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Profiles in History auctions 'Easy Rider' chopper for $1.3M

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Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 20 October 2014 09:53

The customized Captain America chopper Peter Fonda rode in 'Easy Rider.' Profiles in History image. CALABASAS, Calif. (AP) – A motorcycle reportedly featured in Easy Rider has been sold for what auctioneers say was $1.35 million.

The Profiles in History auction house did not identify the buyer with Saturday night's winning bid for the “Captain America” chopper.

Spokeswoman Sabrina Propper says bidding was fierce for the Harley-Davidson that the auction house says was ridden in the 1969 movie.

More than one version of the bike was built but according to the auction catalog, the one that sold was the only one to survive.

___

Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-10-19-14 0815GMT

Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
The customized Captain America chopper Peter Fonda rode in 'Easy Rider.' Profiles in History image.
Last Updated on Monday, 20 October 2014 10:05
 

Historic Hot Springs, Ark., hotel put on auction block

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Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 10:17
Handwritten letter by William Jennings Bryan on Majestic Hotel letterhead, dated Nov. 26, 1919. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Signature House. HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) – The Majestic Hotel complex in central Arkansas will be for sale until next month, according to a real estate auctioneer.

A fire ripped through the Hot Springs historic hotel in February, prompting the city to raze part of the complex and condemn the rest. Rubble has piled along Park Avenue since the blaze.

The building's debris and three other structures still left standing will be up for grabs at an auction set to end Nov. 12, Don Erler told The Sentinel-Record.

Erler, a senior adviser-real estate auctioneer with Sperry Van Ness, said the company was approached by Garrison Hassenflu, the manager of a company that owns the Majestic Hotel complex. Hassenflu wants to offer the 5.2-acre site with a starting bid of $1.25 million, Erler said.

Erler said Sperry Van Ness has an annual auction for people wanting to get property sold and off their books before the end of the year. The Majestic Hotel is one out of about 35 properties that will be a part of the auction.

“They were interested in potentially doing an auction to see if we can find someone who will pick that (property) up with the idea of redeveloping the property,” Erler said.

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality has approved a cleanup plan for the site and work is expected to begin later this month, a department spokeswoman said.

___

Information from: The Sentinel-Record, http://www.hotsr.com

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-10-14-14 1429GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Handwritten letter by William Jennings Bryan on Majestic Hotel letterhead, dated Nov. 26, 1919. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Signature House.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 October 2014 10:36
 

Christie's to auction actress Joan Fontaine's property

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Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 09:43
Joan Fontaine and Gary Cooper holding their Oscars at the Academy Awards after party in 1942. Fontaine won for best actress in Alfred Hitchcock's 'Suspicion.' Cooper won for for best actor in 'Sergeant York.' Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. NEW YORK (AP) – Items from the California home of Academy Award-winning actress Joan Fontaine will be auctioned in New York between November and January.

Fontaine's 1941 Oscar for best actress in Alfred Hitchcock's Suspicion is among the highlights. Christie's says it could bring $200,000 to $300,000 Dec. 11.

Fontaine died at 96 last year in her Carmel, Calif., home.

The 104 lots of fine art, silver, lighting, furniture and jewelry will be spread over several sales. They could realize more than $1 million. The entire proceeds will benefit the SPCA in Monterey, Calif.

The auctioneer says a 1935 painting by Marc Chagall, Vase of Flowers in the Window, could sell for $400,000 to $600,000 on Nov. 6.

Fontaine first gained stardom in 1940 in Hitchcock's Rebecca, earning her the first of three Oscar nominations.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-10-14-14 1429GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Joan Fontaine and Gary Cooper holding their Oscars at the Academy Awards after party in 1942. Fontaine won for best actress in Alfred Hitchcock's 'Suspicion.' Cooper won for for best actor in 'Sergeant York.' Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 17:25
 

Apple 1 computer, Darwin note being auctioned at Bonhams

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Written by ULA ILNYTZKY, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 11:17

Still in working order, this vintage Apple 1 computer—one of only 50 made in Steve Jobs' garage in 1976—is estimated at  $300,000 to $500,000. Image courtesy of Bonhams.

NEW YORK (AP) – A letter by Charles Darwin on the sex life of barnacles and a still-working vintage Apple computer—one of only 50 made in Steve Jobs' garage in 1976— are among the unique pieces of science history up for auction this month.

Buyers at the Oct. 22 event at Bonhams will need deep pockets. The Steve Wozniak-designed Apple 1 computer is estimated to bring $300,000 to $500,000. One sold at auction last year for $671,000.

For something really exotic, potential buyers can fork over an estimated $150,000 to $250,000 for a Manhattan Project viewing window that shielded scientists on the secret World War II bomb project from radiation. The clear yellow glass, measuring approximately 3 feet by 4 feet and weighing 1,500 pounds, contains 70 percent lead oxide.

“It's the first time a full window from the Manhattan Project has come on the market,” said Cassandra Hatton, Bonhams' specialist on the history of science.

The auction also has a wide range of globes and other technological instruments. They include the earliest electric keyboard, a rare 1905 Helmholtz sound synthesizer with a presale estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.

Hatton says this is Bonhams' first sale in New York of artifacts of science and technology, which has become a growing area of interest among tech-savvy buyers.

Darwin's 1857 letter to a colleague about barnacles is “classic Darwin” and “definitely amusing,” said David Kohn, director and general editor of the Darwin Manuscripts Project at the American Museum of Natural History. “It's Darwin's passion for the meaning of sex,” Kohn said.

In the letter, estimated to bring $20,000 to $30,000, Darwin says he wants to learn more about the sex act of barnacles, such things as “were the specimens under water at times” and “if the recipient was in full vigor?”

The letter's historical significance, Kohn said, “is that Darwin's still pursuing this evolutionary theme of reproduction. ... Darwin is observing, fishing and finding the exact significance of it.”

___

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-10-09-14 1747GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Still in working order, this vintage Apple 1 computer—one of only 50 made in Steve Jobs' garage in 1976—is estimated at  $300,000 to $500,000. Image courtesy of Bonhams. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 October 2014 12:43
 

Christie's picked to sell De Kooning's 'Clamdigger' sculpture

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Written by Auction House PR   
Monday, 13 October 2014 13:23

Willem de Kooning (1904-1997), ‘Clamdigger,’ bronze, 59 1/2 x 29 5/8 x 23 3/4 inches. Executed in 1972. Estimate: $25 million-$35 million. Christie's Images Ltd. Thank you.

NEW YORK – Christie’s has been entrusted by the Lisa de Kooning Trust with the sale of Willem de Kooning’s acclaimed Clamdigger, ranked as the most important sculpture of the Abstract Expressionist movement.

Having remained as part of de Kooning’s personal collection since it was created in 1972, Clamdigger is widely recognized alongside Giacometti’s Walking Man as a crowning achievement in expressive 20th century sculpture, in which de Kooning pushed the boundaries of what was possible in sculpture and launched a creative Renaissance of his art in the 1970s. A rare male subject for an artist famous for his highly expressionistic depiction of monumental women, de Kooning kept this work for himself; several art historians assert it became a surrogate self-portrait, depicting with the most brutal honesty an artist in his 60s conscious of humanity and his mortality. De Kooning would confront his Clamdigger every day, positioning it with pride of place by the entrance to his studio.

The majority of the 10 casts belong to major institutions and foundations around the world, including The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Glenstone Foundation in Potomac, Md., the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Daros Foundation in Switzerland and the Center George Pompidou in Paris. Clamdigger was also a highlight of the highly celebrated “De Kooning: A Retrospective” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2011. The MoMA exhibition curator, John Elderfield, stated: “Of his generation of Abstract Expressionist painters, de Kooning is the only one, besides Barnett Newman, to have sustained an interest in sculpture-making for a substantial amount of time; he is also the only one to have embraced the traditional medium of bronze casting and the human figure as a subject.”

Clamdigger is one of our grandfather’s greatest achievements, and it also had a very personal connection for him and for our whole family. Nonetheless, we have decided to offer this very special work at auction in order to fulfill the tax obligations of our mother’s estate. We certainly hope it will find a new home as wonderful as the de Kooning studio where it guarded the entryway for so many years,” noted the three grand-daughters of the artist.

“This is truly an unprecedented opportunity for the many collectors who recognize de Kooning’s Clamdigger as a milestone in modern sculpture and one of the most important works of Abstract Expressionism,” said Brett Gorvy, Chairman and International Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art. “De Kooning was one of a select group of artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Edgar Degas who have made the transition from painting to produce master works in three dimensions, and this sculpture shows de Kooning’s genius to cross the boundaries of medium and to find total freedom in his new expression. With its extraordinarily gnarled surface and ruthless honesty, this is the definition of an artist in his sixties confronting, through the making of this male figure, what it is to be human in the most primal form and wanting to explore his own mortality.”

Willem de Kooning’s Clamdigger is one of the most remarkable works of art to have been produced in the last 50 years and in many ways stands as a highly personal invocation of the spirit of its creator. Having remained in the artist’s personal collection since its inception, the close bond between de Kooning and this particular work is almost palpable. For the last four decades Clamdigger stood as a familiar and protective guard at the entrance to de Kooning’s studio in East Hampton—a place he moved to in the early 1960s to escape the distractions of Manhattan. The east end of Long Island became a haven for the artist, a place where he had the space and freedom to reflect on a life lived, and the life still to come. Here, Clamdigger became de Kooning’s Adam, an object created in his own image and every day, as he entered the studio, the artist would see this sculpture. Looking into its noble face, he could confront himself, exposed in a raw state, and reflect on not only his own mortality, but also on the countless possibilities still to come.

Laden with heavy oversized feet, the upright figure is anchored directly to the ground from which it has emerged. The small head evokes Neanderthal man, complete with sunken eyes, a crumpled nose and pursed lips. The head appears to be fused directly to the body, giving the impression of a hunched figure struggling to free itself from its earthly shackles. De Kooning places heavy emphasis on the bodily appendages that he attaches to his figure’s solid torso. The figure’s left arm snakes around itself and ends in a large flat protrusion that is part hand/part tool, like the ones the clam diggers used to extricate their prey from the mud. The right hand holds an extra arm in place of a clam digger’s rake, carried club-like as if going into battle.

In the same way as in his paintings, de Kooning’s sculptures were the result of a visceral creative process which tapped into the same instinctual—almost primitive—expressionistic forces that produced some of the artist’s greatest works. To exacerbate this, the artist often modeled his figures with his eyes closed, enabling him to feel the potency, energy and movement of his materials directly through his fingers. This technique allowed him to develop a direct, intuitive relationship with his work, almost as if he was working on an extension of his own body.

The unique surface texture of Clamdigger was only possible by working with extremely wet clay. Initially de Kooning had reservations about working with such a material as clay, but those soon evaporated when he saw what he was able to achieve. “In some ways, clay is even better than oil,” de Kooning told Crafts Horizon magazine in 1972. “You can work and work on a painting but you can’t start over again with the canvas like it was before you put that first stroke down. And sometimes, in the end, it’s not good, no matter what you do. But with clay, I cover it with a wet cloth and come back to it the next morning and if I don’t like what I did, or I changed my mind, I can break it down and start over. It’s always fresh.” This process of change was constant. In the case of Clamdigger, de Kooning had originally envisioned the sculpture to stand 7 or 8 feet high, but over the course of several revisions, he finally settled on the current proportions, which are of human size and remain the only scale produced.

Clamdigger is the first work in the artist’s series of large-scale sculpture. Produced in his studio in East Hampton, de Kooning instructed his studio assistant to construct a complex armature out of wood and metal supports upon which the artist would begin to build the gnarled figure. Using layer-upon-layer of very wet, malleable clay de Kooning would create the form—moving, kneading and twisting the material as required–until he produced the desired effect. De Kooning worked in the round, placing Clamdigger on a movable wooden base so that he could inspect the figure from a variety of angles. De Kooning’s method of using very wet clay bore strong similarities to his practice of using oil paint, allowing him to imbue his sculptures with the same degree of expressionistic vigor as his paintings and drawings.

The clamdigger motif is one of de Kooning’s most enduring subjects and was inspired by the men and women he witnessed digging for clams on the beaches near his East Hampton home. Before executing the present work, de Kooning had used the motif in a number of paintings and lithographs, including most notably in 1963 with a painting called Clam Diggers. This was the first major woman painting of the 1960s and features two voluptuously rendered female figures. Although he worked almost exclusively with the female form, Clamdigger is clearly male, and it is for this reason that this work has been regarded as being a self-portrait of the artist.




ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Willem de Kooning (1904-1997), ‘Clamdigger,’ bronze, 59 1/2 x 29 5/8 x 23 3/4 inches. Executed in 1972. Estimate: $25 million-$35 million. Christie's Images Ltd. Thank you. 

Last Updated on Monday, 13 October 2014 14:18
 

Lauren Bacall's art collection to be auctioned by Bonhams

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Written by AFP wire service   
Friday, 10 October 2014 13:28

Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart in a scene from the 1947 film 'Dark Passage.' Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

NEW YORK (AFP) – The art collection of late Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall, which includes work by some of the greatest artists of the 20th century and is worth an estimated $3 million, will go on sale in New York next year.

Auction house Bonhams said that many of the lots in the 700-piece collection amassed by Bacall graced the Los Angeles home she shared with first husband and legendary co-star Humphrey Bogart.

The paintings, sculptures, tribal art and jewelry will be offered for sale at its New York saleroom in March 2015.

Bacall, one of Hollywood's great golden age actresses, died in August after suffering a stroke at her home in New York. She was 89.

Bonhams said the highlights of the collection are eight sculptures by Henry Moore, Britain's greatest 20th century sculptor, two of which will be sold separately next month.

Bacall had a deep admiration for the British artist and claimed to have been star-struck when she visited his studio in the English village of Much Hadham in Hertfordshire just outside London.

"The operator said Henry Moore was on the phone. I could not believe it. I said, 'Is that really Henry Moore?' and he said, 'Is that really Lauren Bacall?'" she said of their first conversation.

Bacall met Bogart while filming her 1944 screen debut To Have and Have Not and the couple married the following year. She was grief-stricken when he died from cancer in 1957.

Besides items from the home she shared with Bogart, other art in the collection graced her former home on Long Island and her apartment overlooking Central Park, Bonhams said.

Included in the estate auction are contemporary prints, English and French 18th and 19th century furniture, tribal works of art, jewelry, couture and Louis Vuitton luggage, the auction house said.

Bonhams said her interest in African art developed when she was on location with Bogart while he filmed The African Queen, for which he won an Oscar in 1952.



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart in a scene from the 1947 film 'Dark Passage.' Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.  

The library was the room where Ms. Bacall would receive guests. One wall was filled with photographs and memorabilia related to her career. Other walls displayed needlework and paintings depicting dogs. Henry Moore bronze maquettes were placed of the fireplace mantel. Bonhams image.

The living room was primarily a room for entertaining. In the far corner is Humphrey Bogart’s wrought-iron and steel-inlaid slate games table. To the far left is the Mason & Hamlin ebonized grand piano where Lauren Bacall rehearsed for Broadway musicals. Frequent guests, including Leonard Bernstein, would play at the piano during lively cocktail parties. Bonhams image.

The immense dining room showcased extensive collections of English majolica and French and Dutch faience, as well as monumental French posters such artists as Jules Cheret and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, complemented by French and English provincial oak and walnut furniture. Bonhams image.

Last Updated on Friday, 10 October 2014 16:19
 

Clars Auction Gallery credits Internet bidding for record year

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Written by TOM HOEPF, Auction Central News International   
Friday, 10 October 2014 08:11

Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri (Aborigine, 1932-2002), 'Possum Dreaming,' 1994. This large acrylic dot painting sold to an Internet bidder through LiveAucitoneers for $110,000. Clars Auction Gallery image.

OAKLAND, Calif. – When Redge Martin acquired Clars Auction Gallery 18 years ago, one of his goals as president was to grow the business beyond the San Francisco Bay Area. He’s done that and then some. Capitalizing on the Internet phenomenon of online bidding, Clars now sells to customers from around the world.

Clars Auction Gallery recently reached an all-time high for fiscal year 2013-14 with $21 million in sales. The Oakland-based auction house reported a robust increase of 57 percent over the previous fiscal year, the largest year-over-year increase in the firm’s history.

Clars has utilized LiveAuctioneers’ Internet bidding platform for more than a decade, and Martin attributes much of his company’s success to the far reach afforded by Internet bidding.

“We had a Roy Lichtenstein drawing that sold for $47,000 to a bidder from Russia. I never would have guessed someone in Russia would be the buyer. I though that was cool,” said Martin, who has seen the impact of Internet bidding increase dramatically over the years.

“In the beginning it was 15 to 20 percent of the lots going to Internet bidders. Now it’s over 40 percent and it soon will be over 50 percent,” said Martin.

He says much of the Internet bidding at Clars is directed at fine art and Asian art and antiques.

In Clar’s February auction a large acrylic dot painting, titled Possum Dreaming, by Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri (Aborigine, 1932-2002) sold to an Internet bidder through LiveAuctioneers for $130,900. It marked a new record U.S. price for the artist, according to Clars. Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.

The top painting sold by Clars during the past fiscal year, a lovely oil on canvas by Eugène de Blaas (Austrian/Italian, 1843-1932), brought $154,700. Titled The Proposal, it depicted a young woman and a young man in a courtyard.

Fine art accounted for 27 percent of sales during the past fiscal year at Clars. The $5.6 million in the category represented a 15 percent increase over fiscal year 2012/13.

The biggest increase—and astounding 136 percent—came in the Asian art and antiques category, with total sales of $6.9 million. Much of the increase can be attributed to a collection of highly desirable Chinese huanghuali furniture sourced from a Reno, Nev., estate, said Martin. The Chinese term huanghuali literally means "yellow flowering pear" wood. It is a member of the rosewood family.

In Clars’ auction in March a matching pair of Chinese huanghuali cabinets sold for $309,400 and a Chinese huanghuali table with five stools fetched $190,400.

Bidders utilizing LiveAuctioneers snapped up two of Clars’ Chinese huanghuali armchairs for $54,900, and a Chinese square porcelain brush pot, Republic period and having a Hongxian mark, for $36,600.

Clars has experienced success in other segments as well, from a brownish pink diamond and platinum ring selling for $142,800 to a Tiffany Studios Venetian desk lamp for $56,500. Clars even sold a 1954 Chevrolet Corvette in original condition for an impressive $65,500 in May.

Martin says the average price of lots purchased by Internet bidders has increased steadily over the years as well.

“When we started there were a lot of $10 to $50 lots sold to Internet bidders. Today the average price per lot sold to Internet bidders is $1,084,” said Martin.

Once viewed with skepticism by many auction-goers, Internet bidding is now commonplace in the industry.

“We now have regulars who may be too busy to attend … or for whatever reason would rather bid on the Internet,” said Martin.

As Clars’ sales results have improved, so has the quality of the merchandise the auction house is able to acquire.

“The key to our record-breaking year has been successfully attracting a substantial level of buyers from around the world. This in turn, has directly resulted in winning top estates, important collections and individual consignments,” noted Martin.

He also credits Clars’ achievements to the staff of experts who “are dedicated to providing the most successful sales experience for each of our consignors.”

Clars will launch their 2014-2015 fiscal year on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Oct. 11-13, with a Fine Art, Decoratives, Asian and Jewelry Auction.

 

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE

Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri (Aborigine, 1932-2002), 'Possum Dreaming,' 1994. This large acrylic dot painting sold to an Internet bidder through LiveAucitoneers for $110,000. Clars Auction Gallery image.

An Internet bidder utilizing LiveAuctioneers bought this pair of Chinese huanghuali hardwood official's hat armchairs for $54,900. Clars Auction Gallery image. 

The Honolulu Museum of Art consigned this Chinese hardwood side table to benefit its collection. Reputed to be huanghuali, the Qing dynasty (17th/18th century) table sold for $42,700 to an Internet bidder through LiveAucitoneers. Clars Auction Gallery image.

‘Portrait of a Stag’ by Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait (American, 1819-1905) sold to an Internet bidder through LiveAuctioneers for $39,650. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Chinese enameled porcelain brush pot, Republic period, 6.5 inches high, its base having a red Hongxian mark. Price realized: $36,600 from an Internet bidder utilizing LiveAuctioneers. Clars Auction Gallery image.

Last Updated on Friday, 10 October 2014 08:34
 

Christie's Geneva to sell former French crown jewels

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Written by Auction House PR   
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 16:10
Empress Eugenie and her Feuilles de Groseillier brooch, which is estimated at $2 million-$3 million. Christie's Images Ltd.

GENEVA – On Nov. 11 Christie’s Geneva will auction Empress Eugenie’s Feuilles de Groseillier brooch, which has not been seen at auction for over 125 years.

The French crown jewels once constituted one of the largest jewelry collections in the world, but few examples in original condition survived to this day. It is therefore rare for a jewel of such historic importance to be offered for sale.

The Feuilles de Groseillier brooch, part of one of the most beautiful parures of the 19th century, was commissioned by Empress Eugenie to Bapst Jewelers in 1855. It is designed as a cluster of three openwork currant leaves centering upon a larger cushion-shaped diamond, suspending three detachable articulated pampilles, set throughout with old mine-cut diamonds. Of exquisite design, this jewel is a stunning example of the exceptional quality of the creations of Bapst Jewelers. This fabulous historic jewel is estimated at 1,900,000-2,900,000 Swiss francs / $2,000,000-$3,000,000.

Born into a family of ancient Spanish nobility in 1826 in Granada, Eugénie de Montijo married Emperor Napoleon III in 1853. A woman of great elegance, beauty and charm, she was a leader of European fashion and assembled a large collection of jewels, mostly commissioned from Bapst Jewelers, court goldsmiths for generations and safe keepers of the French crown jewels. Empress Eugenie favored Alfred Bapst’s subtle creations, in particular his foliage designs suspending aiguillettes or pampilles, of which the present brooch is an iconic example.

The Parure de Feuilles de Groseillier comprised a guirlande, worn as a necklace; a tour-de-corsage, worn directly on the dress and a devant-de-corsage brooch. In 1870, at the fall of the Second Empire, Empress Eugenie and her husband Napoleon III moved to England, leaving behind most of the crown jewels. Seventeen years later, the French government conducted a 12 day-auction, from May 12 – 23, 1887 where all the belongings of the French royal family were offered for sale, including the jewelry. Several of the larger pieces were broken up prior to the auction so the stones could be sold individually. The guirlande was sold as eight parts of lot no. 11 and the present brooch was acquired by Tiffany & Co., who was the largest buyer at this legendary auction

A few decades later the Feuilles de Groseillier brooch was gifted by the Metropolitan Opera of New York as a tribute to the famous opera singer Madame Lucrezia Bori (1887-1960). A Spanish soprano, who had sung at La Scala in Milan, Madame Bori made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera in 1910 singing the title role of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. During 20 seasons at the Met, she appeared 654 times, performing the leading roles in 39 operas. Her immense contribution to the Metropolitan Opera and famous portrayals of Mimi in La Bohème and Violetta in La Traviata led her to be the first performer elected to the board of directors of the Metropolitan Opera Association.

On the night of her farewell gala, on March 29, 1936, the Feuilles de Groseillier brooch was presented to Madame Lucrezia Bori by Mrs. Vincent Astor, on behalf of colleagues of the Metropolitan Opera Board and a large group of friends and admirers. A devoted member of the board of directors, Madame Lucrezia Bori continued to work actively for the Metropolitan Opera until her death in 1960, and in her will she bequeathed the brooch to the Metropolitan Opera where it has been exhibited since.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Empress Eugenie and her Feuilles de Groseillier brooch, which is estimated at $2 million-$3 million. Christie's Images Ltd.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 October 2014 16:30
 

‘Citizen Kane’ jacket in Profiles in History’s Oct. 17-20 sale

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Written by Auction House PR   
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 15:02
The 'Podium' jacket worn by Orson Welles in his Oscar nominated role as 'Charles Foster Kane.' Profiles in History image. LOS ANGELES – The signature “Podium” jacket worn by Orson Welles in his Oscar nominated role as “Charles Kane” from the legendary 1941 Citizen Kane film will be included in Profiles in History’s Oct. 17-20 “Hollywood Auction.” Designed by academy award-winning costume designer, Edward Stevenson, the jacket was worn by Welles in one of the most prominent scenes of the film featured in the backdrop of himself “Kane” as he delivers his gubernatorial campaign speech. Profiles in History has set the estimate at $60,000-$80,000.

LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.

The dark blue wool suit jacket with pale grey pinstripes features two buttons, flap pockets, shawl collar and is lined in black. The Western Costume Co. internal bias handwritten label is included and notes “Orson Wells 41 1/2” and stamped “25351.”

Citizen Kane is considered a national treasure,” said Joe Maddalena, president and CEO of Profiles in History. “’Charles Foster Kane’ is probably one of most notorious film characters in the world personified by Orson Welles, which eventually evolved to an enormous amount of notoriety for both. The jacket worn by Welles, or shall we say ‘Kane,’ represents a significant piece of film history.”

Citizen Kane is the renowned 1941 American drama film directed, co-written, produced by, and starring Orson Welles. The picture was Welles' first feature film. The film was nominated for Academy Awards in nine categories; it won an Academy Award for Best Writing (original screenplay) by Herman Mankiewicz and Welles. It is to this day, considered by many critics, filmmakers, and fans to be the greatest film ever made.

For auction details phone Profiles in History: 310-859-7701

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com .



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
The 'Podium' jacket worn by Orson Welles in his Oscar nominated role as 'Charles Foster Kane.' Profiles in History image. The label indicating the jacket was made for Orson Welles is included. Profiles in History image. Movie still from 'Citizen Kane' showing Welles wearing the jacket. Profiles in History image.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 October 2014 15:26
 

Billionaire couple's artworks headed to Sotheby’s auction

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Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 09:38
Mark Rothko, 'No. 21 (Red, Brown, Black and Orange),' oil on canvas, signed and dated 1953 on the reverse, 241.5 by 162.5 cm; 95 by 64 in., executed in 1951. Property from the Schlumberger Collection. Image courtesy of Sotheby's. NEW YORK (AP) – Ninety modern and contemporary artworks, including a rare Mark Rothko painting, from the collection of the renowned art benefactors Pierre and Sao Schlumberger could realize $85 million at the fall art auctions next month.

No. 21 (Red, Brown, Black and Orange) has never been auctioned before and was purchased by the Schlumbergers directly from Rothko's estate, Sotheby's said Monday.

The work “could easily achieve a price in excess of $50 million,” said Oliver Barker, deputy chairman of Sotheby's Europe, calling it “among the finest examples of the artist's work remaining in private hands.”

The painting was first exhibited in the seminal exhibition “15 Americans” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1952, a year after it was created. It has not been exhibited since a traveling retrospective of Rothko's work in 1971-72.

The current Rothko auction record is $86.8 million for Orange, Red, Yellow.

Among other highlights is Andy Warhol's 1974 A group of Four Portraits of Sao Schlumberger, estimated between $2 million and $3 million.

Both works are scheduled to be sold on Nov. 11.

The remaining works are being sold by the Schlumberger family during Sotheby's impressionist and modern and contemporary art day and evening sales on Nov. 4-5 and Nov. 11-12.

Schlumberger died in 1986; his wife passed away in 2007.

By the time Schlumberger married in 1961, the oil billionaire had already amassed important works by modern masters including Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard. His wife expanded the collection to include such contemporary artists as Rothko, Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and Ad Reinhardt. The couple developed close personal relationships with many of the artists.

The Schlumbergers were central figures in New York and Parisian society who helped fund the restoration of Versailles. They were patrons of the Pompidou Center, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and the Museum of Modern Art and Lincoln Center in New York. They also were the first patrons to commission Warhol for a silkscreen portrait.

“Pierre and Sao Schlumberger belonged to one of the most important collecting dynasties of all time, but their vision was entirely their own: a unique aesthetic that blended their European roots with their American experience,” said Barker.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-10-06-14 1947GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Mark Rothko, 'No. 21 (Red, Brown, Black and Orange),' oil on canvas, signed and dated 1953 on the reverse, 241.5 by 162.5 cm; 95 by 64 in., executed in 1951. Property from the Schlumberger Collection. Image courtesy of Sotheby's.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 October 2014 09:44
 

Sotheby’s to auction rare Mozart portrait in London

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Written by AFP wire service   
Monday, 06 October 2014 14:22
'Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart' by an anonymous artist, 1777, watercolor and gouache on ivory, circa 4 cm in height. Estimate: £200,000-300,000. The portrait miniature will be sold at Sotheby’s Music, Continental and Russian Books and Manuscripts Auction on Nov. 20. Image courtesy Sotheby's. LONDON (AFP) – A miniature portrait of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart sent by the Austrian composer to his first love—who was also his first cousin—will go on sale in London next month, Sotheby's said Friday.

Mozart's present is referred to several times in a series of letters sent to Maria Anna Thekla Mozart, with whom he developed an intimate but fleeting relationship.

The rare 1.6-inch-high portrait was made by an anonymous artist in 1777, when Mozart was 21, and Maria Anna was 19.

"One of only two authentic paintings of Mozart remaining in private hands and one of only a dozen or so authentic paintings and drawings of the composer, this object's significance is virtually unparalleled," said Stephen Roe, Sotheby's Worldwide Head of Books & Manuscripts.

"Mozart's features come as a revelation when viewed in the flesh; the detail in the face is remarkable, formed by the tiniest dots of gouache applied with the utmost precision and delicacy, and a marvelous luminosity pervades the entire image."

In the piece—watercolor and gouache on ivory—Mozart wears a red coat and has his blond hair powdered and tied with a large black bow.

Maria Anna was the daughter of his uncle Franz Alois Mozart and the two met as adults during a two-week stay in Augsburg in 1777 and enjoyed a close and playful friendship.

As well as swapping portraits, the pair exchanged nine letters, which revealed a scatological and often infantile humor.

But the relationship cooled off when Mozart fell deeply in love with Aloysia Weber in Mannheim.

The painting, which is being offered for sale by descendants of Maria Anna's family, will form the centerpiece of a Sotheby's auction on November 20.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
'Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart' by an anonymous artist, 1777, watercolor and gouache on ivory, circa 4 cm in height. Estimate: £200,000-300,000. The portrait miniature will be sold at Sotheby’s Music, Continental and Russian Books and Manuscripts Auction on Nov. 20. Image courtesy Sotheby's.
Last Updated on Monday, 06 October 2014 14:36
 

Giacometti sculpture expected to fetch $100M at Sotheby’s

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Written by AFP wire service   
Friday, 03 October 2014 16:54

Alberto Giacometti, 'Chariot,' painted bronze on wooden base, cast in 1951-52. Estimate: $100 million-plus. Sotheby's image.

NEW YORK (AFP) - A sculpture by famed Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti, titled Chariot, is expected to fetch $100 million when it goes on sale at Sotheby's next month, the New York-based auction house said.

The bronze and wood sculpture of a slender female figure atop a chariot with oversized wheels was created in 1950 by Giacometti, a sculptor, painter and draughtsman who died in 1966.

"Few works of art capture a historical moment with the power and poignancy of Giacometti's Chariot," said Simon Shaw of Sotheby's Worldwide Impressionist and Modern Art Department.

"With its connotations of healing, strength and magic, this heroic sculpture is a symbol of renewal following the Second World War."

Also up for bid will be Amedeo Modigliani's Tęte, which the auction house called "a revered masterwork of 20th century sculpture."

Italian The work is a 2-foot-tall limestone sculpture of a masked woman, created by the artist around 1911-1912 and could sell for more than $45 million, Sotheby's said.

"Tęte has a truly mesmerizing aura and is recognized to be the greatest Modigliani sculpture in private hands," Shaw said.

Both works will go on sale at Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art sale in New York on November 4, the first time the sculptures will appear at auction.

Giacometti's Homme qui Marche I sold for a whopping $104.3 million in 2010.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Alberto Giacometti, 'Chariot,' painted bronze on wooden base, cast in 1951-52. Estimate: $100 million-plus. Sotheby's image. 

Last Updated on Friday, 03 October 2014 16:59
 

Christie’s to exhibit Jeff Koons ‘Balloon Monkey (Orange)’

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 03 October 2014 15:47

Jeff Koons, ‘Balloon Monkey (Orange),’ high chromium stainless steel with transparent color coating, 150 x 235 x 126 in. (381 x 596.9 x 320 cm), executed in 2006-2013. Estimate: $20 million-$30 million. Chistie’s Images Ltd.

NEW YORK - On the heels of the foremost Jeff Koons’ retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Christie’s will offer Balloon Monkey (Orange), as one of the highlights of the November evening sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art.

Jeff Koons’ monumental stainless steel sculpture with its impressive scale, fluid line and immaculate mirror-like surfaces, achieves a perfect tension between representation and abstraction. One year after Balloon Dog (Orange) set the world auction record for any living artist, Christie’s will present the 20-foot-long Balloon Monkey (Orange) at the entrance of Christie’s 20 Rockefeller Plaza for six weeks, before being sold on Nov. 12.

Seven years in the making, Balloon Monkey (Orange) marks a spectacular new chapter in Jeff Koons oeuvre. Looking at the smooth, highly polished surface of this monolithic balloon animal, one can appreciate how the artist has progressively attained ever-greater heights of perfection. He achieves this through careful planning, dogged determinism and an uncompromising commitment to his vision – outstripping even advanced industry in his technological ambition.

This is one of five unique Balloon Monkey sculptures made from precision engineered, mirror-polished stainless steel finished with a translucent brightly colored palette coating of either: blue, magenta, orange, red or yellow.

The landmark exhibition at the Whitney Museum of America Art, ending Oct. 19, is the most comprehensive survey ever devoted to the artist’s pioneering oeuvre and his first major museum retrospective in New York. The touring show will reopen again in November at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, where it will coincide with a display of works at the Musée du Louvre that will include examples of his Balloon Rabbit, Balloon Swan, and Balloon Monkey sculptures.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Jeff Koons, ‘Balloon Monkey (Orange),’ high chromium stainless steel with transparent color coating, 150 x 235 x 126 in. (381 x 596.9 x 320 cm), executed in 2006-2013. Estimate: $20 million-$30 million. Chistie’s Images Ltd. 

Last Updated on Friday, 03 October 2014 16:01
 

Texas woman high bidder on Nuremberg stenographer's trove

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Written by RACHEL D'ORO, Associated Press   
Friday, 03 October 2014 08:57

Rare color photo of the trial at Nuremberg showing the defendants guarded by American Military Police. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – A Dallas woman bid $9,000 for documents from the Nuremberg trials that were found in an old locked trunk in Alaska that belonged to a postwar stenographer.

Fran Berg, a member of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission, was the highest bidder for the items in an auction of World War II memorabilia Saturday by the Alaska Auction Co. in Anchorage. With a 15 percent buyer's premium paid to the auction house, Berg paid a total of $10,350.

“This is very special,” Berg said Wednesday of the collection, which includes carbon copies of trial transcripts that had belonged to the late Maxine Carr, a stenographer at the war-crimes trials following the war.

The collection also includes a staff directory for the multinational tribunal that prosecuted scores of Nazi masterminds in the trials, a translated letter to Nazi faithful that signs off with “Heil Hitler” and personal credentials, correspondence and canisters of undeveloped film.

The documents were found stored in Carr's long-vacant Anchorage home. Carr died at least a decade ago, but it's not clear exactly when.

Berg said she has long known concentration camp survivors. Also, her late father-in-law was a Jewish-American U.S. soldier who helped liberate Nazi victims from a concentration camp in Dachau. It was a piece of his history he never talked about except once when he agreed to tell his story on videotape for Holocaust Museum Houston.

Carr's collection resonated with Berg when she got word it was available by auction. That the items were found in a trunk reminded her of her father-in-law, who had kept military discharge papers and medals in a shoebox she found in a closet after his death six years ago.

“You put it away in a trunk, and nobody will ever know,” Berg said of the Carr collection. “That trunk is so full of history that the world needs to know.”

Berg bought the items as a private citizen and said she wants to show it to war survivors and universities, and offer it on loan to museums as a traveling exhibit. She also wants to interview Carr's 91-year-old widower, Chand Sud, who lives in an Anchorage assisted living facility.

At the auction, other people were bidding on the Nuremberg items with the intention of destroying them so that part of history would not be glorified, according to Christine Hill, who has owned the Anchorage auction house with her husband for 30 years. Hill said she was happy that the collection went to someone who believes it's an era that should never be forgotten.

When Berg learned she submitted the winning bid, she called Hill crying.

“She was so happy she got it,” Hill said. “I was really touched, and I started crying a little bit.”

___

Follow Rachel D'Oro at https://twitter.com/rdoro

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

 Rare color photo of the trial at Nuremberg showing the defendants guarded by American Military Police. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 October 2014 09:10
 

Baldwin’s Numismatics moving to 399 Strand in London

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Written by Auction House PR   
Thursday, 02 October 2014 10:52

LONDON – Numismatic dealer and auctioneer A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd. will join Stanley Gibbons in their newly renovated premises on the Strand beginning Oct. 27.

“The move to join our colleagues at Stanley Gibbons represents a progressive new phase in the evolution of the group and an exciting opportunity for our clients. We … will be based at the flagship location for a group of companies operating at the pinnacle of the global collectibles market,” noted Ian Goldbart, managing director.

Located opposite the Savoy on the Strand, the newly refurbished space will bring both retail and auction clients an enriched experience. A new custom designed auction room on the lower ground floor will become the permanent home for the company’s London sales. Private consultation areas and a retail showroom on the first floor will now offer a dedicated viewing space for the company’s stock.

A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd. will continue to attend auctions and numismatic fairs all over the world. Baldwin’s Auction Department will still hold a full calendar of sales in Hong Kong and New York alongside its London sales at the new 399 Strand premises, conveniently located near to Charing Cross and Embankment stations.

In 2013, Baldwin’s became part of the Stanley Gibbons Group PLC, and now offers collectors the complete package of coins, stamps, books, fine art and other collectibles. Sister companies consist of fine art and antiques specialist Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions, autographs and collectibles specialist Fraser’s Autographs and philatelic specialist Stanley Gibbons.

The address is A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd, 399 Strand, London WC2N 0LX.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 October 2014 11:00
 

Famous Manet portrait headed to Christie’s auction

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Written by ULA ILNYTZKY, Associated Press   
Monday, 29 September 2014 09:14
Edouard Manet, 'Spring,' 1882. Image courtesy of Wikiart. NEW YORK (AP) – A celebrated portrait by Edouard Manet of a Parisian actress in a fancy dress and bonnet is heading to auction and could set a record for the artist.

The French impressionist artist's widely acclaimed painting Spring, presented at the Paris Salon of 1882, is estimated to bring up to $35 million on Nov. 5 at Christie's. It has been in the same American collection for over a century and on loan at the National Gallery of Art for the last two decades.

Often called “the first artist of the modern era,” Manet painted actress Jeanne Demarsy in 1881 as an allegory of spring exquisitely attired in a floral dress and bonnet and holding a lacy parasol against a background of rhododendrons.

Spring was widely acclaimed during the lifetime of Manet, one of the leading artists of the impressionist movement famous for his portraits and scenes from everyday life.

“The appearance of a Manet of this importance to the market is extremely rare and very exciting to collectors from every part of the globe,” said Brooke Lampley, senior vice president of Christie's impressionist and modern art.

The portrait has a presale estimate of $25 million to $35 million. The current Manet auction record is $33.2 million, achieved in 2010 for his Self Portrait With a Palette.

“It's significant because it is a very charming and beautiful work by Manet. It's very much a 19th-century theme,'' said David Nash of the Madison Avenue and Chelsea art gallery Mitchell-Innes & Nash. “Manet is famous for being the painter of modern life in Paris.”

Manet had intended to depict four allegorical works of the four seasons but only completed Spring and Autumn. He died in 1883 at 51.

The first owner of the work was Manet's friend, the journalist Antonin Proust. It later was in the collections of the operatic baritone and important impressionist collector J.B Faure and French art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, who sold it to a private collector in 1909 where it remained.

Christie's is exhibiting the painting in Hong Kong, London and Paris before the sale.

“We expect the diverse interest in this work to herald the continued interest in impressionism,” Lampley said.

Proceeds will benefit a private American foundation that supports environmental, public health and other causes.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-09-26-14 1655GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Edouard Manet, 'Spring,' 1882. Image courtesy of Wikiart.
Last Updated on Monday, 29 September 2014 09:23
 
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