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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!

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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 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!

 

 

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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 · life curation

Why Technology Will Be a Game Changer for the Art World

Hey everyone! As you all know, I try to keep my “finger” on the “pulse” of the art world, because it’s an arena that I find tremendously fascinating. You all also know (after reading my most recent goals post) that I intend to eventually transition into an art career. However, one main reason why I’m hesitant to fully leap into the art world is because I want to make sure that I have a lucrative position within the art world, not just a creative one. I figured that the intersection between art and technology would be a good place for me to start.

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It’s funny – I started the draft for this post several weeks ago, but, as with most of my writing, I find that there are other people who are on the same wavelength. As it turns out, Sotheby’s Institute of Art will be incorporate lectures around art and technology into its Masters Degree program.

In my opinion, we’re going to see a surge of technological advances used in unexpected ways. These advances will be critical to preserving cultural institutions and traditions, the liberal arts, and, of course, fine art. At the most obvious level, creativity will be needed to create technology that is both effective and desired. On a deeper level, the technology will be used in unprecedented ways, to preserve cultural heritage and create a new heritage of its own.

I’m revising my goals list to incorporate what I suspect will be the leading edge of the art world. I’ll continue to clarify my vision for my future art career, and I’ll share that vision in my next goals update post.

Thanks for reading my musings, friends! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

art · international

A Single Lot Auction? Sotheby’s Is Making It Happen

Over the past several months of researching art, auctions and collecting, I’ve enjoyed learning about the procedures of the auction houses as well as the habits of collectors. While checking out the upcoming Sotheby’s auctions, I was surprised to see an auction with a single lot. Yes, you heard me right: there’s only one item in this auction.

I’ve never seen an auction with only one lot, so I took my time to read through the item description to see what artifact is so precious that it deserved its own solo show at Sotheby’s. Now, this isn’t the only thing being auctioned by Sotheby’s Paris on this day. There are actually two subsequent auctions occurring at this location on the same day. But this item was so special that it has a dedicated auction, featuring only this item.

The item to be sold is an incredibly rare yangcai vase. The intricate artifact is over 300 years old and in pristine condition. The vivid images were painted onto the porcelain vase by the top artisans in Jingdezhen, China, unlike similar vases during this era that were made in Jingdezhen but painted in Beijing.

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The yangcai vase

This vase is absolutely exquisite. It’s expected to fetch between $600,000 and $900,000 USD. But given it’s rarity, it may easily soar over the $1 mil USD mark. If you’d like to add this beauty to your collection, you may view it on June 9, 10, and 11, 2018, between 10 AM and 6 PM CEST. If you’d like to bid, you can register online, or you can attend the auction in person. The details to the auction are below:

June 12, 2018, 10:30 AM CEST, Sotheby’s Paris

76, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
CS 10010
75384 PARIS CEDEX 08
France
Tel: +33 1 53 05 53 05
Fax: +33 1 53 05 52 21
paris.info@sothebys.com

 

I’m excited to see what the final price will be for this gorgeous vase!

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Art Auction: Art from Africa, Oceania and the Americas

I hadn’t recently posted about any auctions (partially because I’ve been working on a juicy post all about auctions just for you all!) but I came across this one and I had to share.

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Some of the lots offered at Sotheby’s upcoming auction

Sotheby’s is auctioning off some extraordinary art from Africa, Oceania and the Americas (specifically, ancient Mesoamerica and North America). These lots are not just decorative objects: they are ancient artifacts that bridge the collector to faraway (both in the sense of time and distance) worlds.

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This totem pole from southeast Alaska is estimated to command up to $350,000 at auction

The auction features 90 lots, expected to fetch from $2,000 on the lower end to upwards of $350,000. This wide range of estimated selling prices guarantees that this auction will attract a variety of collectors.

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 A Maori nephrite pendant is estimated to command a price upwards of $50,000

My favorite piece of the auction is the Yoruba Altar Emblem from Nigeria. It isn’t the most expensive piece of this auction, but the colorful detailing, as well as the connection to the orishas, fascinates me.

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Yoruba Altar Emblem for Oko, Nigeria

The event will be held on May 14 at 10:30 AM, at Sotheby’s New York location (1334 York Avenue, New York, NY). All items can be viewed prior to the sale (10 AM to 5 PM Monday – Saturday, 1 PM to 5 PM on Sunday) so that you can experience these artifacts in person.