one of the most important collections of aesthetic iron meteorites in private hands. The collection, estimated in the region of £1.4 million, is available now.

    NWA 12691 — The Fifth Largest Piece Of The Moon On Earth, Lunar Feldspathic Breccia, 13.535kg, Sahara Desert, Western Sahara


    Tuesday, April 21st, 2020

    As collectors spend more time online enjoying, learning about, and buying the art and objects they love, Christie’s has significantly expanded its online-only sale offerings across numerous collecting categories, including new themed sales of contemporary art. Among the sales launching globally across the company in April and May are Andy Warhol: Better Days, a fundraising auction to help provide emergency relief to artists throughout the U.S. and HANDPICKED: 100 Works Selected by the Saatchi Gallery.

    Christie’s will open a new batch of online-only sales for bidding on a weekly basis, with each timed auction ranging from 14 to 21 days. The number of sales planned for the second quarter will continue to grow, leveraging the remote sale administration capabilities of Christie’s teams in New York, London, Paris and Hong Kong.

    Newly scheduled sales span 20th Century art, Asian Art, Decorative Arts, Photography, Science and Natural History, as well as Jewels, Watches, and Handbags. In 2019, Christies attracted over 13.3 million visitors worldwide and 41% of new buyers came in through online sales.

    Andy Warhol, Ocean View, 1975 / Andy Warhol and Henry Geldzahler, 1979 / unique Polaroid prints


    Saturday, March 28th, 2020

    The show must go on but not in all circumstances.  At home and abroad many sales are being postponed and rescheduled.  Among the postponements last week was Sotheby’s much vaunted London sale of the Patrick Kelly Collection from 44 Fitzwilliam Square in Dublin. This was a loss and the sense of disappointment was palpable but the auction will no doubt eventually go ahead.The sale of Important Irish Art at James Adam was postponed last week and among the auctions not going ahead in the coming week are sales at Lynes and Lynes in Carrigtwohill, Mullen’s Collectors Cabinet sale at Laurel Park in Bray and a planned sale of pub memorabilia at Victor Mee’s in Co. Cavan. These auctions are set up and ready to go at a moments notice whenever the all clear is given.  Even where an auction is scheduled to go ahead right now it is advisable to check at the last minute before travelling. All sales at Bonhams are postponed until April 21, there is a revised schedule at Christie’s, Sotheby’s has reduced the schedule, all auctions at James Adam in Dublin are temporarily postponed and Fonsie Mealy is open by appointment only.  Whyte’s offices are closed but business continues behind closed doors and this is the case with many leading auctioneering firms right now.


    Friday, March 20th, 2020

    The first phase of a global review to revise the Spring and Summer auction schedule in the Americas and Europe at Christie’s has been completed. In Hong Kong, the Spring Asian Art and Luxury sales currently remain scheduled to take place from May 30 to June 3.

    Christie’s will consolidate international 20th Century auctions into one week in one location, New York, scheduled to take place from June 23-28. In Geneva, the Luxury Week is scheduled for June 29 to 1 July. In London, Classic Week including Old Master Paintings and the Exceptional Sale, remain scheduled for July 6 to July 17. These dates may be subject to change based on the relevant advice and the recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO).


    Saturday, February 8th, 2020

    Hockney, Klein, Bacon, Warhol  and Basquiat are among the artists whose work will loom large at major contemporary art evening sales at Christie’s and Sotheby’s in London next week.At this moment of uncertainty and unease about the future there is no shortage of rich pickings for wealthy and institutional collectors. Sotheby’s has Hockney’s The Splash and one of Yves Klein’s first performance paintings, Christie’s has Andy Warhol’s Athletes.The Splash, featured on these pages two weeks ago, is the standout work at Sotheby’s evening sale of 47 works next Tuesday evening.  Estimated at £20-30 million it is the second in a series of three splash paintings that secured Hockey’s international reputation. Like Hockney’s splash Turning Figure by Francis Bacon, estimated at £6-8 million, contrasts an explosion of movement with a background that is utterly still.There is a similar estimate on Yves Klein’s Untitled Anthropometry, a work created during one of Klein’s first art performances at his Paris studio in 1960.  During the show Klein instructed nude female models coated in his patented blue IKB pigment to press their bodies against large sheets of paper.  Transforming the human figure into a living brush this work is considered rare for its grand scale and the inclusion of two full figures.  There are notable works on offer from artists like Jean Michel Basquiat, Cecily Brown, Damien Hirst, KAWS, Roy Lichtenstein, Kerry James Marshall, Grayson Perry, Gerhard Richter, Bridget Riley and others.At Christie’s on Wednesday evening a Warhol of Mohammed Ali is estimated at £3-5 million. From the collection of Richard L. Weisman Warhol’s Athletes is comprised of ten multicoloured portraits of stars like Pele, Chris Evert, O.J. Simpson and Jack Nicklaus. Ali dates to 1977.  The series is presented at Christie’s alongside Flowers from 1964 (£1-1.5 million), Warhol’s Knives (£2.5-3.5 million) and Brillo Soap Pads Box (£300,000-500,000).Jean Dubuffet’s Panorama, 1978 (£2-3 million) is an example of his theatres of memory, a reflective series created in the last decade of the artist’s life.  It is one of three works by Dubuffet in the sale. Albert Oehlen’s Mission Rohrfrei (£1.8-2.5 million) from 1996 is among the most abstract and explosive of his Remixes derived from Oehlen’s obsession with an obscure painting by John Grahama largely forgotten figure who played an important role in Surrealist and Abstract Expressionist circles in mid-century America.

    Untitled Anthropometry by Yves Klein at Sotheby’s . UPDATE: THIS MADE £6.1 MILLION
    Panorama by Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) at Christie’s . UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £2.1 MILLION