February 12, 2010 |
What: Madonna I by Andreas Gursky, 2001
Where: Sotheby's London (February 10, Contemporary Art Evening Auction)
Estimate: £900,000 - 1,300,000
Sold For: £1,077,250
Claimed to be the world's most collectable living photographer, Gursky took this large-scale aerial photograph, measuring 111 by 81 1/2 inches, of a Madonna concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Originally scheduled for September 11, 2001, the concert was postponed to September 13, due to the terrorist attacks that toppled the World Trade Center. This photograph—one of two prints made, the other is in the collection of the Centre Georges Pompidou—was inscribed for and given to Madonna, who can be seen on stage wearing an American flag tied around her waist. Due to its epic scale and heroic imagery, Sotheby's likens the image to the tradition of nineteenth-century history painting.
February 10, 2010 | After months of anticipation, Masterpiece London, the new art and antiques fair from the organizers of the prestigious 75-year-old Grosvenor House Fair, received the permissions necessary to confirm that it will take place on 24-29 June 2010 at the Chelsea Barracks.
In spite of the bureaucratic quagmires and delays that these permissions took, those in the know have bet strongly on Grosvenor House's royal ties to see it through. Last June, Prince Charles succeeded in stopping plans to have the site, owned by the royal family of Qatar, turned into a steel-and-glass modern development. What more approvable use, then, of the historic site than the new venue for the most strictly vetted of London's art and antiques shows?
Planning permissions aside—can this show deliver the goods with only months to pull it off?
February 5, 2010 |
What: L'Homme qui marche I by Alberto Giacometti, 1960
Where: Sotheby's London (February 3, Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale)
Estimate: £12-18 million
Sold For: £65 million
Fetching $104.3 million, Giacometti's iconic 6-foot tall sculpture set a new world record price for a work of art at auction (previously held by Picasso's Garçon à la pipe, which sold for $104.2 million in 2004). The cast bronze sculpture of a wiry male figure was the first of two versions made for an outdoor installation at the Chase Manhattan Plaza but never completed. A cast of the sculpture was exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1962.
January 29, 2010 |
What: Portrait of a Woman, called "La Belle Ferronnière," before 1750
Where: Sotheby's New York (January 28, Old Master Paintings and Sculpture)
Sold For: $1.5 million
This well-known painting is another version of a portrait—believed to be Lucrezia Crivelli, the mistress of Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan—now at the Louvre. Long debated to be the work of Leonardo da Vinci (Sotheby's attributes it to a follower of da Vinci, citing recent technical examination that dates the canvas to the first half of the 17th century and most likely by a French painter). In the 1920s the Sotheby's portrait was at the center of an unusual court case, when its owners, Harry and Andrée Hahn, sued the art dealer Joseph Duveen for slander when he suggested that the painting was a copy. Numerous art world experts were called to testify but the trial ended with a hung jury, and Duveen was forced to settle out of court and paid the Hahns $60,000 in damages.
January 22, 2010 |
What: Punch bowl mark of Cornelius Kierstede, New York, 1700-10
Where: Sotheby's New York (January 22, Important Americana)
Sold For: $5.9 million
This punch bowl—the largest known example of early 18th-century American silver—descended in the family of Commodore Joshua Loring of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. It was brought to London after Joshua Loring Jr., who fought with the British army in the Revolutionary War, reunited with his parents, who had previously fled to England. The punch bowl was stored in the family's bank vault for over 230 years, and only came to light in England last year. It has been suggested that the punch bowl's original owner may have Col. Abraham de Peyster, Mayor of New York City from 1692 to 1694, as most of Kierstede's patrons were wealthy and prominent New Yorkers. About thirty-two pieces by Kierstede are known today and most are in museum collections.
Gemellion, Artist unknown, Limoges, France, 13th century Champlevé Enamel on Copper, 8 7/8” diameter Collection of The Walters’ Art» View All