"I find Bouguereau to be particularly engaging for me personally and have chosen to hold on to a smaller piece to carry with me throughout the years," said Demi Moore in a press release. "I love his combination of mythological themes, classical subjects and his photo realistic style. There is a gentleness, a serenity, particularly in his depiction of women, combined with incredible strength that has inspired me. I have owned these paintings, both the Bouguereau and Stevens, for 15 years and although I adore them, with the renovation and new direction our home is taking, it is time for a change. I am excited for a new owner to be able to share in the joy these paintings have brought us."
The November 4 auction offers 82 works with an overall pre-sale estimate of $20/30 million. The sale is timed to coincide with Sotheby's auction of Impressionist & Modern Art. Other highlights of the auction include The Finding of Moses, which stands as one of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema's greatest masterpieces (estimated at $3/5 million), two excellent portraits by leading Italian Impressionist Giovanni Boldini, and important works by influential Orientalist, Sporting, French, Spanish and Polish artists. The works will be on exhibition in New York beginning October 29 in advance of the sale.
Filed under: Jewelry
The world's most expensive bottle of whisky, a one-of-a-kind crystal Lalique decanter holding the oldest and rarest Macallan single malt ever (above), will be auctioned off by Sotheby's in New York on November 15 for an estimated $150,000 or more. The Macallan in Lalique Cire Perdue, which we previewed back in April, is filled with 64 years and older Macallan single malt Scotch, vatted together from three sherry seasoned Spanish oak casks. The famed Speyside distillery commissioned the legendary crystal artisan to create the decanter using the ancient "cire perdue" or "lost wax" method. Painstakingly hand crafted by Lalique exclusively for The Macallan, and inspired by the beauty of The Macallan's 150 hectare estate in north-eastern Scotland, it's based upon a ship's decanter of the 1820s. Proceeds from the historic sale will be donated to charity: water, a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.
Fine art formerly owned by Lehman Brothers brought in $12.28 million at Sotheby's New York on Saturday, September 25. The money will be a drop in the bucket toward the more than 600 billion dollars owed to creditors of Lehman Brothers, which declared bankruptcy on that fateful day back in 2008, causing global financial panic. The AFP reports that the sale set 17 records for artists, including Julie Mehretu, whose painting "Untitled 1," shown above, sold for $1,022,500, sailing over the estimate of $600,000-800,000. One lot that failed to sell was an early piece by British art darling Damien Hirst.
Filed under: Wine
When Sotheby's first started wine auctions in New York in 1994, state law required auction houses to partner with a store that had held a state liquor license for 10 years. Decanter reports that Sotheby's first partner was Sherry-Lehmann. When that relationship ended in late 1999, Sothebys found another licensee and the resulting store was named Aulden Cellars.
The online store can ship to around half of the U.S. There are plans to expand the concept to other locations if the Sotheby's Wine shop is a success.
In the annals of jewelry collecting there are few with the taste and means to purchase like the late Wallis Warfield Simpson. When King Edward VIII proposed to the twice-divorced American socialite he caused a royal scandal. The man who give up his kingdom for love never stopped lavishing his wife with jewelry. It's been 23 years since the auction of the Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor and now Sotheby's will offer twenty pieces for sale in London on November 30. The total sale is expected to bring in around £3 million ($4.582 million). Shown above is a diamond bracelet by Cartier, that once belonged to Wallis Simpson displayed in front of a Cecil Beaton portrait of her. The bracelet is expected to raise 350,000-450,000 pounds.
A J.M.W. Turner painting, "Modern Rome – Campo Vaccino" sold at auction on Wednesday for $45.1 million, setting a new record for the artist. At Sotheby's London six bidders pursued the painting driving the price well above pre-sale expectations. The price beat the old record set in April 2006 at Christie's in New York when an 1841 view of Venice, "Giudecca, La Donna della Salute and San Giorgio," sold for $35.9 million.
"Modern Rome – Campo Vaccino" was painted in 1839 and is his final painting of Rome, a culmination of all of the studies that he made during his two visits to the Italian capital. Before Wednesday's sale, the painting had only appeared on the open market once in the 171 years since it was painted. It was offered for sale by a descendant of the 5th Earl of Rosebery; the 5th Earl of Rosebery had bought the painting in 1878, while on honeymoon with his wife Hannah Rothschild. The painting was most recently displayed at the National Gallery of Scotland where it was on long-term loan. It will continue to have a museum life, the new owner is the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
The painting was the top-selling lot in Sotheby's summer Evening Sale of Old Master & British Paintings, which had a total of £53,484,350 (pre-sale expectations were £33.8-49.6 million).
Filed under: Auctions
A massive silver wine cooler fetched a high price at a recent Sotheby's London auction. The cooler was considered to be the most important piece of English silver to come to the market in 50 years and weighs in at a hefty 168 pounds. The piece which measures more than a meter across was sold to a private Asian buyer during Sotheby's sale of "Treasures," a carefully curated 21-lot sale brought in £13,951,250 / $21,177,998 (skimming over the high end of the pre-sale estimate of £8,790,000 - £13,430,000). The Great Silver Wine Cistern made for Thomas Wentworth sold for £2,505,250 beating the pre-sale estimate of £1.5-2.5 million and setting a new record price for English Silver at auction.
An Italian ivory inlaid rosewood table made for the Duke of Urbino Francesco Maria II Della Rovere circa 1596-7, and subsequently part of the collection of the Medici family, sold for £937,250. An amber box bearing the arms of Prince William IV of Orange and Anne, Princess Royal of Great Britain, North German, circa 1734, realized £657,250 over double the high estimate if £300,000. Even more impressive, a set of three ivory painted and parcel-gilt Royal Pliants by Jean-Baptiste-Claude Séné (1748-1803) made for Queen Marie Antoinette's Salon des Jeux at the Châteaux of Compiègne and Fontainebleau, Louis XVI, circa 1786-87, took in £541,250 against an estimate of £150,000-250,000.
Mario Tavella, Sotheby's Deputy Chairman Europe and the specialist in charge of the sale said: "Today's very successful results represent a fantastic achievement in the field of decorative arts. These extraordinarily rare Treasures with highly desirable aristocratic provenance sparked competition from private collectors and institutional buyers alike as well as the trade and there was bidding and buying from Europe, the United States, Russia, Asia and the Middle East."
Sotheby's London held its Summer Sale of Contemporary Art on Monday, hitting a solid, if not sky-high total of £41,091,800 ($61,806,176) which was within pre-sale expectations of £38,330,000- 52,830,000. The total was the third highest total for a Summer Sale of Contemporary Art at Sotheby's London and represented a 60 percent increase over the equivalent sale last year. Yves Klein's RE 49, Relief Eponge Bleu, which was from the collection of HVB Group, the German banking unit of UniCredit SpA, sold for 6.2 million pounds. A 1964 Richter painting, "Neger (Nuba)," sold for 3.7 million pounds against a low estimate of 3.5 million pounds. Concetto Spaziale, La Fine di Dio by Lucio Fontana sold for £4,745,250 ($7,137,331) against an estimate of £4.5-5.5 million.The sale had sell-through rates of 83% by lot and 87.3% by value with 45.4% of the sold lots selling above their pre-sale high estimates.
Usually Monet's waterlilies paintings are hot sellers but Claude Monet's 1906 painting "Nympheas" failed to sell during an auction of Impressionist and Modern Art at Christie's London on June 23, 2010. Monet's work was estimated at 30 million pounds to 40 million pounds ($44 million to $59 million) but bidding stalled out at 29 million pounds.
The sale brought in 153 million pounds ($227 million). The total set a new London auction record, beating a 147 million pound sale set by Soethby's in February, but fell short of estimates of 164-231 million pounds. The other top lot, a Blue Period portrait by Picasso put up for auction by Andrew Lloyd Webber's charity, sold for 34.8 million pounds. Although the sale wasn't as strong as hoped it still indicates that there is strength in the art market.
Sotheby's London sold an Edouard Manet self-portrait at auction for $33.1 million (22.4 pounds) on Tuesday setting a record for the artist at auction. The number was actually at the lower end of pre-sale expectations of 20-30 million pounds. The painting is one of only two self-portraits by the artist and the only one in private hands but only one bidder Franck Giraud, a private dealer based in New York made an offer. The NY Times reports that Steven A. Cohen, who runs SAC Capital Management, was the owner of the painting and had paid as much as $35 to $40 million for the painting nearly a decade earlier from art loving casino mogul Steve Wynn.
The overall total for the sale was $165.2 million at the lower end of the $148.4 million to $217.5 million and 16 of the 51 works did not sell. In the NY Times article, Richard L. Feigen, a New York dealer, said that part of the issue was that while it's a great picture, Manet just doesn't have the marquee appeal of artists like Picasso and Giacommetti. In a world that worships the modern, Manet's painterly rendition of himself as a dated dandy simply doesn't excite the masses. Cohen himself has moved on to modern art picking up a 1958 "Flag" painting by Jasper Johns for a reported $110 million.
Filed under: Auctions
As we mentioned back in April, the John Lennon-penned lyrics to "A Day in the Life" were set to be auctioned off by Sotheby's New York today, June 18. "A Day in the Life" is the last song on The Beatles' album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and considered to be one of the best songs of all time. The lyrics sold for $1.2 million beating the estimate of $500,000 to $700,000. The paper shows Lennon's edits and corrections with some words scrawled out and annotations in red ink. The song has separate parts written by Lennon and McCartney connected by an orchestral score.
Three bidders competed for the lot with the winning bid being made by an unidentified American bidder over the phone. Sotheby's London sold the lyrics in 1992 and Bonhams in New York offered them in a sealed-bid auction in 2006 but they didn't sell. The most expensive Beatles handwritten lyric record still belongs to the lyrics for "All You Need Is Love" which sold for $1.25 million in 2005 at the Cooper Owen auction house.
The most popular pieces were early 20th century modernist works, with the top lot Alexander Yakovlev's "Titi and Naranghe, Daughters of Chief Eki Bondo." It was good for £2.5 million, almost tripling its high-end presale estimate of £900,000.
Sotheby's was the top auction house of London's Russian Week, generating £22.3 million by selling approximately 70 percent of its 615 lots. The result falls within the presale range of £19.3 million to £28 million.
Filed under: Auctions
Yesterday, Sotheby's, on behalf of billionaire Patricia Kluge, concluded the two-day auction of the contents of Kluge's home, Albemarle House. The sale, which totaled $15.1 million, exceeded pre-sale expectations of $9 million to $14 million.
Collectors, interior designers, and dealers from all over the world participated in the two-day auction. The auction followed the week-long exhibition at Albemarle House, Kluge's 45-room English country manor. The sale was 88.5% sold by lot with 61.5% of the sold lots achieving prices above their high estimates. The $15.2 million achieved brought Sotheby's overall total for sales of property from Kluge's collection (including sixteen pieces of jewelry sold on April 20, 2010) to $20.2 million.
The highlight of the historic sale---the first on-site house sale conducted by Sotheby's in North America in over 20 years--was a magnificent Chinese Imperial Clock (lot 345). The clock, seen above, sold for a jaw-dropping $3.8 million. Created by the Guangzhou Workshops during the Qing Dynasty (Quianlong Period), it sold for more than three times the high estimate of $1 million. It was the third highest price achieved for a clock of its type. Competition was fierce for the Imperial treasure, with five different clients battling over the telephones. Sotheby's auctioneer Lisa Hubbard opened the bidding at $350,000 and four clients quickly entered the fray. A new bidder jumped into the competition with a bid of $1.2 million, and it was that client who, more than six minutes later, cast the winning bid. Extended applause erupted from the packed salesroom when the hammer was finally brought down. The purchaser was a Chinese private collector.
Gallery: The Collection of Patricia Kluge