CHRISTIE’S LONDON-CLASSIC WEEK
5-13 JULY 2016
LONDON – Following the success of Christie’s inaugural Classic Week in New York during April, Christie’s London will host Classic Week from 5 to 13 July. These cross-category auctions span the Decorative Arts, Antiquities, Old Master & British Paintings, Prints and Drawings, Books and Manuscripts and The Exceptional Sale. The week will be led by Rubens’s masterpiece Lot and his Daughters (circa 1613-14), an outstanding example of his early maturity and one of the most important paintings by the artist to have remained in private hands, which will be sold as part of the Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale on 7 July. Classic Week presents an array of unique works of art, exceptional objects and furniture as well as scientific and philosophical documents throughout the week’s sales, all across varying price points. The works will be on view and open to the public from 3 July at Christie’s King Street and South Kensington.
Fifty Prints by Rembrandt van Rijn: A Private English Collection | 5 July – 1:30pm
This remarkable group of 50 etchings was formed over one decade by a discerning English collector and presents a rare opportunity to acquire prints by Rembrandt, arguably the greatest exponent of the art of etching, and the first to realise the dramatic potential of dry-point. There has not been a single-owner sale of prints by Rembrandt of similar quality in recent years, presenting the opportunity to acquire works such as Self-Portrait with Saskia (estimate: £15,000 – 25,000), Six’s Bridge (estimate: £100,000 – 150,000) and The Angel appearing to the Shepherds (estimate: £30,000 – 50,000).
Old Master & British Drawings & Watercolours | 5 July – 3pm
The Old Master & British Drawings & Watercolours Sale is led by a group of six drawings from Harewood House including: a view of Rome by Claude Lorrain (estimate: £100,000 – 150,000); a sensitive study of a child by Watteau (estimate: £40,000 – 60,000); Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s magnificent Head of a Boy in a Cap in red and white chalk on blue paper (estimate: £200,000 – 300,000); and a rare self-portrait by the artist (estimate: £40,000 – 60,000). Venetian artists from the 18th century are represented with a large hunting scene by Francesco Guardi (estimate: £200,000 – 300,000), a great example of Marco Ricci’s landscapes (estimate: £12,000 – 18,000) and a view of Padua by Canaletto (estimate: £150,000 – 250,000). In addition, six works by J.M.W. Turner demonstrate his extraordinary artistic range, from an early collaboration with his fellow artist and friend Thomas Girtin (estimate: £9,000 – 12,000), to a highly finished vignette, depicting Abbotsford (estimate: £100,000 – 150,000), the home of the novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott, which was last exhibited over 30 years ago.
Antiquities (10am) & Ancient Glass from the Shlomo Moussaieff Collection (12pm) | 6 July
The Antiquities Sale presents a wealth of treasures spanning 7,000 years from cultures across the ancient Mediterranean world, with artworks embodying the earliest artistic experiments in representing the human figure, to the bravado of colossal marble imperial portraiture. Highlights include a large Cycladic marble female figure, circa 2500-2400 B.C (estimate: £300,000 – 500,000), and a monumental Roman marble head of the Emperor Hadrian, circa 120-193 A.D (estimate: £300,000 – 500,000). Following this, the Shlomo Moussaieff Collection of Ancient Glass will showcase the elaborate and ethereal production of the ancient master glass workers. This extraordinary collection is led by three signed Ennion works including a Roman two-handled blue-green glass Amphora (estimate: £400,000 – 600,000).
European Furniture & Works of Art | 6 July – 2:30pm
The European Furniture & Works of Art Sale comprises a curated selection of fine French and continental furniture, object d’art, clocks as well as ormolu-mounted porcelain and hard stone, representing the work of some of the most celebrated artists and craftsmen of the 18th and early 19th century. Leading the sale is a striking ormolu-mounted commode of circa 1725, attributed to Doirat, one of the leading ébénistes of the Regence period (estimate: £100,000 – 150,000); a Louis XV ‘Pendule au Rhinoceros’ (estimate: £20,000 – 30,000) and a Japanese Kakiemon porcelain bowl (estimate: £80,000 – 120,000).
Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art, Maritime Art, Sporting & Wildlife Art | 7 July – 10:30am
Christie’s South Kensington will host the Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art, Maritime Art, Sporting & Wildlife Art Sale dedicated to British art from the 18th to 21st centuries. The auction brings together a great variety of subject matters by artists who often painted across the genres. Themes include portraits and nudes, summer landscapes and beach scenes, naval battles and the golden age of yachting, equestrian portraits and racing scenes. Notable lots include Sunset in the Mediterranean from an Orient Steamer by Albert Goodwin (estimate: £15,000 – 25,000), Three Fishers by Charles Napier Hemy (estimate: £20,000 – 30,000) and Jonathan Kenworthy’s Loping Cheetah (estimate: £12,000 – 18,000). Estimates range from £1,000 to £120,000.
Gold boxes | 7 July – 4pm
This superb private collection comprises gold boxes from Paris, Strasbourg and St Petersburg, demonstrating the breadth of craftsmanship and use of precious materials utilised by the most successful goldsmiths of the 18th and early 19th centuries. The sale reflects 30 years of collecting from a discerning connoisseur with an eye for quality and of impeccable taste that includes a German four-colour gold and powdered shell snuff-box, Berlin, circa 1765 (estimate: £80,000 – 120,000) and a Louis XV three-colour gold and hardstone snuff-box set with a portrait miniature by Jean-François Breton (fl. 1737-1791) (estimate: £50,000 – 80,000).
The Exceptional Sale | 7 July – 5pm
The Exceptional Sale presents outstanding masterpieces of European decorative arts, many with celebrated provenance; all united by a common attribute: excellence. Comprising 35 lots, the sale is led by A Meissen White Model of a Great Bustard (Trappe) 1732, Attributed to Johann Gottlieb Kirchner, Incised Initials AS to the Underside of the Beak for Andreas Schiefer (estimate: £700,000 – 1,000,000). Four examples of this model are now in museum collections and this remains the only known model of a Great Bustard in private hands. This is presented alongside A Pair Of Sèvres Porcelain Bleu Celeste Ice Pails, Covers And Liners From The ‘Service Aux Camees’ Ordered By Catherine The Great Of Russia (estimate: £700,000 – 1,000,000). Also known as the ‘Cameo Service’, it was the most elaborate and expensive service ever produced by Sèvres. Pieces from it rarely appear on the market as the majority is in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg. Of particular interest is a selection of early decorative arts including a William & Mary parcel-gilt and blue-painted Chair of State, 1688-89, (estimate: £50,000-100,000) and a Staffordshire slipware ‘Royal Arms’ charger by Thomas Toft, circa 1660-75, (estimate £70,000 – 100,000), together with examples of rare Tudor Silver a Henry VIII Silver Gilt-Mounted Mazer Bowl (estimate: £120,000 – 180,000) and an Elizabeth I Silver-Gilt Bell-Salt (estimate: 120,000 – £180,000).
Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale | 7 July – 7pm
An outstanding example of Rubens’s early maturity, beautifully preserved and painted with striking bravura, the magisterial Lot and his Daughters circa 1613-14 (estimate on request), long been known about but little seen, will lead the sale and forms the centerpiece of Classic Week.
The Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale also showcases a rare set of The Four Seasons by Rubens’s contemporary Pieter Brueghel the Younger (estimate: £3 – 5 million), one of the last complete sets in existence that is believed to have been in the same prestigious collection for nearly a century.
This is offered alongside an arresting image of The Judgment of Solomon by the celebrated Caravaggist painter Matthias Stomer (estimate: £1.2 – 1.8 million), painted on an impressive scale, with a brilliant palette, it is a grand statement from one of the most recognisable artists of the 17th century.
Italian Vedute are well represented in the sale with a pair of serene panoramas of the Grand Canal, Venice by the precocious young Bellotto (estimate: £2 – 3 million) and a beautifully-observed mature work by Canaletto of a View on a River, Padua (estimate: £700,000 – 1,000,000).
Old Master & British Paintings Day Sale | 8 July – 10:30am
The Old Master & British Paintings Day Sale will be led by a fine group of Venetian vedute paintings, including a beautiful view of the Grand Canal by Francesco Albotto (estimate: £50,000 – 80,000), and two rare views of Venice on copper by Francesco Guardi, The Punta di San Marta (estimate: £30,000 – 50,000) and The Punta della Dogana (estimate: £30,000 – 50,000). The sale will also present key early Italian Renaissance and early Baroque pictures, with two small panels by Luca Signorelli (estimate: £50,000 – 80,000), and portraits by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Jacopo Tintoretto (estimate: £80,000 – 120,000). The great northern tradition of still life and landscape painting is well represented by a small panel by Jacob van Ruisdael (estimate: £60,000 – 80,000) and pictures by Jan van Kessel II. Two important new additions to the oeuvre of the celebrated animal painter Jacques-Laurent Agasse will also be offered showing Giraffes with Impala in a landscape (estimate: £40,000 – 60,000) and Elk in a river landscape (estimate: £40,000 – 60,000), from the Zoological Society, London.
19th Century European & Orientalist Art | 12 July – 2pm
Encompassing a varied array of styles and schools, the sale ranges from the Barbizon movement’s fresh en-plein-air approach represented by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot’s Étretat – Un Moulin À Vent (estimate: £200,000 – 300,000) and Théodore Rousseau’s Les Marais (estimate: £50,000 – 70,000) to the Realist works including Le Parc de Rochemont by Gustave Courbet (estimate: £250,000 – 350,000) and Honoré Daumier’s Les Avocats (estimate: £120,000 – 180,000). Offering a superb illustration of the diverse and eclectic nature of this vibrant period in art history, the auction also features Orientalists’ observations of the exotic, with charming examples by artists such as Alberto Pasini, Fausto Zonaro and Frederick Arthur Bridgman and Belle-Époque works by Jean Béraud and Giuseppe De Nittis.
Valuable Books & Manuscripts (2pm) & The Giancarlo Beltrame Library of Scientific Books, Part I (11am) | 13 July
The Christie’s Books department will hold two auctions as part of Classic Week, the first will be a single-owner sale, comprising 100 of the most important books from the collection of Giancarlo Beltrame. A man of great culture and an inspired businessman, Beltrame’s world-renowned scientific library includes some of the most important texts on astronomy, geography, mathematics, technology and medicine. Highlights include Narratio Prima by Georg Joachim Rheticus (estimate: £1.2 – 1.8 million), the first edition of the first printed account of Copernicus’s revolutionary theory that the Earth rotated around the Sun (estimate: £100,000 – 150,000), and Sidereus Nuncius by Galileo Galilei (estimate: £200,000 – 300,000) universally recognised as the foundation of modern astronomy, and the first account of astronomical discoveries made with the telescope. The sale also includes philosophical works, esoteric texts and humanist literature. The second, our various-owner sale of Valuable Books and Manuscripts, offers highpoints of written culture from the last 1,000 years. The top lot is a complete autograph music manuscript by Johann Sebastian Bach: only ten complete manuscripts survive in private hands (estimate: £1.5 – 2.5 million). Leading the section of printed books is Besler’s Hortus Eystettensis (Nuremberg, 1613) (estimate: £800,000 – £1,200,000), the most celebrated Florilegium (Flower Book) ever published. Also offered is an intriguing 16th century Swiss prayerbook containing perhaps the earliest painted depiction of the Turin Shroud (£80,000 – 120,000), personal artefacts including Einstein’s leather jacket (estimate: £40,000 – £60,000), and the Irish Proclamation of Independence of 1916 (estimate: £150,000 – £220,000), its political resonance particularly pronounced in its centennial year.
Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art | 13 July – 2:30pm
Classic Week will conclude with the Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art Sale, presenting an outstanding selection of paintings, works on paper and decorative objects. The sale will be led by a strong group of Pre-Raphaelite works, including a jewel-casket designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones for the daughter of one of his most prominent patrons (estimate: £300,000 – 500,000). Works on paper by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (estimate: £500,000 – 800,000), John William Waterhouse (estimate: £70,000 – 100,000) and studies for ‘Flaming June’ by Frederic, Lord Leighton (estimate: £50,000 – 70,000) are also included. There are also two important works by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (estimate: £180,000 – 250,000) and John William Godward (estimate: £250,000 – 350,000). The auction will also feature a significant representation of British Impressionism by artists such as Sir Alfred Munnings, Sir George Clausen and Philip Wilson Steer.