Chronology : 1540-1569 1640-1649 1680-1699 1840-1849 21st century 2000-2009 2003 2007
1564 Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I by Steven van der Meulen
2007 SOLD for £ 2.6M including premium by Sotheby's
1632 The Little Prince of Orange
2018 SOLD for $ 2.4M including premium
Van Dyck definitively left Antwerp in January 1632. Very cleverly he stopped at the court of The Hague to confirm his expertise by making portraits of the Prince of Orange and of his family. Relationships are close between Stuarts and Oranges. The agents of the King of England are around the corner and commission the artist to make an additional copy of his Orange portraits. The game is won : in April 1632 Van Dyck is triumphantly welcomed in London where he will remain until his death.
The stadhouder's heir is his son Willem who is almost six years old. The young boy is standing full length. He is richly dressed in a long gown in the golden orange color of the princely house of Orange, with lace collar and cuffs. The clothing is princely but the attitude is of any real child, lively and without any trace of childish complacency.
Several versions of this image exist but only two have autograph qualities. The oil on canvas 119 x 105 cm supplied to the stadhouder is kept in the Schloss Musigkau museum in Dessau. The other oil on canvas, 128 x 100 cm, is certainly the portrait of a young Dutch prince listed in the sale of the late King Charles's goods by the Commonwealth in 1652. It is estimated $ 2M for sale by Sotheby's in New York on February 1, lot 42.
The painting that comes at Sotheby's has recently been cleaned, revealing the qualities of an original. Pentimenti have been detected and two almost imperceptible but important details are better than in the Orange version : the curiosity expressed by the boy to an unidentified action out of field and the strength of his dog. From his stay in The Hague, Van Dyck already reserved the best of his art for the King of England.
Prince Willem was to marry in 1641 Princess Mary Henrietta, the eldest daughter of King Charles I. King William III of England was his posthumous son.
Please watch the video shared by Sotheby's. The image is shared by Wikimedia.
1641 Royal Children by van Dyck
2018 SOLD for £ 5.9M including premium
When van Dyck began this new mission in 1632, the royal couple had two children, Charles and Mary. James, Elizabeth and Anne will be born later. The artist watches them grow.
The mother, Henriette, brought to the Stuart court her French elegance with luxurious fabrics. A portrait kept in the Boston Museum shows Mary in 1637. The six-year-old princess wears a long silk dress to which the artist's skill brings a lustrous appearance.
On May 2, 1641 Mary marries a prince of Orange. In the days that followed, van Dyck paints a new portrait similar to the previous one, on which the little girl now wears her wedding ring and the brooch offered by her newlywed.
Making autograph copies is a common practice of van Dyck. By the quality of dress and jewels and the transparency of the embroidery, the 158 x 109 cm autograph oil on canvas for sale by Christie's in London on December 6 is perhaps the original painting of 1641. It is estimated £ 5M, lot 15.
On December 5 in London, Sotheby's sells another example of same size, lot 30 estimated £ 600K. The figure of the child is identical but the ambience background has nearly vanished, and the spectacular coral pink gown worn at the wedding has become a saturated orange, probably to please the new Orange in-laws of the princess. A participation of the studio is possible.
A portrait of the same format and same year shows the Prince of Wales later King Charles II, aged 11, in armor. It was probably since its creation a pendant with Mary's picture in orange and is estimated £ 2M for sale by Sotheby's in the same sale, lot 29.
Please watch the videos shared by the auction houses.
RESULTS INCLUDING PREMIUM :
Christie's (Princess Mary) : SOLD for £ 5.9M
Sotheby's (Prince Charles) : SOLD for £ 2.6M
Sotheby's (Princess Mary) : SOLD for £ 790K
1641 Prince Charles by van Dyck
2018 SOLD for £ 2.6M including premium by Sotheby's
These portraits of an 11 year-old Charles II, when Prince of Wales, and his 9 year-old sister Mary, Princess Royal, were among the last works #VanDyck painted for his royal patron, Charles I. #SothebysMasters https://t.co/cGm7aFEAvb pic.twitter.com/lYbs1RzTEW— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) September 13, 2018
1693 A Little Clock for Queen Mary
2019 SOLD for £ 1.93M including premium
Aware of the quality of his production, Tompion numbered his instruments, an exceptional practice in his time for a manufactured product. He mixes in a single serialization list the table clocks and the long case clocks. His clocks have a long autonomy. His grande sonnerie pieces offer a repetition of quarters over a long duration.
From 1692 or 1693 Tompion improves the elegance of his design with his Phase Two which includes the cushion dome, the thistle bud handle, the bellflower keyhole and the operation of the mechanism from the front face.
The master seems more interested in standardization than in miniaturization. Nevertheless Number 215 appears as the first of a small series of Phase Two table clocks with a total height of 28 cm including the raised handle. It was sold for £ 170K including premium by Bonhams on December 13, 2011.
Number 222, made especially for Queen Mary II in 1693 and known as the Q Clock, is the smallest clock ever made by Tompion with an ebony case. It is 20 cm high overall with the handle raised. It offers the quarter repetition and an autonomy of eight days.
Re-assembled in 1949 by a collector with its original movement, the Q Clock was sold for £ 440K including premium by Christie's on June 30, 1993. It will be sold by Bonhams in London on June 19, lot 103. The May 20 press release is announcing for this silver mounted royal clock an estimate in excess of £ 2M. A modern replica is joined to the lot.
Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
We are delighted to announce that one of the most valuable clocks ever to appear at auction, The King William & Queen Mary Royal Tompion, will star in The Clive Collection of Exceptional Clocks in London on 19 June.https://t.co/6ufWtyi4Ax pic.twitter.com/ROoThd69zu— Bonhams (@bonhams1793) May 20, 2019
1808 Tourbillon for a King
2020 SOLD for £ 1.58M including premium
Breguet develops after 1806 the applications for its tourbillon. The four-minute rotation, replacing the one-minute rotation, decisively improves the stability.
The most enthusiastic horology lovers are alerted about this progress. France is at war with England. King George III discreetly uses the services of an intermediary named Recordon to obtain one of these watches.
Breguet retrieved the reference of this piece in their archives. Sold on June 29, 1808 to Recordon for the King of England, it appears to be the very first tourbillon to have been marketed. It includes a thermometer, which is certainly a specific requirement of the king, and a Robin escapement that Breguet rarely used. To mitigate the risk of interception by customs, the Breguet brand does not appear on the outside and the dial is signed by Recordon. The payment of the 4,800 francs was completed in 1813 by the Prince Regent.
Remained in its original configuration, the Breguet watch of George III was sold for £ 550K including premium by Sotheby's on November 9, 1999. It is estimated £ 700K for sale by Sotheby's in London on July 14, lot 28.
A watch from the same period, with a Breguet escapement and without a thermometer, is certainly the very first to have incorporated the four minute tourbillon. Sold for 4,600 francs on February 12, 1809 for Count Potocki, it was sold for CHF 820K including premium by Christie's on May 12, 2014.
Fit for a King: King George III's Tourbillon Watch - an horological treasure discreetly sold by French watchmaking genius Breguet to the King of England in the midst of the Napoleonic Wars - will be auctioned in London in July. Click here for more details:https://t.co/Oal8BTVNgx pic.twitter.com/nfqYozr1fi— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) June 18, 2020
1847 Mauritius Stamps
The Invitation Cover
2021 SOLD for € 8.1M before fees by Gärtner
The stamps are inscribed POST OFFICE on the left edge, which corresponds to the marks previously used by this post, and also to the first US stamps issued in the same year.
The issue of 500 stamps of each denomination is ready just in time to be used for an invitation to a costume ball at Government House. The postal rate is 1 penny for a delivery in Port Louis and 2 pence for the rest of the island.
This first release is unique. A few months later, new plaques are prepared for multiple printing. The two editions differ in the text, which becomes POST PAID.
One of four surviving covers mailed for the invitation to the ball was sold for € 8.1M before fees by Gärtner on June 26, 2021, lot 1. It is illustrated with also the Bordeaux cover on the post sale release shared by Barnebys. It had been sold for CHF 1.4M before fees by David Feldman on November 3, 1993, lot 452.
This cover was circulated with the One Penny stamp. The recipient, "H. Adam Esq Junr", was locally best known : no address has been written. He remembered fifty years later having attended the ball.
The stamp is clean with clear margins. The mark PAID cancels the stamp and a mark PENNY POST is on the top left side of the cover. The reverse is stamped by the Mauritius Post Office at a date, September 27, 1847, which is the 7th day of the issue. Its provenance is unbroken from its first addressee to now. It was once in the collection of King Carol of Romania.
The Bordeaux Cover
1993 SOLD for CHF 6.1M by David Feldman (worth US $ 4.1M at that time)
The only known unused copy of the 1 penny was sold for CHF 1.4M before fees. One of the four unused copies of the 2 pence was sold for CHF 1.5M before fees. A cover mailed for the invitation to the ball was sold for CHF 1.4M before fees.
A cover sent from Port Louis to a wine merchant in Bordeaux has been stamped at the overseas rate and includes a copy of both denominations. Discovered in 1902 by a schoolboy who was consulting the recipient's archives, it is kept with its letter. It was sold for CHF 5M before fees, CHF 6.1M including premium, lot 155.
The image is shared by Wikimedia.
1936 The Transient Perfection of Edward VIII
2021 SOLD for $ 2.3M including premium
A few proof sets of £ 5, £ 2 and £ 1 gold coins which had been prepared for the ceremony are not destroyed. Their quantity is estimated at 6. Most have been separated. There are two complete sets left, one in the Royal Mint and one in private hands in the Tyrant collection.
The quintuple sovereign of Edward VIII is thus the most desirable coin in British numismatics. On March 26 in Dallas, Heritage sells the finest, lot 30339 estimated $ 1M.
This coin is close to perfection. It is graded PR 67 Ultra Cameo by NGC. It has never been taken in hand, leaving its surface absolutely intact. The videos shared by Heritage are a superb demonstration of the night and day effect on both sides. No other Edward VIII quintuple has been certified by NGC or PCGS.
The highest auction price for an Edward VIII gold coin was for a Proof Cameo sovereign, sold for £ 520K including premium by Baldwin's on May 8, 2014. It was then sold in a private transaction for £ 1M in January 2020.
1940 Flamingo Brooch by Cartier
2010 SOLD for £ 1.7M including premium by Sotheby's
1952 Cartier's Bestiary
2010 SOLD 4.5 M£ including premium
The Duke and Duchess of Windsor especially appreciated for years the works created by Jeanne Toussaint, director of high jewelry at Cartier.
Two jewels that had participated in the fabulous sale of the Windsor jewels in April 1987 at Sotheby's in Geneva come back to the same auction house in London on November 30. Each one is estimated 1 million pounds.
The most ancient, purchased by the Duchess in 1940, is a very elegant flamingo brooch made of ruby, sapphire, emerald, citrine and diamonds. Designed in 1952, the other jewel is an original panther bracelet in onyx and diamonds. Both are illustrated in the article shared by Bloomberg.
The compositions of colored gems promoted by Cartier were not only figurative. Jeanne Toussaint had developed in the 1920s these tutti frutti bracelets that were the most original jewelry of that time.
POST SALE COMMENT
The remarkable panther bracelet, designed to undulate around the wrist, was sold £ 4.5 million including premium, far above its estimate.
The flamingo brooch also got a very good price: £ 1.7 million including premium.
2003-2004 The Soul of a British Officer
2015 SOLD for $ 35M including premium
This aristocrat had previously shared the royal children's passion for horses and polo. The Prince of Wales will much later marry Camilla newly divorced from the Brigadier. The hero attended the wedding without resentment.
Lucian Freud was fond of horses, too, and a longtime friend of Andrew Parker Bowles. He painted his portrait in 2003-2004. During 18 months at a rate of three times a week and four hours per session, the Brigadier came to sit in the artist's studio.
Lucian's process is unique in the history of portrait painting. He rushed to the face of his model to inspect a tiny detail that provoked an equally abrupt return to save it on the canvas. Then he saturated his guest in an endless chatter before being ready to proceed with another detail. Lucian was very witty, which was quite necessary to maintain the patience of his models.
The obsession of the artist was to create lifelike works at the opposite of the dryness of a photograph. His method totally different from Bacon's led also to a strong emotion but Lucian managed to keep the realistic features of his characters. The Brigadier is still admiring today his portrait by Freud, better than life even in the glare of the medals.
The officer is not Sue Tilley. Lucian had not imposed an acrobatic attitude to this dignified sexagenarian who was indeed required to take the same position again at each new session. The result looks like a classic military portrait excepted that it is extraordinary in its psychological rendering.
This oil on canvas 224 x 138 cm is featured in Christie's evening sale in New York on November 10, lot 31B. I invite you to watch the video shared by the auction house, in which this piece is discussed by Brett Gorvy.
2007 Her Majesty's Bullion
2010 SOLD 3.27 M€ before fees
Gold bullion coins generally have a purity of 99.99%.
In 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint announces the launch of a product line to 99.999%. And as now the only way to get noticed is gigantism, they produce a coin with facial value of 1 million Canadian $. A small number of investors will then order similar parts.
The piece measures 53 cm in diameter, 3 cm thick, and weighs 100 kg. Chemists will appreciate this remarkable feat of engineering. The obverse is a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The reverse shows the emblem of Canada, three maple leaves. Its value to weight is approximately € 3.2 million.
The copy that was owned by an Austrian financial company is for sale by Dorotheum in Vienna on June 25. Exciting fate for this symbol of capitalism: the owner has gone bankrupt!
POST SALE COMMENT
This lot has been sold 3.27 million € before fees. This is the price of its metal value to weight, not surprisingly. The extreme purity of gold has not generated an added value.