9 mars 2008

Auction tracking : Hong Kong, Lincoln, a small bird, a bigger one, frogs

Be sure to read this column, you will understand that Hong Kong has really exceeded Paris in a sustainable manner as an auction place, as the French press had reported without wanting to give too much detail.


On April 15, Dorotheum in Vienna sells a St. Magdalene by Guido Reni in the style of Raphael that was recently discovered. The attribution to Guido is attested by the experts (250 K €). (SOLD 260 K€ including fees). The following day on April 16, the portrait of Alice Regnault by Boldini (300 K €) is clearly the same as that which was sold for € 310 K by Coutau-Bégarie in Drouot on November 19, 2004. That is a gain uninsured ... (SOLD 400 K€ including fees ; taking into account seller fees and buyer fees, gain is cancelled).

In the estate of an English philanthropist to be dispersed by Christie's on June 24 in London, there are some French artists including a Signac pointillist painting showing Collioure lighthouse in a bold composition. This one was a milestone in the career of Signac (1.8 million pounds). (SOLD 2.95 M£). Beside it: Matisse (600 K £), (SOLD 1.95 M£), Degas (400 K £), (UNSOLD), Bonnard (500 K £), (SOLD 1.65 M£), Fantin-Latour (600 K £). (SOLD 1.05 M£). (Results include fees).

On January 13, I announced the sale of Greek art of April 17 by Sotheby's London for which some details are now available: they are artists of the nineteenth century who are the leaders, with two coastal sceneries by Constantinos Volanakis for 300 K£ (SOLD 423 K£ including fees) and 200 K£ (SOLD 334 K£ including fees) (SOLD a sunset over a port by the same artist, 322 K£ including fees from a low estimate of 100 K£) and an amusing and sympathetic portrait of child by Georgios Jakobides at 200 K£. (SOLD 535 K£ including fees). In the more recent works, also highlighted a naive style painting by Diamantis Diamandopoulos showing a soldier (150 K £). (SOLD 276 K£ including fees).

Lovers of Art Deco are familiar with the Scottish Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Two paintings on panel by his wife Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh are estimated K £ 200 each by Christie's London. Having been exhibited for the first time in 1902, they are well within their time. Date: April 30. (SOLD 1,7 M£ and 490 K£ including fees).

Artcurial manage his major contemporary and Italian art auctions on 3 and 4 April, and modern art auctions on 9 and 10 April. In their advertisement in La Gazette de l'Hotel Drouot, I noticed a Great Criticism Hitachi by Wang Guangyi, 150x100cm, April 3, 300 K €, (SOLD 270 K€ before fees) not by taste but for the pleasure to compare with the Great Criticism Disney sold £ 230 K fees included at Phillips de Pury late February, which took the honours of this column. The latter was much larger (2x2 m), but ten years later. The artist did not change his style during this period ...
On the same day a chicken ("Pacholette") by Cesar looks for € 300 K at the top of its two metres. (SOLD 260 K€ before fees).
For Italy on April 4, a small oil on canvas (65x80 cm) by Burri is estimated 360 K €. (UNSOLD)
On April 9, a Degas dancer 47 cm high, casted by Hébrard, is at its price at 250 K €. (UNSOLD)

It should be noted that many artists of South-East Asia of the last generation (under forty years) are included in the sale at Sotheby's in Hong Kong on April 8. I had already announced the sale. Note on April 9 the very contemporary sculpture (2007) by Lin Tianmao showing a nude woman and a frog (HK $ 550 K), (SOLD 967 KHK$ including fees) as well as videos. (SOLD 270 KHK$ including fees a DVD by Wang Jianwei).


At Sotheby's in Hong Kong on April 12: a gold Xuande tripod vessel and its cover (HK $ 60 million), (SOLD 116 MHK$ including fees), a small Qianlong gold ewer and its cover (13 cm, 25 MHK$), (SOLD 36 MHK$ including fees), a beautiful blue Song vase (HK $ 55 million ) (SOLD 67 MHK$ including fees) and an "extravagant" (Sotheby's uses this term) Qianlong ewer in gold, cloisonné and enamel announced as the highlight of the sale. (SOLD 56 MHK$ including fees).

LiveAuctioneers announce for 29-30 March at Matheson's AA Auction in Melbourne, Florida, a pear-shaped bottle of early Ming period (14th century). Starting bid is $ 100 K, but it is expected much more. (SOLD 100 K$ before fees).


Two features in advertisements of La Gazette of de l'Hotel Drouot: by Aguttes on March 31 a gouache 111x295 cm showing Napoleon and his troops to Moscow in fire ; (SOLD 36 K€ including fees) ;
by Coutau-Bégarie on April 30, an Imperial gold Fabergé cigarette box. (UNSOLD, on May 28).


A collection of artifacts from New Ireland will be part of the sale at Sotheby's Paris on June 11. (see column of May 25).


Christie's announced for June 4 in New York, a Roman porphyry statue. Despite being photographed, we must await further details to comment. Let's say that through regular reading of La Gazette de l'Hotel Drouot, we know that porphyry items of all countries and of all ages take substantial prices. (UNSOLD).


Two classics in the sale of Lombrail Teucquam assisted by François Theimer at the Ambassador Hotel on March 29: Bob and his frog, a large machine in its electric version manufactured by JAF, (SOLD 85 K€ before fees) and a violinist Clown, a musical automate by Leopold Lambert. (UNSOLD ; estimate was 16 K€). The doll by Albert Marque described last week on my Viadeo forum is estimated 70 K€. (SOLD 56 K€ before fees, from a LOW estimate of 50 K€).


Being the American auction specialists for decoys, on which high prices are sometimes made, Guyette and Schmidt makes its next major sale on 24 and 25 April at St.Charles, Illinois. I saw all of these ducks, but I am unable to tell you which are truly exceptional except that on top of page 2 I saw a goose of Canada signed Lem Ward smoothing its feathers! (SOLD by Charles Perdew maximum 137 K$, by Lee Dudley a decoy at 269 K$ et by Ray Thompson at 15 K$ a decoy of trout, including fees).


Sotheby's offer on April 10 in Hong Kong a pear-shaped diamond Finest White Flawless weighing 72 carats (75 MHK$). (UNSOLD). The competition is open with Christie's shield diamond already mentioned in this column (Hong Kong, May 28).
At Sotheby's same sale: a necklace of pear diamonds totaling 91 carats (26 HK $ million), (SOLD 42 MHK$ including fees), a bracelet with 84 carats of diamonds signed Harry Winston (7 HK $ million).
For those who are a little lost with this currency, Sotheby's said that the fabulous blue diamond sold last year had obtained HK $ 61.9 million, or nearly $ 8 million. This reminder skillfully introduces a superb set of colored diamonds colors that will appear in the same sale. Afterward: an important set of jadeite jewelry.


Stay at Sotheby's on April 10 in Hong Kong: a Patek Philippe Ref.5002P Sky Moon Tourbillon, a model produced only 2 copies per year, is estimated HK $ 8 million. It includes 12 complications and 686 components. (SOLD 11.7 MHK$ including fees). The nice presentation of the other highlights of this sale shall invite me to analyse in detail the results. This is a category where I do not know much.


At Bonhams in London on March 10 (tomorrow!) there is an English spinet dated 1668 similar to that described in the same year by this great talkative of Pepys. It bears the signature of harpsichords factor Carolus Haward. £ 8 K: I do not understand too low an estimate, unless it is as damaged as the Stradivarius that I mentioned two weeks ago. (SOLD 38 K£ before fees).

Even oldest, a decorated Italian one-keyboard harpsichord dated 1570 will be sold in Nice by Palloc Courchet Fède on March 19 (100 K €). (SOLD 142 K€ before fees).


Christie's presents on April 11 in New York a series of prints of Ansel Adams. Among them a Yosemite winter scenery (102x139 cm, $ 250 K), to which I devoted an article in French on Viadeo . (SOLD 480 K$ including fees).

The coup de coeur (it does not often happen!): A c-type colour portrait of a small bird in a very large format (98x117 cm) at Webb's in New Zealand on July 24: 8 K $. Photographer's name is Michael Parekowhai.


In auctions, Lincoln with Washington is the most prestigious of Americans. The historic Lincoln letter that Sotheby's sells in New York on April 3 is a particularly important document. It deals with emotion the issue of slavery which was so dear to him, in response to a children petition (3 M$). (SOLD 3.4 M$ including fees). A more political letter concerned with the same policy, lot 72, is estimated 500 K$. (UNSOLD). Lot 80 shows that the autograph hunters existed before football: this sheet contains twelve signatures of politicians, including Lincoln, who participated in a ceremony at Gettysburg. This document also should appeal to lovers of history (800 K$). (SOLD 937 K$ including fees). Among other signatures (in a formal sense), let's not forget John Quincy Adams (Lot 57, 250 K$) (UNSOLD) and Thomas Jefferson (Lot 47, 200 K$). (UNSOLD)


On April 29, in Dubai, Christie's sells a necklace of nine rows of beads that belonged to the Egyptian singer Um Kulthum (Oum Kalsoum), which was at the time, dubbed "the Shining Star of the Middle East" ($ 80K). (SOLD 1.4 M$ including fees).


On April 16 in London at Sotheby's: an exceptional group of Château d'Yquem, which includes two bottles of each vintage from 1892 to 2001 (except for four years). The seller is a company based in Bordeaux, close to the owner of the castle. The story did not say whether a sale in France had only been contemplated ... (SOLD these 136 as a single lot, 368 K£ including fees).

And if the contents of a bottle is not enough for your thirst, I spotted for you to enjoy a jeroboam of 1988 Yquem at Artus rue Saint-Fiacre on March 13. (UNSOLD ; estimate was 3 K€)