Qing and 1933 - The Greatest Jadeite Necklace
2014 SOLD 214 MHK$ including premium
The Qing greatly encouraged the work of jade, and their seals in white or green jade are among the masterpieces of their time. The emerald green jadeite was also used in jewelry.
Despite the troubles in the China of the later Qing, the most important sets of jade beads were not mixed or separated. The main quality of a necklace is the homogeneity of its beads. Any change in color, transparency or texture is a lack of taste, and for that purpose the beads must have been carved from a single boulder.
The prestige of jade reached the Western world. A lot of 27 big jadeite beads, between 15.4 and 19.2 mm in diameter, is included in 1933 in the inventory of Cartier. It is mounted in the same year by Cartier as a necklace with a clasp in ruby and diamond, to be offered as a wedding gift to the wealthy Barbara Hutton by her father. As Christina Onassis later, Barbara Hutton had a difficult life. The husband's family kept the precious necklace.
Considered as the greatest jadeite necklace in existence, this jewel twice won the highest auction price in its category : HK $ 15.6 million in 1988 and HK $ 33M in 1994. It is estimated in excess of HK $ 100M, for sale bySotheby's in Hong Kong on April 7. It is illustrated in the page shared by Blouin ArtInfo.
For comparison, a necklace of 35 jadeite beads 12.5 to 15 mm in diameter, also equipped with a clasp by Cartier, was sold for HK $ 43M including premium by Sotheby's on April 7, 2010.
POST SALE COMMENT
Pieces that are unique in their kind have no predictable price. The result, HK $ 214M including premium, rewards an extraordinary necklace.
1933 Painting Assassinated
2017 SOLD for $ 23.4M including premium
For the surrealists this trend is an inadmissible drift. Miro does not agree with the communist affiliations of the group. The break is snarling. When Miro announced to Tériade in 1930 that he wanted to assassinate the painting, it meant that he desired to define a new art, alone, without the influence of any past or present school.
For the next two years he tries collages that do not satisfy him. In early 1933 in his mother's apartment in Barcelona, he defines a two-step process for a homogeneous series of 18 artworks. He prepares 18 maquettes by gluing folded or crumpled papers. Each oil on canvas will be inspired by one of these models without being a copy. The title "Peinture" is reused for this series.
This post-Dadaist process may seem complex compared to direct painting. Miro knows that his imagination is unlimited. He probably wanted to bring a guide for avoiding any figuration. He expresses his subconscious by a composition similar to the 1927 Peintures except that the spots inspired by the collages are brightly colored, appearing as abstract objects floating ahead of the night.
A Peinture 146 x 115 cm made in 1933 was sold for $ 11M including premium by Christie's on May 8, 2013. An oil on canvas 130 x 162 cm from this series of Peintures is estimated $ 18M for sale by Christie's in New York on November 13, lot 31 A.
The Constellations painted in response to the outbreak of World War II are similar in design to the Peintures of 1927 and 1933. The dream of the starry night is now confessed by the artist and the mythical theme of the constellation brings some figuration.
1933 Supercomplication for the Use of New York
2014 SOLD for CHF 23.2M including premium
By 1900, the Palmer specimen was a pocket watch with minute repeater, months, days of the week, split-second chronograph, grande and petite sonnerie and the phases of the moon.
James Ward Packard, the car industrialist, was one of the most demanding customers of Patek Philippe. In 1916, he obtained a pocket watch with sixteen complications, and in 1927 he had a celestial chart added to nine other complications in a single watch.
When Packard died in 1928, the New York banker Henry Graves Jr. had already ordered the world's most complicated pocket watch, with 24 complications divided into two dials including the night time sky from New York City.
Completed in 1932, the Supercomplication is a unique piece for which Patek Philippe had mobilized their best specialists. The assembly of its 920 components in a case 74 mm in diameter and 36 mm thick is a technical feat that will remain unmatched until the era of computer-aided design.
The Supercomplication was delivered to Graves on 19 January 1933 for CHF 60K, nearly five times the price of the ultimate Packard watch. It was sold for $ 11M including premium by Sotheby's on December 2, 1999. It is for sale by Sotheby's in Geneva on November 11, lot 345.
I invite you to play the video shared by Sotheby's.
1933 A New Strategy for Alfa Romeo
2016 SOLD for $ 12M including premium
This car had been sold for $ 6.7M including premium by the same auction house at lot 117 on August 15, 2010 and had been discussed at that time in this column. It had been illustrated in the article shared by Sports Car Digest
This Alfa Romeo is in an original condition which is quite rare for a car from that time, including its matching number engine and a great traceability of the other elements.
The nickname Monza originally applied to the short chassis version of the 8C 2300 since a victory in the Italian Grand Prix in the first year of the model in 1931.
The build of many early Monzas had been entrusted to Scuderia Ferrari which was a subsidiary of Alfa Romeo. It is not the case for the car for sale which is a rare factory built of 1933 coachworked by Brianza. It belongs to the third series when the 8C 2300 Monza had become a regular variant with a further shortened frame.
1933 had been a pivotal year for Alfa Romeo.
The 8C 2300 model begins to be replaced by the 8C 2600. Alfa Romeo goes under the effective control of the Fascist government desiring to make it a flagship of Italian industry. The brand does not maintain any more a works racing team despite the great success of the two previous years and a repositionment of the Scuderia Ferrari will be necessary.
Please watch the video shared by Gooding.
1933 Miro, Poet of Painting
2013 SOLD 11 M$ including premium
A "peinture" by Miro remained unsold on February 8, 2012 at Sotheby's on an estimate of £ 7M. It appears again at auction, now at Christie's with an estimate of $ 10M. I repeat here below the discussion of last year, updated with the identification of the next sale.
Miro was the poet of art, admired by the Surrealists in the early days of their movement. The independence of hiscreative process would however be disagreed in the group.
In 1933 he played with colored paper, featuring them on surfaces, creating shapes connected by lines, and at the end glueing them. Miro's collages are a new artistic language unrelated to the Cubist researches of dispositioning plans. Once the collage done, he painted the same forms on fairly large canvas.
The poet knew how to excite the imagination by the choice of the title of the painting. The oil on canvas, 146 x 115cm, for sale by Christie's in New York on May 8, has an evocative title. It is simply "Peinture". If there were a suprematism in poetry, Miro would be its champion.
Really, this is nothing but a painting. Something like a Kandinsky without hidden semiotic intentions. The observer never had as much freedom as in the abstract works of Miro. If he wants to see something other than a painting, hecan, and the artist wishes that he does it. The success of the exhibition of Peintures of Miro by Pierre Matisse in NewYork was dazzling.
POST SALE COMMENT
Sold $ 11M including premium, near the lower estimate, this "peinture" came back to its fair price.
1933-1934 Peonies in Pink and Black
2017 SOLD for € 8.8M including premium
After the termination of his co-operation with Roché in 1931, Sanyu stops dating his artworks, perhaps because he shall give more attention to his creativity than to trade. The chronology of his art is uneasy to analyze.
This pot of peonies is made in minimalist colors consistent with the Roché period : the black and grays of the calligraphic line and the pink of the nudes. The staging of this plant with sharp lines is both effective and strange, like a colored negative succeeding his previous positive compositions on a light background. Leaves lined and ribbed with white are transparent in front of the black background like the skeletal leaves of a memento mori.
Two other elements converge to date this still life on the early 1930s although a slightly later date is also possible.
The oil 92 x 74 cm is painted on canvas. After the war Sanyu will prefer to work on masonite panels. It is visible in the undated photo of an exhibition wall, possibly from events organized in Amsterdam in 1933 and 1934 by a group of friends of the artist around the musician Johan Franco.
Please watch the video shared by Aguttes.
1933 Double Eagle
2002 SOLD 7.6 M$ including premium by Sotheby's and Stack's
1933 A Convertible by Bohman and Schwartz
2018 SOLD for $ 3.85M including premium
I narrated it as follows in 2016. The short video shared by Mecum was released before the 2016 sale.
Born into a family of industrialists of the lumber, Walter M. Murphy sought fortune in California. In 1920 he opened a coachbuilding shop in Pasadena by relying on the professional experience of one of his associates. He had no competitor for luxury cars in the area and became the provider of Duesenberg cars to the wealthy Hollywood residents.
An advised businessman, Murphy had therefore no specific training nor a sustained vocation for car bodies. The very sudden termination of his company in April 1932 is not related to the economic crisis because the backlog was abundantly filled. Murphy had lost a lot of money in an investment and felt the need to change his activities. He will become in the following year a major dealer for the Standard Oil Company.
The buyer of his workshop is unable to maintain the business. This is an opportunity for two former employees of Murphy, Bohman and Schwartz, to join their skills for processing the contracts unfinished by their former boss and for proposing the transformation of bodyworks from all brands.
The actress Marie Dressler briefly owned a convertible sedan assembled by LeBaron on a Duesenberg Model J long wheelbase which was the top end as a luxury chassis at that time. Her car was bought in 1933 by the film producer and director Roy Del Ruth.
Much younger than Dressler, Del Ruth expects a more modern look. He commissions to Bohman and Schwartz the transformation of his Duesenberg into a roasdster. This specific order makes this car the only example of a Model J LWB convertible coupe by B and S.
(exhibited 1933) The Head of the Ancestor
2017 SOLD for € 2.63M including premium
Full length bodies referred to family ancestors although their naturalistic appearance does not constitute recognizable portraits. They were used in ceremonies. Heads are rarer and had a more intimate ritual role. Coated with oil and powder, they were more likely designed to communicate with the primordial ancestor.
The Fang head for sale by Sotheby's in Paris on December 12 has a great history of provenance and exhibition at the time when that type of work was rightly considered as the best demonstration of the virtuosity of African artists. Louis Carré exhibited it in Paris in 1933. He sent it and commented on it in 1935 for the seminal exhibition of African art at the MoMA, also indicating the name of the collector who had brought it back from Gabon.
It retains a patina of use as well as traces of erosion created by ritual sampling. The curves are perfect without chisel error. This piece is estimated € 1,5M, lot 24.
Despite its naturalistic beauty it cannot be identified if this figure is a beardless man or a woman. The braid hairstyle does not close this issue in the Fang culture. It is likely that this ambiguity was voluntary and may be related to the ancient African tradition of hermaphroditic interpretation of the primordial ancestor.
Please watch the short video shared by Sotheby's.
@SothebysFr #Exposition #vente #enchère Tête Fang, Gabon. Socle de Kichizô Inagaki. Des provenances fabuleuses puisque collections Louis Carré, Charles Ratton, Gaston de Havenon, Claude Berri. Elle fut présentée à la mythique exposition @MuseumModernArt #NewYork @SophieDufresne pic.twitter.com/XDZZB9QNMS— lecurieuxdesarts (@PresseKraemer) December 8, 2017
1933 The Cosmopolitan Smile of Amrita Sher-Gil
2015 SOLD for $ 2.9M including premium
The artistic skill of Amrita was very early. A landscape in the Hungarian countryside, painted in 1931 when she was 18, was sold for $ 610K including premium by Saffronart on September 19, 2012. Painted in the following year, a conversation between a young Hindu girl (perhaps a self -portrait) and a young blonde was sold for Rs 35 million including premium by Osian's on January 31, 2007.
On the initiative of an uncle, Amrita studies art in Paris from 1929 to 1934. She admires Gauguin's tribute to the beauty of Tahitian women. In the Art Déco period, she also retains the expressive power of stylization, which will be increasingly visible in her own style after she returned to India in 1934.
On March 18 in New York, Sotheby's sells a self-portrait signed Rita, oil on canvas 46 x 33 cm painted in 1933 while she had her summer time in Hungary. Aged 20, Amrita shows herself as a welcoming and even enticing young woman, with her direct gaze, broad smile and heavily reddened lips.
Less known internationally than Frida Kahlo, Amrita is one of the women who best appreciated and influenced the avant-garde of her time. She is one of the nine artists whose works were classified National Art Treasures in 1972 by an official act of the Government of India, leading to a ban on the permanent leaving of any of her works.
The arrival at auction of this self-portrait is a highly rare event, even when considering that it had been painted in Europe. It is estimated $ 1.2 million, lot 1336.
I invite you to play the video shared by Sotheby's :
1933 A Phaeton by LaGrande
2017 SOLD for $ 2.3M including premium
Even in the most critical situations some people manage to find their profit. A stock broker named Smith acquires a considerable fortune. He needs a car of the highest performance with a spectacular bodywork. It will be a Duesenberg SJ LWB LaGrande phaeton, of course. LaGrande is the label by which Cord testifies that the bodywork is subcontracted by the group and not carried out by an independent.
The J-chassis has been the top-of-the-range since 1928. The Long Wheel Base version invites to the most extravagant bodies and especially for the open voitures de maîtres named phaetons. S indicates that the engine is supercharged.
The LaGrande phaetons are slightly different from each other but are divided into two variants, the dual cowl phaeton and the sweep panel phaeton. In the sweep panel phaeton the rear cowl is suppressed, offering an easier access to the rear seats and an extra comfort. This version includes on its entire width a folding interior windshield separating the rear seats for the use of the patron from the front seat of the driver.
The car delivered in 1933 to Smith is a sweep panel phaeton Duesenberg SJ LWB by LaGrande. The workshop that realized the body is unfortunately not identified. It has been known for several decades by members of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club under the name of Mexico City SJ.
It is in very good condition for a vehicle of its age. The body, engine and chassis are original but the supercharger did not survive a heavy early use and has been replaced by a replica in the correct configuration.
This car had already been introduced in my column. On October 10, 2008 at RM Auctions, it had not reached its lower estimate of $ 1.8M and had been sold post block for $ 1.7M including premium. I then commented that the times were hard : it was indeed the beginning of a major crisis in the market. It is estimated $ 2.5M for sale by Auctions America on September 2 in Auburn. Here is the link to the catalog.