art · luxury

Americana Week – Best of Bonhams Auction

As part of Americana Week, I will be taking a look at each of the major auction houses that will be featuring Americana-themed sales. Today’s auction house is Bonhams , an auction house that has more luxury auto auctions than any of the others. This particular auction, still aligned with the Americana theme, will be in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 17th 2019, starting at 11 MST. Bonhams will be showcasing luxury cars from the early 1900’s through to the modern day

Americans have a long-standing love affair with automobiles, so it makes sense that cars would factor into Americana Week. As a side note, only two of the auction houses that I am profiling will be selling luxury vehicles this week. Bonhams, of course is one of them; however, Sotheby’s will also be getting in on the luxury automobile action. Despite still being Americana-themed, many of the cars at the Scottsdale sales, will be foreign-made cars such as Mercedes, Maserati, Lamborghinis, Porsches and so on. The truth is, Americans love all cars – including foreign ones!

My favorite lot in this auction is the 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Veloce, a sleek, stylish car that looks like it was made for me. The plush red interior, clean lines, and, as Bonhams puts it, “nimble handling”, all sound like the perfect features for my future sports car.  This beauty could fetch up to $130,000 at auction though, as lovely as this restored vehicle is, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s sold for more. However, if any of you are wondering whether you should get this for me, the answer is yes and thank you in advance!

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My future car

I kid, I kid. However if you are interested in this car or some of the other beauties that will be at the Scottsdale auction, make sure to check out Bonhams. They have wonderful offerings for this auction: so many gorgeous sport cars, so little time to enjoy them all! 

Have a happy Friday, friends! I’ll be back on Monday. Enjoy your weekend!

 

art

Gearing Up for Americana Week and Luxury Vehicle Auctions

Happy Friday, friends! Well, we’re near the end of December again, so that means that most of our favorite auction houses – Christies, Sotheby’s, BonhamsFreeman’s and Doyle – are on break until January. However, the previews for the upcoming January 2019 auctions are up, and the offerings are VERY tempting.

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The week of January 13 to 19 is Americana Week, and the participating auction houses are offering some of their best Americana collections, including belongings cherished by Nelson and Happy Rockefeller. Alongside Americana Week, Arizona will be hosting luxury car auctions in both Phoenix and neighboring Scottsdale. January is shaping up to be an exciting month in the auction world, and I’m looking forward to share my personal picks from each of the major auctions.

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Admittedly, Americana Week doesn’t hold the same sway that it did in previous years. This article by Madelia Hickman Ring over on Antiques and the Arts Weekly discusses the evolving nature of selling and promoting Americana. I think that this shift in collecting interest is reflective of globalization and the idolization of anything “exotic” and foreign, amongst other things. However, that’s not the point of this post: the point is, there is ART being auctioned, and I’m going to comb through the lots and show you all what caught my eye in upcoming posts.

Enjoy your Friday, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

art · international

My Top Picks from Bonham’s Asian Art Auction

Happy Saturday, friends! I’ve got more of my top picks for Asian Art Week. Today’s post is all about Bonhams Auctions. Bonhams refuses to be left out of the Asian Art Auction fun: the auction house will be having three auctions featuring Asian art exclusively. Just like in my last post, I’ll be focusing on just a select few items from the sales that caught my eye.

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The first auction is on September 10 at 10 AM EST. The sale – Chinese Works of Art and Paintings – features just a little less than 300 lots covering several different historical periods. I swooned when I saw these stunning silk robes. The vibrant hues and intricate detailing are the things that dreams are made of. Every now and then, I want to rock the traditional dress of a different country, so this is right up my alley. I love both the blue and red robe, and I’d gladly wear both! The robes could easily sell for more than $5000, per the auction estimates.

Two Han Lady ‘s Embroidered Silk Informal Robes

The other two auctions will occur on September 12. Earlier in the day, the Ancient Skills, New Worlds: Twenty Treasures of Japanese Metalwork auction will occur (starting at 10 AM). This carefully curated selection of 20 pieces from a private collection will sell quickly but the items are all distinct and unforgettable. The piece that I adored is this iron and gold miniature cabinet. This cabinet is a marvel: the perfect blend of strength and style, it is one of the most ornate pieces in the collection. This shiny jewel could easily sell for more than $30,000.

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Komai Otojiro, Iron and Gold Miniature Cabinet

Finally, at 1 PM on September 12, Bonhams will have its last Asian-themed auction, the Fine Japanese and Korean Art auction. Kudos to Bonhams for being one of the few auction houses to have a sale devoted exclusively to art originating from outside of China. While I love China and Chinese art, I enjoy browsing a collection that focuses on different Asian countries. This auction is predominantly Japanese art: out of 307 lots, roughly 10 of them are Korean.  From the Japanese art, I found I was smitten when I saw the small lacquer writing box. I loved its elegance and the fact that this beautiful box held writing instruments. Even though I won’t be bidding on this beauty (it could sell between $4,000 to $6,000+ at auction), I love the notion of having a luxurious container to hold your writing utensils. That’s an idea I may have to try for myself.

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Shiomi Masanari, Small Lacquer Writing Box

When it came to the Korean art in this auction, I really liked the calligraphy attributed to Kim Jeong-Hui. There’s something minimalist but still very lavish about this fine piece. The timeless nature of this piece is especially impressive when considering the fact that is is over 200 years old. Also, the simplicity of the design means that it could hang in any room of a home with ease. Prices for this one could soar over $4,000, and it’s easy to see why.

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Calligraphy Attributed to Kim Jeong-Hui

Those are my top picks from Bonhams’s Asian Art Week. This auction house has fewer pieces overall but the focused themes make Bonhams’s events stand out among the other auctions occurring during Asian Art Week. Be sure to check out their catalogs and see if anything catches your eye!

art

Asian Art Bonanza!

I don’t know what it is about September, but I’ve seen more upcoming auctions for Asian art than I’ve ever seen before! There are so many that I literally cannot write about all of them in this post. However, I will give a brief outline of all of the auctions that I saw, and I’ll dig a bit more into what I consider the highlights of each event. Since I haven’t had a chance to check out each of the upcoming auctions, I will be sharing some of my photos from my trip to China.

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Christie’s has deemed September 11 – 14 as Asian Art Week, and it seems that other auction houses are also participating in the event. They appear to have the most individual auctions – 8, at last count – during the week, all featuring different types of Asian art.

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Freeman’s will actually  be the first auction house to feature Asian art in September – their Asian art sale happens on Friday, September 7 in Philadelphia. Next, Sotheby’s will host five Asian art auctions, from September 12 – 15. Not to be left out, Bonhams will have three Asian-themed auctions, on September 10 and 12. Finally, Doyle Auctions (an auction house that I’ve seen before but never discussed on this blog) is hosting their own Asian art auction on September 10.

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Whew, that’s a total of 18 auctions in under 10 days! I’ll post my favorite pics from each in the upcoming week or so, but in the meantime, have fun trying to keep up with all of the art! Talk to you all tomorrow!

 

art · luxury

A Jewel Lover’s Paradise

I am SWOONING over the pieces in Bonhams’ upcoming jewelry auction. So many gorgeous pieces and a little something for everyone: what more could you want?

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This stunning diamond necklace could fetch up to $7,900

Bonhams Auctions will be selling over 300 jewelry items on July 11 at their London, Knightsbridge location. This sale boasts pieces by luxury brands such as Bulgari, Boucheron, Cartier and Tiffany. Also, there are a lot of colorful gemstone pieces in this sale, which is a special treat: from what I’ve seen, many jewelry auctions feature diamond pieces (almost) exclusively, with only a few colored gemstones represented.

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Gorgeous sapphire and diamond ring

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My birthstone, a flawless peridot solitaire

This collection has a wonderful range, from very affordable to truly luxurious. There is a little something for everyone with this auction, and that excites me tremendously. Some of my favorite pieces were expected to sell for less than $1000, though I saw some other pieces expected to fetch over $25,000 once the bidding starts.

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One of my favorite pieces, a diamond clip brooch

You all know how much I love jewelry, and I was in heaven looking at the incredible pieces offered by Bonhams. I registered for an account, so who knows? Maybe I’ll end up getting my dream item after all.

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Tiffany Seagull brooch set

The information for the auction is below. If you’re able, you should check out the pieces in the days prior to, and the day of, the sale.

Bonhams, Jewelry Auction, July 11, 2018

London, Knightsbridge location

Montpelier Street
Knightsbridge
London
SW7 1HH
Viewing dates and times (BST):
July 8, 11:00 – 15:00
July 9, 09:30 – 16:30
July 10, 09:30 – 16:30
July 11, 09:00 – 10:00

 

 

life curation · luxury

Time for an Aston Martin

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My favorite James Bond, Sean Connery (Lot 91, this photo is expected to sell upwards of $470)

You all know that I love a vintage car. So I squealed with delight when I saw that Bonhams is having an Aston Martin auction. Its in the UK, but at least I can view the lots online!

Aston Martins are sporty, luxurious and exclusive – it’s no wonder that I love them! The auction will feature nearly 200 lots. There are all sorts of auto memorabilia, vintage car parts, autographed photos of celebrities posed with Aston Martins, and, of course, a little more than 30 automobiles available.

Here are my favorite offerings from the auction:

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Lot 222 – 1979 Aston Martin V8 Volante, expected to sell between $190,000 and $240,000

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Lot 226 – 1979 Aston Martin V8 Volante, that’s expected to fetch anywhere between between $200,000 and $240,000

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This chic model of a 1963 Aston Martin is valued as being worth $4,000 (Lot 141)

The Aston Martin sale will occur on June 2, 2018, starting at 10:30 BST in Reading, Englefield House. You can always contact Bonhams if you want more information on this auction. It should be a thrilling one!

luxury · reading list

A Bibliophile’s Dream . . .

I don’t often discuss auction houses outside of Christie’s or Sotheby’s auctions. These two entities usually feature more of the items that interest me personally. However, I regularly peruse some of the other big names in the auction world because, well, you never know when you’ll come across a gem of a sale.

I was delighted to see that Bonhams is having an Extraordinary Books and Manuscripts auction in just a few days (March 9). This sale will have all sorts of rare books, manuscripts, and other miscellaneous written material. One item that I found particularly interesting is a letter autographed by Alexander Hamilton. Given the resurgence of interest in Hamilton (we can thank the stageplay Hamilton for that), I expect that this memorabilia will go for much more than the estimated $10-15,000 USD.

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Hamilton’s letter

Two more items of interest to me are a violin owned by, and a letter written and signed by, Albert Einstein. I find Einstein fascinating and I would love to own some memorabilia. These items are expected to fetch between $100,000 and $150,000 each, and I can see them easily going for more than that. I’m sure the lucky winner will treasure these items tremendously.

Einstein’s violin and autographed letter

The auction will happen at Bonhams’ Madison Avenue location in  New York City, USA. If you are a collector of rare books, you won’t want to miss this event!