In The News
The Noble Jewels session on the 15th May is led by the sensational Beau Sancy diamond, a stone of supreme historical importance with an impeccable royal provenance stretching back to Marie de Medici; also featured is the Murat tiara commissioned by Prince Alexandre Murat in 1920 from Chaumet and set with one of the largest natural pearls ever recorded. Enjoying similarly illustrious provenance is a selection of jewels from the collection of a member of the Princely Family of Thurn und Taxis, the collection of the late Prince Kinsky, and the collection of Prince Filippo Corsini to name but a few.
The Magnificent Jewels section features a superb emerald and diamond necklace by Bulgari as well as impressive D colour, Internally Flawless diamonds. Leading this group is an exceptional 36.43 carat modified oval step‐cut, Type IIa, diamond ring by Harry Winston, and a very fine 21.88 carat pear-shaped diamond ring by Van Cleef & Arpels. Also D colour are a 22.10 carat, Potentially Flawless, diamond ring, and a highly important diamond necklace supporting a 41.40 carat, VVS2 clarity, pear-shaped stone.
Coming to auction alongside the Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale is an important private collection of fine jewels and gemstones. Assembled by two generations of a discerning family, from the mid-1960s until the present day, this collection is a celebration of taste, style and colour. Comprising over 75 pieces, it reflects the passion for gemstones that animated the family for 50 years, while also featuring jewels signed by the greatest makers of the 20th century, including Bulgari, Cartier, Harry Winston and Van Cleef and Arpels.
In 1958, Sotheby’s pioneered the modern auction market with the sale of The Goldschmidt Collection, the first evening auction of Impressionist & Modern Art. Since this landmark auction, Sotheby’s has offered the finest European paintings, sculptures and works on paper from the 19th century to beyond the post–Second World War period. Sales typically include masterworks by artists such as Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Gustav Klimt, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Edvard Munch, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Vincent van Gogh.
Sotheby’s international team features internationally recognised specialists whose tenure and experience is unmatched by those at any other firm and includes former museum curators and dealers. Our specialists work in tandem with their colleagues around the world to source the most compelling works for our high-profile auctions and deliver strong returns to consignors. Their efforts and passion have attracted buyers from more than 60 countries to our recent sales, resulting in record prices and historic sales, including two prices in excess of $100 million.
Sotheby’s Evening Sale of Contemporary Art on 9 May 2012 will feature Roy Lichtenstein’s Sleeping Girl from 1964 (36 x 36 in., 91.5 x 91.5 cm) – one of the high-points of the artist’s comic book inspired paintings and an icon of Post-War American art. The sexy blonde women of the comic book series are not only one of the most instantly recognizable icons of the Pop Art movement but continue the long, rich tradition of artists’ celebrations of the sleeping female form. Paintings from this series are featured in the collections of major institutions throughout the world, such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and this work has remained in private hands for the past 48 years. Sleeping Girl is estimated to sell for $30/40 million and will be shown in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, London and New York prior to the auction on 9 May.
Sleeping Girl has not appeared on the market since it was purchased by noted West Coast collectors and philanthropists Beatrice and Phillip Gersh, from the Ferus Gallery in 1964. The Gershes were founding members of The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (MOCA) and part of a distinguished group of collectors who established the modern and contemporary art scene in the region. Their commitment to supporting the arts in Los Angeles is evidenced in part by their generous donations of several major works to MOCA including Cubi III (1961), a stainless steel sculpture by David Smith and Jackson Pollock’s seminal painting Number 3, 1948 (1948), both of which are currently on view at MOCA as part of A Tribute to Beatrice and Philip Gersh: Gifts to The Museum of Contemporary Art through 27 February 2012. Passionate collectors, they rarely loaned their works to museum exhibitions, preferring to keep them at home, and in the 48 years since its purchase, Sleeping Girl has been exhibited only once, in the 1989/90 Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles exhibition Selections from the Beatrice and Philip Gersh Collection.
Sotheby’s London – From the Collection of Prince and Princess Henry De la Tour d’ Auvergne LauraguaisMay 2nd, 2012 by admin
The history of the de La Tour d’Auvergne Lauraguais family is a long and distinguished one. Related by marriage to the noblest dynasties in France, it is one of only six families (alongside the houses of Savoie, Lorraine, Grimaldi, Rohan and La Tremoille) to be granted the rights and privileges accorded to foreign princes.
The collection of Prince and Princess Henry de La Tour d’Auvergne Lauraguais includes a breadth of items, from very fine Neo-classical and Empire furniture, headlined by a magnificent gilt-bronze mounted amaranth and tulipwood secrétaire by Joseph, circa 1770, to the finest collection of 18th century scagliola to appear at auction.
A selection of other items integral to the daily lives of this great aristocratic family include: porcelain, silver, glass, linen, jewellery, clocks, objets de vertu and paintings and in addition, medals, orders and Cardinal’s regalia.
Session Two presents the important collection of books, manuscripts and livres d’artistes, including books from the library at Château de Rochecotte of celebrated designer and architect Emilio Terry (1890- 1969), maternal uncle and mentor of Prince Henry.
The Day Sale of watches at Sotheby’s Geneva brings to light some important historical and technical pieces. Primary among them is a section of Breguet timepieces signed by the company’s founder, Abraham Louis Breguet, one of the fathers of modern horology. These are joined by a selection also of rare complicated watches made by Houriet and his pupils considered today as the fathers of Swiss chronometry. A dedicated section on complicated pocket watches also illustrates the evolution and construction of the tourbillon device with various examples by English, German and Swiss watchmakers.
The large selection and variety in this sale of Important Watches will also include some exquisite examples of enamel and automaton watches, the Chapiro Collection of antique watches and some important and rare examples of sports watches by Rolex as well as complicated timepieces by Patek Philippe
On May 10th, Sotheby’s new sale of British & Irish Art will take place in London with dedicated sections for Victorian, Early 20th Century, Sporting & Marine, Scottish and Irish Art. The sale has brought together an outstanding collection of drawings, watercolours, oil paintings and sculpture that celebrates the distinct character of British and Irish art. We hope this fresh approach will both answer the demand of new buyers who collect across a variety of genres and engage collectors worldwide.
Each section features superb examples, with sale highlights including John O’Connor’s dramatic London view, Ludgate, Evening (lot 4), Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s powerful and passionate Joan of Arc (lot 11), Arthur Hughes’ The Birthday Picnic (lot 17), a portrait commission that displays the artist at his most original and accomplished, and Edmund Blair Leighton’s monumental God Speed (lot 26). Sir Alfred Munnings leads the Early 20th Century and Sporting sections with Somwhere the Sun is Shining (lot 54) and Portrait of William Waldorf, 2nd Viscount Astor on Bill’s Simondale II (lot 82). Scottish Art is strongly represented by the Colourists, led by Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell’s modern masterpiece, The Red Fan (lot 106), alongside fine examples by traditional and contemporary artists. Sir William Orpen’s stunning Portrait of Rose, Fourth Marchioness of Headfort (lot 136), with its pendant Geoffrey, Fourth Marquis of Headfort (lot 137), recall an enduring love-story that captivated Edwardian Britain, emerging here on the market for the first time. Further Irish highlights include paintings by Jack Butler Yeats, Louis le Brocquy and Roderic O’Conor amongst a broad offering of works featuring the best of past and contemporary artists.