Qing and 1933 - The Greatest Jadeite Necklace
2014 SOLD 214 MHK$ including premium
These green variants were the most precious jewels at the Qing imperial court, in the form of beads, cabochons and bangles, without superfluous embellishment. The history of the extraction of the stone is lost.
This mineral rock can be carved, which is not the case of the diamond which is cut. Shaping a jade bead requires an exceptional know-how and skill which culminated during the reign of Qianlong. In the 19th century the Empress Dowager Cixi was fond of them.
Despite the troubles in the China of the later Qing, the most important collections of jade beads were not mixed or separated. They have often been assembled, or re-assembled, into necklaces in the 20th century, with gently graduated bead sizes and with clasps in diamond or ruby. A perfect necklace must be uniform in color shade, in translucency and in texture, which requires that the elements have been carved from the same rough.
The prestige of jade reached the Western world. A lot of 27 highly reflective emerald green 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 wins the highest auction price in its category each time it comes to auction : HK $ 15.6M in 1988 and HK $ 33M in 1994. It was sold for HK $ 214M by Sotheby's on April 7, 2014, lot 1847. It had been estimated in excess of HK $ 100M.
1933 Peinture by MIRO
2017 SOLD for $ 23.4M by Christie's
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.
2013 SOLD for $ 11M by Christie's
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 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 Double Eagle
2021 SOLD for $ 19M by Sotheby's
The crisis had lasted since 1924 and the production of eagles and double eagles was considerably slowed down. The production of the 312,500 eagles of 1933 was finished before April 5 and this denomination was legal at that time. The production of the double eagles, which was in progress, was not interrupted : this batch was the last US gold coin struck for circulation.
On September 13, 1934, all gold coins in federal stocks were declared obsolete (uncurrent). In the following month two 1933 double eagles were sent to the Smithsonian for the National Collection as non-monetized samples. 445,469 pieces were in the vaults. This stock was melted in 1937.
Ten pieces escaped that melting, certainly stolen by the cashier of the Mint who will be jailed in 1940 for another scam. All of them were recovered and destroyed by the government except one that King Farouk had managed to acquire in 1944. The King had obtained for this piece an export license issued by the Secretary of the Treasury, either simply by mistake or to please that powerful sovereign. This license being federal, the Farouk specimen became the only 1933 double eagle with some legal US status. Any other example is illegal to own.
Removed at the request of the US government from the auction of the Farouk collections in 1954, the double eagle resurfaced in 1996, brought to New York by an English dealer. He was caught in the act by the FBI during his negotiations with his American customer.
The coin of the English dealer was with no doubt the ex Farouk specimen. A judicial compromise was found in 2001. The double eagle was listed for auction on July 20, 2002 by Sotheby's and Stack's. In order to declare for the first time the official release of this specific coin, the buyer was required to pay to the federal government its face value of $ 20 in addition to the auction final price : it was sold for $ 7,590,020. Here is the link to the catalog in the website of Stack's Bowers, successor to Stack's.
This coin was sold for $ 19M from a lower estimate of $ 10M by Sotheby's on June 8, 2021, lot 1. Its highly essential 2002 Certificate of Monetization is joined to the lot. It had been re-inspected in March 2021 by PCGS and graded Gem brilliant uncirculated MS 65.
Take a closer look at three pocket sized treasures from the collection of famed shoe designer & fashion entrepreneur Stuart Weitzman. On offer in a live sale on 8 June, the historic auction features the world's most rare & valuable coin & stamp specimens. https://t.co/M9FTbFdy2X pic.twitter.com/3kMSIUUYdE— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) May 27, 2021
1933 Alfa Romeo Monza 8C 2300
2016 SOLD for $ 12M by Gooding
An 8C 2300 Monza was sold by Gooding for $ 6.7M on August 15, 2010, lot 117, and for $ 12M on August 21, 2016, lot 128. It had been illustrated in 2010 in the article shared by Sports Car Digest. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
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 qualifier Monza applied to the short chassis version of the 8C 2300 after 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.
1933-1934 Fleurs dans un Vase
2017 SOLD for € 8.8M by Aguttes
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.
1930s Pink Nude
2016 SOLD for HK$ 59M by Poly
Possibly influenced by Modigliani's nudes, Sanyu fully materializes the idea of the dominance of a sharp line. To draw the body, he favors the undulating lines and removes the unnecessary details.
Sanyu's vision of the female body changes radically, from sensuality to mystical idealization. These women remain models as at the time of the Grande Chaumière. They have no psychological dimension, and are most often lying on the back or reclining. They offer the beauty of their bare skin while sleeping, like Marie-Thérèse for Picasso. Realism of proportions no longer matters. He lengthens torso and legs, and deliberately shrinks the head which is not interesting him.
These nudes are white and then pink. They are placed on a carpet like starfish on the beach. The rugs are often decorated with small Chinese-style drawings, probably to reveal the origin of the artist. The contours of the body become thinner and the contrasts of colors take on pastel shades.
Largely from Roché, Sanyu had understood the expressive qualities of oil painting. A reclining nude 81 x 130 cm painted in 1931 is perhaps one of the earliest in his new style if we consider the garish color of the carpet. It was sold for HK $ 16.3M by Sotheby's on October 3, 2011.
A pink nude painted by Sanyu in the 1930s, oil on board 47 x 82 cm, was sold for HK $ 14M by Sotheby's on October 4, 2010, lot 277, and for HK $ 59M by Poly on October 3, 2016, lot 133.
The woman is lying on her back on a white blanket with floral pattern. She is quietly sleeping with arms around her head and with tight legs. This nearly monochromatic composition is overwhelmed by the vivid pink flesh of this Parisian woman with a blonde hair.
In a very similar style, an oil on canvas 45 x 81 cm titled Nu Rose sur Tissus Chinois was sold for HK $ 50M by Sotheby's on October 5, 2019, lot 1030. It had belonged to Roché, which does not allow to identify if it was acquired before or after the quarrel of 1932.
1933 Ugly Self Portrait by Kahlo
2022 SOLD for $ 8.6M by Christie's
She soon gets bored of New York which she nicknames 'Gringolandia'. Her health is poor and she does not set to paint.
A self portrait on Celotex insulation board 27 x 22 cm is an exception, using colors that she was grinding for Diego's plastered fresco panels.
In her usual practice she endeavors to express her mood. She displays herself as very ugly, in her own words. It was in summer while she already was in homesickness for Mexico and while Diego had an affair with Louise Nevelson.
The low cost necklace is a sign of her disenchantment from New York. The background is tagged as Basquiat will do in the same city half a century later. Tags are read 'SIRV, OH! BOY, VERY U and FRIEDA (sic)' plus a sad bird and a big apple. The overall contour of the image is irregularly curved.
This emotional painting was gifted by Frida to Lucienne who kept it for half a century. It was sold for $ 8.6M from a lower estimate of $ 7M by Christie's on November 17, 2022, lot 31.
1933 Mademoiselle Poum Rachou by Lempicka
2021 SOLD for $ 7.8M by Sotheby's
In 1933 Poum Rachou is standing with a watering can in a hand. With the other arm she tightly holds a big stuffed bear. The attitude is resolute but the toy with its bright eyes is clearly entrusted to protect her against the viewer. Her abundant curled blonde hair is pleasant.
This Portrait de Mademoiselle Poum Rachou, oil on canvas 92 x 47 cm, was acquired by Poum from the artist. It was sold for $ 7.8M from a lower estimate of $ 3.5M by Sotheby's on November 16, 2021, lot 42.