Payday Loans
payday loans

Get Free ACN Daily Headlines


Search Auction Central News

Bookmark and Share
Art Market Italy

Art Market Italy: 2 Italian collections

PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 12 January 2015 14:33

The Roman residence of Princess Ismene Chigi Della Rovere, Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd.

LONDON – Two Italian collections of art and furniture will hit the block at Christie's South Kensington on Feb. 4. It is a great opportunity for collectors and decorators to buy pieces that reflect Italian glamour and style in the 20th century. The first collection, in fact, comes from the Roman residence of Princess Ismene Chigi Della Rovere, one of the protagonists of the "dolce vita," while the second one comes from a Genoese noble family and is more inspired by love for antiquities.

On sale will be over 225 lots ranging from Old Master pictures to 18th century Italian and French furniture, to Art Nouveau glass, to Chinese and Japanese works of art. Estimates range from £500 to £25,000.

"Princess Ismene created a remarkable collection in her palazzo apartment in Rome, in which the emphasis was on style and beauty," said Nathaniel Nicholson, Christie's junior specialist of private collections and country house sales. "This collection is unusual in its richness and variety. The princess personally selected and ingeniously juxtaposed antiques from around the world with modern art, Art Nouveau glass and Chinese and Japanese works of art."

Princess Ismene, born in 1927 in Milan to a noble family, developed her passion for art as a university student. After meeting her husband, Prince Mario Chigi Della Rovere, in 1959, in the 1960s she lived the "dolce vita," visiting the most fashionable destinations in Europe and America and spending time with many high society figures of the time such as Christina Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Roger Vadim and Jane Fonda, and Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace of Monaco. Her passion for art was fostered further by her friendship with the renowned Roman gallery owner Gaspero Del Corso, who introduced her to the highly influential contemporary New York gallerist Leo Castelli. With her sister Anna Maria, then a director of the Marlborough Gallery, she immersed herself in the New York art scene. Her travels and friends provided inspiration for her collection. Her first daughter, Emanuela, married Stuart Gardner, the descendent of Isabella Stewart Gardner, one of the foremost female patrons in the late 19th century, and the princess frequently visited the Gardner family in Massachusetts. After returning from New York, the princess created a stylish collection amassed from the 1970s onwards in her Rome apartment. "This collection is a personal testament to the princess’s own taste and flare," Nathaniel Nicholson explains, "which can be seen in the clever way in which antiques and Japanese and Chinese works of art are juxtaposed with Art Nouveau glass and modern art."

Among the highlights of the sale is a pair of Royal Louis-Philippe ormolu four-light candelabra (lot 53, estimate £15,000-£25,000), which display the Egyptian motifs so popular in the Empire period, and were almost certainly part of a large commission ordered by the duc d’Orléans, later King Louis Philippe of France (1773-1850) for the Château de Neuilly. Further highlights include a Louis XV ormolu-mounted black and gilt Vernis Martin commode, circa 1740 (lot 50, estimate £25,000-£40,000), which illustrates the European taste for and imitation of exotic Oriental materials in the mid-18th century; and a glamorous Italian ormolu-mounted red Sicilian Jasper coffee table, 20th century (lot 75, estimate £15,000-£25,000), purchased from Galeria di Castro in Rome, which is veneered on all surfaces with that rich and colorful hardstone and was the centerpiece of Princess Ismene’s living room.

The second Italian collection hitting the block in February in London comes from a Genoese noble family. "This beautifully curated collection, which was amassed by a Noble family in Genoa from the 1950s onwards, features a broad range of works of art including Old Master paintings, silver, carpets and European porcelain, as well as notable pieces of furniture and decorative objects which are typically Genoese in design and which lend the collection an unmistakable distinctive flavor" said Nicholson, who added: "The collection was assembled during the 20th century with the help of one of Italy’s most renowned dealers, Pietro Accorsi. Many of the pieces in this collection bear his trademark label, with the address of his shop: via Po.55, Torino. Accorsi was well respected in the European art world as an adviser and dealer to numerous prestigious collectors and institutions. He sourced predominantly Genoese pieces for this collection and contributed greatly to its overall evolution." Though the market for antique furniture is experiencing a moment of downturn, Christie’s continues to see a demand for furniture of quality, in good condition and with interesting provenance. "The February sale offers a selection of fascinating pieces of 18th century Italian and French furniture that will appeal to both discerning new buyers and established collectors alike," said Nicholson.

Among the highlights of the second collection is a North Italian ormolu-mounted tulipwood-banded and kingwood bureau plat (lot 170, estimate £20,000-£30,000). "This desk’s sinuous curved form and pierced angle mounts are characteristic of Genoese furniture produced in the mid-18th century, which was strongly influenced by French designs and was in part due to the proximity of Genoa to France," said Nicholson.

Further highlights include three pairs of Louis XVI polychrome-painted caned canapés (lots 201-203, estimate £6,000-£10,000 each): highly decorative pieces which are stamped by cabinetmaker Jacques Cheneaux, whose work is rare, and they are considered to be among his finest work.


 The Roman residence of Princess Ismene Chigi Della Rovere, Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd.

 The Roman residence of Princess Ismene Chigi Della Rovere, Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd.

 The Roman residence of Princess Ismene Chigi Della Rovere, Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd.

Last Updated on Monday, 12 January 2015 15:01

Art Market Italy: December auctions

PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 15 December 2014 13:31

Lot 2232 – Couple of large vessels, China 19th century, 54in., 135cm. Estimate €40,000-44,500. Courtesy Boetto

GENOA, Italy – In the week before Christmas, the Italian auction houses have scheduled some important appointments, in particular with Design, Oriental art and Old Masters.

In Genoa, Boetto holds an auction of antiques and paintings of the 19th century on Dec. 16-17, one of Oriental art on Dec. 18, and another one of jewelry on the same day. Among the Old Masters are included three Venetian views of the mid-19th century: Piazza San Marco, Piazza San Marco seen from the Church of San Giorgio and The Church of Health, all with contemporary frames (lot 858, estimate €15,000-16,000). Also from the Venetian area is another of the highlights of the auction: a drawing by Giuseppe Bison already pictured on the cover of the exhibition "One hundred drawings of the Bison" in Udine in 1962 (Lot 1048, estimate €3,000-3,400). An artist from Trieste from the 19th century, Bison has been reassessed in recent years through some exhibitions and the publication of the catalog of his work. A painter of capricci and vedute, he had great success in his time thanks to his vibrant and lively style.

Among the pieces of Oriental art is a pair of large famille rose vessels, a type of porcelain in which the dominant color is pink, of the 19th century (lot 2232, estimate €40,000-44,500), and a statue of Vajravarahi, a Buddhist deity, in gilt bronze, also of the 19th century (lot 2466, estimate €12,000-13,500, $14,950-$16,818).

Finally, the jewelry auction – a segment that is particularly strong in the current market – offers an elegant ring in "Contrarier" shape in platinum with two diamonds (lot 3102, estimate €18,000-20,000) and a brooch by Van Cleef and Arpels from the 1940s in yellow and white gold in the shape of a ribbon (lot 3241, estimate €10,000-11,500).

At Ars Nova, instead, design is in the spotlight. On 16 Dec. there is an auction that runs throughout the 20th century of Italian design, from Murano glasses up to a series of important furniture with the presence of several icons from the various periods. "Note the change of shapes, colors, materials, lighting, which are used in an increasingly focused way, and the deep study that only the Italian Masters can give to objects," said department specialist Alessio D'Urso.

The overview starts from the design of the 1920s and arrives to the present day: For example, there are some furniture from a bedroom by Ettore Zaccari that show high-quality carvings in Art Nouveau style (lots 1, 3 and 4). Then, there are some of prestigious manufacturers s of Murano glass, in particular a pot by Vittorio Zecchin for Cappellin (lot 5) and a chandelier of the same production. Another example is a particularly beautiful engraved glass by Paolo Venini with a typical shape from the 1950s (lot 6).

Another icon of the 1950s is the D70 sofa by Borsani (lot 43), which represents the industrial design of the period: it foresees the possibility of changing from sofa into bed and, for the first time, the versatility of the intermediate positions which transform it into a cult object.

An interesting lot is the suspended lamp by Ignazio Gardella for Azucena (lot 28), an emblem of Italian rationalism and of the introduction of printed glass.

Among the lots of the 1960-70s are some objects in which the Italian quality manifests itself through technique. Examples are two lamps by Paolo Tilche and produced by Sirrah. One of them was realized by working on balancing weights (lot 54), while the other one is based on the study of photography and color (lot 92). It is said that Tilche created this lamp putting some glasses in front of the transparent paper of cigarettes, thus creating two screens that constantly turn and change the color as in a kaleidoscope.

From the 1980-90s, there are some examples of post modernism like the Belvedere console by Aldo Cibic (lot 114), some armchairs and sofas by Poltrona Frau (lots 110 and 111), a lamp by Calatrava (lot 115A), and a particular piece of furniture produced by Rivadossi (lot 117), a cabinetmaker from northern Italy who is well known for the accuracy and quality of his workmanship.

The week closes on Dec. 19 with an auction at Little Nemo, an auction house specializing in comics and original drawings, which will put on auction 198 lots dedicated to the "painters of paper" of the 20th century. Among the most significant lots are The Princess Bride by Guido Gozzano, illustrated by Golia (lot 19); The Art of Walt Disney with a rare autograph of Walt Disney (lot 24); a Pinocchio set composed by a picture book by Mussino and 12 characters in wood (lot 33); Valentina flowers and chess by Crepax (lot 155); and, finally, The Celtics by Hugo Pratt (lot 165).


Lot 2232 – Couple of large vessels, China 19th century, 54in., 135cm. Estimate €40,000-44,500. Courtesy Boetto

Lot 24 – The Art of Walt Disney, with a rare autograph of Walt Disney. Start price €900. Courtesy Little Nemo

Lot 92 – Paolo Tilche, floor lamp, chromed metal, 1962, produced by Sirrah. Estimate €6,000-6,500. Courtesy Nova Ars

Lot 3241 – Important Van Cleef & Arpels brooch in the shape of a bow, 1940s, yellow and white gold. Estimate €10,000-11,500. Courtesy Boetto

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 2014 14:22

Art Market Italy: Dadamaino in London

PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 01 December 2014 14:34
Dadamaino at Team Colore in 1975. Photo Gianfranco Corso, courtesy Sotheby's LONDON – In the year that marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Dadamaino, Sotheby's dedicates to the Italian artist a selling exhibition in its London gallery S|2 from Nov. 20 to Jan. 16. The exhibition allows art lovers to retrace the career of this important pioneer of female art and buy 19 fresh-to-the-market works of art. Five other works come from the Dadamaino Archive in Milan and are on loan.

"It is a privilege to stage a show dedicated to one of the female pioneers of contemporary art," said Fru Tholstrup, director of S|2 London. "In a male dominated world, Dadamaino broke the mold, and is now rightly being recognized as one of the most influential Italian artists of her generation."

Dadamaino belongs to the generation of Italian artists from the 1960s, who now are particularly in demand on the international art market. Until a few years ago, the international collectors knew only the big players such as Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni and Enrico Castellani. Now they have also discovered their contemporaries such as Paolo Scheggi, Agostino Bonalumi and Dadamaino. To get an idea of the market's growth of the latter, just think that within a year, from October 2013 to now, her record has been exceeded three times: At Sotheby's in London on Oct. 17, 2013, a work with an estimate of €25,000-35,000 sold for €123,500; a month later, on Nov. 27 at the Dorotheum in Vienna, a work with an estimate of €30,000-40,000 sold for €134,500; and finally at Sotheby's in London on Oct. 17 one of her works sold for €154,500. Furthermore, her works have entered the collections of museums such as the Tate in London and the Guggenheim in New York, where Dadamaino is currently on display in the important exhibition "Zero: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s-60s."

Born in Milan in 1930 as Eduarda Emilia Maino, Dadamaino began her artistic career as an autodidact. At the end of the 1950s, she attended the famous local artists group Bar Jamaica, where she met Piero Manzoni. Dadamaino so became part of Milan's avant-garde artistic scene, where he is known by the nickname of Dada. She was deeply influenced by Lucio Fontana. An anecdote recounts her first meeting with one of his "Concetti spaziali," which Dadamaino saw from the tramway in a shop's window at the corner between piazza Cordusio and via Broletto in Milan. Like Fontana, Dadamaino in 1959 arrived to overcome the two-dimensionality of the canvas and to open the possibilities of the painting to the third dimension, and realized her Volumes: monochrome canvases in black or white or natural color, from which she removed large parts of the surface, creating ovoid, empty forms. These works, which in the early 1960s were displayed in Manzoni's and Castellani's Azimut gallery in Milan, are now the most requested on the market. In regard to them the artist said: "I have always abhorred the matter and sought the immateriality. Naturally Fontana has had a decisive role in the history of my painting. (....) If it was not Fontana to pierce the canvas, probably I would not have dared to do it myself. We used to entirely remove the matter so that also parts of the canvas were visible in order to eliminate any material element and to deprive it of rhetoric and return to the tabula rasa, to purity."

After this liberating act, Dadamaino sought a way to continue and found her inspiration in the teachings of Futurism. Looking beyond the holes of her works she saw the wall made of lights and shadows that vibrate and started looking for more movement: "The art was static so far, except for a few pioneers, it must again become dynamic using the means resulting from the most recent technical and scientific experiences, as we have determined that you can do art with any means."

Thus in the early 1960s, Dadamaino moves away from the black and white of her early works and conceives the Out of Sync Modules Volumes – paintings in which she overlapped several layers of perforated semi-transparent material. "I wanted to create holes that were disposed in prospective and translated the volume in three or four layers of plastic," the artist said. "I found a semi-transparent material that is normally used for shower curtains and that at time came closest to the idea of transparency. I perforated the sheets by hand and then placed them on the frame. The warmth of my hand moved the holes, and this shift was the result of chance." A work of this kind from 1960 is at the Tate Gallery in London.

In the following years the artist collaborated with international movements like the Zero Group in Germany and Nul in the Netherlands and participated in exhibitions in museums and galleries in Italy and Europe. On the occasion of an exhibition in 1961, her paintings were erroneously attributed to Dadamaino, a name that the artist assumed for the rest of her career.

Dadamaino's radical instinct brought her to create new groups of works and to continually evolve her style. Her interests increasingly turned to kinetic and optical art. In the early 1970s she developed the "Chromoreliefs," three-dimensional structures that transform mathematical principles in aesthetic experience, while in the mid-1970s she introduced the graphic sign and realized the "Alphabet of the Mind," a series of fictional characters that Dadamaino used to write a series of "letters" in which she repeated a single sign. In the 1980s her works were exhibited twice at the Venice Biennale, the first time in 1980 with the series The Facts of Life and the second time in 1990 with the solo show "Future Dimension. The Artist and The Space." Dadamaino died in Milan in 2004.

Dadamaino at Team Colore in 1975. Photo Gianfranco Corso, courtesy Sotheby's Dadamaino, ‘Cromorilievo,’ 1975. Courtesy Sotheby's Dadamaino, ‘Oggetto Ottico Dinamico,’ 1961. Courtesy Sotheby's Dadamaino, ‘Volume,’ 1958. Courtesy Sotheby's
Last Updated on Monday, 01 December 2014 15:12

Art Market Italy: Gabriella Crespi at Piasa in Paris

PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 18 November 2014 13:36
Gabriella Crespi, 'Mushroom' from the series 'Rising Sun,' lamp, 1974, bamboo and brass, 84 × 61 cm, estimate €5,000-7,000. Courtesy Piasa, Paris PARIS – French auction house Piasa celebrates Italian designer Gabriella Crespi with an auction that will take place here Nov. 26. Auction Central News interviewed Piasa's Vice Chairman Chief Executive Frédéric Chambre.

Who is Gabriella Crespi?

Gabriella Crespi is an Italian designer, artist, socialite and fashion muse. Born in 1922, she grew up in Tuscany, near Florence, before studying architecture at the Politecnico in Milan, where she discovered Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright. She married into one of Italy’s wealthiest families, who owned the Corriere della Sera and a textiles empire. From Rome and Milan she hired the finest craftsmen to produce her designs.

Why is she important in design history? What does her work represent?

Gabriella Crespi has always conveyed an art de vivre in tune with her times, full of freedom and pioneering bohemian chic: a mix of 1970s aspiration and Italian tradition. Although her style goes perfectly with materials like wood, bamboo, mirror and Plexiglas, Gabriella Crespi’s most characteristic designs are in metal – notably brass. All of Crespi’s designs place as much importance on aesthetics as on functionality, or even multifunctionality. Coffee tables are raised in height, bookcases are transformed into partitions, chairs turn into beds … .

What inspires her? Who are her mentors?

She finds her inspiration in the forces of nature in which she senses a symbolic value. On these solid grounds she established her life plan. When asked about her masters, she mentions a number of great figures in the world of architecture such as Frank Lloyd Wright in whom she sees the proximity with the vernacular spirit in Taliesin West, where he grounded his teaching on the observation of the truth of large open spaces and devised his Prairie houses to serve man and his family. Le Corbusier is also among her models. She likes his habit of collecting objects, whether seashells or driftwood. With simple gestures he composed his art as a painter and architect. In him she appreciates the way he took nature as a model, the way he captured light, his bold lines and minimalist approach.

How many objects do you offer and what are the price ranges?

The auction offers 75 objects from €600 to €40,000 ($750 to $50,000) .

Where do the objects on sale come from?

The objects on sale come from different private collections and all the lots have been certified by the Gabriella Crespi’s archives.

What are the most important objects on sale and why are they significant in her production?

The convertible, three-part dining table, from her celebrated Yang Yin series designed in 1979, is a perfect blend of brass and lacquered wood (est. €20,000-30,000). A fine example is provided by her ingenious, twin-opening Mr-Mme commode (est. €20,000-30,000), as the iron and brass bed Sheherazade (est. €30,000-40,000) Other sale highlights include a bamboo and brass Fungo lamp from her Rising Sun series (est. €5,000-7,000), and her 1976 Tavolo Scultura coffee table (est. €20,000-30,000). For the collection of sculptures, the sale offers the elegant, hand-chased silver-plated Ostrich, with a veritable ostrich egg (est. €2,500-3,000).

Are Gabriella Crespi's objects frequently on the market?

The market does not offer much of Crespi’s works. Most of her works were produced in limited editions and have been rare and highly sought-after since the 1970s – and are all the more so today. Her designs are rare and were mostly the result of special commissions.

Do you know any museums or private collections that include her work?

Unfortunately, Gabriella Crespi's work is still under-represented in the major international museum collections, even though she was exhibited in institutions such as Palazzo Reale in Milan. Her work is, however, part of many important private collections everywhere in the world, especially in the U.S.

Why did you choose "Timeless" as the title of the sale?

Even though Gabriella Crespi mainly produced pieces in the ’60s and ’70s, her work has managed to cross the decades in a very impressive way, with the same strength and spirit of innovation. Forty years later, her creations remain timeless, as well as her great beauty. Gabriella has become a timeless icon.

Gabriella Crespi, 'Mushroom' from the series 'Rising Sun,' lamp, 1974, bamboo and brass, 84 × 61 cm, estimate €5,000-7,000. Courtesy Piasa, Paris Gabriella Crespi, 'Mr / Mme,' chest of drawers, 1972, brass and chrome, 79 × 120 × 55 cm, estimate €15,000-20,000. Courtesy Piasa, Paris Gabriella Crespi, 'Mr / Mme,' chest of drawers, 1972, brass and chrome, 79 × 120 × 55 cm, estimate €15,000-20,000. Courtesy Piasa, Paris Gabriella Crespi, 'Yin Yang' from the series 'Plurimi,' modular table, 1979, brass and lacquered wood 76.5 × 225 × 122 cm, estimate €20,000-30,000. Courtesy Piasa, Paris Gabriella Crespi, 'Bureau Z,' brushed steel, wood, glass, 1974, 78.5 × 149.4 × 75.3 cm, estimate €40,000-60,000. Courtesy Piasa, Paris
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 November 2014 14:53

Art Market Italy: Cambi opens a department for vintage cars, cycles

PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 03 November 2014 15:13

Michael Schumacher's driving suit. Courtesy Cambi, Genoa GENOA, Italy - One of Italy's most prestigious auction houses, Cambi Casa d'Aste, has launched a new department specializing in vintage cars and motorcycles. In this interview, Auction Central News' Italy-based columnist Silvia Anna Barrila interviews auction house founder Matteo Cambi about Cambi's plans for the future.

Q: Where did the idea to open a department dedicated to vintage cars and motorcycles come from?

A: From a careful analysis of the market and also from the consideration that many of our customers, both Italian and foreign, are fans and / or collectors of the motor world.

Q: When and where will you hold the first auction? How many auctions will you hold per year?

A: We will hold the inaugural auction of the department exclusively online in the first week of December. Then, we will make our debut auction during the traditional auction week in late February-early March in our Milan headquarters. We intend to make two auctions a year, and evaluate the implementation of specific auctions for any major collections.

Q: It is the first department of this kind in Italy? Where does this lack come from?

A: It is an exciting field that has significant results in countries such as Britain and the United States, where there is a tradition in this area. At the same time we realize that it certainly has a complex management in terms of space, and this can be a deterrent. It is also a market that requires a deep knowledge of the industry, of the collectors and of the many models of vehicles and automobilia. Finally, you must have a clientele of foreign buyers, especially in recent years, as cars and motorcycles buyers are foreigners.

Q: What will Cambi offer in this new department? On what are you going to focus?

A: Given that we are an Italian auction house, and that our country has a history of motoring which is among the richest in the world, we want to focus mainly on Italian brands and products. In addition to cars and motorcycles, we will offer supercars and prestigious modern bikes and automobilia, such as pilots suits and helmets, trophies, memorabilia, documents, etc.

Q: Could you anticipate some highlights that Cambi will offer at its first auction?

A: At our first auction we will offer items related to the world of Ferrari, some of which are exclusive and rare because inherent to Formula 1, as well as modern collectible cars such as two exemplars of Alfa Romeo Roadster Zagato from the early 1990s which was produced in less than 300 exemplars. We will also have Moto Guzzi motorcycles from the prewar period and Vespas from the late 1940s-early 1950s which, besides being important and famous brands in the world, have Genoese origins just like our auction house.

Q: Which are the most popular cars and motorcycles? What are their prices?

A: The most popular cars worldwide are linked to famous brands such as Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Bugatti, Mercedes, Zagato, Carrozzeria Touring. Their values range from several hundred thousand Euros to several million Euros for a vehicle. It must be said that buying a vintage vehicle, whether it costs millions of Euros or tens of thousands of euro, it is an interesting investment, if it is well done, so that vintage cars are considered a great store of value.

Q: For a collector who is entering this market, what are the things to know and watch out for? What kind of investment is required?

A: For a collector who enters this market, there are many things to know. First, we need to distinguish whether you are buying for the pleasure of owning the car, or for investment, because the choices will have a different nature. Having said this, the main observations are to be inherent to the conditions of the car, because the values are very different if the purchase is fully restored or needs restoration. To own a vintage vehicle and enjoy the passion, even €10,000-15,000 for a car €5,000-10,000 for a motorcycle may be enough.

Q: What are the outstanding historical sales in the field of vintage cars and motorcycles?

A: In recent years there was a succession of outstanding sales. Many cars reach prices higher than 1 million Euros, and in the last few years the values have been growing so much that some historic cars produced in very few copies (Ferrari in particular) have reached record prices between 10 and 25 million euros.

Visit Cambi Casa d'Aste online at

Michael Schumacher's driving suit. Courtesy Cambi, Genoa Zippo lighter produced for the brand 1000Miglia, 2009. Courtesy Cambi, Genoa JR, Airbrush painting of Alfa Romeo Tipo 8C 2900B Berlinetta Touring 1938, 100x70 cm. Courtesy Cambi, Genoa Vespa TAP - Troupes Aéro Portées, 1956-59. Courtesy Cambi, Genoa
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 November 2014 09:26
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 13

Banner Banner