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  • Posts Tagged ‘sotheby’s’

    NAPOLEON’S BICORNE ANYONE?

    Thursday, July 15th, 2021

    HIS time in power continues to fascinate generations later. Now Sotheby’s plans to commemorate the bicentenary of Napoleon Bonaparte’s death with an online auction in September dedicated to the Emperor whose extraordinary destiny continues to fascinate two hundred years after his passing. The sale will offer an extensive overview, with works spanning two centuries of art history and all fields: from 19th-century to contemporary art, sculpture, silverware, furniture, porcelain, jewellery and photography, as well as memorabilia of the Emperor and his loved ones.

    Among the most exciting lots in the sale is an emblematic bicorne, a hat that has become inextricably linked with Napoleon’s image. Only nineteen bicornes have been authenticated as having belonged to the Emperor, of which this is one, with a number in the collections of museums worldwide.

    Napoleon’s bicorne (€400,000-600,0000

    FIRST EDITION OF JOYCE’S DUBLINERS AT SOTHEBY’S, NEW YORK

    Monday, July 12th, 2021

    The first published edition of James Joyce’s Dubliners comes up at an online sale of Fine Books and Manuscripts at Sotheby’s in New York until July 16. One of a number of works by Joyce in the auction it is estimated at $80,000-$120,000. It is one of approximately 746 copies bound in the publisher’s maroon cloth, with the very rare dust-jacket. A ticket pasted to the rear states that it was de-acidified in 1989. Only six copies in jacket have appeared at auction in the past forty-five years. Sotheby’s say that despite the restorations noted, this is an attractive, near-fine copy.

    The sale offers first editions of A Portrait of the Artist and Ulysses by Joyce as well as a letter from Oscar Wilde to Aimee Daniell Beringer and a copy of Wilde’s A Woman of No Importance. The catalogue is online.

    UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $69.300

    AN EVENING WITH THE OLD MASTERS AT SOTHEBY’S

    Wednesday, July 7th, 2021

    The Old Masters evening sale takes place at Sotheby’s in London at 6 pm today. Here is a sneak preview of the some the highlights:

    THE EARLIEST FOOTBALL RULES BOOK TO BE OFFERED AT SOTHEBY’S

    Tuesday, July 6th, 2021

    One of only two known surviving copies of the earliest football rules printed by the world’s first football club, Sheffield Football Club, in 1859 comes up at Sotheby’s in July. The sixteen-page pamphlet, recently discovered bound in a Victorian scrapbook, is estimated to make £50,000-70,000 in London on July 20, with bidding open online from July 12-20. Established in 1857, Sheffield Football Club predated the founding of the Football Association by six years, and is acknowledged by both the FA and FIFA as the world’s oldest football club. The formal rule-based game of football was a Victorian innovation, incubated at public schools and universities. However, it was the foundation of Sheffield Football Club that brought the game into the community.

    This pamphlet is also uniquely revised to keep it up to date with developments in the laws of the game. The most significant is the hardening of the rules against handling the ball. The 1858 rules allowed the ball to be “pushed or hit with the hand” but not held (law 8), but in this copy a printed slip disallows “knocking or pushing [the ball] on”. A handwritten note finesses the throw-in, specifying that the ball must “touch the Ground before coming in Contact with any player” (law 10). A new law (law 12) is also added by hand, requiring that flags be placed four yards from each goal post (this was to allow a short-lived secondary scoring system called a rouge). These revisions must have been made before 1862, when the club issued a new rulebook that included these and other changes.

    This copy of the Sheffield FC rules was preserved in a scrapbook compiled by a local clergyman, the Rev. Greville John Chester (1830-92). The club’s historic archive was sold at Sotheby’s in 2011 for £881,000.

    UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £56,700

    ARUNDEL ZODIAC TO HIGHLIGHT SMALL WONDERS AT SOTHEBY’S

    Monday, July 5th, 2021

    One of the masterpieces of the Marlborough Collection, The Arundel Zodiac, a rare 16th-century astrological intaglio set in a virtuoso enameled gold pendant, will highlight Sotheby’s third Small Wonders auction online from July 9-15. The sales showcase early gems and jewels from the ancient world through to the early 19th century. The Arundel Zodiac was once in two of the greatest gem collections: the Arundel and Marlborough collections. Like most of the Arundel gems, it is likely to have once been owned by the Gonzaga dukes of Mantua. It  is centered by a rare 16th-century intaglio carved with Jupiter astride an eagle, flanked by Mars and Mercury, and Neptune underneath. The composition relates to a design by Raphael engraved by Marcantonio Raimondi. The whole is encircled by a frieze with the signs of the Zodiac. Only three such Zodiac gems exist from the period, in: the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg (inv. no. 3706); the Cabinet des medailles, formerly the French royal collection; and the present Arundel Zodiac which is estimated at £120,000-£180,000.

    Italian, circa 1540 | The Arundel Zodiac. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £559,500

    HONRESFIELD LIBRARY SALE AT SOTHEBY’S POSTPONED

    Thursday, June 17th, 2021

    The sale at Sotheby’s of the manuscripts, first editions, letters and bindings that make up the legendary Honresfield Library – assembled with passion by self-made Victorian industrialists William and Alfred Law at the turn of the 20th century – has been postponed. The Honresfield library contains a treasury of English and Scottish literature including the most important Bronte material to come to light in a generation. 

    Working together with the UK charity Friends of the National Library (FNL), Sotheby’s has agreed to postpone the commencement of the auctions to allow for negotiations for the entirety of the library to be acquired by a consortium of institutions for the nation. The FNL has launched an appeal with an additional donation from its own resources and will be working over the next months to fundraise with the public and private philanthropists. Institutions involved include the Bodleian Libraries, the British Library, The National Library of Scotland, Brontë Parsonage Museum, Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Brotherton Library (University of Leeds), Abbotsford (The Home Of Sir Walter Scott) and Jane Austen’s House, among others.

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for May 25, 2021)

    Walter Scott manuscript of The Lay of the Last Minstrel

    HOCKNEY PORTRAIT BY FREUD TO MAKE AUCTION DEBUT AT SOTHEBY’S

    Wednesday, June 16th, 2021

    Lucian Freud’s 2002 portrait of David Hockney will make its auction debut at Sotheby’s in London on June 29. Painted at the height of Freud’s career, this portrait of David Hockney provides a fascinating window into the narrative of a long episodic friendship that had started forty years earlier. During the spring and summer of 2002 the two titans of British art came together in a private exchange between artist and sitter. After more than a hundred hours of sittings, the result was one of the most masterful peer-to-peer portraits ever committed onto canvas. It will be a highlight at Sotheby’s British Art Evening Sale: Modern/Contemporary when it will be offered with an estimate of £8,000,000-12,000,000.

    Lucian Freud – David Hockney, oil on canvas, 2002. (£8-12 million) Copyright Sothebys. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £14,905,200

    WORLD WIDE WEB SOURCE CODE AT SOTHEBY’S NFT SALE

    Tuesday, June 15th, 2021

    The source code for the World Wide Web from their creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee are to be auctioned by Sotheby’s as an NFT. Unique on the Ethereum blockchain it is composed of four elements; the original time-stamped files containing the source code written by Sir Tim; an animated visualisation of the code; a letter written by Sir Tim reflecting on the code and the process of creating it ; as well as a digital “poster” of the full code created by Sir Tim from the original files. The British computer scientist invented the world wide web in 1989. The original time stamped files will be offered in a standalone auction titled ‘This Changed Everything’. It is the first historical artefact relating to this landmark moment to be sold. The online sale will run from June 23-30 with bidding starting at $1,000. The sale will benefit initiatives that Sir Tim and Lady Berners-Lee support. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $5.4 MILLION.

    Sir Tim Berners-Lee

    AN ORPEN INTERIOR AT SOTHEBY’S

    Monday, June 14th, 2021

    Interior by Sir William Orpen comes up as Lot 268 at Sotheby’s Modern and Post War British Art day sale in London from June 23-30. One of a group of exceptional interior paintings begun at 21 Fitzroy St., London in 1899-1901 it is estimated at £40,000-60,000. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    RUSSIAN WORKS OF ART AT SOTHEBY’S ONLINE SALE

    Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021

    An Important Imperial Presentation jewelled gold and guilloché enamel snuffbox, by workmaster Nikolai Chernokov, Bolin, St Petersburg, 1908-1917 comes up at Sotheby’s sale of Russian Works of Art, Fabergé & Icons which runs in London from today until June 9. It was presented to Vice Admiral Count Carl August Ehrensvärd (1858-1944) by Emperor Nicholas II during his state visit to Sweden in 1909 and is estimated at £200,000-300,000. The cypher of Emperor Nicholas II set with rose-cut diamonds is applied to the lid. The sale brings together an unprecedented group of imperial presentation pieces and a rare group of twenty-four Russian Military Orders from an Important Swiss Collection, including a rare Collar of the Order of St Andrew and a seldom seen diamond-set, silver-topped, gold-mounted and enamel Grand Cross set of insignia for the Order of St Catherine, circa 1890.

    The Imperial presentation snuff box