art

Americana Week – Best of Doyle Auctions

Happy Wednesday, friends! For Americana Week, many US auction houses will be presenting incredible items that highlight the craftsmanship and decorating aesthetic of Americans. One of my favorite auction houses, Freeman’s, doesn’t have any auctions scheduled during Americana week this year. So, the last auction house that I will be considering is Doyle Auctions.

Doyle auctions will have only one live, in-person auction event during Americana Week. Doyle at Home won’t have any items that are distinctly Americana-themed, but the luxurious items that are being offered may be of interest to a variety of collectors, including those that specialize in collecting Americana. The sale occurs on January 16, 2019 at 10 a.m. EST.

With nearly 500 lots for sale, selecting just one item out of the group was challenging. But I found myself irresistibly drawn to this painting by Porfirio DiDonna. The untitled painting comes from later in DiDonna’s career. It has more curvature, less symmetry, and less precision than his earlier works. I love how the neutral colors appear to dance against the cool grey background. I may bid on this painting, considering how affordably priced it is. This one has an estimated value between $150 – $250.

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Untitled, 1984, Porfirio Di Donna (1942-1986)

Instead of planning all of the Americana events to occur during the week of January 13th through the 19, Doyle has wisely opened an Americana-themed, online-only auction to start on January 18th. This allows them to keep the Americana theme going even after the week has concluded.

Americana from the Library of Arnold ‘Jake’ Johnson should be an interesting sale but, unfortunately, I can only view one lot from this collection. For that reason, I can’t recommend my favorite item. However, this sale will still be worth checking out:  after all, it’s the last Americana-themed sale for the month.

That concludes my review of Americana week at some of the most popular auction houses in the US. Did you see any items from the previous auctions that you found interesting? Let me know in the comments below I’d love to hear about it!

 

Talk to you all tomorrow!

art

Americana Week – Best of Sotheby’s Auctions

My review of Americana week continues with an overview of Sotheby’s Auctions. Sotheby’s will feature only two options during Americana week, but there’s no mistake that they are still bringing high quality offerings during the week. The Americana-themed auctions featured by Sotheby’s will include an extensive auction of items owned by Nelson and Happy Rockefeller as well as a luxury car event in Phoenix, AZ.

A Collecting Legacy: Property from the Collection of Nelson & Happy Rockefeller Brings the personal collections of the Rockefellers to Sotheby’s auctions. The auction is happening at 10 a.m. EST on January 18th in New York. This collection is a delightful mashup of Chinese, Japanese, and English house goods. The Rockefeller collection gives us a rare glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle of one of America’s wealthiest families. There’s so many awesome pieces in this collection, including an extensive menagerie of items from China’s Qing dynasty.  These items, along with the collection of George I, George II, and George III housewares, let us see the Personal Taste of Nelson and Happy Rockefeller.

This auction has over 200 items, so selecting my favorites was quite difficult. I was enchanted by the Federal Brass Mounted and Englomise Panel Inset Mahogany Banjo Clock. This charming clock has vividly painted insets which will easily drawn you in. I love the uniqueness of it; no one creates things like this anymore. This is an item that, if purchased, would easily steal the show in any room where it’s placed. I’m positive that it will go for more than the estimated price of $300 to $500.

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Federal Brass Mounted And Englomise Panel Inset Mahogany Banjo Clock, Signed R.W. Drown, Early 19th Century

Another item that I adored was the set of Eight Portuguese Ormolu Candlesticks in Louis XV Style. These items are French-inspired, which is unique for the Rockefeller collection (which doesn’t feature many French items, overall). I loved that these candlestick holders reminded me of Lumiere from the movie Beauty and the Beast. There are ornate and elegant:  the styling of them even looks like Lumiere dancing! This set is estimated to be worth between $1,200 and $1,800, however, I’m not certain what this will fetch at auction. 

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Portuguese Ormolu Candlesticks in Louis XV Style

The true star of Americana week at Sotheby’s will be the RM Sotheby’s Auction in Phoenix, AZ. This event, stretching over January 17th and 18th, will feature luxury cars from the 20th century, as well as car inspired art. Only Sotheby’s could effortlessly blend art and automobiles this way.

There are so many gorgeous cars that’ll be featured in this auction that selecting just one to mention seemed almost criminal. But, I did find one gorgeous vehicle that I would love to own one day. The 1954 Kaiser-Darrin Roadster is the kind of car you fantasize about as a child. It’s gorgeous pale blue color with sleek lines and classic styling. It is truly a gem. The lucky collector that gets this one can expect to spend well into the six figures;  this one could go between $140,000 and $180,000. However, because this is a truly rare vehicle, who knows how frenzied the bidding will get?

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1954 Kaiser-Darrin Roadster

I can’t emphasize enough how great these auctions will be. And if you get a chance to attend either, I encourage you to go, enjoy, and take in all of the gorgeous Americana. 

That’s all for today please make sure to click on the link so that you can see the beautiful items that are going to be going up for sale for yourself. Talk to you all tomorrow!

art · international

My Top Picks from Sotheby’s Asian Art Auction

Happy Friday, loves! I’m so glad that the weekend is HERE. For a minute, I thought it wasn’t gonna make it! I’ll be catching up with friends and knocking things off of my to-do list this weekend, so I should have a fun and productive time!

As you all know, I’m a huge fan of Sotheby’s and I’m excited that they will be having multiple Asian-themed auctions during Asian Art Auction week. This auction house is having five different Asian art auction during the week of September 12 – 15. The first four auctions feature Chinese art exclusively, ranging from the decorative to the religious, and the fifth auction has art from China, Japan, Korea, India, and other Southeast Asian countries.

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The biggest sale will be the Saturday at Sotheby’s: Asian Art auction

Instead of choosing multiple pieces from each auction, I’m going to force myself to choose one piece from each auction to highlight in this post. This isn’t easy, but if I don’t stay focused, this post will have a million photos!

Junkunc: Chinese Buddhist Sculpture is the first auction of Sotheby’s Asian Art event. This auction, occurring on September 12 at 10 AM, features 18 Chinese Buddhist sculptures from the collection of Stephen Junkunc III. My favorite piece is, coincidentally, the priciest. It could easily sell for over $2mil at auction, and I’m sure Sotheby’s will have no problem getting the higher estimated price. The piece is the “Exceptional Large Limestone Figure of the Bodhisattva“. The statue is over 3 feet tall, and the exquisite detailing is impressive, to put it lightly. This is the kind of piece that easily becomes the crown jewel of your Asian art collection.

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Exceptional Large Limestone Figure of the Bodhisattva, Tang Dynasty

The Junkunc: Chinese Buddhist Sculpture auction will happen quickly, since there are only 18 pieces to be auctioned. The remainder of the hour, as well as the following hour (or two), will be the Important Chinese Art auction, featuring over 280 pieces from different Chinese periods. I stopped in my tracks when I saw this vibrantly painted lotus bowl. It looks so delicate and elegant: it’s so pretty! It could fetch upwards of $7,000, so it isn’t the priciest piece in the collection but it’s the one that I like the most.

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A Famille-Rose “Lotus” Bowl and Cover Daoguang Seal Mark and Period

At 10 AM on September 13, the Tang Hung and Fung Bi-Che Collection of Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy auction will occur. I love calligraphy, so choosing a favorite piece from this auction was a challenge. However, I really liked Dragon in Clouds, a grayscale drawing depicting a fearsome dragon descending from heaven. I was unfamiliar with the artist, Lin Fengmian, but I’ll be making it a point to do my research in the upcoming weeks/months. The drawing could command more than $180,000 at auction, so it’ll be interesting to see what it actually sells for when the auctioneer drops the gavel.

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Lin Fengmian (1900-1991), Dragon in Clouds

More calligraphy and paintings follow the 10 AM auction. At 11:30 AM, the Fine Classical Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy auction will commence. This sale features 155 pieces, all exquisite examples of the very best Chinese artwork. My favorite piece from this collection is, hands down, the Crouching Tiger painting. It’s no coincidence that this painting shares a name with a movie that I love, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. In thie painting, this majestic cat is looking downward, body lowered but still powerful. This one also came from the Junkunc Collection, but, since it isn’t a Buddhist sculpture, it was appropriately grouped with Thursday’s auctions. This lovely kitty could sell for upwards of $6,000, which, while possible, doesn’t seem likely to me. That is, unless there’s another tiger fan bidding. In that case, who knows how high it will go?

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Anonymous, Crouching Tiger

Finally, all of these sales lead up to the biggest one of them all, happening at 10 AM on Saturday, September 15. The Saturday at Sotheby’s: Asian Art auction features a whopping 551 items for sale. The expected sales prices range from $300 on the low end to $50,000, on the high end. With this price range, it is sure to attract a varied group of potential bidders. The piece that I found most captivating was a collection of 30 Chinese art reference books. Of course I love books, and art, so this was a no-brainer! The collection will probably sell between $1,500 and $2,000. Someone is going to be the lucky owner of this collection, and I know they’ll treasure each book.

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A Group of Thirty Chinese Art Reference Books

Those are my top picks for the Sotheby’s auctions. I still have to comb through the offerings at two more auctions, so look out for those posts soon. Have a fabulous Friday!

 

 

art · international

My Top Picks from Doyle’s Asian Art Auction

As we move steadily toward Asian Art Auction Week, it’s time to highlight another auction house that will be offering Asian art during this event. Today I’m sharing my favorite pieces from Doyle Auction House.

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If you’ve never heard me mention Doyle, it’s because I wasn’t familiar with the house. However, I’m glad that the name crossed my path, as they have an impressive auction scheduled for September 10 at 10 AM. Here are a few of my top picks:

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Pair of Chinese Jade-Covered Vases

These jade-covered vases are a stunning pair, with a charming bit of patina adding character to the set. The set is perfect for a home office, at a small but significant 10 inches tall. These could sell for anywhere between $12,000 to more than $18,000.

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Chinese Lapis Lazuli Mountain

I’ve never wanted a mountain before, but this piece is an eyecatcher. This Chinese Lapis Lazuli Mountain is just a little shy of 8 inches tall but is sure to be the star of any art collection. The mountain has vivid shades of denim, cobalt, cerulean and (naturally) lapis blues. The carving depicting a mountainside village is simultaneously heartwarming and hypnotizing. I expect this to easily surpass the $12,000 high end estimate.

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Japanese Silver Inlaid Bronze Miniature Cabinet

Finally, this Japanese bronze miniature cabinet is another jewel from this collection. The silver inlay work features intricate patterning and an avian motif. The cabinet would make a wonderful holding place for tiny treasures. I wouldn’t surprised if this went for well over the $5,000 higher estimate.

Unlike some of the more popular auction websites, the bulk of the collection is featured in the digital catalog as opposed to having separate webpages for each item. That being said, the digital catalog features an array of lovely pieces from Asia. This auction is definitely one to check out if you’re in the New York area on September 10, 2018.

art · luxury

A Day At Freeman’s Auction, Part 1

As you all know, I went to Philadelphia a few days ago. I didn’t just go for the sake of having a getaway (though I desperately needed a getaway!). I went to attend an auction at Freeman’s, the oldest auction house in the United States. Freeman’s has been in business over 200 years, and they find new homes for all sorts of treasures.

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The star of the auction, sold for $802,000

I stopped by on May 8th to view the items to be auctioned on May 9th (you have to come at least the day prior to an auction in order to view and inspect items to be sold). The auction I planned to attend was the sale of jewelry and accessories previously owned by billionaire heiress Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton. 

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I had my eye on one piece in particular: a platinum and diamond brooch shaped like a bow. I figured I would bid on it if the price was right but I needed to check it out first. The staff in the display room was friendly and professional. I was given information on how to bid and I stopped by Client Services to drop off my bidder registration form. Again, the staff in the Client Services office was friendly and professional.

 

The object of my affection

Freeman’s is a throwback to bygone years (they have an elevator with an actual elevator operator!) but it’s fascinating to see how they’ve managed to blend the past and the current day. The same building with an elevator operator has huge monitors so that bidders can see the items being auctioned as well as online bidding capabilities.

In Part 2 of this post, I’ll discuss the actual auction and the outcome. Talk to you all soon!

life curation · luxury

The Auction You Won’t Want to Miss

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This sapphire and diamond ring by Cartier, Paris is expected to fetch between $125,000 and $150,000

You all know, just by browsing through my previous posts, that I love sparkly stuff. So it should be no surprise that I let out an audible gasp when I saw that Sotheby’s is having a fine jewelry sale on April 19th at their New York location.

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This diamond bracelet will likely fetch more than $20,000 when it is auctioned

It’s a work day for me, and I can’t justify a New York day trip this month. But just know that I’m at the auction … In spirit.

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This bracelet by David Webb is an equine enthusiast’s dream

 

Lots are estimated as low as $400 and as high as $150,000+. I think this will be a fascinating sale, simply because the price points are so wide-ranging. This may attract a varied group of jewelry collectors and appreciators.

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This Tiffany & Co. brooch is expected to be on the lower end of the cost spectrum with high bids estimated at around $600.

My favorite piece is this pin by David Webb. The cat’s coy, over-the-shoulder expression is what drew me in. It’s an unexpected rendition of the typical feline brooch. Instead of looking fierce, stoic or languid, this kitty looks inquisitive and alert. She looks more like a curious housecat than a fearsome predator.

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The cat that stole my heart

The auction is broken into two sessions, with the first session starting at 10:30 AM, and resuming with the second session at 2:00 PM. The event will happen on April 19, at Sotheby’s New York location (1334 York Avenue). As far as I could tell, this one does’t have the option for online bidding. If you can go, just know that I’m living vicariously through you!

 

(All photos courtesy of Sotheby’s)

 

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!