A Surreal Legacy

Sale 13765

A Surreal Legacy – Selected works of art from The Edward James Foundation, Christie’s London, King Street, London SW1, 15 December 2016,

 Lot 10 Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) and Edward James (1907-1984) Lobster Telephone (white aphrodisiac) white Bakelite telephone and white plaster lobster Length: 12 ½ in. (31.7 cm.) Conceived by Salvador Dalí in 1936; commissioned by Edward James from Green & Abbott in 1938 in an edition of eleven, four red and seven white. Estimate GBP 150,000 - GBP 250,000 (USD 186,450 - USD 310,750) © Christie’s Images Limited 2016

Lot 10
Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) and Edward James (1907-1984)
Lobster Telephone (white aphrodisiac)
white Bakelite telephone and white plaster lobster
Length: 12 ½ in. (31.7 cm.)
Conceived by Salvador Dalí in 1936; commissioned by Edward James from Green & Abbott in 1938 in an edition of eleven, four red and seven white.
Estimate GBP 150,000 – GBP 250,000 (USD 186,450 – USD 310,750)
© Christie’s Images Limited 2016

Edward James (1907-1984) was a notable patron and art collector and one who particularly embraced Surrealism and indeed transformed Monkton House on the West Dean estate into a Surrealist-inspired home.  It was an interest that first started when he lived in Paris as a young man and he became a patron and close friend of artists and writers such as Paul Éluard, André Breton René Magritte and Salvador Dalí. The latter said of him “Edward is as insanely relentless as myself”.  He was also a patron of the Russian Neo-Romanticist Pavel Tchelitchew and James built up a large collection of his works and some of these are in this sale.

Edward James, circa late 1920s © Christie’s Images Limited 2016

Edward James, circa late 1920s
© Christie’s Images Limited 2016

As well as the Surrealist works there is a mixture of pieces from West Dean House that reflects the taste and lifestyle of its various owners, including James’s father.  They are being sold to continue the work of the Edward James Foundation which is based at West Dean.

Lot 20 Pavel Tchelitchew (1898-1957) The Concert signed and dated 'P Tchelitchew 33' (lower left) oil on canvas 35 x 45¾ in. (89.5 x 116. 3 cm.) Painted in 1933 Estimate GBP 250,000 - GBP 350,000 (USD 310,750 - USD 435,050) © Christie’s Images Limited 2016

Lot 20
Pavel Tchelitchew (1898-1957)
The Concert
signed and dated ‘P Tchelitchew 33’ (lower left)
oil on canvas
35 x 45¾ in. (89.5 x 116. 3 cm.)
Painted in 1933
Estimate GBP 250,000 – GBP 350,000 (USD 310,750 – USD 435,050)
© Christie’s Images Limited 2016

Christie’s UK Chairman, Orlando Rock says: “Edward James was touched by genius – and the inspirational Surrealist fantasies that he created at Monkton and elsewhere are testimony to his visionary patronage. This eclectic auction embraces the contrasting and pioneering tastes of several generations of this Anglo-American family and will raise funds to safeguard the future of the educational Foundation at West Dean, through which Edward James sought to secure future generations of artistic creativity.”

Lot 30 Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) and Edward James (1907-1984) Mae West Lips Sofa wood carcass upholstered in red and green Melton wool fabric with green appliqué and black wool fringing Length: 81 in. (205.7 cm.) Height: 30 ¼ in. (77 cm.) Depth: 37 ¾ in. (96 cm.) Conceived by Salvador Dalí and Edward James in 1936, and executed by Green & Abbott in 1938 as one of a pair for the dining room at Monkton House. Estimate GBP 250,000 - GBP 400,000 (USD 310,750 - USD 497,200) © Christie’s Images Limited 2016

Lot 30
Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) and Edward James (1907-1984)
Mae West Lips Sofa
wood carcass upholstered in red and green Melton wool fabric with green appliqué and black wool fringing
Length: 81 in. (205.7 cm.)
Height: 30 ¼ in. (77 cm.)
Depth: 37 ¾ in. (96 cm.)
Conceived by Salvador Dalí and Edward James in 1936, and executed by Green & Abbott in 1938 as one of a pair for the dining room at Monkton House.
Estimate GBP 250,000 – GBP 400,000 (USD 310,750 – USD 497,200)
© Christie’s Images Limited 2016

www.christies.com

Bowie – Tintoretto – Rubens

David Bowie loved museums throughout his life and would lend works from his own collection to them so it is quite appropriate that the European collector who purchased this Tintoretto announced that he was going to place it on a long-term loan to a Belgian museum.

Jacopo Robusti, called Jacopo Tintoretto and Studio Venice 1518 - 1594 The Angel foretelling Saint Catherine of Alexandria of her martyrdom oil on canvas with an arched top, relined as a rectangle 177.1 by 99.3cm.; 69¾ by 39¼in. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Tim Whitby/ Getty Images for Sotheby's)

Jacopo Robusti, called Jacopo Tintoretto and Studio
Venice 1518 – 1594
The Angel foretelling Saint Catherine of Alexandria of her martyrdom
oil on canvas with an arched top, relined as a rectangle
177.1 by 99.3cm.; 69¾ by 39¼in.
(Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Tim Whitby/ Getty Images for Sotheby’s)

This striking work by Tintoretto and his Studio had belonged to Bowie for nearly thirty years and soon St Catherine of Alexandria being warned by an angel of her martyrdom will be on display in the Rubenshuis in Antwerp from Spring 2017. As many of you know Rubens was greatly influenced by Tintoretto and Venetian art and so the painting will have a good home.

http://www.sothebys.com

http://www.rubenshuis.be

Beyond Caravaggio

Beyond Caravaggio, Sainsbury Wing, The National Gallery, London, until 15th January 2017

As I was unable to attend I asked John Kirkwood to go on my behalf – here are his thoughts:

Mattia Preti, called II Calabrese Draughts Players, about 1635 Oil on canvas 107.9 × 142.2 cm © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Mattia Preti, called II Calabrese
Draughts Players, about 1635
Oil on canvas
107.9 × 142.2 cm
© Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

This is a very powerful exhibition displaying as it does the amazing influence of the unveiling in Rome of Caravaggio’s first public commission in 1600.  Many artists were so taken with his naturalism and his treatment of light and shade that they went on to imitate him in a style that became known as Caravaggesque and here you will find many examples of this trend.  Some may find the effect of all the gloom of this Caravaggism a little repetitive but there is no denying the artistry on display.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio Boy peeling fruit, about 1592-3 Oil on canvas 63 × 53 cm Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
Boy peeling fruit, about 1592-3
Oil on canvas
63 × 53 cm
Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk

Cecco del Caravaggio A Musician, about 1615 Oil on canvas 125 × 100 cm The Wellington Collection, Apsely House, London © Historic England

Cecco del Caravaggio
A Musician, about 1615
Oil on canvas
125 × 100 cm
The Wellington Collection, Apsely House, London
© Historic England

 

Guido Reni Lot and his Daughters leaving Sodom About 1615-16 Oil on canvas 111.2 x 149.2 cm The National Gallery, London © The National Gallery, London

Guido Reni
Lot and his Daughters leaving Sodom
About 1615-16
Oil on canvas
111.2 x 149.2 cm
The National Gallery, London
© The National Gallery, London

 

Dirck van Baburen Cimon and Pero (Roman Charity), 1622-3 Oil on canvas 127 x 151 cm York Art Gallery, York Museums Trust © Image courtesy of York Museums Trust

Dirck van Baburen
Cimon and Pero (Roman Charity), 1622-3
Oil on canvas
127 x 151 cm
York Art Gallery, York Museums Trust
© Image courtesy of York Museums Trust

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artemisia Gentileschi Susannah and the Elders, 1622 Oil on canvas 161.5 × 123 cm © The Burghley House Collection

Artemisia Gentileschi
Susannah and the Elders, 1622
Oil on canvas
161.5 × 123 cm
© The Burghley House Collection

Two Galleries – Newly Moved

Skarstedt, 8 Bennet Street © Richard Davies

Skarstedt, 8 Bennet Street
© Richard Davies

The exhibition Cindy Sherman and David Salle: History Portraits and Tapestry Paintings (until 26th November 2016) perfectly shows off Skarstedt’s new gallery at 8 Bennet Street, St James’s. The large-scale works Sherman’s History Portraits (1988-90) and Salle’s Tapestry Paintings (1989-91) highlight why both artists were leading figures in New York’s ‘Pictures Generation’ art movement and their skilful addition of extra layers to existing images, whether painted or photographic, still engages the viewer.

 Cindy Sherman & David Salle: History Portraits & Tapestry Paintings Installation view, © Cindy Sherman. Art © David Salle/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Courtesy of the artist and Skarstedt.

Cindy Sherman & David Salle: History Portraits & Tapestry Paintings Installation view,
© Cindy Sherman. Art © David Salle/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Courtesy of the artist and Skarstedt.

 

A Vanitas bust Italian or French School, c. 1700 Terracotta, 85cm. Colnaghi

A Vanitas bust
Italian or French School, c. 1700
Terracotta, 85cm.
Colnaghi

Another gallery to make the transition across Piccadilly to St James’s is Colnaghi who have moved to 26 Bury Street, St James’s where their new premises provide a 21st century setting for their Master paintings and sculpture.  There is still time to see their opening show Vanitas (until 4th November 2016) and it is perhaps a particularly apt subject for the autumn. The thirty or so paintings and sculptures, dating from the 16th century onwards, are part of the genre which considers the idea of mortality and the impermanence of earthly pleasures.  It reminds me of the phrase ‘Sic transit gloria mundi’ (thus passes the glory of the world) used in Papal coronations. So not a bad thing to bring us down to earth!

 

Installation view, Colnaghi

Installation view, Colnaghi

 

http://www.skarstedt.com

http://www.colnaghi.com

BOOK REVIEW: Going Once

Going Once: 250 Years of Culture, Taste and Collecting at Christie’s

 going-once-jacket

ISBN: 978 0 7148 7202 5

Phaidon

£39.95

 

What better way to celebrate two hundred and fifty years as a leading art business than through the two hundred and fifty objects selected for this book.  It is a wonderful survey of these remarkable sales and the high prices achieved whether for a 3,000-year-old Assyrian frieze or Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz. Paintings, furniture, gold and silver, sculpture, wine, even a London Routemaster bus are included.  One feature I like is that as well as giving the original sale price they also give today’s equivalent value.

 

This is a great book to dip into time and time again as there is much to learn and enjoy from it.

phaidon.com

FRIEZE MASTERS 2016

Frieze Masters, The Regent’s Park, London NW1 4HA, (the north-east corner of The Regent’s Park, near the London Zoo), 6th-9th October 2016

Prahlad Bubbar Ltd. Ladies celebrate Holi on a Pleasure Pavilion Leaf from an album made for Antoine Polier Attributed to Mihr Chand, with calligraphy by Hafiz Nur Ullah Lucknow, India, c. 1775-1780 Opaque watercolour and gold on paper Folio 45.5 x 62 cm; Painting 29 x 42.5 cm

Prahlad Bubbar Ltd.
Ladies celebrate Holi on a Pleasure Pavilion
Leaf from an album made for Antoine Polier
Attributed to Mihr Chand, with calligraphy by Hafiz Nur Ullah
Lucknow, India, c. 1775-1780
Opaque watercolour and gold on paper
Folio 45.5 x 62 cm; Painting 29 x 42.5 cm

 

The well-known architect Annabelle Selldorf has designed the structure for this the fifth edition of Frieze Masters and it will play host to one hundred and thirty-three leading historical and modern galleries from around the world.

BLAIN|SOUTHERN LONDON Lynn Chadwick, The Stranger, 1954, Courtesy The Estate of Lynn Chadwick and Blain|Southern, Photo: Matthew Hollow

BLAIN|SOUTHERN LONDON
Lynn Chadwick, The Stranger, 1954,
Courtesy The Estate of Lynn Chadwick and Blain|Southern,
Photo: Matthew Hollow

 

As Frieze’s Director Victoria Siddall commented: ‘The quality and breadth of work in Frieze Masters keeps it fresh and exciting each year. I am looking forward to seeing even more antiquities dealers in the fair, as well as Indian art, alongside the best Old Masters and 20th-century work. Curators play an important role in this fair as well as in our contemporary fairs, and this year we welcome Tim Marlow (Director of Artistic Programmes, Royal Academy, London) who is co-curating Frieze Masters Talks, and Toby Kamps of the Menil Collection in Houston who is presenting his first edition of Spotlight.

 Once again we will see galleries from different fields collaborate on ground-breaking presentations, as the fair continues to offer new models for looking at and collecting art.’

 

 

 

Daniel Crouch Rare Books Benjamin Read, View in the Colosseum Regents Park London, Summer Fashions for 1836. London, 1836. Image courtesy of Daniel Crouch Rare Books.

Daniel Crouch Rare Books
Benjamin Read,
View in the Colosseum Regents Park London, Summer Fashions for 1836. London, 1836.
Image courtesy of Daniel Crouch Rare Books.

 

Luxembourg & Dayan Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008), Untitled (mud painting), 1953-1992 Courtesy Luxembourg & Dayan

Luxembourg & Dayan
Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008),
Untitled (mud painting), 1953-1992
Courtesy Luxembourg & Dayan

 

Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books AG Beauchamp-Corbet Hours, manuscript on vellum, illuminated by the Milemete workshop, mainly by the De Bois Master. England, London, dated 1328 image courtesy of Dr. Jorn Gunther Rare Books

Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books AG
Beauchamp-Corbet Hours, manuscript on vellum, illuminated by the Milemete workshop, mainly by the De Bois Master. England, London, dated 1328
image courtesy of Dr. Jorn Gunther Rare Books

 

Mayor Gallery Ad Dekkers Relief met drie circkels 1967 Polyester, paint Ø 180 x 3 cm Ø 70 7/8 x 1 1/8 in

Mayor Gallery
Ad Dekkers
Relief met drie circkels 1967
Polyester, paint Ø 180 x 3 cm Ø 70 7/8 x 1 1/8 in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waddington Custot Manolo Millares, Ínsula, 1967, mixed media on burlap. Courtesy Waddington Custot

Waddington Custot
Manolo Millares, Ínsula, 1967,
mixed media on burlap.
Courtesy Waddington Custot

 

Kallos Gallery Archaic Cretan Bronze Helmet, circa 650-620 BC. Credit Steve Wakeham & Kallos Gallery

Kallos Gallery
Archaic Cretan Bronze Helmet, circa 650-620 BC.
Credit Steve Wakeham & Kallos Gallery

 

Bernard Jacobson Gallery Robert Motherwell (1915-1991) Untitled (New England Elegy No.5) 1967 Oil on canvas 296.6 x 355.6 cms (116 3/4 x 140 ins) RM12608

Bernard Jacobson Gallery
Robert Motherwell (1915-1991)
Untitled (New England Elegy No.5)
1967
Oil on canvas
296.6 x 355.6 cms (116 3/4 x 140 ins)
RM12608

 

 

frieze.com/fairs/frieze-masters

Brian Sewell

Brian Sewell: Critic & Collector, Christie’s London King Street, 27 September 2016

Matthias Stomer (Amersfoort c. 1600-after 1652 ?Sicily or northern Italy) Blowing Hot, Blowing Cold oil on canvas 46 ¾ x 54 in. (118.8 x 137.1 cm.) Estimate: £400,000-600,000 CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2016

Matthias Stomer (Amersfoort c. 1600-after 1652 ?Sicily or northern Italy)
Blowing Hot, Blowing Cold
oil on canvas
46 ¾ x 54 in. (118.8 x 137.1 cm.)
Estimate: £400,000-600,000
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2016

It can really come as no surprise that the taste and connoisseurship of the legendary art critic, author and award-winning journalist, Brian Sewell (1931-2015) should be commemorated in this special sale at Christie’s next week.  The two hundred and forty-eight lots range from Old Master paintings and drawings to 19th and 20th century British Art and reflect many years of collecting.  Estimates range from £600 to £600,000 and I feel sure that some estimates will be well exceeded.

John Craxton, R.A. (London 1922-2009) Lucian Freud signed 'Craxton' (lower left), dated '26.10.46.' (lower right), inscribed 'Lucian' (upper right) and inscribed again and dated again 'Lucian Freud/poros 1946' (on the backboard) pencil 22 x 17 in. (55.8 x 43.2 cm.) Estimate: £50,000 – 80,000 CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2016

John Craxton, R.A. (London 1922-2009)
Lucian Freud
signed ‘Craxton’ (lower left), dated ‘26.10.46.’ (lower right), inscribed ‘Lucian’ (upper right) and inscribed again and dated again ‘Lucian Freud/poros 1946’ (on the backboard)
pencil
22 x 17 in. (55.8 x 43.2 cm.)
Estimate: £50,000 – 80,000
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2016

Following his studies in Art History at the Courtauld Institute he went on to work at Christie’s in the picture department between 1958 and 1967.  His colleague Noël Annesley (Honorary Chairman, Christie’s UK) recalled: “Brian was a young man of 27 when he joined Christie’s. As his assistant, I got to admire him and to like him enormously. He evolved from a rather shy, cerebral art historian turned auction house expert into one of the most famous and widely read British art critics of our time. Brian was a man whose opinions were sought not just on art but on a wide variety of topics, reflecting the exceptional range of his interests. He could be relied upon to provide witty and often devastating judgements. A wonderful instructor, serious but humorous too, he set a standard for us all.”

 

The current UK Chairman Orlando Rock said: “Brian Sewell was, undoubtedly, one of Christie’s most colourful and learned former colleagues. What always motivated him was his love of great art and its power to move and inspire, combined with his characteristic and acerbic wit.”

Eliot Hodgkin (1905-1987) Twelve Pheasant Eggs signed, inscribed and dated 'Twelve Pheasant Eggs/by Eliot Hodgkin/2 VII 59' (lower right) tempera on board 10½ x 16 in. (26.5 x 40.8 cm.) Estimate: £20,000 - 30,000 CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2016

Eliot Hodgkin (1905-1987)
Twelve Pheasant Eggs
signed, inscribed and dated ‘Twelve Pheasant Eggs/by Eliot Hodgkin/2 VII 59’ (lower right)
tempera on board
10½ x 16 in. (26.5 x 40.8 cm.)
Estimate: £20,000 – 30,000
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2016

I was fortunate to meet him on many occasions through colleagues and always found him to be a very approachable man who had a great sense of what is right and was not afraid to speak out when things were not.  Our world is in need of such voices today but sadly they appear to be becoming fewer.

Daniele Ricciarelli, called Daniele da Volterra (Volterra 1509-1566) Dido reclining, asleep black chalk, watermark crossbow in a circle (Briquet 749, Lucca, 1548), unframed 13 x 18 1/8 in. (33.2 x 45.9 cm.) Estimate: £100,000 - 150,000 CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2016

Daniele Ricciarelli, called Daniele da Volterra (Volterra 1509-1566)
Dido reclining, asleep
black chalk, watermark crossbow in a circle (Briquet 749, Lucca, 1548), unframed
13 x 18 1/8 in. (33.2 x 45.9 cm.)
Estimate: £100,000 – 150,000
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2016

 

http://www.christies.com